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Butterflies: Symbols of Life and Hope

Updated on December 5, 2014

Butterflies and Their Symbolism

The Common Buckeye butterfly is easily identified by the circular "eye" markings across its wings. Buckeye butterflies are members of the Brushfoot family.
The Common Buckeye butterfly is easily identified by the circular "eye" markings across its wings. Buckeye butterflies are members of the Brushfoot family. | Source

Many cultures, both native and ancient, have used the energy and symbolism of the natural world as totems to guide and teach. A totem is a natural object, animal or insect, that has special meaning to that person. The Chinese zodiac, for instance, is based on animal signs. Native Americans also use the characteristics of animals to learn virtues of strength, patience, cleverness, and much more.

Butterflies are common throughout the world. In fact, there are over 28,000 species of butterflies; 80 percent exist in tropical regions. Although they symbolize different things to different cultures, universally butterflies represent change and transformation. Why? Because the butterfly is an insect that begins its life in one form and ends it in another. A butterfly starts as a crawling creature, then it hibernates in a cocoon, only to rejoin the world as a flying insect.

Butterfly Symbolism Across Cultures

Asian
Native American
Christian
A legend tells of a young man who met his bride by chasing a butterfly into a garden, so butterflies represent love in Mandarin China.
Native Americans believe that a wish whispered to a butterfly will be granted when the butterfly flies up to the heavens.
Butterflies represent resurrection, since they are born as caterpillars and then become butterflies.
Butterflies symbolize long life, as the word for butterfly in Mandarin also means "70 years."
Native Americans celebrate renewal and hope with the Fancy Shawl Dance, which is derived from a butterfly dance.
Butterflies are especially potent symbols during the Easter season.

Christian Butterfly Symbolism: Resurrection

Beautiful and easy to identify, Monarch butterflies are part of the Brushfoot family. Monarch feet are shaped like bushes. Monarchs are large and common throughout the U.S., Mexico, and southern Canada.
Beautiful and easy to identify, Monarch butterflies are part of the Brushfoot family. Monarch feet are shaped like bushes. Monarchs are large and common throughout the U.S., Mexico, and southern Canada. | Source

Christian tradition views the butterfly as a symbol of resurrection. According to the Old Testament story, Christ died on the cross, was buried in a tomb for three days, and came to life again to offer hope of life after death. For Christians, butterflies are especially significant symbols during the Easter season. The butterfly can be seen as the insect who "dies" as a caterpillar, is buried in the cocoon for a length of time, and emerges in a new life. Symbolically, butterflies are creatures with the ability to transcend the ordinary and take flight into the heavens. In many spiritual circles the butterfly represents the spirit or soul.

Native American Meaning of Butterfly Colors

Brown
Yellow
Black
White
Red
Important news
Hope and guidance
Bad news or illness
Good luck
Important event

Butterfly Symbolism in Asia: Longevity and Love

There is a legend in Mandarin China of a young man who found himself in the garden of a wealthy Mandarin. His presence there was forbidden, for it was an act of trespass—an intrusion by a commoner on a rich man's property. Why did he venture into this prohibited area? He was chasing a beautiful butterfly. What happened in the end is a tale of love. The Mandarin’s daughter fell in love with the young man and they married.

In the Mandarin language, the word butterfly is hu-tieh, which means 70 years. Butterflies symbolize long life. To the Chinese, two butterflies flying together represent love. In Japan, the butterfly represents both hopeful maidens and marital bliss. In the U.S., releasing butterflies at the end of a wedding ceremony is symbolic of love and of a promising marriage.

Native American Butterfly Legends: Renewal

An Anise Swallowtail butterfly can be identified by its tail, yellow markings on its top wings, and blue dots toward the edge. Anise Swallowtail are common throughout the U.S. and Mexico.
An Anise Swallowtail butterfly can be identified by its tail, yellow markings on its top wings, and blue dots toward the edge. Anise Swallowtail are common throughout the U.S. and Mexico. | Source

Some Native American cultures believe that butterflies can take one’s wishes up to the Great Spirit. Capture a butterfly, whisper your wish, and release it to the heavens.

Another Native American story about butterflies tells of the "children who refused to walk." In order to get babies to move from four legs to two, a handful of pebbles were thrown into the air. As they scattered, they changed into beautiful, colorful butterflies. The children were so delighted they jumped up and began to chase the butterflies.

