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

ladybug

Ladybugs radiate joy! These vibrant little beetles are largely associated with good luck, happiness, and cuteness. The black-spotted ladybug stands out from the crowd and can be found amongst the plants and flowers in gardens all over the world. The ladybug’s lucky reputation may be due, in part, to the helpful role that these insects play. Ladybugs are a gardener’s best friend because they tend to hunt and eat the smaller insects which destroy plants. Goodbye aphids, hello ladybugs! (1)

Continue reading to learn more about this colorful beetle and its role in human symbolism and folklore!

Table of contents

Ladybug Symbolism and Meaning

Ladybugs are sheer joy. In most cases, these insects are associated with good fortune and happy things to come. For obvious reasons, these adorable little insects are also connected with cuteness, innocence, and childhood.

Ladybugs can also represent transformation. Like butterflies, ladybugs are not born into their lovely crimson forms. Instead, when ladybugs hatch from their eggs they do so as small black larvae which must eat and grow before entering their pupa form. In this form, the ladybug larva attaches to a surface and hardens. Within this hard pupa form, the body of the ladybug is completed and it emerges with its bright red exoskeleton and signature black spots! (2)

ladybug

Many people connect the ladybug with wishes. Perhaps resulting from its association with the magic and innocence of childhood, the ladybug is thought to grant wishes to those who encounter it. Like dandelion fluff, one can blow on a ladybug’s wings and make a wish while releasing it to fly away.

Treating a ladybug kindly is thought to result in positive luck and dreams coming true, however mistreating a ladybug is thought to do the opposite. Some say that killing a ladybug will result in several years of bad luck., sometimes as many years as the ladybug has spots! While this bug is beneficial, its ability to curse humans with ill fortune is dubious. Some hypothesize that this superstition comes from farmers recognizing that less ladybugs means more pests to destroy their crops. (3)

Ladybug Native American Symbolism

Many Native American cultures have complex relationships with bugs. Arachnids, such as the spider, are extremely important deities to a great many tribes. In some cases, the spider is thought of as a wise mother goddess. For this reason, much like the common superstitions surrounding ladybugs, it is considered bad luck to kill spiders in many cultures. (4)

Despite the positive associations that some insects share, many others are associated with pestilence, swarming, famine, and poison. (5)

native american silhouette

Fortunately, the ladybug is not among these. While I was not able to track down any specific tales involving the ladybug, these insects belong to the beetle family. Beetles in many Native American cultures are connected with prosperity and fertility. (6)

There are even a few tribes that believe that the earth’s original creator was a scarab beetle. Ladybugs, as a matter of fact, belong to the same suborder of beetles as the scarab. Coleoptera, the beetle order, is divided into multiple suborders. One of which, Polyphaga, includes the scarab beetle and the ladybug. Polyphaga is the largest and most diverse beetle suborder. (7)

Ladybug Christianity Symbolism

The ladybug may not seem like your typical Christian symbol. Unlike the lion, the lamb, or the dove, ladybugs play no role in the Bible. Despite this, ladybugs are surprisingly prevalent Christian symbols.

The name “ladybug” derives from “ladybird” which first appeared in the Oxford dictionary in the seventeenth century. Ladybugs are so-named because in the Middle Ages, poor farmers had to rely upon their crops to survive. According to the legend, during one particularly harsh season these farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary to bless and protect their vital crops. That same year, these beautiful red insects began appearing and eating all of the pests which plagued the harvest. (8)

cross

These insects were so helpful, and the farmers were so grateful, that they took to calling the bugs the “Beetles of Our Lady.” Supposedly, the red color of the ladybug represents the red cloak which Mary is sometimes depicted as wearing. The black spots of the ladybug are then said to represent the sorrows of the Virgin Mary. This is especially true of ladybugs which have seven spots, representing Mary’s seven sorrows. (9)

In German, ladybugs are even called “Marienkafer” which means “Mary beetles” in English. So, these bugs represent the power of prayer, the protection of Christ, and the tender love and sacrifice of the Virgin Mary. (10)

Ladybug Celtic Symbolism

The color red is one of the most prominent colors in Celtic stories. Beautiful women are often described in old tales as having hair of “reddish gold.” Otherworldly creatures are often depicted with unusual colorations which prominently feature three colors: red, black, and white. (11)

If you examine a ladybug, the red color of its body and the black color of its spots will be immediately apparent, but the only other color which ladybugs sport is white. So, the ladybug is the perfect embodiment of the colors which symbolize the Celtic otherworld.

celtic cross

For this reason, ladybugs can be assumed to represent mystery, the occult, hidden things, and the spaces in between worlds.

