The moment we see it, our hearts are filled with joy. No matter how bad a mood we are in, when we see it flying around so freely, our heart starts to jump like a small baby who just received his favorite candy. Yes, we are talking about the most beautiful creature, butterfly. It spreads joy and positivity. It is also alluring and heartwarming to see them roam around so gracefully. The life path of a butterfly symbolizes a lot of things. It is amazing how a tiny creature can mean so much spiritually and personally. People often wonder what does it mean when a butterfly lands on you? what do butterflies symbolize? what is the spiritual meaning of a butterfly? The answer to all these questions is not very simple.
There are different ways in which a butterfly sends out its messaging. It is extremely interesting to know about all its little plays and their meanings in our lives. From a butterfly’s own life journey to its spiritual symbolism, everything is worth knowing about.
You may have been missing the very important crucial details of one of the most beautiful creatures and their significance in our lives. So here we go –
What is Butterfly Symbolism? (what do butterflies symbolize?)
A butterfly symbolizes rebirth. It is firstborn as a caterpillar and then it goes back to cocoon only to come out as a beautiful, different colored, flying butterfly. It goes through a complete metamorphosis.
Not many creatures take such a rebirth. The life journey of a butterfly teaches so many lessons to us if we just look closely and pay enough attention.
It doesn’t have the ability to communicate with us and yet, it leaves us spellbound with its messages and symbolism. It teaches us that one can start all over again at any point in life.
There is absolutely no shame in starting over. In fact, it is entirely possible for a human being to emerge out as stronger and wiser.
Colored butterflies might be one of the most beautiful things on earth but unfortunately, they have a very short life. Butterfly life span is typically for about a few weeks or at most a few months which also acts as a guide to human life. Butterflies try to remind us that life is short, and thus the miraculous and magical life of a butterfly teaches us to be in the moment and learn to enjoy it.
The transformation of the butterfly from a caterpillar also has a significance teaching us death helps us depart from the physical world only to find our being again in another dimension where you live in full awareness and remember how to fly.
In different cultures and countries, a butterfly symbolizes different things. Some compare its journey with a human’s spiritual journey while others consider it god sent or an angel sent and some also consider it messaging from higher souls or souls of those loved ones who have left us.
Some simply see butterflies representing transformation, hope, positivity, etc. Here are some different cultures and things butterfly symbolizes –
Mandarin, China Culture
Called as ‘hu-tieh’, in China, butterflies symbolize long life. Two butterflies flying together represents love.
Alive or dead, butterflies are the symbol of the soul in Japan.
This tribe in North America believes butterflies are carriers of dreams and restful sleep.
Recognized as the symbol of joy and resurgence, butterflies are heartily welcomed by Navahos.
Represents wealth, honor, good fortune, the fire of the Gods and dead child’s spirit.
Ancient Rome believed butterflies represent marriages and weddings.
Butterfly represent the soul or mind in ancient Greek also known as ‘psyche’.
An emblem of resurrection, Christians consider butterflied important during Easters.
Butterfly Spiritual Meaning
The very basis of spirituality is to go within yourself, find answers, and come back stronger. Even though it is a constant process to go within yourself and coming out enlightened, a butterfly can be seen concerning spiritual principles.
As it goes back again to be reborn as a shiny butterfly, a human being going on the spiritual path also follows a similar path. In spirituality, by looking within yourself, we also overcome many real-life challenges or at least find a mechanism to deal with them. Similarly, a butterfly also comes out flying distances.
The flying of a butterfly is the same as reaching a higher self for a deeply spiritual human. The journey of the butterfly represents transformation, just how spirituality is transforming the vision of a human being. Another spiritual significance of a butterfly is about its age. Butterflies don’t live long but for as long as they live, they remain vibrant and hopeful. This sends out a loud message to all of us.
A human being can also live life without worrying about tomorrow and just living today. Death may be the ultimate reality but that shouldn’t stop us from living our best life every day.
