What Do Butterflies Signify?
Posted on April 07 2020
For many cultures across the world, the butterfly has been used as symbol of the human soul and immortality.
For example, in ancient Greece, the word “psyche” was used to refer to both the butterfly and the soul. With their fleeting beauty, it’s perhaps no wonder that in many European cultures white butterflies were seen as the souls of children. In Mesoamerican culture, however, butterflies were thought to be the souls of dead warriors, charged with helping the sun move through the heavens.
In Japanese mythology, the butterfly could be the soul of someone living or someone who had passed. If a butterfly lingered on the back of a bamboo screen, it was seen as a sure sign that the person you loved most would be present shortly. A Japanese myth tells of a young man who found that the family garden was visited by two butterflies, which (he realised) are the souls of his parents, devoted both to their garden and to each other.
In Christian art, the butterfly’s transformation from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly is often used as a metaphor for life, death, and the resurrection – not just of Jesus, but for all mankind. As such, the butterfly itself is a promise of the soul’s immortality: that death is not final, merely a pause before a new and better life begins.
Yet, for many of us, the butterfly is simply a welcome sign of summer on its way, the bright wings and lazily swooping flight reminding us of the ease and happiness of the holiday months. This makes a butterfly urn a sweet tribute for a loved one who brought joy with them wherever they went.
Our Butterfly Ashes Pendants