The Dragonfly Wing
On July 12, 2018, on a Cancer new moon solar eclipse, I prayed to find my sisters. By sisters, I meant those women in the world - those friends - who would feel as close as family, who would feel like well, sisters.
Then, two months later, I traveled to California for the Brave Magic retreat with Liz Gilbert and Cheryl Strayed. There, I found an enchanted sisterhood (their words, not mine), and it was also there that I found one particularly special sister named Elizabeth.
On September 24, 2018, on the harvest full moon, I left the retreat. I flew home from California on a red eye flight and arrived back in New York City first thing the following morning. I placed my suitcase by my closet and my backpack by my desk, and that’s where I found a mysterious package waiting for me.
The package was on top of my other mail, all of which had been lovingly sorted and set aside by my fiancé. He was still drinking his morning coffee when I opened the package at its perforated seam, reached my hand inside, and pulled out a small, pink box.
On top of the box was a pink flower, its petals made of layered tulle, and at the flower’s center was a circular rhinestone the size of a nickel. The acrylic stone had been cut to reflect light, to make it more closely resemble a real gem, and it was cut in what appeared to be a series of concentric stars. Stars of David to be precise.
I noticed the shape right away. I noticed it because it was the same shape that had been following me now for years - from the mezuzah on the door of my first apartment in New York, to the ceiling tiles in my studio apartment in Greenpoint, to the marks the tattoo artist intuitively drew on my right hand before making them permanent with a needle and ink. And may I add, simply for context, that I am not Jewish, and for me, the Star of David had become a newly significant shape in my life. A significance rooted in the unanswered question: Why does this shape keep showing up? So when I saw the cut of the rhinestone, I paused and noticed and wondered, eagerly, what was inside this surprising pink box.
And so, I opened the lid with the pink tulle flower on top, and inside, I found a single dragonfly wing.
It was transparent save for its brown veins, and I wondered why my friend had sent it to me. Though immediately, I recognized it. Not because dragonflies played any significant role in my life, but because I had described a wing like this - veined and transparent - in the book I was currently in the process of writing.
As I stood looking at the dragonfly wing, I reached in my pocket and pulled out a small pinecone. A pinecone I’d picked up off the ground in California and carried back on the plane with me. And as I looked at everything in front of me - the pinecone that traveled to NYC on a plane from California, the pink tulle flower, and the dragonfly wing - I realized that all of these were images in my book. Not just one, but all of them.
And I laughed because my friend who sent me the wing? She knew nothing about its significance in the story I was writing, but at the same time, she also had this uncanny way of magically sending me things or telling me things that always connected perfectly to something in my life, and I had no doubt that in some way, she knew that this wing was for me, that this box was for me, that now was the time for me to receive this.
And it was because when I was in California, I felt strongly that I needed to finish writing my book, and I knew I needed to prioritize it. I made the commitment to myself: I will finish my first draft by my birthday.
At the time, I was only about 20,000 words into writing, but over the next two months, I finished that first draft. One day before my thirty-second birthday.
I finished it with the help of these physical symbols and with my new soul sister Elizabeth’s incredible encouragement and support. Elizabeth checked in with me every week and helped me stay focused on my goal while also allowing me to be completely human and take the time I needed to take breaks and rest and feel and do whatever it was that I needed.
She wasn’t a coach I’d hired. She was a simply a friend. A real, true friend who came into my life in the most unexpected of ways: while brushing my teeth in the bathroom. And I share all of this now because time has shown me that the dragonfly wing was not only a nod to my book, but it was, most definitely, a nod to her and what was to come because a few months later, this is what happened:
The Dragonfly Hairpin
On March 8, 2019, two days after the Pisces new moon, I lay in bed and closed my eyes. I wished to speak directly with one of my long time guides: Clio, the muse of history. I first met her years earlier during a Reiki session, and while I’d felt her presence and support ever since, I’d never tried to speak with her directly the way I had that first day on the Reiki table. But now, here I was - a little lost on how to edit the draft of my book - and I longed for her support. So I figured, why not ask for it?
