The Wisdom of Cocooning

Through lifeís trials and hardships we arise beautiful and free.
–Julia Butterfly Hill

Throughout her life, butterflies have appeared to Julia Butterfly Hill in times of need, sometimes in reality and sometimes in dreams and visions. For Julia–as for so many of us–the butterfly has became a symbol of transformation.

We can all internalize the process of the butterfly, which is really about understanding–and then letting go of–our attachments. What does the cocoon have to do with it? Why are times of cocooning so important, even though our culture urges us to produce endlessly without respite?

Find out what lessons the butterfly holds for us, as explained by this great compassionate activist, here:

“True transformation occurs only when we can look at ourselves squarely and face our attachments and inner demons, free from the buzz of commercial distraction and false social realities. We have to retreat into our own cocoons and come face-to-face with who we are. We have to turn toward our own inner darkness. For only by abandoning its attachments and facing the darkness does the caterpillarís body begin to spread out and its light, beautiful wings begin to form.

“Even then, the caterpillar must shed one last attachment–to the dark cramped space it has gotten used to–and begin breaking through the barrier of self in which it has wrapped itself. It doesnít have a clue what lies beyond, but it responds to this higher calling anyway.

“Similarly, only once we let go of all we know, including all our self-centered concerns, and break free of the cocoons we spin around ourselves to shut out the word can we become the truly beautiful beings we are meant to be.”

Inspired by The Legacy of Luna, by Julia Butterfly Hill (Harper SanFrancisco, 2000).


K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Zee Kallah
.6 years ago

We turtles know about "cocooning,.". We frequently withdrawe, think things over, meditate. Then we stick our necks out again and make more progress from what we have learned. Then, once again, we withdraw for a while,.

Zee Kallah
.6 years ago

See! It is so healthy to withdraw sometimes,

carole hagen
.7 years ago

Thank you!

Jane L8 years ago


Angela Zzzz
Angela Z8 years ago


Metamorphosis. Transformation.

Taking time (cocooning) to really look at yourself, your life, your problems, and take the opportunity to transform yourself into something even better. All very poetic.

Too bad it isn't quite as easy and beautiful as it sounds.

Tanik Tri R
Tanik Tr8 years ago

It is indeed a great wisdom..

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W8 years ago


Carlotta F.
Past Member 8 years ago

I agree. There are times in life when we need to shelter ourselves for self preservation because the sunlight will destroy instead of nurture us. A seedling is like that too and so is a growing baby in a mother's womb. I see the creative process as being like that too. There are times when something is too much in it's infancy to endure criticism. People will tell you how to end a story or which way to take it. Criticism can help an artist to become better but too much of it early on can be stifling.