Butterfly Meaning and Symbolism
Jan 26
Discover Butterfly Symbolism

Butterfly Meaning and Symbolism

Overview of the Butterfly Spirit Animal


Butterfly symbolism represents a remarkable journey.  It begins as a humble egg then develops into a caterpillar, a chrysalis and finally emerges as a winged adult.  It’s time spent before it reaches maturity is filled with questioning, thoughtfulness and longing.  When it reaches adulthood the questions and trials of the past begin to grow pale in comparison with it’s joyous and beautiful future of flight!  The butterfly totem creates in us a connection to light energy.  This energy can be felt and expressed through movement and dance.  And will also create a link to the spirit realm.  A powerful totem butterfly symbolism teaches us to open up to our true self and begin our own journey of transformation.

Butterfly Symbolism

Embrace Your Spirit Animal


Encounters with the Butterfly

What is the meaning of butterfly symbolism? Find out what symbol the butterfly spirit animal is trying to teach you, and gain some insight into your life.

Have you been in a season of meditation?

Butterfly symbolism will appear to you when you’ve had a season of pondering and meditation.  This is a sign to embrace light and joyfulness!  Look for ways in which you can burst out of your old habits and ways of thinking.  And embrace what is new in your life.  Now is the time for action and taking hold of who you are and finding what you are truly passionate about!

Do you feel weighed down?

When you find yourself in a season of feeling held or weighed down the butterfly totem will appear to you with this message.  It’s time for you to stretch out your wings and fly!  Let go of any mindset that is telling you that you can’t experience freedom and take a leap!  Don’t be afraid of the strength of your wings as you embrace the lightness that the butterfly spirit animal brings.

Have you been holding back your true self?

The butterfly totem will appear to you when you’ve been hiding your true nature.  Just as a butterfly emerges from its cocoon and slowly reveals it’s magnificent wings so should you!  Begin opening up your true nature and heart to the world.  It may take time for you to find your strength but with time and proper nourishment you’ll be ready to soar.  Let your colors show without fear of what others might think!

Is your past unbearable?

At times it can be hard to believe that something as beautiful and free can have such an unattractive beginning.  For someone with a difficult past it can be hard to imagine experiencing any amount of joy and beauty in their life.  For these people the butterfly totem will appear to them to usher in a new season of life!  It’s time to let go of the past and allow yourself to become the thing of beauty you were always meant to be.  It is time to be brave and take steps toward your best life as a new being.

Do you need to hope again?

For centuries butterfly meaning has been connected to vision and hope.  This is because it was said that butterflies can travel between the physical and spirit realms.  When the butterfly appears to you it brings the message of hope and vision for your future.  It means that you have not reached the end of your journey but a new part of it.  And that you should allow yourself to dream and hope for things to come!

Butterfly Symbolism: The Butterfly Spirit

Could the Butterfly be my spirit animal? What are the traits of the totem? This might be your spirit animal if you are:


People with the butterfly spirit animal are known for their incredible courage.  Because they’ve made transitions from one stage to the next and have trusted in their transformation.  It takes courage to become something completely new and embrace it.  No longer looking back or trying to be what they once were they push forward through life.  Take courageous steps along the way.


Research has found that butterflies wings are not colored but are in fact transparent.  Their wings get their colors and patterns from tiny feathery scales.  A butterfly spirit animal person will be known for their expressive nature.  Their life will be marked and patterned by their own personal intricacies which will leave them with a beautiful life.  It’s important for them to always express themselves even in what appears to be minor details.

What is: Butterfly Meaning?
What is: Butterfly Symbolism?


Butterfly meaning is rooted in its ability to be hopeful!  It doesn’t matter if it’s hope for something small or simple or for an extraordinary dream.  Butterfly totem people are known for their hope and hopefulness.  Even in tough situations or in areas that it seemed like there is no hope you can count on a butterfly spirit animal person to always have hope.  Hope is a sure sign that the butterfly is your spirit animal!


Butterfly totem people can be known for an unexplainable quality that attracts people to them.  That quality is one of light.  This lightness feels like sunlight and is similar to purity, hope and goodness.  People try to explain it like a breath of fresh air.  Butterfly spirit animal people are known for being light and sharing light with others everywhere they go.

What are the Traits of the Butterfly Totem?

Lessons from the Butterfly Spirit Animal

Butterflies are:

  • Daring
  • Fun
  • Light Hearted
  • Beautiful
Define: Butterfly meaning

When butterfly symbolism appears to you it is a sign for you to change your perspectives.  Especially if you have had a particular mindset for a long time.  The butterfly tells us to embrace change and to let go of old things that are holding you back.  Allow yourself time to figure out what perspective or mindset you need to let go of and trust your instincts to show you your new path.

Another lesson we learn from butterfly meaning is to let go of the past.  Our past is important because it made us who we are but it can also hinder us in becoming who we’re meant to be.  When the butterfly totem appears to you ask yourself if there is anything in your past that you need to let go.  It is important for butterfly spirit animal people to be free and unhindered by the past.

