Butterfly Symbolism: Everything You Need to Know

Butterfly Symbolism relates to where an encounter with a butterfly signifies deep religious or spiritual meaning. The symbolism meaning may be the same or vary between different cultures and regions.

In this post, we comprehensively cover butterfly symbolism across all kinds of encounters, cultures, colors and omens.

What do Butterflies Symbolize?

Butterflies are totem creatures which symbolize personal transformation. If you consider butterflies to be your spiritual animals then you must be keen on areas of personality or life that are need of profound transformation. When you are frequently seeing butterflies in your life you may need to ask yourself whether there are any changes that you may be in need of making to have a life that is in alignment with your inner truth. Just as butterflies undergo metamorphosis and transition from different stages, the stages symbolize your personal life transformation.

Butterflies Represent Transformation

Butterflies represent several emotions. They are a symbol of joy and lightness. If they do appear in your life as a totem or a spirit animal then it’s time to look at those conflicting issues in your life with a different perspective and more lightness. Additionally, if you have a connection with this power animal, it will bring bliss and joy to your life. Majority of butterflies do have bright colors which are usually associated with brightness and aliveness. The interpretation of this can be taken as a way to lighten and make your life more colorful.
Butterflies also represent rebirth and a new beginning. The rebirth may be in the form of new ideas, new behaviors or even changes in personal relationships. Butterflies are also seen as a symbol of the soul quite often in traditions across the world

Can Butterflies Symbolize Death?

Though the majority of butterflies symbolize joy and happiness or some vibrant messages, there are some butterflies allied with bad omen especially death. For example in Maryland, the presence of a white butterfly hovering inside your house is a symbol that death is coming. It is also believed when a moth comes into contact with a mother with a newborn child, the child dies after a short period

Butterfly Symbolism and Culture

Cultures are very diverse. What one community believes about a particular subject might be very different when compared to other communities. Butterflies represent different symbols in different cultures mainly depending on the location

What Does the Butterfly Symbolize in Chinese Culture?

Butterflies symbolism is very diverse and varies from one culture to another. In Chinese symbolism for examples, butterflies are seen as symbols of immortality. They have been a popular symbol in China for centuries hence they are taken as a symbol of long life. In Chinese culture, butterflies also represent young and undying love between lovers.

What Does the Butterfly Symbolize in Bengali Culture?

Butterfly play a key role in Bengali culture specifically their wedding. It is believed in Bengali weddings that butterflies make young men and women get more excited. Butterflies symbolize marriage in their culture and are present in nearly all the stages of Bengali weddings. Right from the invitation cards to gifts you will find butterflies decoration. The wedding venues are also decorated with butterflies in Bengali cultural weddings


What Does the Butterfly Symbolize to Native Americans?

It is very difficult to talk about Native American rituals and mythology without mentioning butterflies. They are thought as spiritual creatures who bring dreams in our lives. Due to this babies will be sung lullabies with butterflies depicted so as to invoke sweet dreams.

Butterfly also represent a rite of passage for young women in Hopi tradition. There is usually a butterfly dance and when a butterfly appears during the dance, the passage is deemed successful and the young women can now assume the roles of women and learn some traditional songs

To the Navaho community, a butterfly is an emblem of rebirth and happiness.


Different butterfly colors have various symbolic meanings in different cultures and different parts of the world

What Does a Black and White Butterfly Symbolize?

A black and white butterfly is said to have spiritual symbolism. In this state of metamorphosis, it signifies personal life transformation. This is usually when there are a lot of changes needed in your life. Black and white butterfly also signify general body health and fitness


What Does a Black Butterfly Symbolize?

Black butterflies are the least common butterflies in comparison with butterflies of the other colors. They have an impression that all is not going to be fine and that something bad might happen.

It is believed by many people that when a black butterfly is seen as the first butterfly of the season, the season will be characterized by thunderstorms and heavy rainfalls

Black is color of misfortune and death omen as such black butterflies are considered to signify imminent death or misfortune. Many people in many cultures don’t like to come across them due to this symbolism. However, the ‘death’ can have several interpretations based on what the specific person believes and may not be necessarily the physical death. Some people will interpret the death to mean an end of a project or an idea, end of a job or even a relationship

It is said that once in a while there is darkness before the dawn. This way, black butterflies are seen as symbols of renewal, rebirth or transition. Encountering a black butterfly may imply that you are about to become renewed in one way or the other

Black butterflies in some cultures are associated with witches. Odd legends have it that witches transform into black butterflies and fly around homes in such of food to steal

Celtic and Irish legends suppose that black butterflies are souls of dead people who are unwilling or have been unable to join the afterlife; instead, they come back to visit their favorite places where they lived while still alive

Finally, black butterflies are taken to symbolize that change in power is about to occur

What Does a Blue Butterfly Symbolize?

