Black Moths Are a Sign of What?

After reviewing white moth symbolism, we thought it was appropriate to determine how many varies between the different colors of moths.

While white moths exhibited almost ethereal characteristics, the black moth is hampered by negative and morbid connotations.

Here we observe the meaning of black moths versus their more lightly coloured relatives.

Symbol of Death

We’ve often discussed how moths are a bad omen, however it is more closely associated with black moths. In many western cultures the appearance of a black moth in ones house is a symbol of death for its inhabitants. Some sort of superstition!

This is considered reversible however, with the death of the black moth by an inhabitant or other causes seemingly dispelling this ill-wishing.

Moths and the Color Black

Black has various spiritual meanings. As a combination of all other colors it is commonly associated with the unknown, reaffirming the mystery of black moths. As a color that limits our senses and perception, black leaves you unsure of what the future holds.

We also often see black associated with mourning. It has long been the appropriate color to wear at funerals and times of mourning within western cultures.

Passed Loved Ones

We discussed white moths as being carriers of souls in a previous post, however the same seems to apply to black moths. It is often common to see a black moth after losing a loved one, symbolising both mourning but also their presence within us.

This is reaffirmed in Jonathan Malberry’s book ‘Wanted Dead or Alive’, where his appendix mentions that “a big black moth in the house means a deceased one is just visiting reincarnated through that moth”.

What to Do if you See a Black Moth

First off – don’t immediately assume death! There are many explanations for an encounter with a black moth, and each is going to be specific to your own situation.

Think about recent life events: has anything significant happened that you can relate this to? Perhaps the recent passing of a friend or relative? The possibilities are numerous.

Avoid treating the encounter with assuredness on any one meaning. With black being the color of the unknown this moth’s symbolism could relate to something that becomes more obvious at a later stage..

Moths vs Butterfly Symbolism. What’s the Difference?

Like moths, we have often seen in texts the use of butterflies to represent vital concepts and philosophies. As we’ve found through viewing several examples of moth representations, the metamorphosis these lepidoptera undertake is marveled by humans and has meant a range of things to different cultures, religions and communities.


From a symbolic perspective this is where similarities end, with the typically more colored wing patterns of the butterfly evoking generally more optimistic and uplifting meanings. We’ll be looking into how moth symbolism differs from that of its closest relative; the butterfly.


Physical Differences

The key physical differences between moths and butterflies can be subtle, although obvious differences can be seen when comparing particular species. The antennae of moths have a feathery texture, which is rather fuzzy and thick. In contrast, butterflies typically have thin, slender and smooth antennae, which are often less noticeable as a result.

There’s also a few key difference with wings. Butterflies possess the ability to fold their wings back, while moths keep their wings spread out. Butterflies also typically possess far more vibrant color patterns on their wingspan than moths, although there are exceptions to this (such as the Cinnabar Moth and the Madagascan Sunset Moth).

Butterflies also express differing behaviors to that of moths, with butteflies being a diurnal creature (while moths are almost always nocturnal).


Symbolic Differences

Butterflies have a range of symbolic meanings around the world, some of these which completely contrast to those of moths. Some of the most common differences include:


Optimism and Negativity

Butterflies are a common ingredient to scenes of mirth and bliss. The Native Americans associate butterflies with infectious joy that is passed on to all of nature. Butterflies help pollinate the flowers in spring, meaning they are further spreading beauty in our natural environment.

Often considered an omen of death, the moth doesn’t get the optimistic likenings of its close relative. It’s worth noting, however, that moths too play a part in pollenating, operating the noctural night shift along with bats.



Butterflies are an elegant creature. They fly with a certain kind of grace, almost gliding with the breeze. Elegance goes hand in hand with feminity and female qualities, as does grace.

The beauty of the butterfly, with its colorful wing patterns and symmetry, is also emblematic of the purity and beauty of the female gender.



Having been used as a decoration in homes to symbolise transformation, growth and sensuality, butterflies have now grown to symbolise decoration as a concept itself. In Feng Shui, butterflies are a popular wall decoration used to symbolise love, beauty and romance. Despite this, it is considered extremely bad Feng Shui to hang a dead butterfly on your wall – you’ve been warned!

Moths are also considered a token of love, but are almost always overlooked by Feng Shui practitioners. The more positive connotations associated with butterflies are undoubtedly a cause of this..