Butterfly Symbolism & Meaning (+Totem, Spirit & Omens)


Butterfly symbolism is the representation of our transformation. Understanding butterflies’ symbolism is essential, especially if the butterfly is your spirit animal because it makes you mindful of your personal growth and progress in life. The symbolism also works as a guiding light when we have to cope with the splendor, magnificence, and intricacies of all that life unfolds.

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Butterfly Symbolism And Meaning

The butterfly symbolism focuses largely on the representation of our life. In many cultures, the butterfly has a deep connection with the souls. 

The butterfly’s spiritual meaning also deeply resonates with the Christian belief of ascension in addition to creativity, changes, pulsing joy, endless potential, transformation, and spiritual rebirth.

The butterfly meaning and the concept of the symbolism take root from the cycle of the butterfly life.  The cycle itself defines the spiritual meaning of the butterfly and provides a lot of insight for us. The butterfly births from an egg and initiates its life in the form of a caterpillar.

As a caterpillar, it retreats into a chrysalis or pupa and undergoes a major transformation therein. When it reemerges from the chrysalis, we see a vibrant, colorful, and gorgeously winged butterfly. This butterfly transformation process closely depicts how our spiritual transformation must process too.

When we undergo a spiritual transformation, we must retreat from the outer world and into our inner being. We must let the cocoon of prayers surround us as we meditate, ponder upon courses and spiritual books. 

Once we are sure of our transformation, we must emerge from within. Just as the butterfly awakens and is ready to fly after transforming, we too must emerge after being reborn and refined into a new being.

Butterfly Native American Symbolism

The Native American culture has since the beginning kept animals as their central focus. Although the most common of animals have been fox, bear, and deer that the native culture associates with, insects too have a significant role in their myths.

So, what does a butterfly symbolize for the Native Americans? For them, a butterfly represents colors, joy, and change. They considered the exquisite butterfly as a sign of resurrection and a miracle of transformation. In truth, the butterfly is symbolically a very positive presence in the Native American culture.

The Natives have given various interpretations of the butterfly meaning. Certain tribes consider a symbol of joy; others are a symbol of their dreams, while some considered it a medium of communication from lost loved ones.

We do know that Native Americans were, are spiritually very strong, and for them, stars, animals, and trees are symbolic. They also believe that there is an individual meaning of butterfly colors.

For example, the yellow butterfly meaning is hope; black butterfly symbolism indicates illness; white color means good luck. You will also find butterfly as the star feature of many stories of Native American tribes, set on the Great Plains.

Most importantly, the butterfly stands for hope and positivity in the American culture, and most tribes believe that they must draw comfort from this spirit animal.

Butterfly Christianity Symbolism

You will find how butterflies link with the human souls in many cultures, but what does a butterfly represent in Christianity? Although there is no explicit reference of a butterfly in the Holy Bible, Christianity itself relates the butterfly to resurrection.

The remarkable transformation of a butterfly depicts the magnificent work of Jesus Christ, how His life transformed and continues to transform the lives of Christian believers. 

Just as the butterfly emerges as a beautifully winged and glorious creature from a caterpillar, similarly, any Christian who comes to Jesus becomes a new creation. They leave their old life behind and begin a new one after turning to Christ.

From sinners to righteous people, the butterfly is a powerful symbol of resurrection for the Christian congregation. The Greek word for transform is metamorphic, and from this, we derive ‘metamorphoses the English term. The English term describes the butterfly transformation, and coincidentally the same word describes the transfiguration of Jesus Christ.

 A butterfly is often the example of a Christian scholar or believer who wants to explain the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The caterpillar undergoes a metamorphosis to emerge from its cocoon as a butterfly. 

The caterpillar seems dead as it disappears into the cocoon, just as Jesus’ body lay in a tomb after taking it down from the cross. Therefore, as a lovely creature emerges from the cocoon, Christ emerged as a risen Lord out of the tomb, gaining victory over death.

