What's up with the butterflies?
[ By: Marissa Meyer ]
The last few weeks I’ve been seeing butterfly imagery and more specifically Monarch butterflies everywhere. From random Facebook Marketplace items that pop up for sale, to friends’ t-shirt prints, images on cellphone covers, to tattoos of strangers, you name it.
Usually when I see repeating numbers or imagery in an unusual pattern of reoccurrence, I take note. If you’re spiritually tuned in, you are aware that God speaks all the time and often He uses visual or auditory prompts to draw our attention.
- Jeremiah 1:11
Contrary to western thinking, the language of Heaven isn’t your mother tongue. It is dreams, visions, parables, numbers, encounters, patterns, nature, something someone says that jumps out, the Scriptures, free-flowing redemptive thoughts, inspired creativity, the still small voice… to name but a few examples. Often the voice of God is intricately woven and written into our daily lives like a sign the Holy Spirit put there for us to take note of — always inviting us to engage — and pointing us back to Him.
As I have grown in the Lord, I have learned that hearing and listening are very different states. There is an intentional waiting required in listening that is often absent in hearing. Listening requires a level of engagement that does not jump to the default conclusions our impatient mind wants to draw up. Listening requires letting go of the immediate need (or lack thereof) to reply to the stimuli and instead responds with a heart that says, “Tell me more, I want to understand you the way you intend for me to hear.”
Monarch butterflies huh? I guess you can say, “Aw easy mate, you know, it’s all about transformation. The old is gone, the new has come!” And you’d be very much right. That is, assuming the Lord specifically highlighted that as the only interpretation for your encounters, but often however, the obvious doesn’t embody listening and in this case I knew He invited me to look again and engage more. After all, He is a relational and therefore conversational, God.
The illusions of carnality
Did you know, when Monarch butterflies migrate South from southern Canada to central Mexico during the winter months, all the butterflies that fly across Lake Superior, suddenly turn sharply East at a certain point in the middle of the lake? They continue to fly East for about 8km before changing their course South again. For years no one knew why. There are absolutely no benefits to this behaviour and many perish for pursuing a longer unnecessary route over the large body of water. What is in the middle of the lake that spooks them to fly in another direction?
Well it gets interesting. As it turns out geologist have discovered that in many ages past in our earth’s geological history, there used to be one of the highest mountains ever to loom over North America right in the middle of where Lake Superior is today. Over time this mountain has eroded and perished. While geologist were making these discoveries about the geological history of Lake Superior, Biologist in a separate field have made equal groundbreaking genetic discoveries about the Monarch butterfly. It turns out the Monarch butterfly species have been genetically programmed over time, with a group think consciousness you might say, to avoid a mountain that is no longer there. The survival of their species relied heavily on their navigational skills during the annual migration in avoiding the perils of trying to fly over the treacherous atmosphere and weather conditions of an enormous mountain. The markers of their collective memory have been imprinted in the very substance of their DNA.
Isn’t it fascinating! The dust of the earth have been programmed to operate according to the dust of the earth. Don’t be fooled, group think and collective consciousness is as much a part of our carnal makeup today as it has been programmed into the biology of those butterflies for millennia. Algorithms, history repeating itself, round and round the mountain humanity goes.
The mystery of mountains
To be honest I have never really delved into the birth and death of mountains, but upon exploring the rabbit trail of discovery the Lord had me on, I could not help but think of Jesus’ words to his disciples in Mark 11. In fact the day I read about the missing mountain in Lake Superior, I found myself thawing out under a stream of hot water on a cold winter’s day, staring at this exact verse scribbled with a Sharpie on one of the tiles in our shower. It’s been a verse that I have wanted to include in Water & Word decals, but have not yet gotten so far as securing the funds to produce a print run of it.
Mountains are fascinating things. In ancient cultures they were seen as the abode of the gods. The high and lofty places where fresh springs flowed and lavish gardens existed from which the gods enjoyed ruling. Many famous mountains all around the world, used to be tied to the ancient deities that were worshipped in those cultures. In Italy for example Mount Etna was believed to be the home of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and the forge. Mount Olympus in Greece was well-known to be the home of the Greek gods or the twelve Olympians of the Hellenistic world - the ancient Titans/demigods. In Japan Mount Fiji is believed to be inhabited by the incarnation of the Earth spirit. In Tibet Mount Kailash is the home of the deity Shiva, the god of destruction. Start looking into sacred mountains of the ancient cultures and you’ll soon discover the list goes on and on all around the world. The Bible teaches us that these aren’t mere legends, but ancient fallen gods that lead God’s people astray and are responsible for so much of what is wrong in the world today.
The one true God
You see the mission of Jesus wasn’t just to rescue us to Heaven, but to establish His Kingdom on the earth and bring down every fallen god and destructive deity and restore relationship with the Father, the redemption of all things, innocence, love, joy and peace to the earth again through the overlapping rule of Heaven, as it was originally intended in the Garden of Eden.
So what does one thing have to do with another?
Back to the fascinating world of the Monarch Butterfly, our missing mountain and the collective consciousness of species. Perhaps we have come full circle to, “Aw easy mate, you know, it’s all about transformation. The old is gone, the new has come!” And indeed, it really does come back to the ultimate new creation metamorphosis Paul writes about in 2 Corinthians 5:17.
If you are tied to this world through your carnal nature and do not allow the Holy Spirit to rebirth your spirit and renew your mind daily to the very present and 'at hand' Kingdom reality, you are no different to those butterflies living their whole lives in fear of a non-existing mountain. Perhaps the greatest mountains can be found to be collectively reinforced in our minds. In fact the high lofty places that set itself up against God, are often most prominent in our inner world. These fallen inner gods present themselves in so many different ways, of which fear and foreboding are but some of their forms. They feed on uncertainty, anxiety and a cowering nature looking to everyone and everything except God for their salvation. In a time where fear of Covid-19 and death is the creed and mantra of every lofty news tower situated in high places and the suppression and destruction of livelihoods echoes from every high government mountain setting itself up as our counterfeit saviours, perhaps our first mission of restoring Heaven to earth, is conquering the fallen gods in our own hearts sowing seeds of internal destruction. Only once we repent and return to the Mountain of the Lord and acknowledge Him as King of our inner world, will the internal spring flow freely again in its original purity to terraform life around us.