I lay in bed and closed my eyes and called on Clio. In my mind’s eye, I met her in a large, oval room full of cream and rose and gold, and also, there were cats. So many cats. Everywhere. I asked her, What’s with all the cats? And she told me, They’re for you! Because you love them. They inspire you. Then, before I could start asking her about my book, she said, Congratulations on getting engaged!
At this point, I’d been engaged for nearly a year and felt a little bashful that so much time had passed between our talking, but she didn’t mind. She simply handed me a gift - a gold dragonfly hairpin - and she told me I should wear it in my hair on my wedding day for good luck.
When I eventually came out of the meditation, I felt as though I’d already been given the hairpin, but I also thought that it would reveal itself physically on this earthly plane. That the gold pin would indeed show up and be in my hair on my wedding day. I trusted that it would come to me. That I didn’t need to go out and buy it and that in fact, I shouldn’t go out and buy it.
Of course, I still went on Etsy and looked - just out of curiosity. There, I saw one that looked just like the one Clio had given me. I took a screenshot - just in case - but I also told myself to trust. Plus, I had the sneaking suspicion that this gold dragonfly hairpin would come to me through Elizabeth - the woman I’d met at Brave Magic and who, so generously, helped me finish writing my book.
I sensed strongly that she would be the one to find it, which didn’t surprise me in the least. Because in the months since we’d met, she’d become my sister, my coach, my confidant, and together, we seemed to live very much in tune with the same energetic current of life. Things would pop up in my life for her and things came up in her life for me, and almost always it seemed that our experiences were mirroring and supporting each other. And while I’ve chosen not to go into the astrology of all of this in this post (though I will say that it is WILD), I will share that Elizabeth and I are connected, astrologically speaking, by the asteroid Klio - the asteroid named after none other than my guide, the muse of history, Clio.
So, I spoke with Clio, and then, I told Elizabeth about the conversation (as I tell her about most things), and both of us agreed that neither of us would just go out and buy the hairpin. Instead, we would be patient and let the pin reveal itself to us whenever it was good and ready.
A month passed, and I started getting nervous that the pin wasn’t going to show up. Doubt crept in, and I sent Elizabeth the screenshot of the dragonfly hair clip I’d found on Etsy, followed by the cringing emoji and the question: Should I just buy this?
She responded right away: OMG! Because a month earlier, after I told her about the Clio vision, she also had gone on Etsy and found the exact same hair clip and saved it on her phone. Now, for context, when you search “dragonfly hairclip” on Etsy, Etsy gives you 647 results. So the fact that we both found and saved the same one felt significant, but still, I didn’t buy it. Elizabeth reminded me to trust.
Then, another month later - now just one month before my wedding - I met with my wedding photographer to nail down the details. At the end of our conversation, a photo of my Grandma popped up on my phone. A photo that was buried - thousands of photos deep - in my camera roll. This was especially timely because I’d literally just been telling my photographer that I was feeling anxious about sharing my family’s story in my book, especially sharing parts of my grandma’s story, but here she was, popping up, saying hello, saying Go for it! It felt like a clear message of support and love from her. And of course, now, when I look at the screenshot I took of my Grandma’s photo popping up on my phone, I see that it popped up at exactly 6:47PM.
Minutes later, when I got home from seeing my photographer, I found a package waiting for me from Elizabeth. Inside, I discovered the most amazing, generous, loving care package I had ever received. I was overcome. As I unwrapped each item, my heart did its best impression of the Grinch on Christmas morning, and in a small blue box, there it was: the gold dragonfly hairpin!
Elizabeth later told me that she’d been holding off on sending the package. She’d been waiting for the clip to arrive so she could include it with everything else. Turns out, she’d bought it the moment she saw that we’d saved the same one on Etsy - taking that as a sign. But it was coming from New Zealand and taking forever, and then, she thought maybe she made a mistake. Maybe she wasn’t supposed to have bought it.
