When a Native Canadian man once told me that my animal totem was the butterfly I was initially disappointed. Being short in stature already and having a tiny frame I thought that he was mistaken. He must not have fully connected to spirit and his medicine and was subconsciously  associating teeny me with the teeny butterfly. I knew that inside was ferocity, passion, fearlessness, I was certain I was a cat, a tiger, a spider, something feminine, dark, mysterious and sexy. When I was given my Native name : Little Soaring Butterfly, I decided it was time to get to know my totem and to open up to the idea that perhaps this medicine man had seen something that I had missed.

 
In my study of the butterfly there were a few things that I resonated with from the beginning, one was the constant transformation that those who have or work with the butterfly totem experience in their lives. Being a Scorpio who is constantly digging, unearthing, discarding and rebuilding, my life has felt like a continuous construction site undergoing transformation after transformation. Another aspect that I resonated with was the blessings that the butterfly totem leaves behind her as she moves, with each flutter of her wings the butterfly sheds iridescent scales, leaving a path of light wherever she goes. This concept inspired me and was in alignment with the path of Grace that I follow, the idea that I need not do anything but rather that I can be the presence of spirit and bless the world that I encounter provided I remain in alignment with the Goddess within was one that I endeavoured to live up to already, the visual of leaving scales of light behind drew the butterfly spirit deep into my very own heart. When I learnt that a beautiful butterfly is poisonous to the predators that catch and eat it I knew that I had indeed received the correct totem. A tiny, cute, transformative being that sheds light but is deadly if attacked, I could get on board with that.
 
The transformations that have occurred throughout my life have been of varying degrees with varying affects on my life, intensive eye surgeries as a child created massive transformation in my resilience and maturation process. Loosing jobs and having newer and better opportunities show up at just the moment I needed it have strengthened my faith in Grace. From getting sober to breaking up with my boyfriend, varying degrees, varying results, constant shifts and transformative growth have been a mainstay of my life.
 
The butterfly totem had been showing up in my life as transformative experiences and opportunities to grow and to evolve, however the butterfly herself is a completely transformed being, she doesn't just go through an ordeal as a caterpillar and become a stronger or wiser caterpillar, she actually becomes a completely different being. I hadn't had that experience, I had had some close experiences where it seemed as though who I was was morphed and about to become a new being, yet in actuality I was becoming a more whole and integrated aspect of myself. I didn't desire to become a new being because on this journey I had learnt to love myself exactly as I was. I expected that I would continue on through my life having different transformative experiences and expanding and growing because of them and was content to except that as the way of life.
 
The butterfly totem it seems had a different plan in mind for me and I was destined to not only receive her medicine through life experiences, I was called to leave behind my life as a caterpillar and to emerge as a new being. Much to my surprise it was in becoming a Mother that my total transformation occurred, I went from being a Maiden caterpillar and emerged as a Mother butterfly. When I was pregnant I didn't know that I was in my cocoon and I had no idea that becoming a Mother would be the event that morphed me into a new being. Before this transformation occurred  if I had contemplated an event that could bring me into this all encompassing rebirth I would have guessed at many more deep or seemingly spiritual events that would have done it. I would have thought that it would be one of my many meditations, a moment in a 12 step meeting, during a Goddess circle that I was leading or on a solstice or a miraculous event that spontaneously dawned upon me while out in nature, I probably would have guessed anything besides becoming a Mom. Doing what millions of women do every day and giving birth to a baby would not have been the spectacular event that this Priestess would envision as her moment of becoming and yet here I sit in a new state and as a new being 15 months later.
 
I hadn't recognized the total transmutation into another being that I had become at first, I was mired down in diapers, breast milk and indescribable awe and intense hormones. In fact it wasn't until I returned to my hometown and my parents house that I knew, not only had my daughter been born anew, I too was a new being. 
 
My hometown is a tiny, sleepy city that was wrought with bad memories, dense energy and family systems that seemed so toxic I was certain I would stay away forever, never did I imagine that I would ever be present for very long with my precious Maiden. 
 
