What Do Butterflies Symbolize?
January 26, 2024 10 min read

What Do Butterflies Symbolize?

By Lady Saoirse

TL;DR-  What do butterflies represent spiritually, what do they symbolize when you see them in dreams and in your waking moments, and what does a butterfly tattoo mean?


When you see butterflies flitting about flowers and dancing through the air, you might think it’s more than a chance encounter. Maybe you just happened to be at the right place at the right time to see the butterfly in all its splendor, but maybe seeing a butterfly means more than that sometimes. Learn about the spiritual meaning of butterflies and what they mean when you see them while you're awake as well as in dreams. Learn what it means when a butterfly is your spirit animal and all the amazing things that they symbolize. What does the butterfly tattoo mean? Join Spiritual Blossom to find out!


What’s a Butterfly?

What Do Butterflies Symbolize?

Butterflies are winged insects that have been around for at least 56 million years if not longer and they are believed to have evolved from moths. They live on every continent except Antarctica and they are believed to have originated in the Americas. They are known for their beautiful, colorful wings, and flitting delicately through the air like organdy ribbons. They go through multiple stages of development, first hatching from tiny eggs, and developing into caterpillars. Then, they do something surprising. They build a structure called a chrysalis around themselves inside of which their bodies turn to liquid, and they completely transform into butterflies.

There are over 17,000 different kinds of butterflies worldwide, and they range in size from the Western Pygmy Blue butterfly that isn’t even an inch long to the Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing butterfly, which can have a wingspan of up to a foot long.  They eat the nectar from flowers, but will feast on fruit, especially if it is decomposing. They drink water, tears, and sweat, and sometimes dine on animal droppings, believe it or not. Depending on the species, some butterflies live for a few days, while others live for up to 6 weeks. Butterflies walk on land, but they also travel through the air. You can read about the Air signs of the Zodiac here: What are Air Signs? (spiritualblossom.com)


What Does Seeing Butterflies Symbolize?

What Do Butterflies Symbolize?

Some people think that every time they see an animal there is some kind of a deep spiritual meaning attached to the sighting. However sometimes you just see an animal because the animal is going someplace. Other times seeing an animal like a butterfly is meaningful. Seeing butterflies symbolizes different things to different people. Spiritually, they symbolize things like beauty, freedom, joy, love, new life, and changes. If you're not sure exactly what it means when you see a butterfly, stop, say a prayer, and wait for guidance. The universe will let you know exactly what it's trying to tell you when the time is right.


What Do Butterflies Symbolize?

Perhaps more than any other creature, butterflies symbolize freedom. This is probably because of their migration patterns. Some butterflies migrate as far as 9000 miles and do this over the course of six generations of butterflies. If such a tiny creature can cover distances that vast all on its own imagine how much more human beings can do if we allow ourselves the freedom to do it. If you want to give yourself more freedom but don't know how, do a meditation focusing on the energy of the butterfly. Go someplace where the butterflies are and still your mind. Then try to think of what the butterfly must be thinking as it moves around. Do this for a while and then do some journal entries focusing on the impressions that you got from the movement of the butterfly. This may inspire you to free yourself in ways you never have before. One Zodiac sign that values its freedom it's Leo and you can read about them here: Leo Traits and Love Compatibility (spiritualblossom.com)


When you see a butterfly dancing amongst the flowers in a beautiful garden it is an omen that happiness is on the way and folklore has a lot to say about that. One superstition says that if an orange butterfly comes near you, happiness is on the way. Another superstition says that if a yellow butterfly is near the body of a deceased person, it’s a message that they're enjoying a happy afterlife. One superstition says that green butterflies represent successful business ventures that will bring you a lot of money and another superstition says that seeing a blue butterfly means that a wish will be granted. When you see a butterfly dancing amongst the flowers and a beautiful garden it is an omen that happiness is on the way. One Zodiac sign that is known for its love of happy times is Sagittarius and you can read about them here: Sagittarius Traits and Love Compatibility (spiritualblossom.com)


A Japanese superstition says that if a butterfly enters your room, the person who you are in love with is coming to see you. Maybe this is because butterflies represented marital bliss in ancient Japan. Another superstition was that drawing the symbol of a butterfly in the soil would seal a commitment to a lover. Seeing a butterfly during a time when you are fighting with each other and you're worried that your relationship might not work out is a sign that your relationship can survive. So, if you see a butterfly when you're sparring with a lover, reach out to them and try to mend things because the power of the butterflies' love can help to work things out. One Zodiac sign that is very serious about the people they love is Taurus and you can read about them here: Taurus Zodiac Traits and Love Compatibility (spiritualblossom.com)

New Life

To the Aztecs, some butterflies were believed to be the reborn souls of warriors. Some people say this was a symbol of hope for a wonderful afterlife or that their loved ones had come to visit them. In ancient Rome, sometimes butterflies were depicted as flying out of the mouth of the dead, representing the soul. This meant that life was not over, but it was moving beyond the body. Ancient Irish myth said that white butterflies contained the souls of deceased children and other Irish myths said that butterflies were able to move between the land of the living and the land of the dead freely. To many people, the butterfly represents life after death and the hope of rebirth. To read about an ancient sacred holiday that honors the dead see here: All About Samhain (spiritualblossom.com)


Transformation is something else that butterflies symbolize. As time goes on, we age, we learn, we grow, and we discover new parts of ourselves that we didn't know existed. Sometimes there is a personality trait that surfaces after a new experience, and we believe we would have never discovered that part of ourselves had we not had the experience. Sometimes we just evolve as we learn new spiritual lessons. Like the butterfly is broken down and completely redone, its body completely rearranged, we too transform. Going from birth to death creates a lifetime of experiences, and these experiences influence us in unique ways and helps to create who we are. One sign that seems to always be evolving as Aquarius and you can read about them here: Aquarius Zodiac Traits and Love Compatibility (spiritualblossom.com)


Dreams About Butterflies

What Do Butterflies Symbolize?

