Butterfly Symbolism – The Magic Of Butterflies: Animal Totem, Spirit Guide

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Butterfly Symbolism

Watching butterflies dance in the air from one flower to another has always been exquisite. They possess such an enchanting presence that they never fail to lighten the mood of anyone who sees them. For some, butterfly meaning signifies spiritual rebirth, creativity, joy, promise, and the capacity to experience and enjoy the beauty of life.

A butterfly’s grace and charm add color to an otherwise dull existence, brightening up our path as we go through life’s journey. Many see a butterfly’s odyssey as a reflection of the spiritual path; its metamorphosis symbolizes transformation, an aspect that most of us experience at a certain point in our lives.

Butterflies are insects that belong to the same family as moths. They often have large, colorful wings that they use for a distinct, fluttering flight. Believed to have existed since about 56 million years ago, they are a popular theme in various visual and literary arts.

Sent forth in the form of an egg, a butterfly lives as a caterpillar in its early life, retreating within a pupa where it goes through a complete change before being reborn as a vibrant and multi-colored winged creature.

The cycle of a butterfly’s life holds a spiritual symbolism that can serve as an inspiration for us. It mirrors the spiritual transformation process that each of us can experience by venturing deep within ourselves.

Butterfly Meaning 2020

By retiring from the world into our own cocoons, it allows us to find and understand our inner beings. By disengaging and enclosing ourselves in meditation, spiritual books, metaphysical courses, and prayer even for a while, we are awakened and transformed, emerging as entirely new beings.

Butterflies can’t see their wings. They can’t see how truly beautiful they are, but everyone else can. People are like that as well.

– Unknown

What do butterflies symbolize?

Sadly, butterflies don’t live very long. They usually live for only a few weeks or, for a few instances, months at the longest, offering us more butterfly meaning guidance. Butterfly symbolism reminds us that although life is short, we should embrace and celebrate all of its magnificent wonders.

A butterfly’s transformation, as well as our own spiritual renewal, continues even after death. With our passing, we depart from the physical world but are once again reborn into a different dimension where we earn our wings and learn how to fully fly.

If these beautiful winged creatures have been frequently visiting you physically or in your dreams, they may be presenting themselves as a power animal for you. Power animals, in several native cultures, are considered messengers from the heavens. By looking at the qualities of power animals such as a butterfly, we are able to hear and understand the messages that are presented to us by our spiritual guides.

What Do Butterflies Symbolize

Butterflies as power animals, with their mystical and miraculous attributes, must be cherished. Their presence induces such self-awareness about the need for us to change or transform for us to live in accordance with our genuine beings.

Turning your back from actions that deter you from living with nothing but joy and freedom or thinking of ways or practices that would allow light to penetrate your soul and allow the presence of limitless joy and wonder. These are a few indications that the appearance of butterflies carefully reminds us of.

For some that are in the midst of huge changes albeit unpleasant, butterflies appear simply to reassure you that everything will soon be okay. That this too shall pass and that all you need is to trust in the process, to remain calm, and know that the gentleness of a butterfly will guide you through it no matter what.

butterfly lands on you

Cultural symbolisms

Butterflies can be seen in every corner of the world. Various modern and ancient cultures welcome the representations offered by such powerful animals, believing that they are symbols of natural entities that convey extraordinary spiritual meanings. For instance, Native Americans associate the physical attributes of animals with qualities like strength, wit, and patience. Also, animal signs make up the Chinese zodiac, signifying the belief and trust of different cultures in power animals.

Although the butterfly symbolism varies in different cultures, we all see them as a symbol of transformation and change. Since butterflies begin their lives in one form and end it in another, they are highly regarded as spiritual guidance universally:

In China

Butterflies are called Hu-Tieh in Mandarin Chinese, which translates to “70 years,” symbolizing long life. Also, two butterflies that are seen flying together are considered by the hopeless romantic Chinese as the perfect emblem of love.

