Monarch butterflies

In Mexico, Monarch butterflies are associated with the Day of the Dead, because that’s when they arrive back there after their long migration from Canada. The Day of the Dead is on the same day as Samhain and Hallowe’en and comes from the same roots.

The monarch butterflies return to Canada around Beltane, which is opposite Samhain on the Wheel of the Year. Beltane is a festival of Spring, life, love, and rebirth.

So it seems appropriate that the milkweed, the monarch butterflies’ only food, is also sailing away on the wind at Hallowstide.

Milkweed seeds

I love the symmetry of the monarch butterflies arriving in Mexico at Samhain, and returning to Canada at Beltane. It’s as if there’s a line across the wheel of the year made of migrating butterflies.

A monarch on a milkweed flower

Sadly monarchs are endangered so please make sure to have milkweed in your garden. You can also donate to the Save the Monarchs fund. You can buy milkweed seeds from them too.

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