To Inspire, Transform & Heal

Linda Wiggen Kraft
Creativity for the Soul

Monarchs, Milkweed & Mandalas

There are many songs nature sings that we cannot hear. Each plant, insect, animal and all of creation has its own vibrations. These vibrations are songs, sung as part of the ongoing symphony of life. These songs are a web that surrounds and sustains our world.




Monarchs butterflies have their own song. I can’t hear the songs monarchs sing to the plant that it is married to, milkweed. I can’t hear the songs milkweed sings to the monarch, but the songs are there.  They are a duet of life that reaches from the far north of Canada to deep into Mexico and the Pacific coast as these beautiful butterflies migrate from north to south and back again.



I have a friend, Christine, who knows monarchs, milkweeds and mandalas.

Christine lives with her husband surrounded by ten acres of restored prairie. She walks among the milkweeds that sing to the monarchs and they sing back.  Christine is a mandala creator whose mandalas have been shared in these blogs.

She created this beautiful folded origami book to honor the songs of monarchs and milkweeds. It is a “dos-a-dos” book with two sections or books together. One section is about monarchs and the other about milkweed.


The front cover of the monarch book shows the egg that the female butterfly lays on milkweed, and only milkweed, plants.




The egg hatches and the very hungry caterpillar eats leaves of the milkweed plant.



The caterpillar forms a chrysalis of the most beautiful pale turquoise green with shiny gold spots.



And then a monarch butterfly emerges.  A migration south of monarchs takes place in late summer and fall from as far north as Canada to Mexico for all the monarchs east of the Rockies. Those living west of the Rockies migrate  to the California and Mexico Pacific coast. Amazingly new generations of monarchs are born to complete the migrations their parents, grandparents and elders started. Somehow they know the way.



On the other side of the book is the story of milkweed (asplecpias) plants. Monarchs can only survive with enough milkweed plants all along their journeys. Both evolved together with monarchs finding nourishment and protection from these plants.  It all starts with the seeds of milkweed that have soft airy tops that can blow in the wind to find a place to grow.





The seed germinates and grows.



The flowers bloom attracting the butterflies who help pollinate them and then lay eggs on the underside of the leaves.




monarch-book-seeds-blog-creativity-for-the-soul-blogThe seeds are formed inside pods the burst open when ripe, sending the seeds flying.




The monarchs begin their long migration to their winter homes and back.

Monarchs need milkweed plants all along their journey. Visit these links to learn more,,, US Fish & Wildlife, Milkweeds for Monarchs- St. Louis.  Please plant milkweed in your garden.



The luminous monarch butterfly as seen with the sun shining through the image of the monarch egg.




Here is a mandala Christine created in September during a mandala circle.  It was inspired by a close up photo of the scales of a butterfly wing.


I miss the monarchs and can’t wait until their return next summer.  I will be able to see some before then though.  I just signed up for a retreat in Big Sur, California next month. Some of the west coast  monarchs will still be there.  Last year I was in Big Sur in March, saw some monarchs and got something wonderful by a local artist.  I created a couple photo mandalas with my son’s IPhone app.








Here  are the hand painted on black leather monarch butterfly wing earrings.  A Big Sur artist created them as life size replicas. I love wearing them.





PS– Starting January 9th.  It’s been awhile since I offered free online workshops with weekly blog posts that include creativity prompts, writing prompts, guided meditations and sharing of creativity. January 9th will start the first Month for Mandala – Truth Inspirations. Then February will start with Light Inspirations.  In this time of uncertain truths, there is a calling for us to first find our deep truths and carry them into the world as beacons of light.  Please join me in this journey where creativity, deep listening and honoring our role as healers of this world can take place.







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