In Japan

Butterflies are believed to represent a confident young woman and a successful marriage in the Land of the Rising Sun. They are perceived to symbolize a person’s soul and that when spotted in a guest room resting on a bamboo tree, it’s telling you that a loved one is coming for a visit.

In Native American Culture

Native Americans celebrate rebirth and hope with the Fancy Shawl Dance, inspired by a plethora of butterfly displays. Initially thought to be of the Ponca tribe origin, they use various butterfly colors that symbolize different butterfly meanings:

Other Native American tribes believe that a wish whispered to a butterfly will be granted as these creatures can fly to the heavens and relay the request. The Blackfeet tribe honors butterflies as providers of restful sleep and peaceful dreams, enabling Blackfeet women to embroider lovely butterfly totems on fabric or buckskin, fixed onto the baby’s clothes or hair to help the child sleep.

In Hopi culture, a two-day ceremony of butterfly dancers is celebrated as butterflies are considered to be one of the wildlife spirits known as Kachina. At the same time, for the Navaho tribe, a butterfly is a symbol of joy and resurgence. This powerful animal is bound to the tail of a god, first established to be a cocoon and emerging with vibrant colors looking like a butterfly.

Cultural Symbolism Of Butterflies

In Celtic culture

In Celtic culture, butterflies signify happiness, honor, wealth, and good fortune. They are considered emblems of the human soul and are so well-loved in Ireland that it is against the law to harm a white butterfly. They are perceived to represent the fire of the gods and are believed to carry a dead child’s spirit into the heavens.

In Roman culture

In Ancient Rome, it was noticeable that butterflies were characterized on some coins, particularly to the left of Juno’s head, as they represent a bountiful wedding and a harmonious and lasting marriage. A sculpture in the image of a butterfly is placed on the mouth of the recently deceased as Romans believe that the soul leaves the body through the mouth to express their faith.

Perhaps the butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of darkness and still become something beautiful.

– Unknown

In Greek culture

Ancient Greeks, particularly the philosopher Aristotle, call these gorgeous winged creatures “psyche” which translates to mind or soul and which is also incidentally the name of the god of love. The Greeks, with their numerous gods and goddesses, believe that butterflies act as our guides and at times moonlight as the messengers of the gods.

In early Christian culture

For early Christians, butterflies symbolize resurrection. They play a significant role as a symbol of rebirth during Easter. They are highly revered creatures that can rise above life’s troubles and challenges and peacefully fly their way into the heavens.

Being one of the most symbolic insects, butterfly symbolism greatly represents transformation. Butterflies encourage us to be mindful of our personal growth and development, motivating us to tackle the necessary changes we need with gentility and a calming glow.

butterfly on dog

Spiritual meaning

The spiritual guidance that we receive through butterflies as a power animal is abundant as to what we feel or what we see through our eyes. Angels and higher beings often use butterflies to send signals and validations to encourage us that no matter how difficult and challenging times might be, they are there to watch over and guide us.

Here are a few butterfly spiritual meanings that can serve as our guide in our never-ending search for spiritual enlightenment:

Butterflies represent a spiritual journey

The importance of learning how to let things go and taking a chance on new adventures is one of the most significant representations of a butterfly as it is a key factor in our personal growth. They symbolize the idea that in order for a person to bloom into something beautiful, he must first step out of the darkness of a cocoon and spread his wings.

Symbol of change

A butterfly paying you a visit in your dreams signifies transformation. The process involved in the morphing of a caterpillar into a butterfly is so severe yet necessary to complete a caterpillar’s life cycle (read more about the caterpillar symbolism). This transformation encourages us to embrace the changes that occur in our lives since though they may bring pain and uncertainty, there will always be something better in store for us.

Butterfly Spiritual Meaning

Bear messages from spirits

Certain religious cultures see butterflies as carriers of messages from an entity in the spiritual world. It could either be from an angel or a spirit that is trying to communicate through an amazing spirit animal. This usually serves as a reminder about an often put-off task or as advice to patch things up in a broken relationship.

