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


The fly symbolism in different cultures includes both positive and negative aspects. But what do flies symbolize? If the fly spirit animal enters your life, this is a warning of danger lurking out there. Flies are also an indicator of gossip. But they can also represent the abundance in life.

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Fly Symbolism and Meaning

Flies hold a potent symbolism even though people consider them dirty. So what do flies represent spiritually? The fly spiritual meaning is that you must pay attention to anything that’s causing harm. 

Flies’ meaning also speaks about malice, blame, or hate. It flies around you, buzzing obnoxiously until you slap or kill it. Another symbolic meaning of flies might be that you are spending too much time with someone or something with a harmful influence.

However, this insect holds a positive symbolism also. Flies symbolism is related to flexibility, advising you to adapt so you could thrive. 


Fly symbolizes motivation, its role being to push you forward until you achieve your goal. The symbolism of a fly is also associated with wealth and abundance. Even in a harsh environment, the fly triumphs over misery, managing to feed and breed.

Speaking of harsh environments, we need to know what do gnats symbolize. Fruit fly symbolism is closely linked to the ability to survive, transformation, rebirth. 

Gnat’s spiritual meaning is perseverance, determination, and endurance. Gnat symbolism also reflects a sharp vision and intuition. Having a gnat as your spirit animal means that you can see a situation from different angles. (1)

Fly Native American Symbolism

Flies do not appear very often in Native American culture. For many tribes, the meaning of flies is linked to disease and curses or dark magic. However, the south-western nations considered these insects as message-bearers or bringers of the first fire to the people.

Let’s see what does a fly represents spiritually for the Native American nations. Navajo people see it as a connection with the spirit ancestors. 

Big Fly or Do’ tosh, or the Sacred Fly, is the protector of Navajo sand painting. The Fly lingers near the painter while he is working or will even sit on his shoulder.


The Big Fly answers the questions sent by the elders. The Hopi Death Fly, known as Mastop, is a pair of kachinas or dolls. These kachinas were used during the Soyal Ceremony and represented a prayer of fertility for the Hopi women.

Another important kachina for the Hopi people is the Fly or Sohonasomtaka. This doll would protect the Hopi ceremonies from the strangers’ intrusions. 

Sohonasomtaka is also depicted as a warrior who punishes the clown kachinas when they go wild. As you can see, the flies’ spiritual meaning for the Native Americans is either positive or negative (2).

Fly Eastern Symbolism

The spiritual significance of Fly in the Eastern world is mainly related to death and evil. The Mesopotamian God of death, war, and plague, Nergal, had as a symbol the Fly. 

Because he ruled the netherworld, Christians associated Nergal with a demonic presence. Flies appeared on ancient seals as representations of Nergal.

So what does a fly symbolize? Flies were harbingers of death, bearers of pestilence, and companions of evil.

The Fly’s meaning in Mesopotamia is not specific; however, the goddess Ishtar’s fanatics were using fly-shaped beads to self-flagellate them to induce ecstasy.


Ishtar was the goddess of sexual love and war. What does Fly mean? As you can see, similar to the Hopis, the Fly is a symbol of fertility.

In an olden Sumerian poem, a fly helps the goddess Inanna exit the underworld, where she went to save her husband.

The maggots’ symbolism is potent in Chinese culture. Legends are speaking of the human race emerging from worms within a primordial being. 

Flies larvae have a strong connection to the ever-renewing cycle of life. Flies and their nymphs had a powerful symbolic meaning on the Eastern side of the world (3).

Fly Christianity symbolism

Biblical symbolism of flies is a grim one. These insects represent everything wrong: Satan being known as the “Lord of the Flies.”

Why do flies represent evil? These insects are scavengers, parasites feeding on rotting flesh and carcasses. 

Flies will always swarm around sick people or animals harassing them. They will also choose places where bad smells emerge. To conclude, flies are linked to everything dirty and impure.

The meaning of flies in the Bible is strictly related to the evil presence. Old and New Testament depict numerous scenes were swarms of flies torment people. 


Egyptians felt the wrath of God when they refused to release the Israelites from slavery. God’s fourth plague against the Pharaoh and his people was of swarms of flies harming both people and livestock.

As you can see, the spiritual meaning of flies is nothing but negative. The tiny insect is associated with evil, disease, and dirt. Flies and evil spirits are somehow assimilated, their frightening appearance scaring people.

