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Symbols: caterpillar and the pinwheel — suzanne-mcrae.com

Symbols: caterpillar and the pinwheel

Today in the midst of anxiety, with deep emotional stuff that wanted to be processed, it felt like my body was on fire. I just couldn’t shake those intense feelings. I even took the time to do five different meditations throughout the day, nothing calmed that burning feeling that was raging inside of me like a wild forest fire burning out of control.

I was hanging up laundry when I saw this beautiful caterpillar that was sitting on top of a clothes pin that was pinned to bed sheets that were drying. I went back to the house to get my camera, by then she was doing a balancing, walking act on the clothesline ever so agile, moving along steadily full of confidence. I kept watching her and seeing just how unstressed she seemed to be yet inching her way along to her destination.


When I googled the symbolic message of caterpillar, I found this post by whats-your-sign.com and found it to be so fitting. So much of this message resonated with where I’m at in my life. It was a fun message to unravel with regards to my life…

getting ready for the cocooning stage

the infant stage of transformation (will I ever get to mature out of this infant stage??)

patience needed, all things come to fruition in nature’s way not before (and boy do I do know exactly what that means)

inching along, resting ever so slightly, moving fast at times and then returning to the pause every now and again

metamorphosing from caterpillar to beautiful butterfly (Why do we often see the butterfly as so much more beautiful than a caterpillar? The caterpillar is beautiful and has a tremendously important place also in this process… so I’m trying to see myself as a tightly woven caterpillar that inches her way along, not always knowing where she’s going)

deep contemplation (it feels like that’s all I do)

the message spoke of all the years of soul-searching, mulling and processing, will unfold into remarkable results (I wrote about my soul-searching journey a few times over the last few years, and what I didn’t know was just how deep that soul-searching journey was going to take me, and just how long it was going to last for. Here are a few of  my posts: “A journey into the soul” and “Awakening to one’s soul” and “Entering into the sacred silence of my soul“)

the dynamic process of metamorphosis, for moth and butterflies are symbolic of transformation (this evening when I opened the back door, the light inside our home attracted a few big moths into the house temporarily. It seemed that they both wanted to make sure that I would get that message also)

the caterpillar is also a symbol of evolution and transformation (I am sure that the caterpillars are more graceful with their evolution and transformation than I have been – I don’t see them resisting the changes they need to undergo like I have)

a special level of patience is required as they surrender to the process of transformation (patience is not one of my greatest virtues, so I’m being tested to have patience and to surrender to this process and trust that things are unfolding as it needs to, all of it)

the caterpillar, a symbol of never looking back on the old versions of ourselves… where there’s no turning back (why do we want to change so badly then resist it, I won’t expand on where I stand or sit on this one, its obvious)

using the senses to test my environment before taking a bite out of a new challenge (and that I have done a lot more of using my intuition, and senses to test the waters with all that I want to explore for my health)

new growth cannot occur until the old is shed (I already am sensing a lot of shedding is going to have to take place as I work my way through this cancer diagnosis and info full recovery… I pray)

so many things leave me feeling like a coward and I don’t like it one bit. I wish that I was more graceful in this process of evolution and transformation like this beautiful caterpillar that I saw today, but I’m not, and I must accept that

cecropia (moth) caterpillar

to get to the light that is within us, we often have to work through the many layers of darkness, just like the shadows in the forest


nature showing me that there is light among the darkness and that’s all ok… it’s what creates beauty even when we cannot see


like a tree trunk that’s grown and weathered over time, full of aging lines and crevices transformed by the forces of nature… life shaping us into all that we become. Like the caterpillar that wants to earn its wings, to that of a beautiful butterfly… patience and surrender is required.

tree bark

To gain your wings, you need to sacrifice the caterpillar of self. Pause for a while. Copyright: “Australian Tarot Deck: Ann Fitzgerald-Williams”

This is a quillow that I made several decades ago. This pinwheel quilting pattern also resonated with me and got my attention when I took it off the clothesline. So off I went searching for the symbolism of a pinwheel pattern. Found this site awesome site Pinwheel Girls.