The Fancy Shawl Dance

Some believe that the Fancy Shawl Dance, as exhibited in ceremonial powwows, was derived from an earlier butterfly dance. It tells the story of a young butterfly whose mate was killed in battle. The grieving butterfly removed her beautiful wings, wrapped herself in a drab cocoon, and isolated herself in her lodge. Family and friends stopped by to console her, but she was wrought with grief. Not wanting to be a burden to her tribe, she took her wings and medicine bundle and journeyed far and wide.

As she traveled across fields and streams, she stepped lightly on each stone, her eyes downcast. It was in this way that she spotted a beautiful stone and her grieving heart was healed. Filled with gratitude and joy for a new life, she shrugged off the cocoon, unwrapped her wings and began to dance.

When she arrived home, she told her tribe all about her journey and the healing stone. In celebration, the tribe danced to celebrate the new beginning. To this day, the butterfly dance is performed with brightly adorned shawls and is called the Fancy Shawl Dance.

My Animal Totem: Butterfly

I have not positively identified this butterfly. The closest I have come is the Gulf Fritillary, a member of the Brushfoot Family.
I have not positively identified this butterfly. The closest I have come is the Gulf Fritillary, a member of the Brushfoot Family. | Source

At a very early age, I felt that the butterfly was one of my totems. I remember being enchanted by their graceful movements and vibrant colors. Sitting quietly on a summer’s day I would observe the markings and delicacy of their wings, antennae, and legs. I was not one to capture them in a jar, but was content to run through the fields scattering them off of their food source to see them flutter in the air. They were like bright birds of joy.

One can appreciate butterflies in artwork, jewelry, and photography, but this does not compare to the experience of observing them directly. As a butterfly lover, I am always on the lookout in the spring and summer. If I do not see them in my own yard, I travel to an exhibit. In the summer of 2009 I drove to Norfolk, Virginia to view the exhibit at the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. I was able to capture several of these colorfully winged creatures with my camera as they flitted around the enclosure.

One of the best websites to find where an exhibit may be located in your vicinity is www.butterflywebsite.com. This site includes a link to places where one can help distressed butterflies. Due to our changing environment, including pollution and the obliteration of fields and natural butterfly habitats, butterflies are experiencing many survival challenges.

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      Mr. Symphatic 2 weeks ago

      Good day. I'm from the Philippines. One day while waiting for the shuttle to work, I and my love interest, Cielle talked. We were actually the first to get there to wait for the shuttle. That day was actually the PacHorn fight, but the venue, which is the council hall supposedly show the fight, did not. So instead of watching the fight while waiting, we talk instead, and while doing that, I suddenly felt a strong emotion which I still hid in my heart. I felt that we're flying and I never had this kind of feeling, oh well you still didn't know about that girl's real attitude or behavior. But then while we're talking, two brownish-orange butterflies appeared in front of us, and we're both happy when we saw these flying for about 10 minutes thren they're gone. I really don't what's going on but we're like afloat on Heavens while we saw those couple butterflies.

      Then, work time slots changed from daytime to nighttime. While on the shuttle to work without Cielle, she texted her friend. I texted her due to her friend doesn't have credit for her phone but due to insomnia, I send a text which turned out to be a typo. (the one quoted "We're with Mira and Jeff, baby") It's actually "We're with Mira and baby Jeff" because that's what she called to one of her wavemates. It's "truly not intentional" to say that. Of course, at first, she didn't mind it, even though she laughed at that text... but days have passed, just like other girls, she turned snobbish at me. I sensed it too. It's just like I have a deadly disease or has a bomb and detonate it but I'm not like that kind of a person with bad intentions. Because of that incident, I felt myself like a bomb that will explode sooner with my utmost sad feelings.

      That happened when we're about to face skill crosschecks, call skills test wherein it's a pass or fail process. It just happened that my skills we're not that quite good enough, although I have a lengthy experience back then. What's worse is my career is affected by my feelings to her, same as the other girls around me back then. And since I have a heart condition that I'll soon reveal in due time, my body clock is being affected as well. I can't breathe. Insomnia. My breath goes thinner. This always happens to me every time I'm being dumped by my prospect or crush, to total it, I got more than a hundred who broke my heart. So I decided to reveal my "social anxiety disorder or hikikomori" condition to her and our wavemates as well, and they decided to support me despite that we have different interests. They are much more familiar sa local showbiz and stardom, while I am totally not.