As I walked through my hometown the spots that held memories of deep pain and shame and a reality that today is like a distant nightmare were simple plots of land, free from any energetic ties that once held me. I walked a free woman any place in the city. At home when family members behaved in ways that hooked me in the past I found myself responding as any outsider would, with interest a bit of mirth and walking away when the dynamics began to feel tense. I wasn't tied to how they acted anymore, I didn't internalize it as a part of me or as being caused by me.
 
I am free. I see my family as beautifully human and real people, they are no longer demons that have cut me and damaged a part of me irrevocably, they are raw and real and forgiven. I watch my daughter fall in love with them, she senses their blood and is at home in her tribe when she is around them. I watch as they carefully apply principles that they know we uphold in our home, so nervous that one wrong move will take me and baby packing, across the country, far from home, where I've been for the past 10 years now. I love them and I honour them and I stay with them when they are human, I no longer punish them for their past as I have been freed from mine and pray that I never hold another person in bondage to theirs.
 
I in no way believe that having a baby just busted open the doors to freedom, gave me butterfly wings and erased all of the pain from my past. I know that the intensive work that the path that I have walked has laid the foundation for the opportunity to fly, I just had no idea that Motherhood would be the catalyst to receiving my butterfly wings.
 
As a Priestess the cycles that we dance through as a woman moves me deeply, I am a firm believer that a woman needs not ever birth a child in order to move into the Mother stage of her life. I chose with the magic of the Goddess and the commitment of my Beloved to become a Mother, for me childbirth was the door to the Mother phase of my life. However I've always been connected to my Mother self, even as a young Maiden I was called to care for and to nurture, my artist births babies through my creations, I have been Mothering my entire life. The switch into Mother as the primary role came with the birth of my daughter. If it is not childbirth that is your doorway to entering the Mother stage of life it will be something that moves you deeply, opens your heart wide open and lights your life up in ways that you have never seen before. When you enter your Mother stage of life you will be compelled to nurture, extend, care for and Mother all. This may not be your transformative moment though, it was mine but each of us have a unique blueprint to our soul's walk along this spiral path of the Earth~bound experience.
 
As the majority of the Western world celebrates the coming in of a new year and releases the old I encourage us all to walk towards transforming who we are into new beings, free beings, beings that are released from the bondage of who it is that we were taught to be. 
 
I encourage those of us walking a conscious path to explore the animal totems and to find the one that resonates with who you are, to take stock of your life up until this point, honouring the dark nights of the soul, revelling in the bright lightness of the highs that you have sailed upon and being open to the revelation of what your next step is to be. As we all transform and are released we raise the vibration that is being held on Mother Gaia, we make the way lighter and easier for all of those in this reality. Many, many souls are being called to leave this realm and many souls are re~entering again, let us raise the potential for global transformation to occur through our own personal work and surrendered walking into 2015.
 
I don't know what your transforming moment will be. In hindsight I am not surprised that becoming a Mother was mine, it was the moment that I began to be an expanded self, I was no longer an extension of my ancestry, I became a link in a chain that extended beyond myself and this has caused me to be more giving and altruistic than I ever could have been based upon morals and values alone. As I tend the life that came through me, that will continue on after me, that carries the blood line of my Grandmothers and myself I begin to serve in a microcosmic way the way that I am called to be to the entire macrocosm. For me it truly does begin at home and my personal goal is to go out into the macrocosm treating each being as if they are the child that I have birthed, for beneath it all we are all innocent children walking the most integral path that we can in this given moment. I endeavour to be the Mother Goddess to her children upon this Earth and give eternal thanks to my daughters soul, she chose me to birth her and has given me my wings. 
 
I will soar into the next year and hope to have many sisters and brothers by my side.
 
Many blessings from a fairly new Butterfly to you and yours.
 
Grace Be With You,
Priestess of Grace,
Candise Soaring Butterfly.
 
image taken from: http://www.glitter-graphics.com/graphics/611038