Ladybug in Dreams

Ladybugs are famous symbols of good luck. If a ladybug appears in your dream, you may take this as a sign that good news is on the horizon. You would be right!

Ladybugs often appear in dreams as bearers of good news and positive fortune. The ladybug can signify upcoming opportunities which one should seize to the fullest.

Because the ladybug undergoes such dramatic transformations throughout its life, this insect may also represent personal growth. Dreaming of ladybugs may be a reminder of how far you’ve come or how how much change you’ll have to embrace in order to realize your potential.

ladybug

The spots of a ladybug may also represent important numbers which you might expect to encounter in the future. Th number of spots that a ladybug has may be significant for the meaning of the dream. Numerology may be a helpful resource for understanding the significance of this number. (12)

A ladybug in a dream may also appear as a reminder to be kind and patient with others. Although it may startle you to have a beetle land on your person, it is believed that swatting or killing the ladybug may bring terrible luck. Even if one is not superstitious, killing too many ladybugs might result in out of control garden pests. So, a ladybug dream may be a reminder not to be hasty and to avoid doing harm wherever possible.

Ladybug Encounters and Omens

One common superstition is that ladybugs entering one’s home is particularly good luck. This is in addition to the belief that ladybugs are lucky in general. A ladybug appearing in one’s home may also come as a sign that the home is welcoming and filled with love.

A ladybug encounter may indicate that one’s family will soon grow. This is especially true for ladybugs which appear inside one’s home or which appear to couples. The ladybug may be a sign that little ones are on the way.

ladybug

A ladybug encounter may also represent protection or guardianship. In the same way that ladybugs remove bad elements from the garden environment, we are reminded to purge our lives of negative habits and harmful influences. Doing so will allow us to grow strong and flourish. The ladybug reminds us to protect others and ourselves.

Ladybug Mythology and Folklore

From backyard gardens to nursery rhymes, everyone is familiar with ladybugs. It’s no wonder that these eye-catching insects find their way into the myths, legends, songs, and stories of so many cultural traditions.

In old Norse traditions, the ladybug was called “Freyjuhaena” meaning “Freyja’s Bird.” According to legend, the first ladybugs were sent down to the earth upon one of Thor’s lightning bolts. (13)

Farmer folklore states that if one sees a huge number of ladybugs during the springtime, it means that they will receive abundant crops. This is only part superstition, as ladybugs do limit pests and promote a good harvest.

ladybug

Old ladybug rhymes showcase various ladybug superstitions. One old rhyme, which uses an outdated name for ladybugs, “Bishop Barnabee,” describes the tradition by which a ladybug is thought to predict the date of one’s wedding:

“Bishop, Bishop Barnabee, Tell me when my wedding be; If it be to-morrow day, Take your wings and fly away! Fly to the east, fly to the west, Fly to them that I love best!”(14)

Other superstitions include the belief that ladybugs can cure various illnesses or even predict the number of children one might have.

Finally, the most well known rhyme associated with the ladybug is this one:

Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home!
Your house is on fire, your children all gone,
All but one, and her name is Ann,
And she crept under the baking pan.
(15)

This rhyme may seem bleak, especially since it is often glibly recited whilst blowing ladybugs into the wind. Some say that the origin of this rhyme is actually not so bad as it seems. Farmers, out of appreciation for the ladybug’s helpfulness, may have recited this song as a warning to the ladybugs before setting the remains of the harvest on fire to prepare for the next sowing season.

Ladybug Spirit Animal

The ladybug spirit animal is intuitive, emotional, and unique. People who have this spirit animal are a rare and lucky breed for whom things often seem to work out just right.

The ladybug’s luck, however, is not its only virtue. People with the ladybug spirit are compassionate, grounded, and down-to-earth. The ladybug spirit animal is especially present in those who feel called towards helping and serving their communities.

People with the ladybug spirit animal often have strong nurturing instincts despite having a fairly childlike outlook. They are innocent, curious, and always try to see the best in others.

Often, people with this spirit animal are happiest in larger families and enjoy expanding their social circles.

Ladybug Totem Animal

The ladybug totem animal is associated with success, ambition, and patience. People with the ladybug totem animal are sure to attract the outcomes that they desire so long as they correctly focus their energy and intentions upon their goals.