She wanted to send me everything else in the package, and she decided that she couldn’t just keep waiting for this one item from New Zealand, so eventually, she said to herself and the universe, Okay. I’m trusting. I’m just going to send this, and the dragonfly will come if and when it’s meant to.
Then, she started walking out her door to go to the post office, and what did she find?! The dragonfly had just arrived! Just in time to be placed in the box and sent to me along with everything else.
The afternoon of my wedding, Elizabeth stood by my side - along with my friend Courtney, my mom, and my actual birth sister, who, by the way, is also named Elizabeth. The afternoon of my wedding, I was surrounded by all of these incredible women as the gold dragonfly hairpin was placed in my hair, in a garden of flowers that together - with the help of an amazing hair stylist - we planted in my hair on my wedding day.
Then, the Actual Dragonflies
And I think it’s worth mentioning now that in the days leading up to my wedding, dragonflies began showing up everywhere.
The first dragonfly appeared in the morning. I was lying in bed, and my cat was sitting on the floor beside me, looking out the window, chirping intensely about something. I looked to see what had grabbed his attention, and on the balcony, I saw a dragonfly perched on the railing and one large, dark purple butterfly, which is - for what it’s worth - another symbol in my book.
The next morning, I woke up again to the sound of my cat chirping, his little head tucked up under the blinds to see outside. I raised the blinds to look myself, and then I saw a single dragonfly perfectly lined up with one of the vertical, metal bars enclosing my balcony. The bar hid its body, so all I could see were its beautiful translucent, veined wings.
I then went to the bathroom and poured myself some coffee, and in my mind, I imagined seeing a whole row of dragonflies. Imagined seeing them lined up on the balcony, perched in a row together like my own guardian protectors. Then, when I walked back into my bedroom and looked outside, I saw a second set of wings, and then, a third. There were three dragonflies. All lined up next to each other. Each on its own metal bar. One after the other.
I told Elizabeth about the dragonflies, and she told me, I felt the message that each of the three is bringing you something. She tuned in. Then she said, What I heard is that they’re bringing you love, protection, and transition.
Then, I sent a photo of them to my photographer, and she said, They’re helping you transition! And she told me how the day before, a dragonfly flew through her window and into her Midtown apartment. She’d lived in New York City her entire life and had never seen one before.
Then, one flew into Courtney’s car in California and one flew into my mom’s garage in Virginia and one - carved from metal - was hanging above the door at Elizabeth’s AirBnB, and in some form, for every person who helped me get ready on the day of my wedding, dragonflies showed up.
Elizabeth’s fiancé pointed out that in golf, players use dragonflies as guides to know which way the wind is blowing.
And so the dragonflies guided me to my wedding and through my wedding, and then, after the wedding, as my now husband and I were about to drive away from the venue, a dragonfly flew in front of us.
A week later, I finally started the major edit of my book. The edit I’d felt so lost about that in March, I called on Clio for help. And in July, I finished my new draft. I read it over. I polished it up. I decided - almost one year after completing my first draft - that I was finally ready to start sending it to agents, and that’s when my mom sent me an email with a link to an article she read in the paper.
The article was published just a few days after the 2019 harvest full moon. In fact, it was published on September 19th, and it had been that same day, one year earlier, when I flew to California for the Brave Magic retreat where I met Elizabeth and made the commitment to finish my book.
And this is what the article said:
It’s all blue skies over Virginia. There’s no rain in sight, but on the weather radar, it looks like there’s a huge storm brewing. Massive blue and green blobs are moving across the radar, traversing the land. But not to worry, they’re not raindrops. They’re just dragonflies. Lots of dragonflies.
*The quote in the sketch at the top is from ShamanicJourney.com’s description of dragonflies as spirit guides.