Welcome to Part Four of the Totem Animals Series. Today we will be sharing wisdom on the butterfly – what it signifies in different cultures and how it can be used in your everyday life to positively influence your energy and spirit.
The Butterfly in Various Cultures
The butterfly as a symbol definitely has a mysterious role many cultures across both time and geography. An interesting point to note, however, is that the beliefs surrounding the butterfly tend to be very similar even in cultures across time and geography, prior to the point in time when migration was occurring. Why is this?
The Indigenous Culture
The Indigenous cultures across the world see the butterfly as an emissary to the spirit. The Australian Aborigines are just one example of these many Indigenous cultures. Within the Australian Indigenous, there is a Dreaming Story surrounding the butterfly. It is said that one day, a caterpillar wanted to find out the meaning of death, and so she went on a journey to do so. All the other animals laughed at her, because she was so small and insignificant, however, when she returned, she was the first glorious butterfly, with much wisdom on life and death. This story alludes to a common belief across Indigenous culture about butterflies – that they represent spiritual growth and transformation, and that the appearance of a butterfly in a person’s life represents spiritual growth to come. Now, let’s compare this to another culture – check this out…
Tohono O’odham Culture
The Tohono O’odham, a Southwest American tribe, believe that butterflies carries wishes and prayers to Great Spirit. This belief is also accompanied by a story about the origin of butterflies. This origin story is about the Creator bringing to life beautiful butterflies to preserve the beauty of children and other life, even as they grow old and die. Can you see how the beliefs of the Tohono O’odham about butterflies are so similar to the beliefs of the Australian Aborigine? Both are about beauty and wisdom – that is because the butterfly is a transformative animal.
Irish and Greek Mythology, and Mesoamerican Cultures
Irish mythology says that white butterflies hold the spirits of children and that they are related to the soul, with the ability to pass between worlds. In Greek mythology, Aristotle named the butterfly “Psyche” – meaning soul. In Mesoamerica, the temples of Teotihuacan are adorned with brightly coloured paintings and carvings of butterflies, and was associated with the souls of fallen warriors.
As you can see, the beliefs surrounding the butterfly are similar across cultures. Butterflies are animals with a link to the spiritual world and to your higher self.
The Butterfly in Your Life
Keeping the Butterfly Totem Near Your Bed
The human spirit is said to look like the butterfly when the spirit steps out of the body. Because of this, the butterfly is called upon for lucid dreaming and dream recall. Using a butterfly totem can help you recall your dreams and encourage lucid dreaming. The butterfly can also be used in this way to invoke inspiration and assistance in spiritual development, for transcendence.
Keeping the Butterfly Totem Near Your Workspace
Also, keeping a butterfly totem in your workspace can ignite creativity in your everyday work, as butterflies represent the opulence and the flow of abundance from creation.
Keeping the Butterfly Totem in Your Personal Space
The butterfly aids in navigating out of depression, grief and loneliness. Also, it keeps us in the moment, adding to hope and courage during times of change in our lives. If you’re going through a challenging and changing time in your life, put a butterfly totem animal on your bedside table!
Written by Luca Troise.