“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly.”— Richard Buckminster Fuller
More interpretations of a butterfly
1. Butterfly and angels
People who believe in angels also consider butterflies as a sign of angels approving their ideas or work. Such people believe that since butterflies are such unique creatures, angels communicate to us through them so that the messaging capture our minds and we hear it.
It is said that when we see a beautiful butterfly, it means the angels are nearby. They are protecting us. They are trying to tell us to not worry and have some faith. It is suggested that whenever you see a butterfly, pay attention, and calm your mind. Try to listen to the message of your guardian angel.
It is extremely sensitive an issue for some people to see the messages from their guardian angel. Make sure you prepare yourself enough to walk on this path and believe in the common belief system.
2. Butterfly and souls
We all have loved ones who have left us. These people are always blessing us and we also continue to pray to them considering them a soul that now lives with gods. But, some people also believe that these souls try to communicate with us through various beautiful creatures.
A butterfly is one such creature. The soul of the deceased protects human beings. They try to tell us that we are right or try to comfort us in difficult times.
These notions can be interpreted in different ways depending on the situation a person is. One has to pay close attention to his or her life situation and then consider, what the souls of their loved ones trying to communicate.
It is important to note that the Greeks use the same word for both soul and butterfly. That word is psyche.
3. Butterfly as a spirit animal
People often wonder what their spirit animal is. They are always curious to know this so that they can take some guidance from their spirit guides.
If your spirit animal is a butterfly, it will teach you to be calm and patient. It will make you grow through different changes happening in your life. It will teach you to adapt transformation and be absolutely okay with changes. Changes are inevitable.
Some people oppose changes but butterfly teaches you to gracefully accept any change happening in life.
4. Butterfly as an animal totem
If you are born under a butterfly totem animal, you will always possess grace and light. You will be able to spread your charm just by being in the vicinity. You will be guided by strong morals, ones that can’t be defeated by life’s difficulties. You will have a natural desire to protect and spread beauty. That’s not it, you will also have a balanced head capable of finding calmness in troublesome situations. You will not let your problems overpower your mind’s peace and would be able to look at all angles of the problem.
5. Butterfly as a power animal
Butterflies as power animals make you capable to deal with the pain which would have been otherwise too difficult. Every time you call a butterfly as a power animal; it will grant you the mental strength to deal with the ongoing turmoil and lighten up your heart. Things will seem extremely grim and dark, but the sight of the colorful butterflies will keep you hopeful.
The life path of a butterfly is very inspiring. Contrary to the popular belief, the caterpillar inside the cocoon doesn’t just grow wings, it instead melts to form into a whole flying butterfly. Thus, they know what it means to lose everything in the short term to have unbelievable gains in the future and it is here to teach you the same.
What does it mean when you see a butterfly?
Have you been seeing butterflies crossing around the sky lately? Then get ready for some historical change or personal transformation in life. Be mindful of the aspects of field of your life or personality that in your view requires absolute changes. Never ignore a butterfly flying around. It is a very strong symbol that is bound to bring transition in your life. The change might even be so intense that you will experience a whole new phase of life this time with more awareness heading onto a better life.
What does it mean when you see a butterfly in a dream?
If one sees a butterfly in a dream, it could mean many things. Depending on the religion or belief of the person, meaning can be interpreted.
The Native Americans believe that when they see a butterfly in a dream, it means the souls are trying to send some messages. But, these people also believe that when they see a butterfly, it brings dreams in sleep.
The color of the butterfly also matters as each color symbolizes different things. For years, Indians too have believed that their deceased loved ones send them messages in various ways. One such way is to see any animal in the sleep. Not everyone can decipher the messaging right, however.
What does it mean when a butterfly follows you?
If a butterfly keeps following you, then it is trying to tell you to address an issue. Sometimes in life, we run away from certain things for various reasons. A butterfly may want to send us a message in such circumstances.
It is important to note that the reading of such a message is very difficult. You have to silence all your inner chatter to really listen to the right message. Further, it can also mean that a transformation is about to happen in our life.
