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Butterfly symbolism. Painting by Carl Brenders

Butterfly symbolism. Acherontia atropos. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders – Acherontia atropos. Butterfly symbolism

Butterfly symbolism
Noteworthy, butterfly is a symbol of the soul, immortality, rebirth and resurrection. Traditionally, people saw in this insect the ability to convert, to transform, as the winged celestial being is born, transforming from the mundane caterpillars. Besides, butterfly is a symbol of the Great Goddess (the Great Mother, Magna Mater). And 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. Also, with the Great Goddess associated birds and flying insects. One of the insects, representing the goddess, was a butterfly.

Aglais urticae Linne. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

Aglais urticae Linne. Painting by Belgian wildlife artist Carl Brenders

According to beliefs, witches can turn into butterflies. Also, butterflies promote fertility and portend war (for example, the Romans called the butterfly feralis- «fierce”), and the butterfly is the soul of the dead.

Traditionally, in many cultures, the butterfly symbolizes the transitory nature of joy. Thus, in China, this winged creature represents immortality, leisure abundant, joy and summer. Depicted with a plum butterfly symbolizes longevity and beauty, and with the chrysanthemum – the beauty in old age, with a pen – longevity.

Also, the image of the butterfly presents in Taoist parables. Once, the philosopher Chuang Tzu 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?

Meanwhile, another story told by Chuang Tzu, tells about a young scientist, chasing a beautiful butterfly who accidentally entered the private property of a retired judge. There he saw his daughter, and mesmerized by her charms, he 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, and we can say, the Chinese Cupid.

Interestingly, the Japanese butterfly symbolizes a young woman, and flitting around one another butterfly means marital happiness. However, 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, they associated it with the Sun, considering it 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.

According to the ancient Greeks, butterfly – a symbol of immortality of the soul. Psyche, whose name means “soul”, presented in the form of a girl with butterfly wings.

Traditionally, 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 – 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.

Butterfly symbolism. Painting by Carl Brenders