      Then that day happened. That morning, I failed all crosschecks. One of our managers really appreciated my call skills, in fact I am so professional in doing it, but unfortunately things don't turn out so good. That is the day that I felt frustated because I don't know what to do. I failed again. I turned sourgraped. I have a lengthy customer service experience, very good in placing empathy with my customers and giving them best resolutions, and then all of a sudden, my focus got broke. I was acutally totally frustrated to that failure. That means, I can't continue my work. It's actually turned out to be my last day of work when it happened. Out of my frustration, I decided to leave the company even if our shift is not yet ended. I vacated my locker and approached my friends. Cielle was there, and again, turned her back. I said goodbye to them, and while she turned her back on, I think of something so short, like how to express my true feelings to her. Just in a flash, I remember a saying that when you kissed her on her head, it means you're showing a deep care and respect, affection for her and your love is definitely true and everlasting... that I care for her, and I don't want her to get hurt all the time, I'll come between you and whatever tries to hurt her... she's my baby(which is... I felt guilty from that simple text)... and I DID TO HER. I did that instead of kissing her on lips, or hugging her, since she is totally pissed off with me... and with that, I left and ran away in tears.

      To be honest, this is the first time I brought up my real emotions to a girl I truly love, which for me is it must not happen due my condition. I know, destiny played between both of us in a span of one month.

      MUST there be a very big chance that "we" must be together forever? Must we see each other soon? Is destiny finally played the most important chapter in our lives? I swear, the couple of brown butterflies are those messengers of God told us about it!

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      Shelly 3 weeks ago

      8/29/2017 a giant swallowtail landed flew into my room I thought it was a bat it was so big and black and landed on my curtain near me at 10 at night I thought because it was black and might have been a bad omen had just gotten bad news earlier today that I would have 30 day notice and have to move from my home a few days ago my father-in-law had a stroke. However after reading this Perhaps it is the meaning of rebirth and renewal maybe I should try whispering to it to see if my wish comes to

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      Jennifer 4 weeks ago

      I have a yellow and black butterfly that has been on my screen door for not quite 24 hours. Is it sleeping or dead?

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      Bryan 4 weeks ago

      After I went swimming and dried off a butterfly landed on my fooot. Interesting part the butterfly stayed on top of my foot for over 5 minutes. I also noticed the butterfly was orange which is my favorite color. Was this a symbolism of good luck, hope, resurrection or someone from the past I knew saying hello to me?

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      Antonio Moral 6 weeks ago

      I do loved butterflies, not only for their transformation from a caterpillar to a beautiful butterfly but because they represent hope and resurrection to a new life.

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      Jaclyn Pavlica 8 weeks ago

      A little black butterfly a little black butterfly landed on my screen he had one spot of white on his wing and he stood there and I was talking to him and then he started flying around like crazy and landed and then started flying around me again. But he had one little white spot on his wing on One Wing what could that possibly mean. I have a lot of deaths in my family and I miss them very much could that be someone trying to tell me something

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      Red 3 months ago

      Halo good evening im. From Philippines. I want to know what the meaning if have white butterfly flying in your house landing anu corner or in wall, it close to my bed so i put my hand in wall. Then the butterfly slow move and step into my finger i take pictures it stay in my finger, what this mean?? I need to know,, thank you

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      Krissttina Isobe 6 months ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      I saw today, March 24, 2017, a little monarch butterfly in my backyard resting for a while. There it was, so I called my Mom and she marveled at seeing a butterfly resting in our backyard. I recently got engaged, and expecting my engagement ring soon, and today the butterfly came by as if to say I bring tidings of happy transitional change and long life. Thank you little monarch butterfly, for stopping by with such wonderful tidings. Thanks for a very informative article.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 11 months ago from North Carolina

      Hi Osawe Amaka and Jhona,

      The butterfly is largely a symbol of transformation. It sounds as if you have both taken your experiences with these butterflies personally. Perhaps you are both in a place of transition personally or spiritually. By the way...yellow is representative of joy. Yellow butterflies must have brought you double joy in seeing them.

      Thank you for visiting and leaving comments about your individual experiences.

      Denise

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      Denise Handlon 11 months ago

      Hello Osawe Amaka and Jhona,

      You each spoke of a special butterfly experience that you took as a personal invitation or sign. Incidentally, they were yellow butterflies in each of your experiences. Yellow is the color of joy. Butterflies will often bring joy to those who see them. They are light, whimsical, seasonal insects that do not come out in winter. The butterfly is a symbol of transformation. Perhaps this is a time where you were experiencing a shift in your growth or maturity...or the maturity of your spiritual beliefs. Thank you for commenting.

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      Jhona 14 months ago

      Hi,

      When I'm in the restaurant together with my husband and his one friend while we are start eating we saw a yellow dots butterfly flying around us, and the butterfly trying to be near me flying and flaying around. Until now I've always thinking and I don't understand what does it means?

      Thank you!

