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Entering the Liquicene : Metamorphosis

An invitation to become more fluid as we lose our rigid grip on the old.

Digital painting by Shelli Fitzpatrick

Dear Friends,

You know about metamorphosis right?

I knew...but, didn't really know.

The caterpillar, as it turns out

Doesn't just sprout wings.

That is not what's happening

In the chrysalis

(what a beautiful word).

In the chrysalis,

the caterpillar becomes


A fluid mass of primordial soup.


The first inkling of something not-caterpillar:

Imaginal cells.

Cells with a new kind of intelligence.

Gathering strength from the protein-rich soup,

They multiply.

Until recognizable features begin to appear:

Eyes, wings, antennae...

"Are we becoming a butterfly?" one cell asks another.

"Boy, I hope so," it answers.

Metamorphosis is a trip.

Until there is no question.

And the thing takes flight.


My friend, Nora Bateson, recently described this time on Earth as the Liquicene. She was making a reference to the point in the metamorphosis process when the caterpillar begins to dissolve, essentially digesting itself. The butterfly is already alive in the imaginal cells, but the dross, all that is not-butterfly, has to go.

We are in this process of liquifying, she was saying. Everything we relied on is already less solid, more fluid. Here and there, imaginal cells signal the beginning of something new...something hard to fathom from our current vantage point. But, that makes the process of becoming a primordial stew only SLIGHTLY less scary and strange. Mostly, we need to let go and find ways to cope while the old world decomposes. Mostly, we need to find a new fluidity within ourselves. Go with the flow...

Here are some of the ways I cope in the Liquicene. What helps you?

  • Surrender to what wants to happen

  • Touch in regularly with what is unchanging in me

  • Be willing to sit in the not-knowing; enduring the discomfort of confusion

  • Sharing my discomfort and confusion - finding connection rather than certainty

  • Psychedelics, play, non-linear ways of being and knowing

  • Opening my heart to the collective experience of this emergence

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