People with this totem may benefit from carefully planning out and visualizing the way they want their lives to look. The ladybug totem hates feeling lost and may hesitate to make moves without a clear sense of direction. Sometimes, though, you just have to take a leap of faith!

ladybug

The ladybug totem can help you to intuit the correct time to act. Like the ladybug waiting for just the right breeze before finally taking wing, keep your ambitions in mind and be open to opportunities as they present themselves. Sometimes, helping others will lead you to more success than you expect. Protecting the garden leads the ladybug to a feast of aphids.

Ladybug Power Animal

Ladybug power animal is associated with dreaming, visions, and self-knowledge. There is just something special about ladybugs. Across multiple cultures, this brilliant red insect speaks to human beings in a way that most similar bugs do not.

So many ladybug superstitions suggest that each ladybug you encounter might help you learn something about yourself; from its spots you might even predict your future.

ladybug

So, the power of the ladybug is the ability to connect with one’s spiritual side, to suspend disbelief and explore the outer reaches of what is possible, and to be inspired by nature to explore one’s inner self.

Ladybug Tattoo Meaning

The ladybug is a very popular tattoo which is often chosen to represent luck and femininity. This tattoo is particularly popular with women, but may be chosen by just about anyone.

For Christian believers, a ladybug tattoo may be chosen to represent the “Beetle of Our Lady” and the love and protection that Christ and the Virgin Mary extend towards believers.

woman getting a tattoo

A ladybug tattoo may also represent a love for gardening, for the outdoors, and for nature.

Many associate the ladybug with both childhood and motherhood, so a ladybug tattoo may represent childhood innocence, a sense of wonder, or a maternal bond form the side of both mother and child.

Conclusion

The lucky ladybug is a ubiquitous and beloved symbol which is cherished by many. Vibrantly colorful, these insects remind us to appreciate the small things in life and to count our blessings as often as possible. Ladybugs may indeed bring good luck to those who encounter them, however it might just be the case that those who find ladybugs are already the lucky ones!

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17 thoughts on “Ladybug Symbolism & Meaning (+Totem, Spirit & Omens)”

  1. Hi, ok I was seeing 4 orange ladybugs around my apartment door one with no spots, I talked to them thanked them for blessing me. I felt good news was coming.. Then about week later one was in my apartment. I felt the little ladybug was bring me a message that wish was coming true. I didn’t want my cats kill the little thing I turned down the lights captured her put her on plants out. I felt so full if gratitude and was so feeling blessed. The next morning I got bad news. It broke my heart.. well tonight right by my door I saw ladybugs mating.. I am kinda at loss.. I really thought my dream and wish was coming true. I felt it.. but I was wrong..I don’t know feel.. I did feel blessed seeing them.. goof luck my wishes are unfolding.. I am kinda hurt and don’t know what think.

  2. To me these all sound like horror stories. ever since i can remember i have been deathly terrified of ladybugs they spark panic fear and anxiety attacks for me. Everyone in my life tells me they are lucky blah blah blah. But let me tell you ive been doing some ready i think this creature might be my shadow totem animal. I hate to say it but my internal rejection for this animal has me drawn and wondering more and more about its benefits. Acceptance is not easy for me on this one…

  3. Thank you so much for this article. On June 1, 2017 my youngest daughter passed away unexpectedly. The fire department worked on her for over 40 minutes. Trying everything and doing whatever they could to try to get the faintest if heart beats. Not once did her heart give any indication of any response. As devastating as it was for her father and I, the police, firemen and paramedics were as visibly and heartbroken as we were Over the years they had become aware of her through the 20 years of medical emergencies due to her diagnosises of pediatric cancer, a rare autoimmune disease, psych issues and a gazillion other health scares. When they were solemnly picking up their equipment I went into my bedroom and dropped onto my knees. With tears I asked her , as I felt her spirit was lingering, “How will I know you are close or what kind of signs will you show that you want us to see?” Immediately I heard in my heart that I’ll see ladybugs For a moment I was confused as ladybugs weren’t something that has a high mention in her life. My heart once again spoke and simply said, it will all make sense momma. Needless to say it has all come to make perfect sense. There’s been far too many stories to write here One day I hope I can get a non-profit group in her memory by either the name “Ladybug’s Dreams” or ” Fly Away Home Foundation”. she dealt with awful bullying and in her words she would cry and ask me, “Why do people think I’m a monster”.
    One day it came to me that the spots of a ladybugs are the biggest reason they are beautiful and unique. How many spots and their exact location on each ladybug is as unique as a fingerprint. We as humans have an equally spotted exterior that makes us just as unique. Some spots, like scars, are seen and others,like emotional trauma, are there but unseen Like the ladybug we are unique, colorful and beautiful. In fact, today is April 12 and it would have been her 26th birthday, although with her diseases she was much more like a very young child. In honor of her we put out rocks painted like ladybugs. Not only does this bring a smile to a person we hope that it brings people to her ladybug Facebook ppageand be reminded to love and care about everyone no matter how many spots someone might have.
    It’s amazing how many times ladybugs have visited us at times in need, in the most unusual circumstances and particularly when as a family it wouldn’t seem right without her presence.
    Thank you again,
    Lisa Korenko, momma to a most beautiful spiritual ladybug, Justina Alexis Korenko🐞🐞❤️
    For more info we can be found on Facebook by searching either mine or her name.