Pinwheel Quilting Pattern

the symbolism of pinwheels

turn one’s obstacles around (yes please!! It’s been so painful at times to have felt stuck in the constant feeling of powerlessness around so many obstacles in my life. How will I turn my obstacles around, no clue. Possibly admitting to it here that it needs to happen will set the wheels in motion, and that sure would be awesome!)

the pinwheel: wind, unseen energy often causing movement (unseen energy, a lot of what has been sent our way, especially the last few years. Its ripped through our family with unseen forces like that of a major storm; powerful, destructive, not caring who was in its path, and the unseen energy of change or be changed is often what I have felt was happening and continues to make its presence known to us… a bit shared here: “What a year its been, 2014!”

easily broken and fragile (I try to be gentle with myself and remind myself that its ok to feel this way, for the moment. I realize where I’ve been and its no wonder I feel this way at times)

the pinwheel, often stopping and starting, stopping us in our tracks then only to start-up again with incredible speed and force not always making us aware of what direction it wants to take us, holding on for dear life at it spins at dizzying speeds some days

out of control feeling when you are caught up in the whirlwind

swept away, never quite knowing where you’ll land next

pinwheel from movement to stillness, all necessary for balance in everyday life.

So I will have to do what my sister did, and buy myself a child’s toy, a pinwheel as a reminder of the message I stumbled upon today as I folded my pinwheel patterned quillow.

I’m grateful for the messages that I was able to connect with today to help ease some of what I was going through. Symbols really do help me make more sense out of life.

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  1. I’m smiling at the messages you allowed yourself to receive. Thank you for sharing. In your sharing you passed along the gift to us too! Have a blessed day…

  2. Your open heart is a thing of such beauty, friend.
    I love that you’re embracing the nudge to not despise
    your baby steps and slow inching way right now.
    Forward motion is forward motion. And the line was right there
    for that caterpillar…..provision supplied just exactly when she needed to cross over.
    I believe great provision and supply is coming to you. I believe that is part of the message. You will have everything you need……it will come to you just exactly when
    you need it. Don’t borrow trouble from tomorrow. Today, right now, you are in a good place. Peace to your beautiful heart.
    Jennifer Richardson recently posted..September singing…..My Profile

  3. Annette Bourdeau says:

    Suzanne, I can’t shake the feeling that someday you will look upon this cancer as the catalyst that took you to a place where you could give yourself permission to be, not just content or even happy, but joyful. A new life with a new view of all the old obligations that allows you to fly, and dance and sing! Your courage in sharing your feelings is most appreciated; you’d be surprised how many of us share the same emotional issues. Thank-you.

    • Annette, at times I get this vision of just unzipping the old me, so the new me, the new life can fully emerge poof just like that. Wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier than going through all this testing in life. Glad this post resonated with you. <3

  4. Life is an amazing process of growth and change. I’m so happy that you’re choosing to accept it as such and let yourself be taken where your highest joy lies. It makes me think of something Jonathan wrote in his essay: we don’t change for the reward or to feel good, but we do it for what we can learn and who we will become. You are becoming, my friend. Wishing you peace and faith through the journey. ♥
    Maryse recently posted..As of August 18, 2015My Profile

    • Your son has incredible wisdom in his message. Yes!! I agree, we don’t change for the reward or to feel good… but instead all that we can learn, and most of all who we will become. Please tell him to keep writing and sharing his wisdom with us. <3

  5. Hi Suzanne

    Have you considered treating your breast cancer with Heilkunst re the alternative med route? From reading your blog, I know you have experience with this modality (I myself have seen great results with it.) Or has your experience of intense previous healing reactions put you off it in general?

    Also are you familiar with German New Medicine? According to GNM, all diseases have two phases: a ‘conflict active’ phase caused by an emotional shock or trauma, and a ‘healing phase,’ once the conflct is resolved. I’ve copied and pasted some relevant info here.

    “Breast gland cancer has to do with the woman’s nest in the sense that she has a “worry”, “quarrel or argument” going on in her nest. The worry could be over a health concern of a loved one, or even being thrown out of the nest by her mother! The overall issue concerned however is really a separation from a loved one. Milk duct (or intraductal) cancer has quite specifically to do with the conflict of, “my child, mother, or partner has been torn from my breast!”
    “. . .a right handed woman will respond with the left breast if she has a mother-child conflict or a daughter-mother conflict and will respond with the right breast if she has a partner conflict. Her partners include her life’s partner as in husband, a friend, her brother, sister, her father, or even her business partner. The opposite breast will be affected in a left handed woman.” You wrote about worries you’ve had regarding both your children, so maybe some of this resonantes. . .

    A little more info on breast cancer from GNM perspective here: http://newmedicine.ca/breast.php

    Wishing you all the best at a very difficult time.

    • Hi, I really appreciated the comment you left me. At this time in my life the previous intense healing reactions have truly discouraged me from being treated through Heilkunst for the breast cancer.

      I had not heard of the German New Medicine. I appreciated you sharing a bit here with me. I did some research. It does remind me of Heilkunst in many ways. Their view on disease makes total sense to me. I really appreciated you sharing this. Thank you!!

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