Often sent by a lost soul

Many believe that the presence of a butterfly is a sign of a deceased loved one sending you a message. Contrary to the belief of certain cultures that butterflies are omens, they represent gentleness, love, and purity which carry messages from spiritual beings looking down on you from above (can be applied to the Owl meaning as well).

Represent spiritual power

Various cultures believe that butterfly symbolism signifies creativity, freedom, and love above all of their other spiritual qualities. This is due to the perception that all animals possess a special power that was handed to them by a greater entity. This only means that the next time you encounter a butterfly, you should tap on its great qualities, such as love for transformation and beauty, to light the path on your own spiritual journey.

Primarily, butterflies are associated with allegories of transformation and change. Their presence stimulates us spiritually to emulate their beauty and charm.

Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.

– J. Richard Lessor

What does it mean when a butterfly lands on you?

Because of their innate nature to avoid human contact, having a butterfly land on you is such an amazing experience. When this happens, the butterfly’s meaning and symbolism are specifically focused on you, which is why you should heed greater attention.

What Does It Mean When A Butterfly Lands On You

Here are a few significant definitions of a butterfly resting on you:

  • It could indicate the start of a new phase in your life.
  • Meaningful changes that would allow you to experience greater love, peace, and harmony are about to occur.
  • Stronger spiritual connection.

Unless you are peppered with pollen, some believe that a butterfly landing on you is a sign of love, support, and encouragement from a loved one. It is somewhat a validation that they are in a better place and that they want you to continue to be happy, follow your heart, and live in an abundance of joy and love. Read on about what does it mean when a butterfly lands on you.

Just living is not enough,” said the butterfly, “one must have sunshine, freedom and a little flower.”

– Hans Christian Andersen

Butterflies in different colors and their spiritual meanings

The color of the butterfly can have an influence on the spiritual meaning. See the most common colors and explanations below.

Black And Blue Butterfly

Black-and-blue-butterfly meaning

Much like most butterflies, the black and blue members of this species are also agents of change. Whether it’s a job that is no longer exciting or a relationship that doesn’t spur your heart a racing anymore, the presence of this wonderfully hued creature invites you to follow what your heart and soul say and embark on a new and more fruitful adventure. Read on about the black and blue butterfly meaning.

White butterfly

white-butterfly meaning

Representing innocence and purity, a white butterfly could be an indication of your need for a fresh start. As butterflies are regarded as messengers of the gods, it is a reassurance from the divine that no matter how big and overwhelming the change could be, everything will turn out alright for you are in good hands. Read on about the white butterfly meaning.

Yellow butterfly

yellow-butterfly meaning

The color yellow, which indicates energy, joy, and happiness, shows our ability to ultimately welcome and embrace changes regardless of how uncomfortable and troubling they may be at first. Read on about the yellow butterfly meaning.

Purple butterfly

Purple Butterfly spiritual Meaning Butterfly Symbolism - The Magic Of Butterflies: Animal Totem, Spirit Guide

Honored as messengers and guardians from a higher realm, many of us see the purple butterfly as more than just any other flying creature. Often appearing at times when we need guidance and support, its presence inspires us not just to fly, but to soar. Continue reading here about the purple butterfly spiritual meaning.

We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever.

– Carl Sagan

Tattoo Meaning

Regarded as a symbol of femininity, butterfly tattoos are slowly fluttering into the skin of men. Often icons of natural beauty, butterflies have long been a symbol of faith, freedom, and transformation. Traditionally connected to romantic love, butterfly tattoos are becoming more popular.

  • Blue butterfly – typically a sign of good luck.
  • A butterfly’s wings – represent transformation and metamorphosis.
  • Butterfly with a rose – when paired with a rose, the butterfly becomes a symbol of love.
  • The monarch butterfly – is a classic symbol of royalty (read more about the monarch butterfly symbolism).
  • Skull and butterfly – skulls typically represent death and mortality while a butterfly represents new life. Together, they make up the symbol of the circle of life and the connection between life and death.
Butterfly Tattoo Meaning

In Mexico, where tats are prevalent, they are a symbol of souls returning for the Day of the Dead celebrations. Butterflies are pretty much like tattoos, they are colorful and eye-catching, they have their own allure, and each one bears a deep and unique meaning.