If you see, the first and second messages are pretty much the same. It is only after addressing all issues, one can regrow and transform. For every individual, the process can be a little different but the bigger picture remains the same.
What does it mean when a butterfly lands on you?
First, it is important to note that the color of butterfly that lands on you, matters a lot. Later, in the article, we will talk about that in length. But what does it really mean when a butterfly lands on you? The answer is a combination of all the things we have read and learned so far in this article.
For some, it can simply mean that a transformation is about to take place in their life and they will spiritually take a rebirth and for some, it can mean that a higher soul or the soul of the deceased is trying to communicate with them and comfort them.
For those who believe in angels, it could mean that the guardian angel is trying to guide them. In a nutshell, it can be said that the landing of a butterfly on you mostly has positive consequences.
It is a symbol of transformation, revival, rebirth, spiritual awakening, guidance, hope, and much more. It is an extremely rare event to occur. One should, in fact, consider themselves lucky to have had such a moment. However, there is also a negative connotation attached to the butterfly landing on you. We will read more about that later in the article.
“May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun— Irish Blessing
And find your shoulder to light on,
To bring you luck, happiness, and riches
Today, tomorrow and beyond.”
Interesting fact about butterflies: The fancy shawl dance!
Have you ever seen the fancy shawl dance at some religious ceremonies? – it is believed to have derived from butterflies. It narrates a story of a grieving butterfly who lost his mate in a battle. Since the young butterfly’s mate was killed, she locked herself in a cocoon for days, kept grieving, and removed her wings.
She did not want to bother family and friends and so went far away with her wings and medicines. On the way, she spotted a stone that suddenly healed all her grieving and gave her new purpose to life. She then, filled with joy, wrapped her wings, busted the cocoon, and began to dance.
After this, she returned home and when she discussed her magical journey with the tribe, they danced in joy and celebrated the new beginning, Since then, this has been adopted as a butterfly dance, performed in colorful shawls and is popularly known as the fancy shawl dance.
Here is an interesting video which talks about receiving signs in the presence of butterflies –
What can be learned from a butterfly?
Every time when difficult situations arrive in life, what do we do? We either try to face them or we ask questions to God about why our life is difficult. Behind every hardship, there is a lesson but when we are in a hard situation, we can’t see that lesson very easily.
This is also one of the reasons why we are always good advice givers but never implement that advice in our own life. A butterfly almost reemerges in the outer world to fly high and this is exactly what we are expected to do in difficult situations.
We should immediately go inside our cocoon, accept, reflect, and then emerge out stronger instead of just complaining. A butterfly teaches us faith, hope, transformation, trust, and much more. It makes us better people if we really take learnings from it.
“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.”— Maya Angelou
Now let’s get into specifics and see what each color butterfly represents:-
1. White butterfly meaning
People of Native America believe that a white butterfly is the carrier of a dream. It instigates dreams in people. These people believe that white butterflies can travel in dreams and in the physical plane.
They also carry messages along with them that the dreamer has to decipher. In countries like China and Ireland, white butterfly means the soul of a deceased people trying to tell us everything will be okay. In other countries, it is seen as a representation of good news and transformation.
If a white butterfly flies around you, it could mean that your good luck is finally arriving. A white butterfly represents good news. Those who believe in angels, it could mean an angel guardian guiding you.
It should be noted that in a few places there is a negative connotation attached to white butterfly as people think it is an omen of death. For instance, if a white butterfly visits someone’s house, it could mean that someone is going to die in that family.
2. Black butterfly meaning
Many people think that a black butterfly brings bad omen, misfortune or death. The black color is also not considered lucky in many parts of the world. However, a black butterfly doesn’t always mean bad news.
Sometimes, it can simply mean the end of something and the beginning of something good. People who see a black butterfly should not be scared and analyze their life and see what needs to end.
