Butterfly – a symbol of the soul, immortality, rebirth and resurrection, the ability to convert, to transform, as the winged celestial being is born, transforming from the mundane caterpillars. The butterfly is a symbol of the Great Goddess (the Great Mother, Magna Mater). The image of the Great Goddess goes back to the earliest times of human history, to the Paleolithic. This is the supreme deity personified both heaven and earth, life and death. With the Great Goddess associated birds and flying insects. One of the insects, representing the goddess, was a butterfly. (Butterflies in paintings by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders)
With the Great Goddess associated birds and flying insects. One of the insects, representing the goddess, was a butterfly. Hence beliefs that witches can turn into butterflies, butterflies promote fertility and portend war (for example, the Romans called the butterfly feralis- «fierce”), that the butterfly – the souls of the dead.
In addition, in many cultures, the butterfly symbolizes the transitory nature of joy. In China, this winged creature represents immortality, leisure abundant, joy and summer. Depicted with a plum butterfly symbolizes longevity and beauty, with the chrysanthemum – the beauty in old age, with a pen – longevity.
The image of the butterfly is found in Taoist parables. The philosopher Chuang Tzu once saw a butterfly in a dream. Waking up, he could not understand: Chuang Tzu dreamed that he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreamed that he was Chzhuan Tzu?
Another story told by Chuang Tzu, tells about a young scientist, chasing a beautiful butterfly, accidentally entered the private property of a retired judge. He saw his daughter, and was so mesmerized by her charms, that decided to work hard and try to get her as his wife. In this he succeeded, and rose to high rank. Here butterfly – a sign of marital happiness, we can say, the Chinese Cupid.
The Japanese butterfly symbolizes a young woman, and flitting around one another butterfly means marital happiness. White butterfly – the spirit of the deceased.
In ancient Mexico butterfly related to an attribute of the god of vegetation, spring and love, “Prince of Flowers”. In addition, it was associated with the Sun and was a symbol of swaying fire. Cut with stone knives (ittsli) butterfly – a goddess Itspapalotl, “Obsidian Butterfly”, a night of stars and flaming spirit at the same time – a symbol of the souls of women died in childbirth.
The ancient Greeks believed the butterfly – a symbol of immortality of the soul. Psyche, whose name means “soul”, presented in the form of a girl with butterfly wings.
In Christianity, the stage of development of the butterfly represents life, death and resurrection, so the butterfly is sometimes depicted in a hand of infant Christ that symbolizes rebirth and resurrection of the soul. In paintings it is depicted as life in paradise, such wings have a soul, which the Creator places into the body of Adam.
The Slavs with butterfly bind – primarily idea of the soul. The people often speak of a butterfly as the soul of the deceased or the harbinger of death, and sometimes it is the image of death.