Butterfly symbolism echoes in each of us in one way or another. Whether it’s joy, beauty, calmness, or transformation, nothing can resonate with those qualities better than these beautiful creatures. The grace of the butterfly lies deep beyond its wings. It just all depends on us how we interpret each of its wonderful meanings.

Adding wings to caterpillars does not create butterflies, it creates awkward and dysfunctional caterpillars. Butterflies are created through transformation.

– Stephanie Marshall

Meaning of dreaming of butterflies

If you dream of butterflies, they can symbolize a variety of things. Butterflies are often seen as symbols of transformation, change, and new beginnings. They can also represent hope, joy, and rebirth (see also our list of animals representing rebirth). In some cultures, butterfly totem animals are thought to possess magical powers. If you’re wondering what your butterfly dreams might mean, consider the context of your dream and what’s going on in your life. Are you going through any major changes? Are you hoping for something new to begin? Trust your intuition and allow the butterfly dream symbolism to guide you.

butterfly in dream

Butterflies can show you a glimpse into the future to see how successful or emotionally transformed that will make everything else in life feel lighter with their mental clarity on what is truly important

The wings of a butterfly in your dream represent your ability not just to travel far but also to return home again after finding new land somewhere out there; this could be seen as an omen for exploration outside one’s comfort zone which may yield exciting rewards! If the butterfly in your dream was flapping its wings energetically then this is a good sign that you have extra energy to put into making your dreams come true. If the butterfly was simply resting on a flower or flying gently through the air then this could be interpreted as a sign that you are at peace with yourself and your current situation in life.

What does it mean when two butterflies are flying together?

If you see two butterflies flying together, it can symbolize a number of things. In some cultures, it’s seen as a sign of good luck. It can also represent harmony, balance, and cooperation. In many indigenous cultures, butterfly totem animals are believed to possess magical powers. If you see two butterflies flying together in your dream, take note of the context and what’s going on in your life.

2 butterflies together

The butterflies are also a symbol of love and marriage in many cultures. In some parts of the world, seeing two white butterflies flying around each other means that you will find happiness with your significant other; while any color does not necessarily predict compatibility but rather companionship from these creatures!

Some say that the interaction between two butterflies is often seen as a sign of good luck and positivity. In the spirit world, this bird has long been associated with bringing positive outcomes for those who see them together!

Dead butterfly symbolism

A dead butterfly is as a good omen, in the sense that death doesn’t always mean the end of life because death is also a symbol of rebirth. This way of thinking is most prevalent in tarot card readings. When the death’ card is present in a reading, it usually symbolizes the end of one thing, which brings at the beginning of another; i.e., the end of a current job opens you up to a new one with new possibilities.

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So finding a dead butterfly could be seen as a good omen because it means you’re about to go through a significant change somewhere in your life that’s going to bring positive change. Now that’s not to say that this will be an easy transition, but know that things will work out for the best. Remember, the caterpillar must work hard to build its chrysalis, leading to its rest and ultimately transforming into a beautiful butterfly. Read more about the dead butterfly symbolism.

If you find a butterfly with broken wings, check the link and the post.

[Video] Explanation from the Angel Lady: What Do Butterfly Signs Mean?

Karen Borga talks about receiving signs in the presence of butterflies. Butterflies signify transformation, and so much more. The butterflies change in such drastic ways, that their entire lives go from being land creatures to flying creatures. All they know has changed, and yet they do it with grace and acceptance.

The butterfly made it also on our list of animals that represent life.

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Author: Richard Alois
Richard, a London-based spiritual explorer and daytime marketer, invites fellow seekers to join him on a journey of discovery through his website, richardalois.com. With engaging articles and thought-provoking discussions, Richard's inclusive approach transcends borders, uniting people in the quest for wisdom, inner peace, and self-understanding.

1 thought on “Butterfly Symbolism – The Magic Of Butterflies: Animal Totem, Spirit Guide”

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