For instance, if someone is going through a bad relationship then it can be good news for them as the bad relationship is ending and a new one will start. Such people should also show some confidence and authority in life. The black butterfly also gives a message to be more authoritative.
3. Blue butterfly meaning
Blue butterflies are all about creativity. They tell you to be more creative, joyful, and lively in your life. They also tell a person to be more intuitive. Some people also say that since blue butterfly are so rare in some parts of the world, they also wish granters.
So, if you spot a blue butterfly or a blue butterfly lands on you, you should close your eyes and make wishes. As a color, blue is vibrant and brings freshness and positivity. Some people associate blue with feelings of depression but this is very rare.
4. Yellow butterfly meaning
Native Americans consider a yellow butterfly to be a sign of happiness, joy, and positivity. The yellow butterfly also implies meeting a guru or a teacher who will give the seeker a guide to lead his or her life.
It also symbolizes positive changes such as the birth of a kid, the start of a new relationship, marriage, etc, which eventually mean the end of sadness and pain. A yellow butterfly fluttering around you indicates that you might receive happy and positive news soon.
Positive news can be a job change, city change, life change, partner change, etc. At some places, yellow also means the soul of a newborn. They also believe that a yellow butterfly appears to warn them about a danger that is approaching. The danger can be death related, job-related, relationship related or anything else.
5. Orange butterfly meaning
An orange butterfly represents passion and focus. It tells us to not lose our focus from our goals. It also implies aggressiveness.
If we look at yellow butterflies spiritually, it means consciousness, transformation, and healing from things such as depression or anxiety. It represents the sun and life.
The orange butterfly also means that you should expect a guest soon or you could be invited to someone’s house for a get-together or party. Further, it is seen as something that evokes a new thought process or perspective.
The orange butterfly also gives a warning that a person should not let emotions take over his best sides. So, it’s a message that please don’t get swayed with your emotions. Instead, use them in favor of you.
6. Black and white butterfly meaning
A butterfly that has both the extreme colors can turn difficult for you if you interact with one. While the black represents the end of someone or something, for instance, the end of a toxic relationship or end of a job, the white represents the presence of a deceased’s soul around you.
It is a reminder for you that your loved one is trying to connect with you and they are not entirely gone. Their soul is still here guiding you. Black and the white butterfly also encourages one to continue walking on a deep spiritual path.
7. Purple butterfly meaning
Purple color is the color of mystery. Butterflies of this color are extremely rare. People mostly see them in their dreams. These butterflies represent wisdom, enlightenment, and insights. It also symbolizes a connection with a higher realm. This higher realm can be higher than a spiritual world. If you interact with a purple butterfly, it could mean creativity, uniqueness, and talent.
People who see it are creative, thoughtful, and very imaginative. Since the color purple is the color of mystery, the butterfly of this color also carries secrets and mysteries that are beyond a common man’s mind. People who show interest in such things see purple butterflies in dreams. Such people also have noble qualities.
8. Red butterfly meaning
While the native Americans believe that it signifies a powerful soul or spirit, according to modern mythology, it symbolizes romance and passion. If you spot red butterflies butterflying, it either means you have news coming your way or you are to see many years of happiness.
Apart from that, in some cultures, it is also seen as a symbol of danger or evil while on some it is associated with anger. If a Korean superstition is to be believed, if you touch your eyes after touching a red butterfly, you are likely to turn blind. A red butterfly also urges the beholder to be prepared and cautious for a change that is yet to come.
9. Green butterfly meaning
According to a Chinese Mythology, green butterflies is a symbol of good and love. It also signifies prosperity. If you spot green butterflies fluttered around, you might experience growth or a flourishing development in some aspect of your life – personal or professional. However, encountering them near your home can also symbolize success or if you see them circling around you, it means you will soon receive a lot of money. Apart from that, green butterflies can also mean joy, calmness, hope, and encouragement.
