Monday, March 3, 2014

La Mariposa - the "Butterfly Woman" revisited

I've been invited to enter a show here in Tucson, and for some reason, immediately wanted to enter my "La Mariposa" above.  Perhaps it is because we are approaching spring.  

In her book “Women Who Run With The Wolves”, Clarissa Pinkola Estes wrote that the Hopi “Butterfly Dancer”  must be old, because the work of pollinating the future is the work of age, of experience.  I never forgot this, and have made many “Butterfly Women” as I myself approach old age.  Without the grace of the pollinators there will be no future, whether we speak of next year’s crop, or the minds of the young.  It's a job for one who has lived through many cycles, and can seed and generate the future from a solid base.
"The (Hopi) butterfly dancer must be old because she represents the soul that is old …….Butterfly pollinates the souls of the earth. This is the translator of the instinctual, the fertilizing force, the mender, the rememberer of old ideas. She is La voz mitológica, the Mythic Voice."
The Mythic Voice.  How wonderful!  

I take the liberty of re-posting an article about exactly that from several years back...........

Butterfly Mind, Pollen Heart

Beauty above me, 
Beauty below me,
Beauty before me,
Beauty behind me,
I walk in Beauty.

Navajo (Dine`) Prayer

"Art is not a thing, it's a way of life" 

(seen on billboard  in La Verne, Ca. 2011)

It's May Day as I write, Beltane, although, considering the events in Japan, "May Day" may also mean a huge cry for planetary help.  

 I love the painting above, which I found in a magazine; I don't know who the artist is, but thank him or her often for this  "Butterfly Woman" from whom thoughts like butterflies emanate out into the world to do their work. Perhaps the artist will forgive me that I do not know his or her name........but be glad that the work has gone forth to do its work in my heart and imagination.  Pollen:  agent of new life, new hope, transformation. 

As we (well, some of us) wind our way to the May Pole, and plant that metaphor into the still fertile earth, weaving our dreams into the ribbons of this ancient ritual of fertility, perhaps I can find a way to image the celebration of love and hope with a vast, global cry for help that sounds like a beating heart beneath the surfaces of our lives, just beneath our feet.  As the drums and penny whistles sound, as we dance, may we all become Pollinators for our time, for the future.

Like the woman who walks above, this is my prayer:    May we have butterfly minds, pollinator hearts.

Peace March against the war in Iraq, San Francisco, 2003

  The ancient Greek word for "butterfly" is ψυχή (ps
ȳchē), which means "soul" or "mind".  And I have often found them mysteriously "soulful", as they seem to flit in and out of mystery.  The picture above, for example - it was from the San Francisco Chronicle at the me of the great peace march against the incipient Iraq war, and shows three friends with their "soul icons" - me in the mask of Sophia, Alan Moore, founder of the Butterfly Gardeners Association, and Nicole, creator of "Cosmic Cash".  Note that her icon, also, has occurred in this synchronistic photo. 

Transformers, pollinators .......... they begin their lives as caterpillars, build a crysalis, and generate imaginal cells...........

"When a caterpillar nears its transformation time, it begins to eat ravenously, consuming everything in sight. The caterpillar body then becomes heavy, outgrowing its own skin many times, until it is too bloated to move. Attaching to a branch (upside down, we might add, where everything is turned on its head) it forms a chrysalis—an enclosing shell that limits the caterpillar’s freedom for the duration of the transformation.....Tiny cells, that biologists actually call “imaginal cells,” begin to appear. These cells are wholly different from caterpillar cells, carrying different information, vibrating to a different frequency–the frequency of the emerging butterfly. At first, the caterpillar’s immune system perceives these new cells as enemies, and attacks them, much as new ideas in science, medicine, politics, and social behavior are viciously denounced by the powers now considered mainstream. But the imaginal cells are not deterred.  They continue to appear, in even greater numbers, recognizing each other, bonding together, until the new cells are numerous enough to organize into clumps. When enough cells have formed to make structures along the new organizational lines, the caterpillar’s immune system is overwhelmed. The caterpillar body then become a nutritious soup for the growth of the butterfly."

Imaginal Cells and the Body Politic by Anodea Judith Ph.D.

Photo from:

If we can see that our thoughts participate in  pollinating the future, we can  perhaps find ways of living with simplicity and honor, even in a time so very out of balance.  Regardless of where one is, there is a profound need to "walk in Beauty".  To be "on the Pollen Path".                                             

Without the grace of the pollinators, the butterflies and hummingbirds and bees, there will be no future.  This idea is fundamental to spiritual traditions of native peoples of the Southwest, including the Pueblo peoples, the Navajo and the Apache.  As shown above, when this young Apache woman came of age and entered into her fertile years, she was honored by the tribe with symbolic pollen.