What does it mean when you dream about butterflies? Butterflies in dreams symbolize all the same things that butterflies symbolize while you're awake. If you're feeling tied down or stuck and that your life isn’t moving forward when butterflies visit you in dreams, they are encouraging you that freedom will come, and that this moment of stagnation will not last forever. If you are single, dreams about butterflies tell you that a lover is coming into your life, and they are instructing you to open yourself to this new love. To read what the Minor Arcana says about love see here: Minor Arcana Cards for Love (spiritualblossom.com)

Some very special messages that butterflies bring in dreams are messages from the ancestors. If you dream about butterflies right after the death of someone who you were very close to, chances are it is your loved one visiting you in spirit form as a butterfly in your dreams. If you are going through difficult times and you are grieving or heartbroken or just feel down in the dumps, when butterflies visit you in dreams, they're telling you to look on the bright side of life because despite what's wrong right now, thankfully, you still have a lot to be happy about.  If you have a dream about caterpillars or butterflies forming in their chrysalis or butterflies emerging from one, the butterflies in your dream are calling you to transform. To read about flying in dreams see here: Soaring to new heights: Unveiling the Spiritual Significance of Flying in Dreams (spiritualblossom.com)


Butterfly Spirit Animals

Some people believe in spirit animals. They believe that this is a kind of an animal that shares spiritual truth with them and helps them to grow as people. For some people, their spirit animal is the butterfly. Some people will do meditation or pilgrimages into nature to see which animals approach them on the spirit plain or in the flesh and this is how they discover their spirit animal. Some people discover their spirit animal by accident and they've known for a very long time just because of encounters and experiences that they've had. No matter how you discover your spirit animal, if the butterfly is your spirit animal, it will share profound spiritual truths with you.

If you believe that the butterfly is your spirit animal and you haven't communicated with it yet, you can do this through meditation. Sit comfortably outside where the butterflies are. This can be your garden, at a park or at your local animal sanctuary where the butterflies float around freely. Just quietly sit and observe the butterflies to see what spiritual messages you get. Notice the way they move about and notice the way that they rest before moving again. Notice what they're attracted to and notice how they interact with each other and other creatures including people. Your butterfly spirit animal will teach you everything it knows but first you must open your consciousness and be fully aware of it. Another small creature that might be your spirit animal is the tiny spider and you can read about it here: Dreams About Spiders- Meaning and Symbolism (spiritualblossom.com)


What Do Butterfly Tattoos Mean?

What Do Butterflies Symbolize?

Butterfly tattoos can mean a lot of different things, but the most popular things they symbolize are transformation, beauty, and freedom. A lot of people have been through major events that have changed them permanently, and getting a butterfly tattoo to commemorate being reborn after such a time is a good choice. Some people have not been changed by life, but they created their own change. Recovery from addiction or a change in lifestyle to improve yourself is something that can be commemorated with a butterfly tattoo. Other people like to express their personal sense of freedom with a butterfly tattoo. Like the butterfly moves freely about and migrates many long miles, people, too, seek freedom. Some people just get a butterfly tattoo because it's beautiful because to some people no other creature symbolizes grace, elegance, and all things that are beautiful quite like the lovely butterfly does. To read about another spiritually meaningful tattoo see here: The Meaning of the Semicolon Tattoo (spiritualblossom.com)


Are Butterflies Endangered?

Are butterflies in trouble? Butterflies are endangered due to habitat loss and pollution, but we can help them. You can volunteer to raise caterpillars and you can also put out nectar bars or place pollinator friendly flowers in your garden. One of the greatest dangers to butterflies is pesticides so don't use any. To control things like aphids, bring ladybugs into your garden instead of using poisonous sprays that kill insects because these sprays will kill butterflies also. You can set up water stations or protective canopies for butterflies and plant milkweed, and very important flower for feeding some species of butterflies. For more information on how to help the butterfly see this link: Save Our Monarchs - Home


When you see butterflies, it can mean a lot of different things. It can mean that you are lucky enough to see a beautiful butterfly go by or it can mean something more spiritually significant. It can mean new life, joy, transformation, freedom, and it can mean love. When the butterfly is your spirit animal, it teaches you all of its strengths and it empowers you to grow spiritually. So, when you see butterflies pay attention because it might mean more than you ever imagined!


Would you like to find out what it means when you see a butterfly? Reach out to a Spiritual Blossom psychic to find out what butterfly sightings mean spiritually. Online Psychic Readings | Spiritual Blossom While you're here make sure to sign up for our horoscopes and you can have them delivered right into your email’s inbox today. Daily Horoscope | Free Horoscopes | Spiritual Blossom

About the Author:  Lady Saoirse has studied magic and lore for most of her life but started walking her own Magical Path after being spiritually reborn in the desert. Today she is a High Priestess for The Temple of the Goddess, she is a psychic advisor and spiritual counselor, she shares her gifts as a Psychic and Content Writer for Spiritual Blossom. She has written for Mysticsense and PaganPagesOrg emag.