10. Brown butterfly meaning
Primarily, a brown butterfly symbolizes a new life or a fresh start. However, if you see a brown butterfly, it means that there’s some good news waiting for you but if it enters your home, it’s here to tell you that an important message is on its way to you. Some cultures also believe that brown butterflies carry the spirit or the soul of deceased loved ones while in others it signifies money and good luck. In some corners of the world like parts of Eastern Europe also believe that brown butterflies carry bad news along with it.
11. Pink butterfly meaning
If you just saw a pink butterfly flying, it has manifested to ease you and tell you that you must not take things so seriously in life. Since butterfly implies transformation and joy and the pink color replicates softness and femininity – a pink butterfly symbolizes all the four.
12. Monarch butterfly meaning
A deep orange-colored, black veined butterfly with a black outline on the edge of the wings is what a female monarch butterfly looks like. Both the black and orange colors symbolize different things. For instance, orange rekindles your courage to live a life driven by passion and do things that your heart desires. However, the black color stands for death. Not in an entirely negative way but it symbolizes that you need to let something in your life fade away in order to make way for positivity and happy transformation. Commonly found in the U.S., Mexico, and Southern Canada, Monarchs are very easy to identify due to its unique color and are usually shaped like bushes.
Are butterflies good luck?
This is one of the most asked questions about butterflies, primarily because there’s a large number of people who believe that it is a sign of good luck. In reality, it greatly varies. Different cultures have different interpretations for it where the colors of the butterfly also play a great role.
As discussed, some cultures believe that it’s a symbol of light and hence signifies good luck. On the contrary, a black colored butterfly is believed to signify bad luck and represents an omen of death. This means, it greatly varies, depending on where your faith lies and what color of butterfly you encountered.
Science versus belief
For some butterflies can mean nothing but just a beautiful creature. Such people may have a more scientific approach to look at things. While we can’t argue the reasons given by scientists, we also can’t disregard the spiritual reasons behind a butterfly landing on you.
A belief system is the biggest asset one has, it shouldn’t be rigid but it also should be a driving factor in people’s lives. As long as something is motivating people to do better in life, it should be regarded. In old times butterflies represented the soul and people continue to believe in it.
When one thinks that his loved ones are around him when a butterfly touches him then they find a reason to be happy. Similarly, when people believe in the transformation theory of butterflies, they actively make efforts to transform something in their lives.
A small creature can teach us so much. This is beyond our imagination. We should learn from a butterfly and its life. It is a symbol of grace and beauty. No matter what your belief system is, if you look at a butterfly, your heart fills with warmth and joy.
It is not a very common occurrence to have a butterfly land on you. If this has ever happened to you, you should consider yourself very lucky. It signifies a spiritual transformation. Further, the road to spirituality has its own ups and downs. The journey is not smooth for anyone.
When such a thing happens with you, wait, pause, reflect, go within yourself, and learn. Do some soul searching and implement those teaching in your day to day life.
Butterfly symbolism FAQs
What do different color butterflies symbolize?
A butterfly of black color brings black omen and a butterfly of blue color symbolizes creativity. Further, a butterfly of white color represents dreams in many countries and the arrival of good news in many others.
What is the significance of butterflies and death?
Not all butterflies symbolize negativity or bad omen such as death but a black butterfly, in many countries, is seen as a symbol for death. In some parts of the world, a yellow butterfly is also seen as a death-related danger.
What message does a butterfly bring?
Butterfly brings a message of positivity and hope. It brings good omen and sometimes, it can also be seen as a message from your guardian angel. When a butterfly visits you, it can also be seen as a symbol for some new beginnings in your life.
What does it mean when butterflies fly around you?
It can mean that your loved ones are trying to connect with you from heaven or trying to send you a message or blessing. It can be seen as their way of making their presence felt.
Ankita calls herself a road-child because of her love for road trips and landscapes. A journalist turned digital nomad, she is either telling stories or looking outside the car window aimlessly. She has traveled most of India by road, and encourage other women to take such life-changing journeys. Ankita is also a mental health advocate and a survivor herself. She likes to tell her story through writing and photography, with the aim to change at least some lives.