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      osawe amaka 17 months ago

      Hi,

      My church is under construction, I try to go there every week to help in the little way I could(labour) . last week I went to my church, but before I go , I pray to God to grant all my request. While working , I saw two beautiful yellow butterflies flying around me. I just dont understand but I felt really different afterwards

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 2 years ago from North Carolina

      What a beautiful belief! Thank you for sharing this here, Bishnucal. I appreciate learning this today. :) Namaste.

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      বিষ্ণুকালBISHNUCAL 2 years ago

      Hindus in India believe that a butterfly in the house is a wedding sign or an auspicious event is going to be celebrated in the house very soon.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 2 years ago from North Carolina

      God Bless, Fiona. I appreciate you sharing your experience here. Butterflies-delicate winged creatures that remind us of the transition from death to life once more. :)

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      Fiona from Ireland 2 years ago

      Had a funeral yesterday for my cousin who was like my little brother. Be he was moved from the house there was a butterfly in his bedroom, then at the church there was a butterfly flying above his coffin and over his mother, father and brother everyone noticed it. After the funeral we went to my cousins favorite place for some refreshments and there was another butterfly in the room. My cousin and the butterfly has been on my mine ever since xxx

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Thank you for your excitement for these dainty, lovely creatures. I'm recommending that you find the nearest Butterfly House and pay them a visit! Let me know if you do follow up with this plan. :)

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      Alka Narula 3 years ago from INDIA

      Oh , I just love butterflies but I don't get to see them anymore ....nice hub.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Hello erorantes. I'm glad you enjoyed this article and the photos. I am always delighted when I meet another butterfly admirer. Thank you.

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      Ana Maria Orantes 3 years ago from Miami Florida

      Thank you for your article on the butterflies. I like your pictures . They are beautiful. Some butterflies have the most important meaning in this world. I like the butterflies about true love. You did a fantastic job.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

      I'm sure you have a real connection with these fairy like creatures, mochirajackson. It's nice to meet a fellow butterfly fan. Thank you for reading and commenting. :)

    • mochirajackson profile image

      mochirajackson 3 years ago from Liverpool, United Kingdom

      Hi Denise,

      What a beautiful hub. I think that butterflies are some sort of totem for me as, ever since I was little, they have flew onto me and settled on my arms for quite a while. I also get a lot of them coming into my house. I do love them, especially the colourful red and orange ones we get here in the UK.

      Thanks for sharing x

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Pavankumar swami Thank you for reading this article and leaving a comment. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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      pavankumar swami 3 years ago

      a lot of thanks for information about this species...

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Hello kerlund74 Thank you for reading this and I'm glad you enjoyed the butterfly information and photos. :)

    • kerlund74 profile image

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      I always loved butterflies, they are fascinating and beautiful. I did not know there are so much to know about them and that many people see them in special ways. Interesting hub, and I love the Swallowtail!

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for your positive spirit, Sharkye. They are one of my totems. This year I'm going to try my hand at a butterfly garden-good luck with yours!

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      Jayme Kinsey 4 years ago from Oklahoma

      Beautiful butterfly hub! As I have grown older, I have become more and more aware of butterflies, for their natural beauty and their symbolism. This year I actually bought a ton of seeds for the butterfly garden. Voting up!

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Hello Lastheart-great name, btw. Thanks for 'finding' this and following the urge to read it. I'll be sure to visit your site as well.

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      Maria Magdalena Ruiz O'Farrill 4 years ago from Borikén the great land of the valiant and noble Lord

      I am a butterfly lover and as I was sharing my hub in Stumble Upon, I went to get a butterfly picture, usually I mark my sign out. There, I found this great article! Good job!

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Kim, thank you so much for sharing your story with me. It is certainly a special sign. It is amazing, isn't it? That the butterfly, so colorful and out of season came to visit you at a time of need-what comfort. I really cherish stories, such as yours, and appreciate you telling me this. Thanks and Happy Holidays to you. I wish you sympathy with the passing of your pet. We have recently adopted three kittens, now six months old, and they are very special to us. Many blessings to you, Kim.

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      Kim 4 years ago

      Hi Denise...just wanted to share this with you.

      Before my nan passed away we'd always talked about how she could tell us she was ok, like a butterfly or a rose blooming out of season. When my nan passed away 2 years ago we were visited by white butterflies that would flutter round our heads and they became a special symbol for us.

      My beloved cat who was 17 and a half became very ill about 2 weeks ago with Cancer and I was absolutely distraught. On the 10th December I woke up to a sound of fluttering. ...

      It was a very cold week, but fluttering at my window, inside my room was an orange butterfly. I couldn't believe it!

