Dreaming of Butterflies: Discover the Spiritual Meaning and Interpretation

Altered Sunbeam Butterfly
KADAKADAR IN-ORN/Shutterstock.com

Written by Sammi Caramela

Updated: November 14, 2023

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Dreaming of Butterflies is often associated with good luck and eternal life. It may also be a sign of transformation or a massive upheaval in your life.

Dreaming of butterflies can signify various spiritual meanings and interpretations. We reference butterflies for various reasons. For example, when we’re anxious, excited, or in love, we might say we have butterflies in our stomachs. Butterflies also symbolize transformation, hope, and communication from ancestors and loved ones who have passed.

That being said, it’s no wonder butterfly dreams are so common. In fact, they’re often a positive sign you shouldn’t ignore. While the context of your dream and your current life circumstances will impact how you interpret it, you can rest assured (literally) that you’re being spiritually guided and supported. 

This article will cover the spiritual meanings and interpretations of dreaming of butterflies, including its symbolism across various cultures and religions. 

Butterfly Symbolism

As mentioned above, butterflies carry deep symbolism. Some cultures and religions view the butterfly as an emblem of sorts. Below are a few of the most common interpretations and symbolism of butterflies — as well as their associated myths and stories.

A photograph of an Eastern tiger swallowtail feeding from a purple coneflower

There are nearly 20,000 butterfly species.

Native American Culture

Due to their deep connection to nature and all living things, Native Americans share a spiritual bond with butterflies. In fact, many Native Americans view butterflies as signs of transformation and rebirth. While different tribes have their own interpretations, generally speaking, they hold butterflies in high regard. In fact, there’s even a butterfly myth that whispering your wish to the beautiful and spiritual insect will ensure it comes true. As a result, many believe butterflies are able to help us manifest our desires and make the necessary changes to reach our dreams.

Chinese Culture

In China, butterflies typically represent good luck and eternal life. In fact, many individuals view the butterfly as proof of rebirth after death. Though our physical bodies might not last forever, our spirits live on. As a result, butterflies can often be a symbol of our ancestors.

Japanese Culture

Similar to Chinese culture, Japanese culture believes butterflies are closely connected to deceased spirits. In other words, if a loved one passes away, their spirit could take the form of a butterfly and pay you a visit to show their support or guidance. 

Ancient Greece

In Ancient Greece, the butterfly was a symbol of the psyche. Many Greek philosophers believed the butterfly carried the soul of the dead. Like in many other cultures, butterflies often embody our connections to the spiritual realm in Ancient Greek culture. 

Biblical Meaning

In the Bible, the butterfly is a direct representation of resurrection. Just as Jesus was resurrected after his crucifixion, the butterfly embodies this same sentiment. In the Bible and in Christianity, the butterfly is a symbol of birth, death, and resurrection. With this, the beautiful creature communicates hope and transformation.

Spiritual Meaning

Spiritually speaking, butterflies represent loved ones who have passed away. Many spiritual beings believe that seeing a butterfly means an ancestor is paying a visit and expressing their support. For example, if you’re going through a tough time and have been praying to your loved one who’s no longer here, you might notice a butterfly as confirmation that their spirit is with you. The spiritual interpretations of butterflies resemble our connections to the spiritual realm, reminding us we can still communicate with those who have passed. They’re still with us, even if not physically. 

Common Butterfly Dreams

There are various types of butterfly dreams, many of which communicate unique meanings. Depending on the context of the dream, you might consider a different interpretation to another butterfly dream. Here are five common dreams that include butterflies — and their associated meanings and interpretations.

monarch butterfly on flower. Image of a butterfly Monarch on sunflower with blurry background. Nature stock image of a closeup insect. Most beautiful imaging of a wings butterfly on flowers.

Butterfly dreams might mean your subconscious mind or guardian angels are trying to tell you something.

1. Dreaming of a Butterfly Landing on You

If a butterfly lands on you in your dream, you might take this as a sign of transformation — or the need for it. Often, the location of the butterfly’s landing directly correlates to your necessary transformation. For example, if you dream of a butterfly landing on your head, you might need to focus on reaching mental clarity. 

Additionally, when a butterfly lands on you — even in your dream — it can be a sign from a loved one that they’re with you. This little indication might bring you the comfort or reassurance you’ve been looking for.

2. Dreaming of a Swarm of Butterflies

A swarm of any type of insect might feel overwhelming — just like a massive change can feel overwhelming, too. However, sometimes, we need to face the fears associated with transformation in order to grow.

Dreaming of a swarm of butterflies can indicate a period of change for you. Maybe you’re already in the middle of it, or perhaps you know it’s coming but don’t want to accept it. Whatever the case, trust the experience will bring you where you need to be. Sometimes, we need to let go of the past in order to build an even more fulfilling future. Sit in the uncertainty and know you’re moving forward in the right direction.

3. Dreaming of a Butterfly Breaking Out of Cocoon

Just as the butterfly must break out of its cocoon to become its truest, most authentic self, we, too, must endure changes and introspective periods to become who we are meant to be. This process might be painful, but it’s necessary for our growth.

Dreaming of a butterfly breaking out of a cocoon might indicate that you’re leaving behind old patterns, people who no longer serve you, and situations that aren’t in alignment with your path anymore. While this type of loss can feel excruciating, know that the grief is temporary. You can’t lose what is meant for you. Keep growing and healing, and you will continue to call in better days. 

4. Dreaming of a Butterfly With a Broken Wing

Dreaming of a butterfly with a broken wing might symbolize moving on despite trauma and loss. We do not need to be fully healed in order to move forward toward a brighter future. In fact, not all wounds (including emotional ones) will heal — they don’t need to. Part of being human is embracing your emotions, be it sadness, grief, or anxiety, and choosing to keep going anyway. 

5. Dreaming of a Dead Butterfly

While this dream might catch you off-guard or concern you, it actually might be a gentle sign that you need to reconnect with the right people, places, and passions that bring you joy. Throughout our lives, we will endure periods when we feel disconnected from ourselves. Perhaps we get caught up in unhealthy relationships or simply let life overwhelm us. But we are never stuck. This dream reminds you to get back on track and make love to life again.

Suddenly Dreaming of Butterflies

If you’re suddenly dreaming of butterflies on a regular basis, you might be searching for hope and support. Maybe you’re undergoing a difficult time, or perhaps you’re seeking guidance regarding a difficult decision. Whatever the case, dreaming of butterflies might be a sign that you’re being spiritually protected. Trust yourself and your ability to transform and manifest the life you desire. You’re not alone; your loved ones and spirit guides are right there with you.

Of course, keep in mind the context of the butterfly dreams you’ve been experiencing. Consider one of the above interpretations, and use your best judgment and intuition when deciding what to take away from the dreams. 

Bottom Line

Butterflies are highly spiritual creatures. Known to carry the spirits of deceased loved ones, butterflies often cultivate a sense of hope, support, and guidance. If you’ve been dreaming of butterflies, know you’re on the right path and can trust your fate. Your loved ones will not steer you wrong — and you can trust yourself.

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About the Author

Sammi is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering cats, nature, symbolism, and spirituality. Sammi is a published author and has been writing professionally for six+ years. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Writing Arts and double minors in Journalism and Psychology. A proud New Jersey resident, Sammi loves reading, traveling, and doing yoga with her little black cat, Poe.

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