The socio-political context is also essential when we talk about the spiritual meaning of a fly. During the conflicts between Catholics and Protestants in England, the religious heretics were likened to flies.

Fly Celtic Symbolism

Flies are rare in Celtic mythology, so it is hard to say what the flies mean spiritually for the ancient Celts. However, the maggots are an often occurrence in old druid legends.

The flies’ larvae, known as maggots, are found in marshy aquatic surroundings. The rotting vegetation and roughness are the perfect symbol of death and decay. 

However, by thriving in this harsh habitat, these little creatures are a powerful symbol of transformation and evolution. The ancient Anglo-Saxon healers strongly believed that worms or maggots caused some diseases. 


“Wyrm” is the word that describes a worm, a stinging insect, or a maggot. A general term among the old Irish folk was “piast,” which also means an intestinal worm or a flesh-eating maggot. 

Irish Celts refrained even from touching the maggots, these disease carriers. It was believed that the seventh son could cure any sickness, and he could kill the maggots only by touching them.

The significance of flies for the old Celtic people is closely linked to illness, death, decay, and everything evil to wind up. Flies and their larvae were roaming in harsh environments considered as entrances to the underworld (4).

Fly African Symbolism

When talking about the flies’ spiritual meaning on the African continent, the first civilization to come to mind is that of the Egyptians.

Even though flies are generally a source of disturbance, ancient Egyptians could see past the bad traits. The Fly was a symbol of perseverance and bravery. A gold chain with three fly-shaped pendants was found in the queen’s Ahhotep I tomb. 

This necklace was given to the queen by her sons as a token of appreciation for her support during the fight of liberation against the Hyksos. Smaller golden fly amulets were given to soldiers in the New Kingdom to recognize bravery and persistence during a battle.


These amulets are similar to nowadays medals of honor, and only the renowned members of the Order of Valour received them. Flies were also associated with rebirth and the afterlife. They would lay eggs on the dead bodies. 

Larvae would develop in adults who would come out before the completion of embalming. Egyptian priests believed the soul was leaving the body. 

Small fly-shaped amulets were placed on the mummies to help the soul reunited with the body. During the Old and Middle Kingdom, the hieroglyph depicted as a fly was used to represent bravery. 

Fly in Dreams

The fly dream meaning is usually a symbol of difficulties, unrest, and doubt. Something unpleasant is about to happen to you. 

Seeing flies in your dreams might represent the annoying people around you or unfriendly persons trying to harm you. The biblical meaning of flies in a dream might seem dark and stern, but it is not always the case. 

Dreaming flies might mean that you neglect something or someone important. It can also suggest that you grasp something you should let go of—no need to panic. Just look at your life and allow new things to come.


A recurring dream about flies might point towards the possibility of losing something or someone important.

The prophetic meaning of flies in a dream is a sign of a death threat. It might be something valuable to you but not necessarily a person—a relationship, project, job, and time to let it go and look for something new. The Fly in dreams meaning can be that you are misplacing your attention.

Dreaming dead flies is a positive omen of overcoming the most challenging impediments. The dead fly symbolism is related to the end of a confusing situation. Dead flies’ meaning is that peace and tranquillity will soon follow (5).

Fly Encounters and Omens

What does it mean when a fly is always around you? This is a bad omen, a warning of an unpleasant event about to happen. 

The swarm of flies omen is also bad. Flies are seen as harbingers of disaster, heralds of death. Seeing a swarm of flies might mean the need to kill the harmful irritations in life.

The biblical meaning of flies swarming around you may also symbolize dullness in your life. No movement, no development in your life; it is similar to death. The swarm of flies in the house meaning is a warning of chaos and confusion approaching. 


This will affect your loved ones as the house is a powerful symbol for the family. If we speak of housefly superstitions, you might ask yourself, why do flies follow me? 

Well, this is a sign that a stranger wants to meet you. Swarm of flies in the house meaning is related to bad omens. If a blow of flies in the house all of a sudden happens, it means that something terrible is about to happen to you and your close ones. 

The meaning of flies in the house can be explained by this insect’s symbolism: bad things are about to happen.

Fly Mythology and Folklore

To understand what do flies mean spiritually, we must look into the mythology and folklore surrounding this insect.

The Fly appears in all mythologies and cultures, although not always on a positive note. For example, the Greek and Roman mythologies speak of flies tormenting innocent. 

