Dreams about butterflies often stick in our minds and make us wonder about the meaning of the dream. The beauty, the serenity, the transformation of the butterfly – what does it mean for us and our lives?
Many ancient cultures across the world shared the belief that dreams have meaning. Dreams are said to offer a deeper understanding about ourselves and our connections with the outside world – if we can interpret them.
Ancient Egyptians believed that dreams can predict your future and that dreams originate in a land between the living and the dead.
Read more about what dreams are and why we dream
Many Native American cultures say that dreams can tell you truths about yourself, even inspiring name–giving ceremonies. Ancient Australian Aboriginals thought that the dreams of deities created the world.
Despite the huge variety of beliefs and cultures around the world, we all share the same experience of dreaming. And these dreams often share qualities and features, such as butterflies.
What do butterflies symbolize?
Butterflies symbolize transformation due to their metamorphosis from caterpillar to butterfly. This change can often involve struggle, but generally dreaming about butterflies is seen as a positive sign.
Butterflies are associated with joy, beauty, calm, creativity, and positive change. Butterflies typically represent gradual changes, rather than traumatic and sudden ones, although there are some exceptions.
But not all butterfly dreams foretell something solely positive. Just as butterflies represent the beautiful transformation from caterpillar to butterfly, they also represent the transition from life to death. A butterfly might symbolize the soul, resurrection and impermanence.
Related: Symbolism of the Luna Moth in Dreams (and Waking Life)
Butterfly dream meanings explained
Dreams about butterflies can be interpreted in many different ways depending on what happens in your dream.
Flying, floating, soaring
A flying butterfly can symbolize relationships and connections. It could also mean that you have a creative talent or gift that you need to share with the world.
A white, black, or blue butterfly
Dreaming of a colorful butterfly floating in the grass or among some flowers could suggest prosperity and success, perhaps relating to a creative activity or talent.
White butterflies indicate good fortune, prosperity, hope, and renewal. They float softly on a warm breeze, bringing calm and soothing energy. Some believe they can also symbolize a loved one who has passed on, carrying with them a message of peace, comfort, and eternal love.
Black butterflies can be symbols of very sudden, often shocking changes or transformations. Unlike the gentle white butterfly, black butterfly symbolism is urgent, uprooting, life-altering.
As a result, some cultures associate the black butterfly with death – the most extreme change any of us will ever experience.
If you’re dreaming of black butterflies, don’t be afraid! Instead, consider what sudden or bold change you subconscious is trying to alert you to. More often than not, it’s a sign from within to ready yourself for big changes and incredible personal growth.
Rather than foretelling bad fortune, the black butterfly is symbolizing shedding the old, outgrown ways and facing new, exhilarating, and radical transformations.
Blue butterflies are mysterious and deeply spiritual. Seeing this color butterfly in your dreams is often regarded as a symbol of immense spiritual joy and the arrival of lasting inner peace and tranquility, particularly after a trying phase of your life’s journey.
The beautiful blue butterfly brings with it unexpected changes that create a more prosperous and fulfilling life. This could translate into an increase in income, a new job, a new love, a new baby, or even the discovery of a new, deeply fulfilling life passion such as making art or even becoming a plant mom.
Dreams of being unable to catch a butterfly could indicate a need to let go. It might be a sign that you need to surrender something in your life to make space for positive changes to come.
Related: What does it mean to dream about bees?
If the butterfly is inside its chrysalis (butterfly cocoon), this can indicate that a big transformation is coming. It could also symbolize a feeling of isolation or entrapment and hopefully encourage you to venture out into the world more – to become a social butterfly.
On the other hand, if your dream butterfly has already broken out of its chrysalis, this suggests the struggles of transformation have already been left behind.
Caterpillars with butterflies
If you see a butterfly and a caterpillar together, this implies that the transformation in your life has already taken place and that the change was a positive one.
The process of metamorphosis indicates a major transformation – perhaps the ending of a whole stage of your life and the beginning of a new one.
Butterflies as symbol of impermanence
A butterfly dream could also have a darker meaning. As most butterflies only live for a handful of weeks, a dream about a butterfly might highlight the transition from life to death. Some cultures believe that dreaming of a butterfly can be an omen of death.
You may also enjoy reading about the symbolism of different flowers.
What is the most common meaning of a butterfly dream?
The most common meaning of a butterfly dream is around emotional or spiritual transformation. Butterflies can be a sign that positive change is coming and that evolution is key to finding happiness.
Related: What Does it Mean to Dream About Dragonflies?
The Christian meaning of butterfly dreams
In Christianity, a butterfly can symbolize spiritual enlightenment, or a spiritual transition in your life.
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