 "The Pollen Path" is a healing and initiatory ceremony/concept among the Dine` that variously enacts a mythic journey, and demonstrates a cosmology of non-duality.  "Pollen Path" art and sand paintings often show the union of opposites, such as red sun and blue moon, as well as mandalas, the balance achieved within the circle.   In keeping with May Day, Psyche in Greek mythology was a beautiful girl who was loved by Eros, the god of Love. Here is "fertility", generation, pollination..........the union of soul/mind with love.

As I imagine a "pollen path" for our time,  and emanations of hope and beauty,  I reflect as well that some butterflies, like the Monarch or the Painted Lady, are migratory.  Monarch butterflies will migrate over very long distances, as amazingly frail as they seem.  Some travel from Mexico to the norther parts of the United States and into Canada, a distance of over 2,500 miles.

Lastly, a few thoughts from one of my favorite storytellers, Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes, on the work of the Butterfly Dancer.  May we all, women and men, young and old, become Butterfly Dancers this May Day.

  "The (Hopi) butterfly dancer must be old because she represents the soul that is old. She is wide of thigh and broad of rump because she carries so much. Her grey hair certifies that she need no longer observe taboos about touching others. She is allowed to touch everyone: boys, babies, men, women, girl children, the old, the ill, and the dead. The Butterfly Woman can touch everyone. It is her privilege to touch all, at last. This is her power. Hers is the body of La Mariposa, the butterfly."

"La Mariposa" from Women Who Run with The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Clarissa Pinkola Estes  tells the story of waiting to see the "Butterfly Dancer" at a ceremony.  Tourists, unused to Indian Time, wait throughout a long, hot, dusty day to see the dancer emerge, expecting, no doubt a slender, ephemeral Indian maiden, and they are no oubt they were shocked out of their patronizing cultural fantasy to see at last the grey haired  Dancer/Pollinator emerge, slow, not young, with her traditional tokens of empowerment.

"Her heavy body and her very skinny legs made her look like a hopping spider wrapped in a tamale. She hops on one foot and then on the other. She waves her feather fan to and fro. She is The Butterfly arrived to strengthen the weak. She is that which most think of as not strong: age, the butterfly, the feminine."

Because in the agricultural ritual these dances symbolize and invoke, call in, the forces that initiate the  vital work of pollination, this is no job for for an inexperienced girl, no trivial token flight for a  pretty child. It's a job for one who has lived through many cycles, and can seed and generate the future from a solid base.

"Butterfly Woman mends the erroneous idea that transformation is only for the tortured, the saintly, or only for the fabulously strong. The Self need not carry mountains to transform. A little is enough. A little goes a long way. A little changes much. The fertilizing force replaces the moving of mountains.

Butterfly Maiden pollinates the souls of the earth: It is easier that you think, she says. She is shaking her feather fan, and she’s hopping, for she is spilling spiritual pollen all over the people who are there, Native Americans, little children, visitors, everyone. This is the translator of the instinctual, the fertilizing force, the mender, the rememberer of old ideas. She is La voz mitológica.

"La voz mitológica". The mythic voice.  The Mythic Voice re-enchants the world around us, lending luminosity to each footstep, and pollinates, energizes, en-chants those who hear.   It is transparent, permeable.  And one way to walk the Pollen Path.


Gail said...

Perhaps you want to enter 'La Mariposa' because the Butterflies are increasingly endangered. Thanks for honoring Her.

lauren raine said...

Thanks Gail, yes - to see the pollinators, the bees and butterflies (and bats too) endangered - is to see humanity endangered. The metaphor is multi-dimensional.

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Beautiful! Your work is always a joy to see. I still remember the synchronicity you had with that butterfly in the bowels of a boat...

lauren raine said...

Thanks.........that was truly a magical event!

Wes Hansen said...

Yeah, the world is sick and I don't think you quite know how sick. The anti-magicians, the so-called Brotherhood of Black Magicians who have conspired to have themselves referred to as the Illuminati - as if - have completely infiltrated and distorted both religion and science! It's a part of their world plan because, you see, they serve Eris, entropy, and their objective is chaos. They write the freaking apocalypse into their stupid ass religion and then take the necessary steps to bring that prophecy into self fulfillment. In science it happened during the war between Heisenberg and Schrodinger; they couldn't get rid of Schrodinger's wave equation so Born and Pauli turned it into a bullshit probability function. And when Dirac came along and demonstrated a relativistic formulation of Schrodinger's Wave Function Heisenberg destroyed it, or all that really mattered. The Dirac equation revealed the negative energy sea that William Tiller is always talking about. Read the book by Robert Crease, "A Brief Guide to The Great Equations," no maths required. Read the papers by D. L Hotson:;; Again, no maths required. It's just sickening Lauren . . . just sickening. They are deliberately destroying the world and giving themselves Nobel Prizes along the way. And Laughing because no one in the public understands what they're up to and they throttle all who do. We're at the cross-roads and these people shall be toppled - freaking destroyed! They don't even deserve to be called human; they're worse than the worst!