Almighty Zeus’ wife, Hera, sent a fly to afflict her husband’s mistress, Io. The poor girl was transformed into a cow, and the Fly caused her pain by continually stinging.

In the case of flies bringing disease, the ancient Eleans used to invoke Myacoris, the God who defends against flies.


An exciting story comes from Sardinia. It is believed that on this beautiful island, a fantastic treasure awaits to be discovered. 

The prize consists of two barrels: one filled with riches beyond any imagination while the other contains dead flies. The one who opens the barrel full of flies brings world destruction. Indeed this is a bad fly omen.

Norse mythology also mentions the Fly. Loki, the Vikings trickster deity, chose the Fly as one of the shapes he took to play one of his tricks.  According to the Indian folklore, a swarm of flies might predict rain.

Fly Spirit Animal

Fly is one of those animals that people tend to forget that it has valuable lessons to learn. Fly spirit meaning is perseverance, transformation, vision, adaptability. Similar to the Fly, gnat spiritual meaning is all about rebirth and the ability to see things differently.

Fly animal medicine is a warning that things in your life start to change. The fly spirit animal aims to help you find what causes you pain and happiness. 

Something that you do or other people do to you might make you feel bad, and this is when the Fly comes to help. Another valuable lesson that flies teaches you is the lesson of humility.


It would be best if you tried to balance the self-importance and modesty.

The fly shows as a spirit guide when you must exhibit toughness despite your helplessness. It might also appear when you need to stand up for what you believe, or your life requires a new challenge.

Flies are also seen as messengers of the heavenly forces who want to teach you what humility is or provide guidance.

The fly medicine dictates you to use your sharp eyesight to see the path and never give up. You will achieve success even if this means to annoy others.

Fly Totem Animal

Fly animal totem people can increase their prosperity at limitless rates. They have the power and the determination to obtain what they need when they need it. 

Fly totem people are quick to act, and they never miss opportunities. They also can see the beauty in the strangest places.

As a negative feature, fly spirit people must learn what humility is. Gnat totem people are the perfect survivors using everything to feed on. 

These people are also mobile and fast. They teach us how to move from an environment to another to survive or get what we need.

The gnat has the most numerous eyes in the animal world, offering the gnat totem people the ability to see things. This quality helps the gnat spirit people to assess any situation correctly.

The growth stages of the fruit fly symbolize the changes you might go through (6). The fly totem might also represent negative features like excuses, gossip, lies, anything that is dirty and impure.

Fly totem meaning is to be ready to adapt because fortune and abundance will soon follow. Never lose hope as good times will soon come. Never give up on your dreams because perseverance is the key.

Fly Power Animal

Like the fly totem meaning, the power animal reminds you of what you did wrong and guides towards fixing things. The meaning of the Fly is that you reap what you sow. 

Every action you might take has consequences and, either good or bad, you should acknowledge and deal with them.

The fly medicine totem appears in your life to tell you that all changes in your life are happening now, so you should move quickly even if the conditions are harsh. Always expect the unexpected and be ready to deal with this.


Despite the bad omens associated with this tiny insect, you must not be afraid when it comes to your life. Bad changes are coming towards you, but you will find abundance in dirty or forsaken places if you follow the Fly’s guidance.

When the fly power animal appears in your life, it is a sign that you must act on impulse even if this is adverse to your way of thinking.

If we look into the Fly on the wall meaning, the advice given by your power animal is to observe instead of taking part in the action quietly. You can diligently plan your next moves.

Fly Tattoo Meaning

When thinking about tattoo models, we imagine beautiful cool things. Most people do not expect to see such a dirty insect inked on their skin. However, many people choose to have this image on their bodies, and they have a good reason for it. 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The fly tattoo meaning depends on the owner’s perception, and it is usually associated with perseverance, good judgment, or religious affiliation. 

Or it might be just general interest in insects. The basic fly tattoo is the most common you will see. Simple and placed anywhere on your body; it sends a compelling message.

If you choose to tattoo a frog eating a fly, the message you will send is related to the Fly’s role to nourish. In this case, the Fly is helping Mother Nature by feeding other animals.

The association with decaying and putrefaction is visible on some rare but cool tattoos. The Fly is depicted as bursting out of the skin.

A good or bad omen, the Fly is a significant insect to nature. Its traits, positive or negative, should be acknowledged and learned from. Many fly totem people choose to keep this symbol on their bodies.