      I took this as a symbol that my nan was watching over me and that she was going to look after my cat. Sadly we had to put him to sleep 2 days later as he could no longer breathe properly but I take comfort in the fact that I saw this butterfly at a time when I needed the comfort most and I believe she is now taking care of him.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Hello Sobek IV thanks for the info about the Gulf Frittilary. I appreciate your research. :) I hope you enjoyed the article. Thanks for stopping by.

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      Sobek IV 4 years ago

      I,m not a butterfly expert but I looked up the mystery butterfly that you thought was a Gulf Frittilary and it looks exacly like one in a picture I saw on the website I visited.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Jen-thanks for reading and sharing this. Yes, the butterfly has a rich history of symbolism. Glad you learned something new today. :)

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      jenbeach21 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Very interesting hub. I wasn't aware of the symbolism of butterflies and I found it very interesting. Shared and voted up!

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow! I've never heard of that parade...I'm sure it was amazing. I think that is a great reason for a celebration! Thanks for visiting. I'm not sure if you knew that my avatar had been two Monarch butterflies for a long time. I just fairly recently changed it. :)

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      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      I love Butterflies! This is a beautiful hub! I grew up In Pacific Grove and we had a parade every year for the return of the Monarchs --it is quite something to see---your hub brought those memories back for me

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for your explanation in regards to your name. I'll be sure to check out the website. It's beautiful, and speaks of Truth. My spiritual retreat is essential, (smile). I attend 3-4 throughout the year.

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      Gary R. Smith 5 years ago from the Head to the Heart

      Being out of touch with computers once in a while is essential! Nice that you had the spiritual retreat. Thanks for visiting the Rumi Art site. A hub written on Highly Sensitive People after discovering I am one, was unpublished because I felt it was too much emphasis on the limitations. Another, on Authenticity and the Art of Life, was moved to our web site, emanatepresence.com. That name came upon awakening one morning with the words, "Rather than Exert Power, Emanate Presence." I enjoyed reading several of the comments here on your Hub, and your responses.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Dear Emanate Presence-Thank you for your comments and sharing your experience about the chrysalises. Wow, what a perfect example of transformation, and what a gift to have witnessed this. I love Rumi's poetry, but am unfamiliar with the one you quoted here. It is lovely. I'll have to note that somewhere I can see it as a daily reminder.

      Welcome to Hubpages. My apologies for the delay in this response...I was on my spiritual retreat and therefore, out of touch with any computers. I couldn't help but notice your delightful Hub name. It is the Presence of the Soul, Divine Nature and Personal Essence that is my ongoing spiritual work. I'll be sure to visit your page.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Hello Tashaonthetown-thank you for reading and leaving a comment. I'm glad you found it interesting. I've been out for a week with no computer access, (my spiritual retreat), so I apologize for my late response. Nice to meet you.

    • Emanate Presence profile image

      Gary R. Smith 5 years ago from the Head to the Heart

      Hi Denise,

      It is a lovely article, informative and well-presented. Reminds me of years ago picking chrysalises off milkweed plants in a Maine garden, to prevent them from being destroyed, and watching as the light green turned transparent to reveal the Monarch butterfly, then witnessing its emergence. Also reminds me of a saying from Rumi, “You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?”

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      Natasha Pelati 5 years ago from South Africa

      This is very interesting

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Scarout-thanks for your comments about this hub and the photos...

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Oh Jo Anne-I am thrilled for you that this experience happened. What a lovely gift. I am saddened that you are only now learning about your beautiful culture. I have been in love with butterflies since I was young. Their colors, grace and beauty have always made my heart soar and my spirits feel lighter. I am happy for you that this messenger came to you and landed on your hand, that is quite unusual. It surely connected with you; no doubt the reminder of your brother. I think it is an amazing story that the butterfly flew around your brother's friends casket during the funeral...again, surely a sign. I don't often see black monarch's but I also observed one recently and it caught my attention because I knew it was not a swallowtail that flew past me. It was the white that caught my attention, and I noticed the shape and markings of the monarch.

      I have been fascinated, interested and engaged in learning about Native American culture since I went to my first PowWow with my father at age 9. I was enthralled with the night sounds of chanting and drumming, the smell of the wood burning and the blaze of the fire; the colors of the Regalia and the contrasting textures of skins and feathers. When I was 16 I began to research some tribal information in my state of Michigan, as well as other regions. In my undergrad, as an adult student, Canadian Native American history was my favorite class. It is a fascinating culture rich with wisdom and symbolism. I hope you continue this exploration and discovery.