Wes Hansen said...

"This 'day-maker' (sun) of the oral tradition, which dispels the darkness of the three worlds, rising out of the 'gods' path' (sky), our investigations, is what causes the lotus of the correct view (Tibetan: 'tawa') to blossom. Hence, it is a treasure banquet for the hordes of bees, the great meditators."

- from Wish-Fulfilling Jewel of the Oral Tradition, Khonton Peljor Lhundrub (1561 - 1637); translated by Jose Ignacio Cabezon with commentary by H. H. the Dalai Lama in, Meditation on the Nature of Mind (

You see, in spite of the above comment, my mind is not agitated in the least for the Illuminati, the REAL Illuminati, work for a force much greater than those who serve Eris and It, through them, are at large and in charge!

Consider Michelangelo's "Creation of Adam," located in the heart of the evil lair. Michelangelo was a member of the Illuminati; his artworks, but especially his “Creation of Adam,” makes this readily apparent to anyone who also happens to be a member of the Illuminati. “Creation of Adam” has nothing to do with the literal interpretation of the Biblical story, rather, it’s esoteric wisdom leading to Gnosis hidden in plain view. Adam represents “Everyman (woman)” who has “fallen” into the world of duality – broken symmetry – but Adam, the ideal, also exists in the Garden of Eden, representative of a super-symmetric state of bliss which transcends duality; a place where everything equals everything – event symmetry! When man (woman) falls into conventional existence, an existence characterized by broken symmetry, they have within a super-symmetric seed, the enlightened point of origin. The journey to enlightenment is a function mapping the broken symmetry to super-symmetry; practically speaking, fallen man (woman) has the seed of super-symmetry in their prostate (Skene’s) gland and when they follow the esoteric instruction said super-symmetric seed undergoes a transformation, the lead becomes gold, and ends up dwelling in the pineal gland. The fallen man (woman), who dwells in Hell or Samsara, is allowed through the gate and enters Heaven or Nirvana. Of course both exist concurrently right here in our familiar reality, only one’s perceptive awareness has changed. In his “Creation of Adam,” Michelangelo places “God,” represented by a common metaphor for wisdom at the time, an elderly, bearded man, inside the human brain approximately where the pineal gland would be; many art critics and historians call this the “Uterine Brain” and erroneously interpret it to mean that Michelangelo was suggesting “God” controls humankind. This is what Euler’s famous formula represents, the transformation from broken symmetry to super-symmetry!

When Michelangelo painted “The Last Judgment” in the Sistine Chapel, many of the bishops and cardinals were offended at all of the nudity; one cardinal even suggested to the Pope that it was better suited to a bathhouse. The Pope sent a letter via courier to Michelangelo telling him to “make it right.” Michelangelo sent a letter back to the Pope telling the Pope, “make nature right and art will soon follow.” Michelangelo’s point was that the problem wasn’t with the art, rather, it was with nature – the bishops and cardinals. The bishops and cardinals weren’t illuminated; they were still dwelling in the state of broken symmetry. If they were illuminated they would feel no need to hide nature’s beauty behind a cloak of deceit. Apparently the Pope at the time was also a member of the Illuminati because “The Last Judgment” remained as Michelangelo painted it until after Michelangelo died and even then there were some mysterious and rather humorous difficulties experienced during its defacement.

Wes Hansen said...

Now consider this blog post from Ben Goertzel's blog which I recently discovered (;it relates a conversation Goertzel had with his 4 year-old son, Zarathustra, and it represents direct evidence of re-incarnation. Goertzel and his son are mathematicians and magicians!

I was studying Linear Algebra and everything was going quite well until I came to:

“Consider the set, L(V,V), of all transformations from V into V, then L is closed, associative, and bilinear with respect to transformation product or successive transformations . . . but it’s not commutative.”

I was like, “Screech, back up, commutativity is implicit in associativity AND bilinearity.” The author of the textbook was kind enough to present a counter-example showing why L is not commutative. He used an element from the standard basis of Euclidean two space with a reflection across the y-axis and a counter-clockwise rotation through 90 degrees as transformations; I used the same set-up and added a reflection across the origin to demonstrate counter-examples for both associativity and bilinearity. It was a trivial demonstration. Why do these damn bishops and cardinals feel it’s necessary to hide nature’s beauty behind a cloak of deceit? I’ve been contrary my whole life so it’s certainly something I’m pondering!

We all need to learn at least a little math Lauren, just to keep these criminals in check! But don't worry about the Pollinators Lauren; as Goertzel's son, Zar, demonstrates, some of the best Pollinators are young in body but ancient in form! Spider Woman is at LARGE and in CHARGE . . . ! ! ! ! ! ! Ha, Ha, Ha . . . .