The spiritual meaning of flies in your house is that change is about to happen in your life. Your power animal will be there to support and guide you. Dead flies in the house meaning is that something terrible was surpassed. To conclude, the Fly as a spirit animal deserves your respect.


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11 thoughts on “Fly Symbolism & Meaning (+Totem, Spirit & Omens)”

  1. We had our beautiful dog bear put down yesterday all day. I was feeling so many emotions at the point I was drained feeling sick that night a fly followed us around I went into the bathroom it came in landed beside me I noticed it was such a beautiful fly I’ve never thought of a fly in that way I comment to my wife and grandson why is there a fly in December not long after that I started thinking and feeling better I didn’t think I’d be able to sleep well I had a good sleep in the morning we talked about the fly my wife googled it and this came up and it all made so much sense. Thank you

  2. So I saw a fly last week in my bathroom and tonight I ran my bath, lit my candle & incense, and another fly🤮 (same bathroom). I’m my mind, flies are related to being NASTY. They feast on anything. I said, “Let me look up the meaning of the fly.” The only word I typed in was spiritual, and there you have it, “Fly spirit,” was like the 4th selection down.
    😯 Perception is totally different and I’m listening Universe. Thank You for sharing.

  3. For the past week now I’ve had one tiny fly, like a fruit fly, land on my computer screen. I watch films on my computer with the lights off & the tiny flies are obviously attracted to the lit-up screen, but what’s really weird is that one singular fly comes every night & lands on the screen. I know it’s a different one every night as I swat them with a rolled up magazine & have left a squashed fly on my screen every night. Why does just one fly come & not two or three, or even none? It’s really starting to freak me out & I’m starting to wonder if it has a meaning. I even wait for this one fly to come every night now, and it does, am I going mad? I know I’m going to get people moaning because I killed them, but it was the only way to know that it’s a different one that comes every night. Any ideas?

  4. Thank you so much for this article.
    For the past two days I have had different flies land on me while going to work. The first instance was one fly that landed on my bare arm in a shop on the way to work. No idea where it came from but the fly was not disturbed by me moving my arm or the products that I was holding it wasn’t interested in the food at all I lifted my arm up and it walked up to look at me and it stared at me pointedly a good minute. I continued doing my shop and the fly did not leave my arm just stayed walking circles round and round. I walked out the shop and the fly is still happy dancing on my arm. Again I lift up my arm and it just stared at me again I blew on the fly and it left.
    Second instance I am at work and a colleague points out that there is a fly on my shoulder again just sat pointedly watching me, it looks like a parasitic wasp, it does the same circle dance. I blew on it and it goes away.
    Third instance is a fruit fly it literally circled around me and flew straight into my eye.
    Fourth instance on the second day of this and a spider is circling around me again in work where you really would not expect to see any wildlife. It’s become so frequent these past two days even my colleagues are suggesting I am an insect whisperer. The first instance especially made me think there was a message that the fly was trying to say something to me but I didn’t understand the message so the messengers keep coming.

    I hope I understand it now.

    1. Marianne gutierrez

      That happened to me today for about an hour… it was on my hands then climb on my face and arms and when I would move it to another area it would move. I tried to let it out by opening the door and walking outside with it and it stayed in my hand and came back in. Then a friend came in with food and though he was definitely going to go for the food and he didn’t he stayed on me. I took a video of the whole thing it was surreal.

    2. Everytime housefly came to me my business became good. There is one time housefly fly to my friend’s bike. My friend’s bike plate number came out lottery 1st prize. I ask my friend to buy the number but he didn’t.

  5. Fabrizio Stoppiglia

    Same problem here. These animal come into the sleepingroom, kitchen, bathroom and stay at the roof, or flying everywhere.

  6. earldine Zimmerman

    had about 30+ flies flying inside one window when my husband passed away and everyday until his funeral 6 days later then they went away !

  7. Had about 30 flies in between my window and screen in the bathroom. No place in the house except the bathroom in that window. Nothing dead no smells just q window full of flies. They also didn’t want to leave as we opened the screen as they hung around. By morning all gone . Any ideas on this one?

    1. Flies have been flying around me lately, even outside. Fruit flies also in my house also. Reading it as changes coming in my life. I will prepare for it as a good sign. Life can be wonderful after time of difficulties. Looking forward for the good things happening in my near future and believing it.

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