Imaginal Buds


In writing about changing hotels instead of trying to rehabilitate the rickety hostel that’s my life right now, I also thought of that poor old caterpillar liquefying within its coccoon. Not a neat and tidy process, that. And how, as Osho says, a butterfly cannot prove that a caterpillar can become a butterfly.  Not only isn’t there a way, but what would be the point? One has simply to experience it.

Chrysalis greensmall_lifecycle.onenessbecomesus.com

I realized it’s time to just be with the liquefying of the coccoon of my life. Something new is emerging, and this is just part of the process. I’m glad I don’t need to keep on trying to put all the cells back the way they were! Wasn’t working anyway *wry grin*.

I also decided to google for a little verification that caterpillars do indeed liquefy in the process of becoming a butterfly. And in the wonderful serendipity that is also my life right now, I found this beautiful explanation from Earth’s Birthday Project of what actually goes on inside the crysalis:

“Inside the pupal exoskeleton, the caterpillar’s organs liquefy in a process much like digestion. Some tiny cell clusters, called “imaginal buds,” remain intact. These growth centers contain the chromosomes that carry the butterfly’s genes. They have been inactive throughout the caterpillar’s life, protected deep inside its body. Now the caterpillar body excretes a hormone that signals them to start growing and form all of the butterfly’s body parts. As they develop, imaginal buds absorb nutrients contained in the liquefied caterpillar body. In a few days, the pupa becomes semi-transparent, and the colorful butterfly begins to appear faintly inside. A day or two later, the butterfly emerges.”

1. Butterfly emerge crop_lifecycleonenessbecomesus.comTo me it perfectly describes our growth transformation when we start liquefying the ego life we’ve spent a lifetime building and choose to instead grow the seeds of our soul’s calling. Those imaginal buds of our soul have been patiently waiting until we were ready to grow from them. And in those soul’s callings are the blueprint for a radically new life to form from our soul’s essence on out.

It’s not about knowing how it will turn out…though the capacity to join in co-creation is there…it’s about hearing the whispers and following them, not knowing where they will lead. That is much more scarey for me, much more uncertain. And so much truer to the soul depth of my experience.

I give thanks for my imaginal soul buds.

If you’re interested, Butterfly in Transformation has great pics and video of the process (and is the source of these shots).

Categories : A Sacred Fool


  1. green tea says:

    Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good article

  2. celestial elf says:

    Great Post 😀
    thought you might like my machinima film the butterfly’s tale~
    Bright Blessings
    elf ~

  3. Sandie Hum says:

    Celestial Elf, your butterfly’s tale is as beautiful as it is informative–thanks for sharing!