Flies: Discover the Spiritual Meaning and Symbolism

Written by Mitchelle Morgan
Updated: October 17, 2023
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Flies infographic
Flies infographic

The spiritual meaning and symbolism of flies are often associated with unpleasant things. This is due to flies’ role in decomposition, along with their obnoxious buzzing and pestering behavior. The insects are also known carriers of disease-causing pathogens.

However, digging deep into flies’ spiritual meaning and symbolism reveals many positive implications. Although we may associate flies with danger or bad omens, they may also symbolize industriousness or fortune.

Flies Spiritual Meaning and Symbolism

To most people, flies are dirty and annoying. They are known worldwide as mischief makers. You can’t ignore flies because their buzzing sound indoors or outdoors is overwhelming.

But, according to myths, flies are more than just annoying insects. In fact, fly symbolism can bring insight. Flies may be a warning of danger or a reminder to attend to the neglected areas in our lives.

Because they intrude on our solitude, flies may represent hate, malice, or blame. Because they fly around incessantly, almost daring us to swat at them, they sometimes express a bad influence. Additionally, flies can signify the loss of self-control or negative feelings.

Flies spiritual meaning and symbolism

Flies can survive in the harshest conditions and adapt to any situation.


Another symbolic meaning of flies is adaptability. Flies can survive even in the harshest conditions and adapt to any situation. Flies feed even on what we consider waste. They symbolize the “one man’s waste is another man’s treasure” idiom.

Flies may also symbolize abundance, wealth, and motivation. They thrive in harsh environments, overcoming hardships while breeding and finding food.

The Bible depicts Satan as the “Lord of the Flies.” Satan is capable of manifesting evil in a powerful, dishonest way. A fly spirit, therefore, can mean someone or something that can manipulate your spiritual life. A fly in the ointment makes the oil unusable. So, the Bible depicts flies as contaminating the divine.

Flies Spiritual Meaning and Symbolism Native America

Flies don’t appear as characters in many Native American stories. This is because indigenous tribes associated them with dirt and disease. However, there are some folktales and legends in which a fly plays a critical role.

A fly symbolizes a past ancestor bringing messages to Navajo tribes. The tale tells of the Big Fly or Little Wind, also known as the Sacred Fly. Little Wind comes from the heavens during a hero test to sit upon the shoulder of the one tested. The fly conveys wise messages enabling the hero to pass the test.

Big Fly in Navajo is the protector of sand painting. The Sacred Fly is said to hover near sand painters or sit on their shoulders while working.

The Hopi tribe believes that flies are good guardians. One example is The Fly which represents Sohonasomtaka, a warrior who punished villain crown kachinas.

Flies Spiritual Meaning and Symbolism in Australia

Australia is home to thousands of types of flies. The most famous is the Great Fly. This fly can beat its wings at 200 times per second and can cover a distance of over 300 times their body size.

The Great Flies have a unique mating dance, which enables them to navigate quickly. Like other flies, they thrive in different ecosystems.

The Australians recognize and respect flies for their role in the decomposition of organic matter.

Flies Spiritual Meaning and Symbolism in the Eastern World 

In the Eastern world, the fly is seen as a connection to evil and death. In Mesopotamia, they portray Nergal, the God of death, plague, and war, as a fly. Christians associate Nergal with demons because he reigns in the netherworld. 

Flies in Mesopotamia don’t only represent evil concepts. Fanatics of goddess Ishtar are on record using fly-shaped beads for self-flogging to bring ecstasy.

Ishtar is the goddess of love, sex, and war. Mesopotamians also regard the fly as a symbol of fertility. A fly helped goddess Inanna to save her husband from the netherworld, which symbolizes a helping hand.

To the Chinese, fly larvae have a powerful symbolic meaning. Chinese legends show that the origin of man is from these worms. The fly larvae connect to new life.

Flies Spiritual Meaning and Symbolism in Christianity

Biblical symbolism of flies is as vile creatures that are the root of evil. According to Christianity, flies represent Satan, the “Lord of the Flies.” Flies’ symbolic meaning in both the Old and New Testament relates strictly to God’s wrath or evil.

When King Pharaoh refused to free the Israelites, the Egyptians felt God’s anger. God sent a swarm of flies in the fourth plague to torment humans and their livestock.

So, why do flies represent evil in Christianity? This may be due to their potential to carry parasites. Another reason is that flies feed off dead bodies. Because these insects play a critical role in decomposition and decay, they are linked with death.

Flies also swarm around ailing animals and people. They like places with bad smells. So, it isn’t a surprise that Christians link flies with impurity and dirt.

Flies Spiritual Meaning and Symbolism in Africa

Among African civilizations, Egypt is the most ancient. Ancient Egyptians’ view of flies was less damaging than those of other cultures.

Ancient Egyptians viewed flies in varying ways depending on the association. In some contexts, a fly was a symbol of bravery and perseverance.

Archeologists found a gold chain in Queen Ahotep’s tomb. The chain had three fly-shaped pendants. According to legend, the queen’s sons gave their mother the chain for her bravery and support in the liberation against Hyksos.

