There is a Native
American legend that says, " If you have a secret wish, capture a butterfly
and whisper your wish to it. Since butterflies cannot speak, your secret is
ever safe in their keeping. Release the butterfly, and it will carry your wish
to the Great Spirit, who alone knows the thoughts of butterflies. By setting
the butterfly free, you are helping to restore the balance of nature, and your
wish will surely be granted."
They are a symbol
of change, joy, and color. (There is also an association of Faerie folklore
with butterflies.) Their flight appears as dancing, and a reminder not to take
things so seriously. They have a sense of lightness and joy. They are reminders
to get up and move, for if you can move you can dance, and dance brings joy.
The butterfly is
a powerful symbol for transformation. It leaves the safety of the cocoon in
it's new form. This is an excellent image for anyone contemplating, or in the
midst of a major change. A butterfly is a strong symbol of metamorphosis, with
distinct stages. The butterfly is a reminder to make changes when the opportunity
arises. Change and transformation are inevitable for us all, but it does not
have to be traumatic.Butterfly symbolism is also closely tied to the idea of
spirits and souls. It has been used in many religions and cultures. Psyche is
the Greek word for both soul and butterfly. The belief was that butterflies
were human souls searching for a new reincarnation, which gave the creature
uncanny and sometimes ominous connotations. This symbolism was also used in
early Christianity as a symbol of the soul. Celts thought that women became
pregnant by swallowing butterfly souls. These butterfly-souls flew about seeking
a new mother. Other cultures believed that spirits of the dead took the form
of white butterflies. In northern Europe to see one flying at night was a warning
of death, and some said that the soul-butterfly's ability to leave the body
in sleep accounts for dreams.
The Chinese believed
a jade butterfly suggested a wedding of souls, making it an appropriate gift
for the groom to give to his bride.