Dragonfly Symbolism – Totem Meaning
Carefree, imagination, higher aspirations, avoidance, dreams, illusions, transformation, emotion, maneuverability, whimsical, perception, elusiveness
Dragonfly Symbolism Meanings:
Emotion/Whimsy: Have you found yourself being carried by the currents of your emotions? Are you changing your mind frequently and having difficulty being consistent? The dragonfly spirit is symbolism of both water and air. This symbolizes a great influence of emotion and capriciousness. If you’ve encountered a dragonfly the meaning is that you may need to reign in your emotions, get some fresh air, spend some time in the sun near a body of water, and look for a new perspective.
Conversely: If you’re being too rational and detached, the dragonfly’s appearance may be symbolism of the need for you to reconnect with the emotional aspect of yourself, to not be bogged down, to take flight and be free, to shed burdens and dance in the winds of life.
Illusion/Perception: Dragonfly totem spirits have iridescent skins and wings. The play of light across their bodies symbolizes magic and illusion. The dragonfly’s appearance carries with it the meaning of piercing illusion, and a reminder that things are not always as they appear at first glance. Look closely at your surroundings, your situation, and shine the light of your attention directly on the problem that is facing you. Remember that all things are relative, and that your perception of reality is in and of itself, a grand illusion.
Try to examine your own illusions about yourself and realize that many of these personal illusions arbitrarily limit you from soaring towards your own spiritual growth and realizing the meaning of your life. Break through that hard outer shell and you can catch a glimpse of things as they truly are.
Transformation/Maturity: Dragonflies spend the majority of their lifetime in an immature larval state, 2-5 years before transforming into an adult. After this point they crawl from the water, break free from their shells at a soft spot on the back of their heads, and take flight. Their time spent as adults is but a small fraction compared to their larval states, only a few months. This emergence from the back of the head symbolizes an amazing spiritual awakening. It takes a great deal of time before the dragonfly totem animal arrives at this symbolic and spiritual turning point.
They transform from a water bound, emotional state, into an airborne free spirit tempered with the great knowledge of their experiences. The symbolism here is that we must all reach a point in our lives where we step beyond our youthful selves. Despite spending years forming bad habits, we must break free from these behaviors and reinvent ourselves in a symbolic awakening. You must dig deep into what shapes your personality, and leave behind those parts of yourself that are limiting.
Symbolism of Dragonfly People:
Emotional: Being emotional can be a double edged sword, but in the case of people with dragonfly as their animal spirit guide it is a good thing. Being bound as children in an extremely emotional state , and then transforming, is symbolic of most dragonfly people having very high emotional intelligence. Add a uplifting whimsical nature to this emotion and dragonfly people can be very fun to be around!
Finesse: Dragonflies speed through the air at speeds up to 30 miles per hour, and can make aerial turns on a hairpin. The great freedom of movement afforded to those with dragonfly as their spirit totem is symbolic of a freedom of movement in life. Meaning, people with this totem have no problems avoiding dangers, and often outmaneuver and capture the objects of their desire.
Perceptive: Can you image having an almost 360° view of the world? A dragonfly has an incredible range of sight, it is said that 80% of a dragonfly’s brain is devoted purely to this sense. It should come as no surprise that the sight of this insect symbolizes a greater ability to perceive the world! The symbolism here is that those with dragonfly as their power animal can sense even the minutest details in their surroundings and as such possess exemplary situational awareness. Their gaze can see right through that act or mask that someone is wearing.
Dragonfly Totem Animal – The Bad:
Whimsical: Irresponsibility, unreliability, and fickleness are some unfortunate meanings that follow the dragonfly spirit animal. Many with this totem dart through life and change directions without a moment’s notice. Given their short time as adults it is almost as if these totem animals symbolize the principle of living purely in the moment. While many people aspire to living in the moment and truly being aware of themselves and their surroundings some dragonfly totem’s take it to the extreme; those that do tend to base too much of their decision making and life’s meaning on their present situation.
Illusory: While dragonfly spirit animals hold the symbolic power to see through illusion, they also have great power in shaping it. Their bodies and wings cast iridescent reflections and refractions of light that symbolize their ability to mystify, entrance, and confound would be pursuers. Some with dragonfly as their animal totem can become dazzled by their own illusions. Be very wary of self created illusions. Even if you are well meaning, do not lie and misdirect others with illusions or you may become alienated from others and end up isolating yourself.
Territorial: You may not immediately think of this winged insect as being symbolic of defensiveness, but they are! On a warm summers day near a small body of water you can observe dragonfly spirits darting and dashing at each other in a dizzying dance. More specifically, male dragonflies will staunchly defend bodies of water in order to retain access to the best mates even to the point of utter exhaustion. It is a tiring and exhausting show where no one really gets hurt, the loser, being clearly outmaneuvered, simply retreats. The meaning here for those that have dragonfly as their totem is to not run yourself completely ragged in defense of some perceived ideal. If you do, like dragonflies, you run the risk of collapsing… at which point those who sought what you were defending gain access in the end.
Lessons From Dragonfly Symbolism:
Clear Sight: The sense of sight is extremely important to the Dragonfly spirit, and these insects have special combs on their arms for cleaning their eyes. The symbolism here is to not allow your vision to be clouded, do whatever you can to keep a clear perspective on life.
Development: It takes the greater portion of a dragonfly’s life to develop into an adult, this slow transition is symbolic of our own personal spiritual journeys. In our early years we may be emotional and passionate, but there comes a time to step into a more mature and balanced place where you have more mental control and clarity. If the dragonfly spirit animal has entered your life, meditate on the symbolism and search for the meaning within your own development. How can you best grow?
Lightheartedness: Dragonfly is also a symbol of the spirit messenger, carrying on its wings messages from higher realms. These totem spirits are the essence of unburdened joy, and are symbolic of true lightheartedness.
Dragonfly Dream Meaning:
If you’ve encountered a dragonfly spirit animal in your dreams it brings meanings of change and renewal.
If the dragonfly totem is flying back and forth it can symbolize instability, irreverence, and indecision. Slow down!
Cultural Meaning of the Dragonfly Spirit:
European Symbolism: In Europe, dragonflies have long been given some negative meanings, and have come to symbolize injury! Across Europe these little spirit animals have been given names such as, devil’s darning needle, ear cutter, eye-poker, eye-snatcher, adder’s servant, and snake doctor.
Native American Symbolism: Many Native American tribes regard dragonfly to be the totem symbol of activity and quickness. The Navajo saw dragonfly spirits as being symbolic of pure waters. The dragonfly has been featured in many different forms of Native art, including pottery, jewelry, and paintings.
Japanese Symbolism: The Japanese associate this powerful spirit animal with the summer. The dragonfly totem is symbolic of happiness, courage, and strength, and their image appears in many paintings and writings.
Chinese Symbolism: In China the dragonfly totem animal is symbolic of instability, summer, and weakness.