October’s falling temperatures trigger the annual migration of millions of monarch butterflies across the continent. Every fall, these lovely butterflies fly thousands of miles from as far north as Canada to overwinter in California and Mexico. When swarms of monarchs pause en route to rest and feed on nectar-bearing plants, admirers will see them blanket trees and shrubs in orange and black. Photo of a monarch butterfly chandelier in California by Joanna Gilkeson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
This spell was inspired by a butterfly wing pendant that I recently bought! This was created to help transformation and personal growth. All of the herbs were picked for their associations with cleansing, purification, and growth. Many thanks to @spiritvexer for helping me come up with the statements!
Various Flower Petals
A Statement for the Butterflies
First, clean out the jar and make sure that it is completely dry before adding in the materials. Put a thin layer of lavender on the bottom of the jar, and cover that with the rosemary and thyme. Next, add in the thyme and chamomile.
Add in the seeds to symbolize growth and the caterpillar that the butterfly once was, and the flower petals at the very top to represent the butterflies themselves. The last thing to add in can be a slip of paper (optional) with a statement written for or about the butterflies. Here are some example statements that you can use:
“I honor the Monarch for its migration and how it shows us travel is required for growth and survival”
“I honor the American Snout butterfly for the long journeys that it takes to grow and change”
“ I honor the [insert species here] for it’s ability to adapt to it’s environment and remain strong and resilient”
After years of being ravaged by severe weather and shrinking habitats,
the Monarch butterflies hibernation in the Mexican mountains rebounded
last year, renewing cautious hope that one of the insect world’s most
captivating migrations may yet survive. The Monarch travels more than 2,500 miles each year from Canada and the US to a 10 acre area of mountains in Mexico. Planting native milkweeds (even in your own backyard) can help with the population regrowth of the Monarch butterfly.
A/N: Tasked with peacefully
conveying Castiel home to the halls of Heaven, you listen as he relates to you
a children’s tale in order to illustrate why he must remain behind. I honestly
don’t know what to categorize this as…maybe we’ll call it angelic banter with an underlying fluffy moral.
Seated on a slatted wooden bench situated at the outskirts
of a quaint suburban park, a motionless spot of tan trench floating in a sea of
lush grass, Castiel considered the carefully landscaped homogenous green-ness of
the space stretching out before him. Even the bench and paved pathways were painted
in a garish peeling emerald hue in apparent effort to make them stand out less and
to further promote the unnatural uniformity of verdant color presiding over the
scene. The whole effect of the scheme, rather than being unobtrusive to sight as
the designer likely intended, was decidedly unsettling to the sense in its
sameness. The angel had been enigmatically summoned here, by certified postal
mail care of the Winchesters, to this peculiar park bench on what presented itself
as a sunny Monday afternoon. He did not know exactly what or whom to expect at
this mysterious meeting.
On the nearby playground, children played and shrieked
wildly. Tiny bodies gesticulated on the monkey bars. Nimble legs kicked in a
rhythmic rise and fall on the swing set. The avocado tinted metal slide
squealed to announce every rider in the heat of the sun. A refreshing autumn
breeze rustled the treetops surrounding the grounds. The leaves were just
beginning to don their bold seasonal color – rebellious hints of red and yellow
overhanging the edges of the park fence and threatening in protest to cast down
their ruddy pigments any day into the unremitting green. The undulant air carried
with it the occasional orange and black lined migrating Monarch butterfly in
solitary fluttering travel south to overwinter. Castiel greatly admired the
delicate winged creature’s resilient ability to endure the danger-fraught
thousands of miles long journey across the states and into Mexico. He felt a
certain kinship with their ability to survive this battering crossing of
Monarch butterfly caterpillar (Danaus plexippus), Newark DE. August 2017.
With autumn on its way, monarch butterfly caterpillars will soon metamorphose into their migratory forms and make the journey thousands of miles (and kilometers) south into Mexico. But the butterflies that will make this journey are not the same monarchs that were here in the summer.
There are two distinct ‘phases’ in the monarch butterfly’s population. The resident phase, or ‘summer’ phase, is the typical phase we in America are exposed to, where the monarch adult only lives a few weeks to reproduce. In the migratory phase, of ‘fall’ phase, caterpillars metamorphose into an adult that has diverted energy into developing larger wings, larger flight muscles, and larger stores for fat, rather than reproduction. This monarch will be able to fly farther and live longer that its resident predecessors, living up to several months to migrate, overwinter, and reproduce in the spring.
What signals a caterpillar to metamorphose into a migratory phase? There are typically three cues that help trigger the response in caterpillars during their life cycle: 1) Decrease in daily temperature, 2) Decrease in daylight (photoperiod), and 3) the senescence, or breaking off, of milkweed leaves.