  4. I was washing my dishes the other day and notice a lady bug on my window sill in front of me. The next day I realized I was a day late and took a test. Turns out I am pregnant. The lady bug kept showing up every morning for the next 3 days. On the third day I took her outside and placed her on a flower and thanked her for her message <3

  5. My daughter died by suicide Nov7th, I walked with AFSP.org on April 2 in her memory. I had her ashes on my hand as I was in the process of spreading them in 3 meaningful spots on college campus…when a lady bug landed on my hand. It stayed with me until I got to the last location, a large bell I was getting ready to ring to honor her upcoming posthumous graduation degree. Ladybug flew up and away as I reached for the rope, a small bottle of her ashes in one hand and ashes on the palm of the other. Poetic ending to her chapter at college.

  6. I had to sadly put my dog down earlier in the day..I was home and saw a lady bug on the living room floor…hopefully he was at peace

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss. Hopefully our article was able to provide some comfort.

      — Hailey Brophy
      Writer @ World Birds

  7. Amazing. So tiny yet they draw your eye right to them. One stopped in a few moments ago; I felt instant happiness as if intuitively I knew she was here to deliver a message. I asked her to carry it and am waiting the response because I BELIEVE. Thank you for writing; it only confirmed what I trust in my heart. Blessings to you and all.

  8. January 8th 2022 ladybird on my bedroom ceiling, very active walking all over ceiling surprised see it this time of year. Ask for a miracle today and this is a super and natural ❤️

  9. I had a ladybug in my apartment last evening. It went to the light then flew away. This morning I was up early ant the ladybug was on my wall. I killed it because I didn’t know what to do. Is this bad?

  10. My house is covered with ladybugs. They are inside and flying all around it. I feel like they are protecting me from any evil spirits that are trying to come upon me. As well as calming me down from worry and stress.

  11. I am leaning up against my Special Tree – an approx 60ft spruce, located in the farthest end of a very large soccer/recreation field = a lone Sentinel of Nature with no other trees near it.
    It’s a very chilly late afternoon here in Ontario. Looked down to find a ladybug walking up my hand — I was shocked!
    Carefully transferred her to one of the few dandelion flowers still left… Then came here to look up symbolism.
    Appreciate learning that I received a Blessing and didn’t even know it…

  12. Clayton Royal Van Horn

    I have 50 of them lot of them have 16 two 17 black dots some with no dots and some with 7 dots in my porch they just came today November 7 2021 I recorded one on my hand omost half hour it looked like it dancing I’m very spiritual so maybe love is finally going to happen for me last week I had a grasshopper visit me 3 times I recorded that so I believe they sent from are father in heaven

  13. Tatiana Fournier

    Thank you for this article on ladybugs 🐞
    Something was hitting itself against my wall last night while I was working and when I looked it was a lady bug.

    She kept flying and hitting herself, so I gently took her and brought her outside and at that moment I knew that it was no coincidence, so I went outside and talk to God, universe, Mother Nature and she stayed on my hand the whole time. She even took the time to wash herself or do her self care night routine.

    I kept talking, it was a reassuring moment and a moment of peace and comfort. As if she knew that I needed to take a moment to recenter myself and give thanks for all the previous event and the things that are coming ahead, and then she simply disappeared.

    I was curious and wanted to know what was the meaning of this encounter, I’m glad you did this article it has answer my prayers.

    I wish you a good day and an abundant life,

    With love Tatiana.

    1. Hello, Thank you for writing this article. I am absolutely impressed by Ladybugs. I get so excited to see one or having the thought of them. My Grandmother called me Ladybug. She also always made me feel special. I believe my life has been blessed because I admire them wholeheartedly.

    2. That was beautiful to read. Thank you. I’m glad I’m not the only one to find peace through bugs. Thought I was weird haha but this story of yours gave me relief which is also very peaceful.🤍 Thanks again for sharing🐞🤍🤍

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