      I would be honored if you kept in touch with me about this journey and any other experiences with butterflies. Feel free to contact me through my email here. If interested, merely follow my name to my profile page and click on 'fan mail'. In the upper right corner is a button to email a message to me. I look forward to hearing from you again.

      BTW, Jo Anne-as a gentle suggestion: you may want to create a journal-buy one or design a cover for a composition book...something that resonates for you, and keep a record of these butterfly experiences, your emotional and physical response to this and any thoughts on the subject. I believe this is a spiritual connection that you are experiencing here with these fragile beings. Thank you for sharing your comments. It was a pleasure reading about your experiences. :)

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      Jo Anne 5 years ago

      When i was a young girl my brothers best friend died just before the was to be married. During the church funeral a butterfly entered the church and began flying above the casket throughout the whole funeral. The whole church froze everyone whispered comments. It was then that i felt that butterflies were special and some how connected to death but in a good way. Since then my brother passed on and whenever i see butterflies i think of him. The past few summers i have seen so many. Last week i had a black monarch with white outlining his wings flutter around me. It happens quite often but i have never seen a black butterfly. Well t came so close and lingered that i put my hand out and it landed in my palm i was thrilled. It stayed so long. I called my husband over and he was surprised it stayed so long. We were at our cabin when this happened. When we came home i was mowing our lawn and a butterfly that looked like that one fluttered around me. I am American Indian and have recently started learning our culture. Do you think this was just a coincidence or do you think it means something more

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Rechelle-how lucky for you! I think that it is a symbol of joy. I hope you are having a day filled with contentment. If not-the butterfly may be showing up for you to remind you that all things are in a state of transistion and the difficulties that you are experiencing will pass. We are meant to shed our heavy burdens and energy and be lifted by joyful spirits.

      If you are already a joyful person who experiences much happiness, the butterfly showing up may just be a reminder that it is our spiritual right to be at peace and with joy and again, nothing is permanent or stays the same. Butterflies are a wonderful reminder to live in the moment. Thanks for your visit. Feel free to return and share more.

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      rechelle 5 years ago

      Ok this buterfly keep comeing to me at home on my job and it was even flying in my car what does it mean

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Thank you, lrc815--I thought we might share similar interests. Nice to meet you. Thanks for reading and voting it up. :) Glad you enjoyed...

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      Linda Crist 5 years ago from Central Virginia

      I loveed this hub. Butterfly is one of my totems as well and I was so happy to see that you shared the Native American story. Really awesome hub. Voted up too!

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Shesabutterfly-thanks for reading; glad you found new information here. I did not know about the 'kiss of a butterfly'. That is sweet!

    • Shesabutterfly profile image

      Cholee Clay 5 years ago from Wisconsin

      As someone who loves butterflies as well, I found this hub interesting and I learned quite a bit. I didn't know butterflies were thought to represent the soul. However, I have heard that if you get "kissed" by a butterfly someone you know who has died has come to see you.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      You are very sweet, thank you for your words. And, you're welcome re: the butterflies...I love those little creatures, LOL

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      tonie2weeks 5 years ago

      you are very interesting... thanks for the butterflies

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Hello Ruby, I love to go to Butterfly Houses or exhibits because they do get so 'up close and personal' haha. I have other photos I did not include here of family members sitting and having the butterflies land on them.

      My ability to take these photos was something of a miracle. Like you, they are so elusive they flit off before I snap the shot. However, the butterfly exhibit I went to provided enough subjects that were busy feeding off the flowers for me to take these. I am thinking of making them into postcards. :)

      Thanks for visiting the site and commenting. BTW-I attempted to comment from my work computer when I saw your posting, but it blocked it. :( Guess I should have been doing other things with my computer, haha.

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      Maree Michael Martin 5 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Oh for the love of butterflies. I have tried taking pictures of them. Too fast for me. I too believe in their rich native folklore. What a beautiful hub! Voted up and shared for sure. We went to a butterfly exhibit once that was spell bounding. Pretty soon, my husband was just surrounded by them. They relax me.

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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for your feedback! I've linked your butterfly hub with mine.

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      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      You surely did your homework on this one Denise. You've provided so much beautiful background information from Christianity to Native Americans and then you added your beautiful photos!

      This hub can only rise to the top ...everyone loves butterflies and you've provided a lot of interesting information. (I'm putting a link to this in my butterfly hub.)

      Voted up, useful, beautiful, and interesting.

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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks, Joyful Butterfly-very cool name... I'm so glad you found the information here interesting and helpful.

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      Joyful Butterfly 5 years ago from SC

      I REALLY enjoyed the information about the butterfly lore. I was aware of the Christian references but not the others! They are wonderful creatures. We found a caterpillar on some parsley in a container garden on our porch about 5 years ago and we have been hooked ever since we watched the amazing metamorphosis! Great hub!