The award of today’s Medals of Honor in the New Kingdom dates back to ancient Egypt. Egyptians gave soldiers medals of honor in the form of fly amulets. This was a sign of their bravery and persistence.

Flies Meaning in Dreams and Encounters

Are you having dreams involving flies or other insects? Do you want to know the spiritual meaning and symbolism associated with these dreams and encounters? Interpreting a fly message is not always easy. Seeing flies in dreams and encountering them can have a variety of meanings.

Fly spiritual meaning and symbolism

Dreaming about flies may have a deeper spiritual meaning and symbolism.


You can interpret fly dreams and encounters based on:

  • Spiritual meaning and symbolism of flies
  • Specific details of the dream or encounter
  • Your day-to-day life
  • Issues you are dealing with

With that said, reflect on the dream and what you saw. The dream’s meaning will be apparent through meditation and trusting your instinct.

Dreaming of flies can symbolize:

1.    A Bad Event About to Happen

A dream involving a fly persistently buzzing around you is a warning. Flies are a disturbance and deny us peace through their interruption. Expect an unpleasant event ahead and prepare to stand firm while facing it.

2.    Possibility of Losing Someone or Something Dear to You

In most spiritual dreams, flies signify loss and death. If you have a recurring dream about flies, there is a possibility that you are about to lose someone or something.

However, remain positive. Such a dream isn’t always a sign of calamity. Dealing with loss is very difficult, but coping with it in a healthy way is critical.

3.    Symbolize Adaptability

Flies are the most adaptable insects, even in the harshest environment. These insects find their meals from the king’s table down to trash ignored by other scavengers.

If, in your dream, the flies are feeding on something sweet, it symbolizes future prosperity and abundance.

4.    Signs of a Toxic Relationship

A dream about a swarm of flies hovering around you may mean you are in a toxic relationship. The vision warns you to be cautious among friends and give what is due to the deserving.  

5.    Coming of an End and a Fresh Start

Dreaming of dead flies means that a challenge you are going through is coming to an end. It shows you will overcome your challenge, symbolized by the calm restored by the death of flies in the dream.

Is there an upcoming change that will allow you to start fresh? Seeing or encountering flies in a dream can be a message urging you to look forward to a bright future. Therefore, have a positive mindset about the change; it may bring new opportunities.

6.    A Sign to Let Go of Something or Someone

Flies can also be a sign encouraging you to change. Sometimes you may yearn to give up something in your life, like a bad habit. For example, if a friend in your life is a bad influence, it’s time to end the relationship.

Interpretation of such a message requires deep thinking, self-retrospection, and meditation. Take time to look into your affairs while trusting your intuition; the answers will eventually come. Act wisely.

7.    An Encouragement to Persist and Be Determined

Flies symbolize persistence and determination. So, a fly hovering around you can remind you not to give up on the current task.

If you’ve lost motivation for a project, a fly may be reminding you to carry on through persistence and determination.

8.    Someone Is Seeking Your Attention

We always try to ignore a fly buzzing around our heads. Sometimes the fly won’t go away even after you try to swat it.

Such an encounter can mean someone is seeking your attention and you are ignoring them. Find out if you have been neglecting loved ones or ignoring people’s messages.

9.    Flies in the House

Seeing a fly or swarms of them in your house can indicate that a stranger will visit you soon. This symbolism is rooted in the Hopi spiritual meaning of flies.

Flies: Uninvited Visitors with a Range of Spiritual Meaning and Symbolism

Although flies generally disturb people, they have a range of spiritual meanings and symbolism in cultures and religions. Their association with dirt, disease, death, and decay makes them detestable worldwide. However, flies play a critical role in the ecosystem.

There may be a message when you encounter flies in real life or see them in your dreams. It is time to reflect on your life, analyze the situation, and trust your instincts. The fly message will come soon enough.

Bonus: Where Did the Idea of Spirit Animals Originate?

Owl Spirit Animal

Indigenous cultures like Native Americans regarded certain animals as guides.

©Jozef Klopacka/Shutterstock.com

Astrology, or the philosophy of stars, dates back as far as ancient Greece and Babylon. It was defined and developed by the mathematician and astrologer Ptolemy in his work Tetrabiblos, published around 1,800 years ago.

The idea of spirit animals is a more modern development, though certain indigenous cultures, such as Native Americans, regarded certain animals as guides to protect them or animals whose traits they shared, as well as animals they may just admire. 

In the 1990s, Pagan and Wiccan enthusiasts adopted this way of looking at animals for themselves, viewing them as spiritual guides or totems that take on animal forms. As the internet advanced, these groups created quizzes to help curious folks discover who their spirit animals are.

Within this context, the fly, one of the spirit animals embraced by spirit animal enthusiasts, symbolizes change. Seeing a fly could indicate that you are going through a transformation. This transformation may be physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual. It is a time of metamorphosis for you. Let go of what is no longer serving you and make way for something new to enter your life.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/heckepics

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About the Author

Mitchelle is a content writer who loves nature. She loves writing about animals and plants. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and going for nature walks.

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