Home > Beckie > Change and the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Change and the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail


“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly.”  ~Richard Bach


Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – photo by Kim Hinds Photography


This new year is about change, and so too are butterflies. 

Some of you may not know that throughout Jim’s entire graveside service, we were graced by the presence of this single, giant yellow butterfly.  At the time, it made me smile a little, which I thanked it for.  But, after a beautiful card I received, I started looking up what butterflies mean in different cultures.  This butterfly truly was bringing all of us hope and peace that day.

  • Because of the butterfly’s stages in its life cycle (egg, caterpillar, chrysalis/transformation, butterfly), the Christian tradition views the butterfly as a symbol of the Resurrection and rebirth after death.
  • The butterfly naturally accepts its total transformation which can symbolize faith.  It is our responsibility to make our way in faith, accept the change that comes, and emerge from our transitions as brilliantly and gracefully as the butterfly.
  • Many ancient and current civilizations associate butterflies with the human soul.  More than one culture believes butterflies take the soul to heaven.  In the Greek culture, the butterfly symbolizes the entire journey of a soul.
  • Butterflies symbolize freedom of the soul while passing.
  • Butterflies symbolize a new life from an old one, after a period of transformation.
  • Butterflies symbolize fragility of life and impermanence.
  • Butterflies symbolize change.

This year is going to be a year of big changes and transformations.

Giant Swallowtail – Photo by PF Munch


Watch a Monarch Hatching

Inspirational butterfly stories


(Kathy, thank you for inspiring this blog.)

  1. Billie Cooper
    January 3, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Thank you for this blog. This is an inspiration for me. The Swallowtail has always been my favorite butterfly yet, I have never taken the time to research. I volunteeered for Covenant Hospice in Panama City, Fl. and the butterfly is used by Hospice. Now, I understand why they chose the butterfly. Thank you for making me smile today…..and making me a little smarter!

    • January 3, 2012 at 7:30 am

      Well, thank you. Your comment made me smile. I, myself, have always favored the bigger butterflies because of the way they are able to glide. Fascinating. Back when I did field work, I would aways look forward to the butterfly migrations. We would actually go to websites that would update where the monarchs were on their migration. So, I noticed them that way, but not in a symbolic way. I forgot that about Hospice. It is wonderful that they use the butterfly. I learned a lot during this blog too.

  2. Betty McNallen
    January 3, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Beckie, there is a prayer in the Episcopal burial office that is most comforting to me in this regard and seems to echo what you are writing today. It reads:
    Lord Jesus Christ, by your death you took away the sting of death: Grant to us your servants so to follow in faith where you have led the way, that we may at length fall asleep peacefully in you and wake up in your likeness; for your tender mercies’ sake. Amen.

    • January 3, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      That is a good and gentle prayer. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Jayne Field
    January 3, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    I loved seeing the pictures of Lubbock Christmas, past and present. Sarah must be influencing the beautiful snow in Lubbock. And I loved the family picture. What a joyous memory. I can tell something was going on in that picture…the glee in each of your faces made me smile.
    And I love hearing about the butterfly. I had no idea it’s meaning in different cultures. All positive and life affirming. A beautiful little creature of God to inspire. Very comforting thoughts. Thank you for your detective work to bring this to all of us.
    Know that I think of you and Sarah often.

    • January 4, 2012 at 8:16 am

      I’m just glad Sarah has gotten to see real snow. When I pointed out the window for her to see the snow, her eyes got really big, and she said, “white!” I had to stick in that last picture. The guys were trying to figure out the best way to take apart that turkey – it was quite funny.

      I’m am so happy to do anything that can help all of us find comfort. Thank you for your thoughts.

  4. January 6, 2012 at 6:34 pm

    Happy New Year!,
    Actually enjoyed reading your article. I usually do not place a remark. Being a professional in the health care field, I actually appreciate what you are saying here. I have visited your site before. Look forward to read more of your upcoming article/. Again, I did like this.

    I would like you to take a moment and mention 2 of my beloved organizations. In the midst of the New Year ringing in, make somebodys day and take time to check out or maybe nonetheless provide to AMFAR and DARFUR. Equally both organizations do astounding work to better humanity.

    Good Wishes and Happy New Year! Lets make 2012 incredible

  5. January 8, 2012 at 4:04 am

    Reblogged this on Powder Butterfly and commented:
    A wonderful image

    • January 8, 2012 at 8:11 am

      Thank you for reblogging my post. A first for me. You have a great blog. I understand why you call your jewelry “wearable art,” it is quite creative and beautiful.

  1. April 24, 2012 at 11:28 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: