• Nance Harding, MAHS-LPC

A Tricky Transformative Transition


The pupa stage of a butterfly’s life cycle is a transition lasting from a few weeks, a month, or even longer. Some species have a pupal stage that lasts for two years. It may look like nothing is going on but big changes are happening inside.


In terms of consciousness, it is the same for individuals except that many of us are like Mother Nature's rambunctious teenage children. We don't want to stay long enough in the pupa stage because it is the liminal space where we don't know where we're going or what we're going to do when we get there.


This liminality is the inner space of the order-disorder-reorder process of transformational change. It is good to remember that the caterpillar instinctually makes a cocoon in order to re-emerge as the butterfly. As individuals, we have to make the conscious choice to enter into and endure this space if we desire a different future. The pandemic is an excellent example of this.


So when those who speak abstractly about transformation as being all light and beauty of the soul, consider this - when knowledge is uncoupled from the wisdom of nature, it means there is no depth of lived experience. Where there is no depth of lived experience, there are only theories, and where there are only theories, there is no alignment with what the Jungians call the archetypal Self.


The following is from an active imagination session:


By all the Holy Names of God,

Transform . . .

my pride into praise,

my covetousness into contentment,

my lust into love,

my anger into advocacy,

my gluttony into generosity,

my envy into evangelism,

my sloth into service.

For alone . . . the I of me cannot SEE.


Image: Hakon Grimstad at Unsplash

Poem: The Seven Transformations