Butterfly Myths, Legends, and Other Meanings
Butterfly is a symbol of hope for us... a wish whispered gently upon a butterfly's wings and sent to the heavens so that our heart's desire may come true..
To others, butterflies mean many different things. I have included this page to share with you, some of those other legends, myths, and meanings of what the butterfly means to those in our past, present, and possibly the future.
Butterfly is a symbol with many meanings:
For a grieving family, it's a sign of rebirth.
For newlyweds, it's a symbol of new life.
For many, the butterfly signifies a transformation.
A butterfly gives a feeling of hope, as it reminds us that our lost loved ones are still with us, just in another form - in fact, a more magnificent form."
According to the American Indian Legend, if anyone desires a wish to come true they must first capture a butterfly and whisper their wish to it. Since a butterfly can make no sound, the butterfly can not reveal the wish to anyone but the Great Spirit who hears and sees all. In gratitude for giving the beautiful butterfly its freedom, the Great Spirit always grants your wish.
In the 1600s, in Ireland, killing a white butterfly was prohibited since it was believed to be the soul of a dead child.
In the town of Bath, England, is the Theatre Royal built in 1805 that is home to several ghosts. Besides a mysterious grey lady, who regularly appears in her own box, spectators in 1948 first reported a phantom that materializes as a butterfly at Christmas pantomime time.
An Irish blessing goes: "May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun, and find your shoulder to light on To bring you luck, happiness and riches today, tomorrow and beyond."
The Hopi (southwest USA) have a ceremonial butterfly dance called Bulitikibi which they perform to do homage to the butterfly so that it will confer prosperity.
In middle Europe butterflies are seen as the harbingers of spring.
In general butterflies mean freedom, lightness and detachment.
People used to think butterflies were witches or fairies in disguise stealing butter, cream and milk. This could also be the reason for the name butterfly.
In Greek mythology Psyche, sweetheart of Eros, is often represented with butterfly wings.
Johann Wolfgang Goethe, a German poet, called butterflies "products of air and light". He was also very impressed by the change from pupa to butterfly. Other poets like Shakespeare, Spenser, Shelley, Keats and Wordsworth were fond of the butterflies' beauty, too.
Plinius thought caterpillars developed when dew-drops fell on a tree's leaves in spring.
In antiquity and in the Middle Ages big swarms of butterflies were read as bad omens predicting wars and epidemics.