by Selena Fox
This journey can be done in a group setting or as a solitary working. It can be a ritual or part of a longer ritual. For group work, all taking part should stand in a circle and face center. If working solo, face North.
Begin by standing in a quiet place, free from distractions.
Breathe deeply. Center yourself. Relax. Envision a circle of radiant light around you. Call upon the Divine according to your own spiritual path to bless this inner journey. Call upon the Divine within, your Inner Self, to manifest fully in your being and guide this inner journey. Connect with and honor the Spirit of the Land at the location you have selected for this working.
Now, call to mind some negative and inhibiting habit or self concept which you seek to dispel. Your Inner Self knows what change is best to work on at this time. Let your Inner Self speak to the rest of your being and bring forth an awareness of what you seek to have transformed through this journey. Now begin focusing on what you seek to dispel in order to transform and grow.
For example, connect with limiting self-doubt in order to dispel it and bring forth greater self-confidence. Or, connect with limiting procrastination in order to dispel it and bring forth greater initiative. Or, connect with limiting dynamics of rashness and short-temperedness in order to dispel this and bring forth greater patience.
The success of this journey depends on getting in touch with a part of your psyche you have chosen to transform– the more fully you get in touch with the selected problem area targeted for transformation, the more powerful will be the working.
Review in your mind situations in the past in which you have exhibited the characteristic/habit pattern you now wish to transform and grow out of. Feel the force emerge fully in your being at this time – do not hold back – for to change, it is necessary to connect with that which needs changing. You have created a safe space for this working and you have called forth your Inner Self to guide you in this work – let that Inner Self help you probe your psyche and bring that which needs to be transformed to the surface.
Spend as much time as you need to bring forth the essence of what you wish to change. Then as you feel totally embraced with the energy of that essence to the point you feel you are about to be consumed with it, kneel on the ground, put the palms of your hands flat on the ground beside you, and touch your forehead to the ground, and work with the healing power of the Land to discharge what needs to be released and transformed.
(If in a group situation, the facilitator should wait until all participants have moved to the ground and begun discharging before proceeding.)
Feel the Power of the Land. Feel the Power of Mother Earth flowing through the Land and you. Let this grounding process neutralize all those energies whose time has come to pass from your psyche. Discharge all that energy you have called forth for transformation. Keep discharging until it all passes from you. Experience your old habit pattern dying. Let it die. Feel the death. Breathe deeply … Discharge … Let the old habit pattern that needs to die, Die. Feel the clarity that comes from discharging. Breathe deeply. The old must die to create space for the birth of the new. Breathe deeply.
Now experience yourself transforming into a caterpillar. Shapeshift into this form with your imagination, and if you wish, move your body along the ground to deepen your experience. The more you enter into this process, the more powerful this working.
You are now a caterpillar. Experience this for a time.
Now within your caterpillar awareness, you sense it is time to spin a cocoon. As you continue this inner journey in your caterpillar form, you find a sturdy branch where you can do this.
Feel the branch you have come to rest upon. Inch your way along it until you find a comfortable spot. Grasp it with your lower appendages. Feel the silken webs starting to form within you. Now use your front appendages to pull the silken stuff from your solar plexus. Swirl it around you. Twist your body according to your Inner guidance. You instinctively know how to spin a cocoon. Keep your lower appendages fixed to the branch for stability, and let your front appendages move freely. Spin … Spin … Spin. Weave your silken nest. Weave your home of transformation. The more you move and get involved with this experience, the more assured you’ll be of your Springtime metamorphosis. Keep spinning and weaving … building your cocoon … until you have spun yourself completely in. Feel the comfortable feeling of being nestled in the cocoon. Now sleep. You are safe and centered.
Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Very relaxed … Sleep … Sleep … Sleep. You are in a comfortable cocoon. It is a magical place … it is a sarcophagus .... and it is a womb.
Your being as you once knew it has died, but the essence that is You has not. Your Inner Self is directing this working in the way that is right for you. Sleep … Sleep … Sleep. Deeper into a trance of change. It is a time of rest in preparation for transformation.
(In group settings, the facilitator should pause the meditation until all have settled into a deep resting meditation for five to ten minutes. Then the journey should proceed to its next phase.)
Now become aware that something is stirring within you. Feel it … Breath deeply and let this energy emerge in your being. A new Self and way of being is emerging.... A Self instilled with the qualities you seek to channel into your being. It grows stronger. You feel the warmth of the Sun through the walls of your cocoon. You smell sweet blossoms and green grass. You hear the songs of birds … and the rustle of warm breezes. You experience the rebirth and renewal of Springtime.
Life is awakening in your being … you are awakening … new patterns of consciousness are awakening. You feel it throughout your body, mind, and spirit. You want to move. You want to emerge from your cocoon, once a home, now an outmoded confinement. Move your body against the cocoon. Rub it until the wall ruptures. Move your body through the opening you’ve created. Now you are emerging. Light! You see it. Move to the Light. Feel it. Feel the energy of Life mounting within you. Burst forth. You are free!
What is this? Your body has changed. There are wet wings around you. Test those wings gently. Feel them dry as you spread them in the warm breezes. Now stretch them fully and flap them. Up and down … Up and down … Up and down. They are getting stronger. Stand upright and keep flapping them. Fly!
Feel yourself flying … up … up … up … higher into the sky. You have been transformed. No longer a caterpillar … now a butterfly. You are free. Dance and feel new qualities you desire in your being emerge and blossom. Celebrate this.
(If working solo, dance free-form clockwise around your circle several times. Come to rest facing East. If working in a group, the facilitator should lead all participants in a butterfly dance, free-form and clockwise around the circle. Continue until all are fully flying with their spirits and all are experiencing exuberance.)
Now let us end this dance for now. Yet this dance will go on continuously within us for we have been transformed and freed from our old way of being.
Let us once again center ourselves and prepare to return to waking consciousness. Let us give thanks to the Land, to Mother Earth, to Nature and Her transforming power. Let us ever grow in our Inner Self, that which is one with the Divine as One and as Many. May the Divine continue to guide our paths. So Mote It Be.
After returning to consciousness, journal about the experience, and then take down the circle/sacred space created at the start of this working. Keep your experience in mind as you try out new, healthier ways of being in daily life.
An earlier form of this meditation was first published in 1980 Spring and Summer issues of Circle Network News.
Selena Fox is Senior Minister of Circle Sanctuary and founder of the Circle Craft Tradition. Her lifelong love of Nature is an essential part of her personal and community spiritual practice. She has a M.S. in Counseling from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Selena guides inner journeys with Nature imagery as part of group rituals she facilitates and as part of individual work with clients in her telephone consultation practice. Selena teaches Circle Craft through writings, in workshops and rituals across the US and elsewhere, and via her podcasts and social media presence.