By Trina Otero
I went for a fast cardio walk in my sacred place and noticed how beautiful and lush it has become. This place is a-bloom, so alive, colorful, green, homing creation — new and old. My sacred place is a mirror of me – my transformation and growth. Our growth. I am It and It is I, because we are connected. We are One and the same.
As I briskly trekked through the woods I came upon Grandmother Willow and halted. I stood in front of her and asked out of respect, “May I?” Then I placed my right hand and my forehead on her face. With my eyes closed I thanked her as I took in a deep breath. I opened my eyes and took a step back. I looked around, thinking I’d see another red cardinal. Nothing. I looked back at her. I put my palm back on her face and asked her if she had any messages for me. I looked upon her body, the way it curved towards the trunk.. And could not see any of the tiny ants that were roaming on her last time. All was still. I waited. And then I saw one caterpillar inching along to the right of her face. I smiled and thanked her. I watched as the caterpillar outstretched his upper body away from the tree as if he saw a surface in front of him that I could not see. I put my finger there to help him. I redirected him back to the tree. I laughed in amazement. As Deepak Chopra would say, “This is Love.” I put my forehead and right hand back on her face to thank her. I whispered silently that “I know.” I also said, “Let us love. Let everything we do be from Love.” I said some things to her, which I’ll keep private, but I knew what had been on my mind when I had touched her and asked for guidance. I stood back again and smiled as I put my sunglasses back on. Then I saw a big red ant strolling across her face. I thanked her again. As I walked away, I turned around and said, “I promise I’ll take care of him.” Then I got back to my fast-paced walking.
Caterpillar meaning – The infant stage prior to transformation, teaches patience that all things will come to fruition in nature’s time and not before, perfect timing and time of growth and harvesting, preparation period. Notice how you are moving like the caterpillar; inching along, resting, rapidly moving, pausing now and then. Caterpillar qualities will show one should move for the moment. His lessons of movement and preparedness is for the greater good of the transformation that will be arriving. Are you ready? [Source: Starstuffs]
Biologically and physiologically, humans recognize that there are changes–childhood, puberty, adulthood. Change should occur on other levels and it necessary at other times. Everything we create in life has to go through stages. These align with the four stages of insect metamorphosis. All insects and thus all ideas and creations begin as eggs. The eggs hatch into caterpillars which feed and spin cocoons. From a cocoon comes its final expression of life–usually with wings.
In the egg stage, there is the fertilization process. We give birth–to an idea, an activity, a new quality, or something. From the egg stage comes the larva. In insects, the egg becomes a caterpillar in this stage. The caterpillar feeds and works to strengthen itself and achieve its foundation. Ideas and creativity need to be worked with, shaped, formed, developed, and honed. When this is accomplished, when the caterpillar has laid itself a new foundation, the stage of chrysalis begins.
A cocoon is woven around itself by the caterpillar, and a mummy-like pupa forms within. In this stage there is a reorganization of the caterpillar’s cells even though there is the appearance of lifelessness. Sometimes individuals need to back off, after laying a foundation, and then go deeply within so that creation will be able to come forth strong and in new light. There are points in the creative process where we must be passive and let things take a natural course. We do what we must, and then let it move on its own. This is reflected in the chrysalis stage.
From the chrysalis comes yet a new and final form–a winged insect. The fact that it has wings in its final stages is very significant, and all of the symbolism associated with wings apply to insects as well as birds. The adult only comes out of the cocoon in the warmth of spring–again reflecting the ability to go within and determine the best time to set the new creations in motion on a higher level. Wings are the emblem of the adult insect and thus the adult creation. Flight now becomes a way of life for however long the adult survives. [Source: Spirit Lodge]
Red ant meaning – Ant is tenacious in its focus and a very socialized creature. Exemplifying team effort and the need to focus on the concerns of the greater whole. Seldom do you find them alone and without the presence of others. Where colonies exist it is easy to see they are busy creatures on the go. Self discipline and group effort are pronounced in this Medicine for they have the ability to delegate without giving up.
Patience is a major factor in their makeup and they are not given to taking the fast, easy solution; willing to work and get the job done in the best possible way they prove time and again that persistence pays. The quiet determination of Ant to reach a goal and the willingness to work hard at steadily accomplishing it is a powerful lesson in the Medicine of Ant.
There is no false pride, and working within the group is a sign of strength rather than weakness. Patiently, Ant teaches us to take things one step at a time and to problem solve issues.
Ant is capable of carrying many times his size in weight and if he can’t carry it he will drag it or get help from another ant. If you put an obstacle in his path, he will study it and then make a decision to either go over it, around it, or try to find a way to take it with him if he wants it. You cannot stop them from their ultimate goal unless you kill them.
As Master Builders they teach the construction techniques we can apply to our own lives. Always working at something, their group efforts produce successful projects. If their home/colony is destroyed they immediately go to work to construct a new one. Tenacious is putting it mildly. [Source: Spirit Lodge]
I saw so many caterpillars on the path as I kept my pace. I was afraid I’d step on these delicate creatures. I said a prayer that my feet would land on spots where they were not resting. I asked for their protection. This brought me to the concept of faith. Don’t we need to have faith that we are taking the right steps in life? For the good of all? For ourselves? This gave me hope. And confidence. I kept my head up so I could look before me and around me, to enjoy my sacred place as I maintained my fast pace. With sweat dripping, the smell of Earth and Life filling my nostrils and lungs, I hummed and bobbed my head to my music. [Later, after looking up Caterpillar and Ant medicine, I realized my thoughts about faith and the greater good were related to the messages I received.]
Caterpillars are so brave, aren’t they? They choose to be so small, so vulnerable to the rest of Creation, in order to reach their highest potential. One of the most magnificent creatures on this planet — the butterfly.
As I walked home from the woods I saw a red cardinal flying among some trees to my right, and then a yellow bird flew across my path. It seemed to hop in the air as it flew. Later at home after some research, I discovered it was most likely a goldfinch. Here is Goldfinch Medicine. Enjoy. 🙂