Butterfly Celtic Symbolism

In Celtic symbolism, the meaning of butterfly is rebirth, an ephemeral thing, and a symbol for the soul. You will find an address to the rebirth concept in Etaine’s Celtic myth if you wish to refer to it. 

Elaine’s curse of living through a storm for twelve years and then her rebirth is symbolic of a new life, just like an actual butterfly.

Celtics take this symbol of making better choices when life presents a second chance. Life tends to beat one down, batter a person through one storm after another, and often people beat themselves up over mistakes. 

The butterfly significance in this myth is that renewal and rebirth are always available for humans. One can make better choices becomes second chances do come.

One must take better action, think more positively, and not waste the opportunity of transforming. At the end of this renewal, the passage becomes lighter for each, and life becomes smoother.

In the Celtic symbolism, the butterfly represents the soul as well. Several myths describe how butterflies swoop down to the dead, consume their souls, and fly into the skies with them. 

We can look upon this transference as an offering of immortality. When you uplift your dying spirits, renew and revitalize yourself, you breathe new life into what was close to extinguishing. 

Butterfly In Dreams

There could be several interpretations when a butterfly visits you in a dream. It could primarily indicate that a change is looming on the horizon. Butterflies are so humble because they never experience a mother’s nurturing. They have to survive independently since birth.

The Dalai Lama gives his interpretation and compares this independence with a child growing up in a detached and cold environment, just as the butterfly. The lack of care and kindness in a butterfly’s life could represent a lack of nurturing elements in the dreamer’s life, too, according to the Dalai Lama.

What do butterflies represent for other people around the world? Here are some common beliefs:

Others believe that seeing a butterfly in your dream could indicate your passion and need for being social and outgoing. Perhaps the dreamer has been in a cocoon and isolated for too long and now needs to explore more. This interpretation may highlight the dreamer’s need to emerge from his/her chrysalis and venture into the open world.

However, the most popular interpretation of seeing a butterfly in your dream is that a major transition occurs in the life of the dreamer. It is an inevitable change just as struggles and challenges are in life, and thus the dreamer must go with the flow and let the transition take place. 

Often we can be resistant to change, as is human nature, and the butterfly could be an indication to embrace the change and let go of fears.

Butterfly Encounters And Omens

Encounters with animals frequently are signs from the universe to you. So what does it mean when a butterfly crosses your path all too often?

It is perhaps a signal from the universe to direct your focus on personal growth. The forces behind the veil can employ animal guides to deliver important lessons of life to you. They may also send the animals as reassurances that you have chosen the right path for your life.

What do butterflies symbolize? By now, you must be aware that the butterfly symbol stands for personal growth and tremendous transformation. Therefore, encountering this creature frequently might call you to look within areas that you need to improve upon.

Butterflies are a means of drawing your attention to your growth cycle and cross-examining your personality parts that need renewal. The butterfly spirit animal drives you to navigate life with lightheartedness and grace and not fear going into metamorphosis if your soul needs it.

Typically, a black butterfly is a bad omen, as people believe they are a harbinger of bad magic. They could belong to witches and deities related to lightning and thunder and storms. Moreover, if you cross paths with a black butterfly, you should prepare for a negative turn of events.

Butterfly Mythology And Folklore

Throughout history, cultures have repeatedly used the butterfly as a decorative object, perhaps more than any other living creature. What does the butterfly symbolize in the Chinese culture, particularly?

 In both the Chinese and Japanese cultures, the butterfly represents the essence of happiness and joy. You can find butterflies present in several manuscripts, drawings, and paintings in both cultures. You will find butterflies deeply embedded in the myths of the Meso-Americans, especially.

In the Mayan and Aztec mythology, a butterfly represents Xiutecutli, the god of fire. The Obsidian Butterfly, the Goddess Iztpapalotl, represents rejuvenation and purification by sacrifice. 

The powerful god Quetzalcoatl, the plumed serpent, descended to earth primarily in a chrysalis form. He then emerged painfully into complete light as a magnificent butterfly and a sign of perfection.

