Being a Butterfly
by Grandmother Mona Polacca


HOPI Butterfly Tableta, Women's Butterfly Dance
 Museum of Northern Arizona,
Flagstaff, Johnson Photo

The Hopi believe that for man, darkness precedes a spiritual transformation. 
While the caterpillar may become the butterfly and begin moving within its cocoon, it doesn't break out of the cocoon until its ready.

      "At the level of existence, when it crawls on Mother Earth in the form of a caterpillar, it only sees what is right in front of it.  Then there comes a time in the development when it puts itself into a little cocoon and enters into the darkness.  In this darkness, it completely breaks down. During that time a great change takes place...

       "Finally, it emerges into this world, into this life as a beautiful creature. Yet it doesn't immediately fly away. It sits there as if to be making a connection again with the elements of life: the water, the air, the fire, the earth.  Then there is a moment when its wings start fluttering, developing strength within itself using these elements of life.  When the moment comes and the butterfly takes flight, it suddenly sees the world from a completely different point of view, a view of vaster beauty and a much, much wider worldview. This is what I was told about being a butterfly."



"Butterfly Dance" Painting by Fred Kabotie