Metamorphic Dance ~ Vibrating Chrysalis

Ahhh, the Alchemical Magic:  So must we, as a collective humanity,

following Nature guidance within our true selves and be transformed. . .

Our being longs to be a "butterfly" of the air, to take in the diverse beauty of the flower garden, to drink deeply from the nectar of the bread of life.  Life is but "chrysalis" of change.

Nothing captures the imagination of children like fantasy...and metamorphosis is one of the most fantastical. It is also a wonderfully instructive biological process of nature that teaches us it is not uncommon to see radical changes.  Amphibians, mollusks, crustaceans, insects, echinoderms are all sensitive to abrupt changes in cell growth and differentiation. These processes -- generally referred to as metamorphosis  -- are changes leading to modifications in behavior, habitat and body structure facilitated by some form of energetic movement.  

Movement as Sudden; Transformative Gushes

While the complex scientific process related to metamorphosis (that involves geometric structuring of water molecules in relation to UV light transmission) to transcript/translate DNA in the chrysalis captures the attention of the scientist in all of us, it’s the movement that can fascinate a child most.

A “child naturalist” (guided by a grown-up) can most clearly see and experience this movement as a facet that water plays in the “final intricate act” of transformation:  for the newly-minted butterfly uses a true economy of nature and pumps chrysalis residue from its former caterpillar form to plump its wings and learn to fly.

To appreciate the incredible complexity of this process, take a peek at a discussion of how a spider produces threads of web in comparison to a factory constructing threads of Kevlar.  Janine Benyus, in her book, Biomimicry: Innovations Inspired by Nature, discusses a process engineers use called “heat, beat, and treat” to make materials.

Kevlar, for instance, the stuff in flak jackets, is a premier, high-tech material.  It’s made by pouring petroleum-derived molecules into a pressurized vat of concentrated sulfuric acid, and boiling it at several hundred degrees Fahrenheit.  The distilled fibers  are then put under high pressures to force an alignment as they are drawn out. The energy input is extreme and the toxic byproducts are abhorrent.  

(See this link for a glimpse at how a Kevlar-like armor made from flax plants and seeds harvested, processed, spun and woven by hand might have helped Alexander the Great’s army with protective clothing that was half the heft of metal and better in the heat -- even edible in a pinch!)

Nature Charts a Different Path

Just as the butterfly performs it chemistry in water, so does the spider.  A spider, for instance, produces a waterproof silk that tops Kevlar for toughness and elasticity.  Ounce for ounce, it’s orders of magnitude stronger than steel  But the spider manufactures it in water, at room temperature, using no high heats, chemicals, or pressures.  It uses insects it’s captured at one end and produces this miracle material at the other by breaking down the amino acid template of its raw material.  In a pinch, the spider can even eat part of its old web to make a new one. Again, just as the butterfly uses it liquid chrysalis residue.

Examples from Indigenous Cultures Intimate with Nature’s Rhythms

As native tribal societies in the Southwest region of the US often educated children and healed through the antics, teaching and taunting of the sacred clown koshare, the KaHuna in the Pacific Islands used dance rituals to convey important “naturalist” lessons with a form of animal movement mimicry.  The foot work for KaHuna healing comes from a dance based on the frigate bird. This bird is a large sea bird known for its amazing endurance and stamina.  It flies off in the morning and continues flying all day feeding on the ocean before returning to land at nightfall.  


Even today, Kahuna therapists are trained in a dance, often called “flying” before they start to learn a particular massage style -- as this provides the footwork needed to relax into healing.  The rhythm is relaxing and works gently but deeply into muscle memory. Like the symmetrical pumping action of the Butterfly wings to inflate, KaHuna movement is known for its long continuous strokes that engage both sides of the body in one flowing movement.
Also like the Koshare, KaHuna is an expert in non-language based communcation; knowledge was primarily transmitted in chants, gesticulations and other body language.  These movement styles were significantly used in rites of passage; from girl to womanhood and from boy to manhood - to create solidarity and enhance the well-being in community.

To introduce the notion of dancing to symbolize movement energy we first discussed how the hungry caterpillar “fuels up” as metamorphosis takes lots of energy...Notice the colorful feast arranged for the children to sample -- West Indies Avocado, Star Fruit, Longans, Governors Plums ... Yum!   Each child crafted a segment of the caterpillar that went up on the wall and selected a fruit to match the color of the flower from whence the fruit came."

(I'm festooning the individually-crafted segments on the wall here at Veteran's Park in Delray Beach).

Here’s a rehearsal of a  "metamorphic dance" to the sound of metamorphosis as symbolized in the energy of movement and change.  A favorite poetic/musical source I drew from for inspiration was Metamorphosis as a Musical Algorithm by Robert Griffin Morgan.  Morgan's Metamorphosis SoundScape is a wonderful composition -- as he puts it, "a marriage of acoustic and electro-acoustic, which has reached a new significance for today’s tone poet [and master targeted vibro-acoustic practitioner]..."

Metamorphic Dance
Jill Henderson does a nice job introducing the subject in this article discussing "The Sound of Nature".

She notes, “a friend of mine posted a link to an article entitled, Wilderness Tonic and Eco-Ventures, on her Facebook page.  “Having recently returned to the wilderness, the title caught my eye.”  In the article Henderson underscores the point about “the case for sound as a tool for healing chronic and degenerative illnesses.  And while many types of sound can relax and sooth the mind and body. . . spoke specifically about sounds found in nature."

Vibrating Chrysalis

This video made by Naturalist Lynn Faust of Emory River Land Co. offers the witnessing of Targeted VibroAcoustics (as a possible defense to external attack).   She was drawn to the chyrysalis because of the sound it made.  The attributable process becomes clear, as Faust notes at the end of the video (to paraphrase):  "two days after observing the vibrating chrysalis a butterfly emerged."

What is occurring is a very self-directed, Targeted VibroAcoustic (TvA) energy experience  This vibratory energy is required to generate the droplet crystals noted in this seminal video -- and always observed in Chrysalis disintegration.

What I most liked was how Faust, clearly a pragmatic person (as we've corresponded since the video was posted), was drawn to the "sound of the vibrating" to investigate and then thought to disrupt the process.  However, you'll hear her frequently mention the droplets of crystals during her recording and was wise to leave well enough alone.

As a result, a healthy a Polygonia interrogationis  ("question mark" butterfly) emerged and took flight.  

And we had a lot of healthy, happy children taking flight too.

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