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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Scarout-thank you for reading. Those butterfly photos were taken by me at a butterfly exhibit. I was very pleased as to how well they turned out. :)

      Hi Jools99-Thanks for your vote up and share. Glad you liked it!

      Hi Princessa-It is always fun to visit a butterfly habitat. What I find even more amazing is the abundance of butterflies flitting from flower to flower and person to person. It is magical, isn't it!

      Mary615-I will visit your hub. Thank you for your comments, and follow, and the vote/share. I appreciate it. Nice meeting you.

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      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      This was so interesting! I love the butterfly and have written a Hub about the life cycle of the butterfly. We have the Monarchs here in S. Fl. I put a chrysalis on a Blue Orchid and he came out and dried his wings. I wrote a Hub about the Blue Orchid and include a photo of the Monarch on the plant. It was SO beautiful.

      This is a beautiful Hub, I voted it UP, and will certainly share.

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      Wendy Iturrizaga 5 years ago from France

      Very interesting information about butterflies and lovely photos. I am a fan, also captivated by dragonflies. Not long ago we visited a butterfly "greenhouse" in Royan, France; it was an amazing experience to see them in all stages in their natural habitat.

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      Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

      Denise gorgeous hub with lots of info and some great up close photos, really enjoyed it.

      Voted up and shared.

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      scarout 5 years ago

      Nice hub you are created with awesome pictures......

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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Maheshpatwal-I'm so glad that you found this butterfly hub useful and interesting. Yes, there are many reasons that I find butterflies special. I appreciate your vote up. It is so nice to see you here...I hope all is well in your piece of world. It has been too long...I must visit you and your hubs as well. :) Thanks for stopping by.

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      maheshpatwal 5 years ago from MUMBAI

      Denise.......I never knew about the significance of butterflies in different cultures of the world.. especially why butterflies are released after marriage rituals are performed in your culture. Amazing hub with great information about one of the most beautiful creature...Voted up

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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Thank you 'Trees for me' I love your name. In fact, quite synchronistically, I just read another hubber's hub about Trees and his '10 poems about trees'. After hitting the send button I noticed this comment and was confused for a moment. I have written a Hub about the magic and spirituality of Trees.

      I'm glad you enjoyed the Hub. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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      Trees for me 5 years ago from www.treesforme.com

      Wonderful! I really enjoyed the video of the Fancy Shaw Dance. Thank you for such a lovely, enjoyable and entertaining hub! :)

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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi DeBorrah-thank you for reading. Yes, the butterfly has been a religious symbol throughout many centuries. They are one of God's miracles in the way they transform themselves...in much the same way we are encouraged to transform spiritually. Thank you for reading and for your vote. Many blessings...

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 5 years ago

      Denise Hanlon, Wonderful informative and thought provoking hub! Butterflies are quite beautiful. They are marvelous unique works of art that take flight... They represent to me the Freedom we have through Jesus Christ and yes of course the AMAZING WONDER of HIS GLORIOUS RESURRECTION! This was refreshing! Voted UP!

      Thank You for sharing! What lovely illustrations. Peace & Blessings!

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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Dear kingmaxler-I can't help but smile with your comment. How odd-I cannot remember that ever happening in my experience, but then, there is so much that I do not know. I have no clue, but can only speculate that there were some nutrients there that they detected. The fact that you pluralized it by saying butterflies makes me curious-did your dog land in a flower patch and gobble up some nectar? LOL

      I'm glad you enjoyed my hub about butterflies and found it useful to you in some way. I love butterflies and they seem to show up in my life throughout my day, no matter what the season. They really are exquisite, aren't they-sort of like us-exquisite beings.

      Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for the votes. :)

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      kingmaxler 5 years ago from Olympia, Washington USA

      I like your rendition of the beautiful butterfly. What an exquisite being. It's life is short and wondrous. I would like to know though, why butterflies landed on the feces of my dog and stayed as the flies were swarming around it. Just wondering. Thank you for your hub. Voted up and beautiful.

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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Christin-I'll be sure to ask her about it. Thanks for the info.

      Hi unknown spy-thank you. They are cool-and colorful, too. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

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      IAmForbidden 5 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      butterflies are enchanted. those little cute fellows who silently flying above little flowers. this is very beautiful, thanks for sharing.

