A beautiful changeling

In Navajo culture, there are numerous mythological tales involving individual reinvention, transformation, and rebirth. These missives often include references to Changing Woman, Changing Bear Maiden, the Hero Twins, and Coyote, to name a few.

A reawakening of consciousness and understanding is frequently the central theme. The upward movement sometimes occurs by chance but is generally a result of someone seeking knowledge.

These stories remind me of a wondrous magician who rips a piece of plain white paper into a hundred fragments and then miraculously restores it.

From the refreshed page, the magician shapes a bird, which he transforms into a beautiful white dove.

The metaphor of the paper bird, and these mythological stories, is that as individuals we have the power to interrupt our lives and reshape them into something beautiful; the magic comes from within.

The trick in all this is to avoid basing the transformation on greed, jealousy, or other misguided ideals. The drama can get out of hand, and when it does, a tumultuous outcome is assured.

Coyote teaches us that thinking and acting on selfish desires allows chaos into our lives and generates disastrous consequences.

Coyote’s message is that a new and improved life includes accountability, valuable not only to the individual but to those around us as well.

Reinvention seems logical and necessary as man struggles with reality and truth. A higher plane of understanding becomes essential.

In numerous cultures around the globe, Snake is commonly associated with rebirth. Snake’s ability to shed its skin and grow into something larger and more significant makes a great deal of sense.

Human beings are generally tenacious and motivated when it comes to improving their minds and station in life.

Nature-based and agricultural societies explain their world through natural occurrences. Wind, rain, lightning, and thunder are minor deities, while Mother Earth, Father Sky, and Fire are more significant.

Aboriginal people looked to their surroundings to educate themselves and improve their lot in life. It was all they had, and it served them well.

We might all do well to better understand the ways of the natural world.

The Navajo people have a legend that refers to an Upward Moving Way.

The caterpillar lives near the ground and is of the earth. If this lowly being becomes totally aware, and accepting of, its surroundings, learns from them, and focuses on self-improvement, it has the opportunity to change, a metamorphosis.

The end result is one of the most beautiful creatures ever created. The butterfly provides us with a striking reminder that we have the power to re-create ourselves in beauty. The question is, will we?

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