What does the butterfly spirit mean? Transformation and movement! Butterfly totem people will experience several major transformations throughout their lifetime. And they are surrounded by movement!

Strengths & Weaknesses of the Butterfly

Learn about the Butterfly Totem



A strength that comes with butterfly symbolism is their spirit!  Butterfly totem people are very spirited and this is used to their advantage.  Everywhere they go they known for their hope, optimism and unwavering spirit.  This gives them remarkable tenacity which results in them being the type of people who don’t give up.  They go strong and follow their dreams no matter what the circumstances might be.


Something you can always count on from a butterfly spirit animal person is that they are always changing.  In fact a strength of this totem is its transformation.  People with this totem will not remain the same for long.  They are always growing, evolving and changing from what they were to who they will become.  This is a strength because it means they will never be stagnant or stuck in their ways.


Research has found that butterfly eyes are made up of 6,000 lenses.  These lenses make it possible for them to see ultraviolet light.  Which means in their world of beauty and flowers they can see far more than we can imagine!  Butterfly spirit animal people have the ability to see beyond the natural world and into other realms.  This sight helps them prepare for the future and move forward with hope and joy.  They are able to see light all around them and this vision only increases their spirit.


Because of their journey from humble beginnings to spectacular flight there is no one more understand than a butterfly totem person.  When you consider the journey and process they’ve undergone to arrive to where they are it’s no wondering they are so understanding.  Especially when people are undergoing serious change or transition in their lives.  They are the friend that you can count on to not be judgemental but kind and compassionate during hard times.



In life it is common for people to see butterflies fluttering between flowers.  Did you know that they can actually be very picky?  This is because if they don’t get the right nutrients they can become genetic “dead ends” which means they will not be able to produce viable offspring.  Likewise butterfly totem people can find themselves in a position of being overly picky and unable to make a decision at all!


While most people think of a butterfly’s colors as a vibrant display when in many cases their patterned wings act as camouflage.  As a butterfly spirit animal person it’s important to know when to show off and when to step aside however – you should never hide!  When a butterfly totem person chooses to hide or blend in with the crowd they are robbing the world of their unique light.


One characteristic of butterfly symbolism is their free and floaty personality.  This is not a bad thing, however, it can easily become a weakness when they become noncommittal.  This can be incredibly frustrating for their friends and family because it means that they won’t give them a straight answer!  It’s important for butterfly totem people to make solid decisions and stick to their word.  No one likes to deal with someone who is impossibly flaky.


In all of their beauty and freedom it’s no wonder many people misunderstand butterfly totem people for being shallow!  It’s true that some people with this spirit animal can let their beauty get to their head and find themselves chasing vanity.  As always it’s important for them to find balance and alignment.  When they find themselves seeking vain pursuits they should spend time in meditation and prayer to find their center and discover their true purpose.

Discover the Butterfly Totem
Discover Butterfly Symbolism

The Butterfly in Dreams: What it Means

Butterfly symbolism in your dreams can have a variety of meanings.  Typically it is a sign that you are about to experience a change or transformation.  That something new is about to take place in your life or that something you’ve waited for is about to come to pass.

It can also be a sign of romance and that a loved one is going to be visiting you.  It can also mean that you will soon be attracting someone to you.  And that this attraction will bring about a new season of happiness.

Butterfly symbolism can also appear to you as a sign for you to embrace your true self.  Dress colorfully and find expressive outlets like dancing to express who you truly are inside.  Find freedom in the movement and motion.  Allow yourself to become completely unhindered and free!

A butterfly is a sign of new birth and transformation. It’s important to consider this when interpreting dreams.
animal symbolism in dreams

Cultural and Spiritual Symbolism of the Butterfly

animal meaning in your life

Aztec – There are multiple depictions of butterflies with maws of jaguars which is said to represent the reincarnation of dead warriors.  Butterflies also have been found adorning vases, jewelry and incense burners.

Japan – In popular folklore the butterfly is said to represent a person’s soul – the person can be living, dying or already dead.  The butterfly can represent an omen or a message of joy.

Greek – In ancient Greek the word for butterfly means “mind” or “soul”.

Modern America – The butterfly is a symbol of being transgender.  This is because of the butterflies transformation from it’s early life to its adult form.

Around the world Butterfly Symbolism represents new birth or new beginnings. And is a symbol of restoration.

Historical Facts

The oldest butterfly fossils have been dated around 200 million years old and were recently discovered by accident!  Learn more about the discovery!

Animal Quotes

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.
Rabindranath Tagore
Let’s forget the baggages of the past and make a new beginning.
Shehbaz Sharif

Share this Totem:

Totem Team

About The Author

We love you! The Totem Team is dedicated to expanding knowledge of, and connection to, the natural and spiritual world of animals. Whether you call it an animal spirit, totem, or guide, we aim to be THE definitive resource online for all animal dreams, meanings, and symbolism. Thank you for being a part of our wonderful community and sharing in our work!

Free Shipping On All Orders + 10% of Jewelry Sales Benefit the Rainforest Trust! Dismiss