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      Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

      Danette may be familiar with it then - I believe the location is Chesterfield if memory serves and it is Sachs butterfly house. A bit of a drive, but worth every moment :)

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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      I'll have to let my sister, Danette know (she left the comment before mine). She lives about an hour away from St Louis in IL. I have had the experience of walking into the butterfly houses in a couple of different state. Spiritual is a good way to describe it. Glad you enjoyed this hub. Thanks for commenting.

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      Christin Sander 5 years ago from Midwest

      beautiful hub! I love all the different tales associated with the symbolism. I am fortunate enough to live in an area near one of the most amazing butterfly houses on the other side of St. Louis. It is a habitat filled with amazing butterflies from all over the world and they flutter about and land on you etc. a truly spiritual experience it was for me. Voted up and shared.

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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Kaili-thanks for reading and commenting. I appreciate the link to your hub. :)

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      Kaili Bisson 5 years ago from Canada

      Hi Denise, Your butterfly story is beautiful. I have now linked it to the one I did about the Red Admiral.

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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Vinaya-glad you enjoyed the hub and the photos. I couldn't believe how clear some of them came out. Thanks for leaving a comment.

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      I have always found butterfly life cycle very interesting, from abominable caterpillar to the graceful thing.

      However, I did not know about the symbols.

      Your pictures are awesome.

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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi cc-Yes, as you can tell, I love butterflies as well. Thanks for your comments and votes. :)

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      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      This is a beautiful hub. I just LOVE butterflies! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful piece here. :) Votes and more! :)

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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      lpeoney-LOL I love that little rhyme. Isn't it amazing what sticks in our heads from way back when? I remember a song (only the first stanza) from my first grade music class. It was an Australian song and it had some very strange words which was probably why I could remember them. Thanks for sharing your experience. Enjoy your week.

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      Ipeoney 5 years ago from USA

      I fly and and fly, we fly and fly like a butterfly. that was my elementary grade song.

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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Gail-butterflies are such lovely creatures, aren't they? We are fortunate to experience such beauty. Thanks for your votes. Happy writing to you. :)

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      Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      Like you, I have always been enchanted with butterflies and as I grew older I enjoyed stories about their symbolic meaning.

      I thoroughly enjoyed this hub and the beautiful photos and stories.

      Voted up across the board except for funny. This was really a special treat.

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      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      celestial elf-I'm so sorry this comment is coming so late following yours. Thank you so much for taking the time to share with me your video about the Butterfly's Tale. I enjoyed it. Many Blessings, Denise

    • profile image

      Celestial Elf 6 years ago

      Great Post :D

      thought you might like my machinima film the butterfly's tale~

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y1fO8SxQs-E

      Bright Blessings

      elf ~

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      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Sofs, thanks for stopping in to read and comment. :)

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      sofs 6 years ago

      Lovely hub, the information about butterflies from various cultures was pretty interesting. I love butterflies, like birds and flowers watching them is spiritually and mentally uplifting. Thanks for sharing

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      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks FaithDream, and yes I noticed the beautiful avatar. Year of the butterfly, right?

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      FaithDream 6 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      Lovely article. I think you said it well. I find the butterfly is inspirational in so many ways. It represents new life and a season of change. That is why I chose the butterfly as my avatar as well.

      Great article Denise.. love it.

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      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Audrey-I love that you, and so many of those who commented, love butterflies-but yes, it is true, who doesn't. I'm glad I decided to add the bit about the butterfly wishes. I almost didn't but many have commented about this part. Thanks for your lovely comments.

      Olgakhumlo-thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate the comment about the research-its true. It took awhile. In fact, at one point I stopped to send a question about research time out to the hub community. I was surprised at the results so far. Thanks for your time.

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      olga khumlo 6 years ago from Mira Road Mumbai India

      Denise, I like the idea of 'Butterfly' and 'Resurrection'.It reminds me of Romans chapter 6 Dead unto 'sin' and Alive unto 'Righteousness'

      Intensive research work !

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      Audrey Hunt 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

      If this hub lived on the bookshelves of every library, it would surely be a best seller. Who desn't love butterflies? And now, each time I see one, I will send a wish to the Great Spirit. And there is a certain flower that attracts butterflies. Forgot which one it is, but I planted this flower last summer to test it. Sure enough - it worked. I would sit out on my deck and watch for butterflies and when I spotted one - squeal with delight!

      Thank you Denise for this magnificent hub. Voted up, awesome and beautiful. :)vocalcoach

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      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Thank you, Fucsia for the translation. I love your Italian comments! It reminded me of my mother.

    • fucsia profile image

      fucsia 6 years ago

      I am sorry! I am from Italy and spontaneously I wrote in my language!! :))

      I said: Beautiful photos! I love butterflies, they are a symbol of a positive change....