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Meaning of Butterfly Colors & Symbolism

What is the symbolic meaning of the different butterfly colors, also looking into what the butterfly symbolizes itself, including various religious and cultural meanings?

Butterfly Color Meanings

Butterflies are one of the few insects that generally people like, similar to ladybugs, they have an aesthetically pleasing appearance. They’re like a natural, living form of abstract art.

Before we get into the color meanings, butterflies themselves have their own symbolic meanings.

Symbolism of the Butterfly

Throughout history the butterfly has been commonly symbolic for, beauty, love, romance, transformation, freedom, femininity, being reborn, social success, growth or expansion, ones true-self, or the soul or spirit.

If you dream of a butterfly, it’s believed our unconscious is using it as a symbol for metamorphosis, or transformation. Perhaps a change is happening in your life, in the external world. Or perhaps in the psyche, some form of personal growth could be happening.

Cultural & Biblical Meanings

  • It’s very common in various cultures for the butterfly to be symbolic for the soul, and immortality.
  • The butterfly has often been associated with reincarnation and rebirth in Christianity.  
  • In ancient Egypt the butterfly also represented resurrection.
  • In Greek mythology the butterfly symbolized love, and the Goddess Eros.
  • In Mexico and with Australian Aboriginals, butterflies are often associated with the souls of past warriors.
  • In China the butterfly is often a symbol for long life and beauty.
  • The Japanese associate the butterfly with feminine beauty, and short lasting joy.

Meaning of Butterfly Colors

Red Butterfly Meaning

In England, in the world of myths, butterflies were believed to be the souls of people, including supernatural creatures like witches. A red butterfly was seen as the soul of witches or other evil creatures.

In Scotland the red butterfly was believed to be a witch taking animal form. Many cultures see them as an omen of evil, or danger.        

Black Butterfly Meaning

A black butterfly has often been symbolic as a bad omen. If one is seen, it was believed to mean that either bad-news, or death was approaching.

Other cultures see them as a sign of longevity, or that renewal is coming, the dark before the light.

White Butterfly Meaning

Depending on where about’s you’re in American depends greatly on the meaning of a white butterfly, being either an omen of luck, or death.

Native Americans believed that a white butterfly was a sign that hot weather, or rain is coming, depending on the location.

In Chinese mythology, white butterflies were believed to be the souls of the recently deceased. They were also seen as angels watching over people. 

Blue Butterfly Meaning

Blue Butterfly Meaning

A blue butterfly is very rare, and is regarded as particularly beautiful. It’s believed to be a good omen if one is seen, bringing joy and luck to the one lucky enough to witness it.

The majority of cultures see it as a symbol of honor and nobility. However it’s interpreted in some parts of the world as an untrustworthy spirit with bad intentions.  

Green Butterfly Meaning

In Chinese myth a green butterfly is associated with love, and is generally symbolic for good. In America due to common associations with the color green and money, one seen is linked to an omen relating to wealth.

If one is found inside your home or business, it’s a sign of success in some business endeavor.   

Orange Butterfly Meaning

Seeing an orange butterfly is believed to be a sign that joy and positivity is coming. Orange butterflies also have associations to passion and aggressiveness.  

Yellow Butterfly Meaning

Yellow Butterfly Meaning

If a yellow butterfly is seen flying, it’s believed that a good summer is approaching. Other meanings fall in-line with the common associations of the yellow color, such as joy and creativity.

Certain cultures would see a yellow butterfly as an omen of danger, or bad luck during a voyage.  

Brown Butterfly Meaning

If a brown butterfly was seen near your home, it was believed it was an omen, that important news was soon to arrive.

It was also believed that brown butterflies were the souls of important people, or relatives long departed.

Final Thoughts

Some associations are the same as general color meanings, while other associations are unique to the butterfly, or the culture which interprets it. Their meanings also change based on the situation, for example in works of art, spiritual and mythological interpretations, and in our dreams.

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