Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Imaginal Cells

Excerpted from an article by Skye Thomas, based on Butterfly, by Norie Huddle

After a caterpillar buries itself inside its cocoon, it waits to morph into a butterfly. The caterpillar does not simply shrink a bit and sprout wings. Instead, it sort of disintegrates into a puddle of ooze within the cocoon. If we were to open the cocoon halfway through the process, we would not find a half-caterpillar half-butterfly type creature, but a blob of goop.

The goop is made up of a bunch of individual cells that are all basically the same type of oozy cells. For whatever reason, after the caterpillar has turned into ooze, a new type of cells start appearing. The original ooze cells are NOT changing into these new cells, but rather the new cells seem to come out of nowhere. They just appear out of thin air so to speak.

These new cells are called imaginal cells and they are so completely different from the original ooze cells that they are thought to be a virus or some other form of enemy so the ooze cells begin attacking the imaginal cells. However, even though the imaginal cells are being killed off for not fitting in, they still keep showing up, more and more of them.

Eventually, the imaginal cells begin to find each other and cluster together. Like attracts like, and the clusters begin to join up with other clusters. The original ooze cells still keep attacking them but the imaginal cells continue to multiply and cluster together.

Eventually, they become a large community and they switch gears from simply being a group of like-minded cells into the programming cells of the butterfly. Some imaginal cells start changing into wing cells, some start changing into antenna cells, some start changing into digestive tract cells, and so on. They are no longer imaginal cells but become butterfly anatomy cells.

As we all know, if left alone to do his thing, the butterfly eventually emerges as a completely new entity from the original caterpillar. Do they hold the same memories, life lessons, and consciousness? Who knows? One would think that for survival of the species, the butterfly would still retain whatever knowledge the caterpillar had learned before entering into the cocoon state.

Sometimes we are led to play the role of imaginal cell in our little corner of the world. Being one of the very first of the imaginal cells can be a painful road to travel. It is different later on down the road as your cause begins to gather steam and becomes more popular.

Imagine what the first women who were fighting for our right to vote went through compared to what we go through today trying to get equal pay and respect for a job well done. Imagine what fighting for the right to even create a country based on inalienable rights and personal freedoms was, compared to what we go through just trying to maintain our rights and define what those freedoms are.

Minority groups often feel like a cluster of imaginal cells being wrongly attacked just for being different. The masses assume that they must be the enemy; why else would they be so different? Being an outspoken lone wolf with a vision for big change away from the status quo can be scary and even dangerous

If you are an imaginal cell in your family, in your workplace, in your community, in your political system, in your spiritual viewpoints, in your global world; know that you are not alone and know that what you do to improve life for your fellow man does matter and it does add weight to the collective consciousness of humanity.

You may feel like you are completely alone in your battle, but know that there are others who agree, who are also dying for your cause, or who are so inspired by seeing you put it all on the line that they are finally brave enough to step forward making their agreement with you known.

If the imaginal cell is a quiet little thought somewhere in the back corner of your mind telling you that you could make huge changes in yourself to become less like the caterpillar and more like the butterfly, then know that you are not alone. Many people have done it before you and many more will follow your lead.

You will know if you are meant to grow, morph, and change into some new and improved version of yourself by the reoccurring theme of those tiny little imaginal cells creating inspirational thoughts within your mind. The reoccurring thoughts will both haunt you and inspire you. They will cluster together creating themes of healing change, themes of growth, and themes of becoming something completely different then who you used to be.

Fear not, for you are simply undergoing the butterfly’s experience. You too will feel alone in the dark, unsure of what is you and what is not you. You too will have to claim that which is beautiful within and you too will have to fight your own way out of your self-imposed prison to strengthen your wings so that you can fly for the entire world to see, inspiring others to look within at their own imaginal cells.

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  • December 27, 2009, 11:03 am Julia Guthrie

    wow…what a fascinating blog post!! And so very inspirational…thank you 🙂 xxxx

  • December 27, 2009, 11:08 am Star*

    My adult life has been a series of imaginal transformation periods beginning when I opened myself to metaphysical concepts and yoga in the 1980’s. It has been easier when there were others nearby experiencing some of the same transformations and each could share with the others and gain support. Sometimes, I have been the lone visionary imaginal cell and it has been quite challenging. My inner voice stays clear, however, and I trust it. So far, I have always been proved to be on the right track, just a bit ahead of the general norm. Sometimes it takes the world or those around me a long time to catch up to the truth and wisdom that I can ‘see’. I have learned to trust this process too. Visionaries, inventors and thinker are often ostracized for new ideas, prophetic claims, paradigm shifts and re-aligned thought patterns. Usually it is best to be patient and trust that others need time to adjust to the changing paradigms or thought forms. Being a visionary or an imaginal cell is some of the most difficult magic to work, walking between the worlds of the old patterns and the new and knowing when to speak out and when to be quietly patient.

    Thanks for offering this post with the rich imagery of the butterfly transformation. It helps keep things in perspective for me. I feel less alone.

  • December 27, 2009, 2:26 pm Arie

    Vow Beth, this is just amazing.
    Your post speaks to my whole being.
    Also being able to contain the paradox. Being alone and at the same time not being alone.
    Will the people see the butterfly? Or will they be immersed in their own mechanical world?
    Well at least some will see it.
    Arie

  • December 27, 2009, 11:53 pm athene noctua

    WOW! This one left me speechless and thoughtful.

    Thanks Beth Owl

  • December 28, 2009, 4:59 pm Claire

    Oh Beth,
    You have done it again.
    Thank you for sharing this.
    Your timing is perfect.

  • December 29, 2009, 2:10 pm Rena

    Wow, Beth, is this for real?! this is so cool! What an inspiring idea!