Blue butterflies are usually associated with the blue feeling by many people. This is the feeling of feeling low, depressed, or sad. The blue butterfly is in some cultures considered to be a vindictive spirit or malicious. However, there are some who consider it as a sign of life

Most cultures consider blue butterflies as symbols of honor, great energy, and general acceptance. Sighting one gives you confidence that what you are doing is going to bode well for the people and you will face no resistance

Blue butterflies are extremely rare in many parts of this world. They are thus taken to symbolize good luck to those who come across them. Some people even see them as wish-granters. It very common to see someone making wishes after spotting a blue butterfly

A blue butterfly also brings a calming and relaxing effect on a person who sights it. It often symbolizes happiness and joy

What Does a Red Butterfly Symbolize?

Red butterflies symbolize different thing depending on culture and region. Certain Inherent American tribes see the red butterflies as a sign of powerful spirit or soul. Also, red butterflies are seen as foreshadowers of important news. In some regions, red butterflies are symbols of intense passion and romance. In Scotland, it was at certain point in time believe that a red butterfly was a witch in disguise. As such the red butterflies were symbols of evil and represented danger. In Korean superstition, touching a red butterfly and then touching your eyes has a detrimental effect on your vision. It can even cause blindness

To some people, red butterflies are a symbol of anger. Seeing a red butterfly should bring caution and make you pay extra attention as they are signs of something is about to come. In most o times what is about to happen is usually something which is not very desirable


What Does an Orange Butterfly Symbolize?

Just like butterflies of other colors, an orange butterfly possesses various symbolic meanings. Firstly, an orange butterfly is a symbol of passion and aggressiveness. The passion is not definite and can be either positive or negative. A sight of an orange butterfly is a reminder to us to maintain focus and not deviate from our set objectives and plans and carry them to completion

The orange butterflies are also associated with life, sun, and consciousness. Coming across one is a sign of heart transformation and healing which is about to happen to a person who has been anxious or rather depressed. An orange butterfly is the best spiritual animal to come across when you are experiencing anxiety in your life

Orange butterflies also encourage us to cheerful, outgoing and or sociable. When you see one it is an indication that you are likely going to have visitors soon at your place. On the other hand, it may mean you will be the visitor and get invited to a social event. This happens mostly if you see the butterfly flying around your compound or inside your house

Lastly, many people consider an orange butterfly to represent rebirth. The rebirth is in the form of coming up with new ideas about a particular object or task. This leads to shifting in how you perceive something


When butterflies appear at different events in day to day activities, they normally carry with them different symbols as highlighted below

What Does it Mean when you see a butterfly at a funeral?

A butterfly at a funeral is a symbol that carries several meanings. First, it is taken to be the soul of the deceased who has come back to say goodbye to their loved ones for the very last time. This happens especially when the dead person was very close to his family. The family members feel consoled and reassured after seeing the butterfly as they confirm that their dearly departed is contented in the afterlife

On the contrary, a butterfly at a funeral may the soul of the deceased who has come to haunt those who they were in bad terms before their death. It may mean also the dead person has been unable or is unwilling to join the afterlife

What does it mean if you see a butterfly at night?

It is very uncommon to see butterflies at night as unlike moths they fly during the day. This implies that seeing a butterfly at night is very symbolic. It symbolizes the coming of dark moments such death

What does it mean when a butterfly follows you?

Butterflies are creatures associated with luck. If you notice a butterfly following you is a sign warning that something good is going to happen to your life. This is should be a wake-up call to you as you might be ignoring something that might be advantageous to your life. The butterfly is us in way urging you to take the opportunity before it is too late.

We’ve also written a comprehensive guide on what it means when a butterfly lands on you if you’d like to learn more.

What does it mean when you dream of butterflies?

Dreams are the way our subconscious minds communicate to us using symbolic language. The typical interpretation of dreaming about butterflies is imminent transformation. To fully understand the implied transformation it is important to note the stage of the life of the butterfly in your dream. Butterflies have three life stages namely: caterpillar, cocoon, and butterfly itself. Each stage will represent a unique form of transformation in your life. In close association is the transformation the rebirth and energy transmutation which can also be an implication of dreaming about butterflies.

Butterflies in dreams can also be a symbol of full self-expression and freedom. This is a sign of about to get break free from your personal captivity such as a feeling of fear, anxiety and being able to express yourself in public

We’d love to know about your experiences. Please comment below with your encounters with butterflies to help understand what they meant and how they will affect us moving forward.

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