Butterfly Symbolism: Everything There is to Know

butterfly symbolism

“We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admits the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty” – Maya Angelou

Ready to read our butterfly symbolism guide? Butterflies are amazing creatures. Nature’s wonder is on display whenever an ugly caterpillar metamorphosis into a beautiful butterfly. The stage of a butterfly’s life where it emerges from its chrysalis is a symbol of rebirth and resurrection. It is not surprising that since ancient times, man has been intrigued, mesmerized, and even inspired by this amazing creature.

butterfly symbolism

Butterfly Symbolism and Meaning

To understand butterfly symbolism, we first need to know it’s meaning. Because a butterfly metamorphosis from a caterpillar, it becomes a symbol of rebirth and resurrection. It also symbolizes change and transformation. In a transformation, most insects go through 3 stages in their life cycles. It is worth noting that a butterfly goes through four. Beginning as an egg, it then hatches into a caterpillar, which transforms into the pupil stage. The final stage is when it emerges from its chrysalis, and starts a new life as a butterfly.
It is through this transformation that the symbolism and meaning have found its way into many existence. The rebirth or resurrection of a butterfly symbolizes a human life in stages.

A lot of people have taken an affinity to this wonderful creature because it symbolizes many journey and transformation.

symbolism of butterfly

Butterfly Spirit Animal & Totem

Butterfly totem is an essential part of our butterfly symbolism guide. The butterfly is one of the most important and well-represented totem animals symbolizing transformation. If you are one of the many individuals who see the butterfly as their spirit animal or totem, you must pay close attention to areas in your life that need change or transformation.

As butterflies are sensitive to their surroundings to survive, you may take it as a guidance to be sensitive to your circle, your interactions, and personal cycle of expansion and growth.

Butterfly Totem and Transformation

The butterfly is one of the most powerful symbols of transformation. It helps us show the ability to move from one state of mind to another. A long-held perspective that needs to be altered, or perhaps a lifestyle change for the better. When you make a spiritual connection to the butterfly by having it as your totem, you may be going through an existential awakening. You may be anticipating big and important changes in your life.

More than the outward transformation, your butterfly totem may point to the internal changes that you are conscious of. It may be a long-held belief that you are beginning to question. Or a perspective you’ve realized needs a deeper introspection. It could also be a personal habit that you are determined to improve on. These are some of the transformations that one becomes more aware of with the butterfly totem. It is a totem that is also a symbol of lightness of being and joy. Thus, it may point you to the direction of evaluating a conflicting situation with a different
perspective.

Since joy and lightness symbolizes the butterfly totem, it invites those who have a connection with it to rise from heavy tensions and stress. To free themselves from the weight of their problems and focus on bringing joy and happiness into their lives.

Calling the Butterfly Totem for Support

The butterfly is a powerful animal to call for support. Whether it’s for a relationship or inner personal work, it’s a great ally to have in meaningful transformation. It helps in giving the framework on how to approach it with lightness and joy. It is an inspiration to add more color to your life.

In times of great personal difficulties, the butterfly totem inspires you to persevere and get out of your own chrysalis by wiggling out and pushing forward towards victory. It will encourage you to express your victory to reflect your colors of joy and sense of achievement.

The Butterfly and the World of the Soul

In ancient Greece, the butterfly was a symbol of the soul. The word “Psyche” in their language means “soul” and is represented by a Greek goddess. And in Greek mythology, the goddess Psyche had wings of a butterfly.

In ancient Rome, a sculpture depicts a butterfly coming out of the mouth of a dead man, representing the soul that leaves the body when a person dies. In many traditions around the world, the soul is represented by the butterfly as its symbol.

For both the Chinese and Japanese cultures, a butterfly is a sign of immortality. With the former, butterflies combined with plum blossoms represent long life, and a happy marriage is symbolized by two butterflies. It’s amazing how ancient civilizations compares the butterfly to soul and immortality, when you think about how fragile and short the life of a butterfly is. But we know that the reason why they associate the soul or immortality with the butterfly is because of
its rebirth or new life after coming out of its chrysalis.

Seeing a Butterfly: The meaning

Butterflies symbolize any kind of change, transformation, or rebirth. Seeing a butterfly means a lot of things to different cultures, and depending on its color, it can mean either luck or a bad omen. But generally, seeing a butterfly for most people means change may be forthcoming. As an animal totem, it is primarily regarded as a symbol of transformation. Some interpret butterfly sighting as a sign of change. They analyze their personal life and evaluate their perspectives on matters that affect their way of living.

In general, seeing a butterfly means good things are in the offing, if one is willing to change for the better.

Monarch Butterfly Meaning

In many ancient texts that have discovered and documented, seeing a monarch butterfly is a sign from your guardian angel. They are sending you a message that they are present in your life and that you are on the right path and should keep up.

Others believe that the monarch butterfly as with most types of butterflies, symbolizes rebirth. A monarch butterfly represents a big change and new opportunities. It means that change is coming and you should be able to embrace it and prepare for new things.

Whichever ones you may tend to agree with, one thing is certain, change will come and it’s up to you to keep on going if you believe that you are on the right path. Or you can change direction if you think your current path is leading you nowhere.

The White Butterfly Meaning

In Japan, a white butterfly symbolizes the soul of the departed ones. For some spiritual or religious individuals, a white butterfly means it is a sign from heaven. It may mean a prayer that has just been answered. An improvement in one’s health, relationship, or finances. And if they recently lost a loved one, it's a sign that the recently departed is
thinking of them.

Another meaning is also a positive one. Seeing a white butterfly symbolizes a big change that means you are about to embark on a new chapter in your life.

The Black Butterfly Meaning

While a white butterfly symbolizes great things are about to come, a black butterfly often bodes of bad things. They are believed to symbolize death.

In the Philippines and some other cultures, it’s considered bad luck to be “visited” by a black butterfly. If someone is ill and a black butterfly suddenly appears and perches on the window or door, that sick person will soon die. Black butterflies are considered as the messengers and omens of death.

The Yellow Butterfly Meaning

While black butterflies may bring sorrow and tears, a yellow butterfly is a welcome sight. Because it’s believed that a yellow butterfly flying around you is enveloping you with happiness and prosperity. Expect something fun and exciting things to come your way. This was not always the case as in ancient times, a yellow butterfly is an unwanted sight representing bad luck.

A yellow butterfly symbolizes joy and creativity. The yellow color in itself stands for happiness, energy, freshness, optimism, and much more. And a butterfly donning the yellow color is also a symbol of hope, especially when it shows up in challenging times.

Another interesting belief is that seeing a yellow butterfly means you are going to find happiness, but you must be very discreet or else you might jinx it. If a male yellow butterfly characterized by dark spots in the middle of its wings is the one that shows up, you’re in luck because it means that happiness may come sooner than you expect.

Final Words

This was our butterfly symbolism guide. Butterflies are amazing creatures that bring color to our world, literally and figuratively. There are more than 20,000 species and more are still being discovered. Their journey into this world is one of life’s greatest success stories. The monarch butterfly in particular is an awesome butterfly characterized by its colorful wings. They travel as much as 100 miles a day during its 3,000-mile migration to escape winter. And during this migration, it relies only on the food it ate when it was still a caterpillar.

And beyond all that, the butterfly is a symbol of deep and powerful representation in our daily lives. It symbolizes change, endurance, hope, and most importantly renewal or new life.

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