The Irish folklore, too, relates the butterfly with a human soul. The white butterfly meaning, according to the folklore, contains the souls of the deceased children. The folklore also suggests that the butterfly associates with fire belonging to dealan-dhe, the fire of the gods.

The ancient Romans and Greeks also refer to the butterfly with metaphysical regard. Aristotle called the butterfly by the name ‘Psyche,’ a Greek word meaning ‘soul.’ The American tribes also feature the butterfly in several of their legends. 

The Tohono O’odham tribe believes that butterflies deliver their prayers and wishes to the Great Spirit. Their folklore stresses upon the belief that any wish they given to a butterfly would always come true, in return for setting it free.

Butterfly Spirit Animal

As your spirit animal, the butterfly symbolizes the psyche, just as the ladybug does. It shows you how in tune and in harmony, you must be with your spirit and your emotions. 

The spiritual meaning of butterfly relates to the need for meditation and depicts the essence of resurrection. If you wish to tread upon the road to enlightenment, perhaps you must choose this interpretation for your spirit animal.

However, if you are not religiously biased, then the most popular part of the butterfly symbolism is transformation, metamorphosis, and rebirth. This concept could be your guiding light if a butterfly is your spirit animal.

Just as the butterfly has to undergo different development stages to come out stronger and more beautiful than ever, you too must withdraw in a cocoon for a while. 

During the metamorphosis, change all that inside you that needs improvement, renewal, and change to emerge stronger, better, and vibrant for the world.

Butterfly Totem Animal

You must note that transformation is never easy, and you must be ready to face the struggles and challenges during the process. However, the butterfly totem is your inspiration to change your personality and perspective to enjoy personal wellbeing.

Transformation is the essence of the butterfly totem. If this is your spirit animal, you must not dwell too much on the difficulties that will come as part of the transformation process. 

It is better to make light of those difficult times during the transformation process and look forward to the positivity that will come into your life once the development completes.

The meaning of butterfly colors is joy and light, so you must make this your driving force. Change is never easy, but by concentrating on the colorful part of the process, you will find the strength to complete it.

Butterfly Power Animal

If you accept the butterfly as your totem animal or spirit animal, it might be a sign of encouragement to look upon conflicting situations with more strength, lightness, and a broader perspective. 

This power animal gives you the courage to look upon trials and difficulties with lightness and elevate from the burden of tensions.

This power animal embraces all those who connect with it, to grant them more joy and bliss in life. 

The butterfly power animal is colorful and, by extension, encourages you to associate with brightness and aliveness. Perhaps you must take this as a message to make your life colorful too.

Like the monarch butterfly, meaning, for example, signals a time for our personal growth, internal change, perception of our place in the world, and finding contentment.

Butterfly Tattoo Meaning

Butterflies are a symbol of change, beauty, and freedom. Women particularly choose the butterfly tattoo as a representation of the period of renewal and transformation happening in their lives. 

Several feminine butterfly tattoos also often feature elegant patterns, flowers, and birds to represent change, freedom, the joy of being alive.

The flying insects with their colorful and decorative wings also denote the desire of humans to fly free and live a lighthearted life. 

The patterned and attractive butterfly tattoos function as a symbol of confidence and liberty to change what is necessary to improve the quality of life, set themselves free of conflicting situations and burdens in life, forgive others or allow the spirit of a lost loved one to move into the hereafter.

Not just the tattoo, in fact, butterfly medicine too is a common representation of mental powers, the element of air, and transformations.


Butterfly symbolism is a powerful representation of life. Many cultures and the Christian religion look to this flying insect with deep reverence and use it as a symbol for many life concepts. 

To summarize, the butterfly symbolism works as a representation of resurrection, change, renewal, hope, endurance, and courage to embrace the transformation to make life better.


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1 thought on “Butterfly Symbolism & Meaning (+Totem, Spirit & Omens)”

  1. Anytime I feel bothered by something butterfly will come to my room. Does that mean is my spiritual totem

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