I collected the Butterfly Elixir in the Butterfly Garden at the Phoenix Botanical Gardens during springtime. They gave me entry to the garden before opening, so I had the entire place to myself. I put out a bowl of purified water and watched as myriad butterflies would land upon the water, then continue on their flight.

(No butterflies were harmed in the making!)


Butterflies date all the way back to the Paleocene era, which was approximately 56 million years ago. Once in their adult stage, butterflies live anywhere from a month to a year, depending on the species. Their life cycle is well known - after hatching from eggs, they start out as caterpillars, then are instinctually called to spin themselves into a cocoon or chrysalis and finally emerge as a resplendent butterfly.

What is not as well known, is that the caterpillar must completely dissolve itself within the chrysalis before it becomes a butterfly. Can you imagine? It liquefies itself before emerging as a butterfly.

As an adult, butterflies primarily feed on flower nectar, although some get nourishment from pollen, sap, rotting fruit, dung + dissolved minerals in wet sand. Though they cannot carry as much pollen as bees, they are important pollinators for many plant species due to their ability to move pollen over vast distances.

Their sense of taste resides in their feet (of which they have six), and are used to determine whether a leaf will be suitable for their eggs to feed on. A female butterfly would rather refrain from laying her eggs over laying them on the wrong plant.

Although often admired for their colorful show, butterfly wings are actually transparent! Covered in thousands of microscopic scales, each scale has multiple layers that are separated by air. The more layers the wings have for light to pass through, the more times the light is reflected, thereby creating the intense colors seen in various species (also known as iridescence).

Butterflies are cross-culturally associated with resurrection, transformation, and the new beginnings afforded by intense change.



If you are attracted to Butterfly, it is likely you are on the precipice of great change. You may or may not know what that change looks like, but you can feel that the time is ripe for transformation.

Yet it is possible you are getting stuck in the details of what needs to be done, and therefore cannot move forward into your greater vision. Oftentimes we are determined to ‘get to the bottom of things,’ and ‘figure things out’. We believe that a challenge cannot be overcome nor a problem solved unless we know every. single.angle. In actuality, the best remedy is to give the situation our attention lightly, and then move on, perhaps circling back later - with a light touch.

Alternatively, you may experience your own inner transformation as a cumbersome duty, rather than a joyous expansion.


Butterfly reminds us of the importance of a light touch, not only when it comes to challenges and problems, but especially when it comes to our relationship to ourselves.

It magnifies unbridled joy and freedom, as well as the ability to swiftly shift gears when we caught in tunnel-vision, digging too deep, or getting stuck trying to ‘understand’ something. Butterfly helps us to simply ‘land on’ an issue - give it attention, see it, nourish oneself, and then move on to the next layer - much like the butterfly lands and then moves on to the next flower.

With this light touch, we invite clarity and our own inner wisdom to arise, resulting in lightness, joy + freedom. We are aware of the constriction a heavy hand creates, both in our interactions with others and our relationship with oneself.

Butterfly also teaches us about the utilization of our internal resources. Just like the caterpillar dissolves itself to become a butterfly, we discover that we already have within us everything we need to become all of who we are. There’s just a little rearranging required. ; )

Butterfly gently encourages us to see the necessity of inner work, as well as our own abilities to transform into who we want to be - without getting hung up in the details or stuck in the proverbial mud. Through diligence, a light touch and trust in our own abilities, Butterfly helps us become who we truly are.


{Magnifies}: Ethereal. Fluidity. Transformation. Levity. Unbridled joy. Freedom.

{Dissolves}: Heaviness. One-track mind. Getting stuck in details. Over-reliance on logic.