Butterfly Symbolism and Meaning Across Cultures

In the misty morning hours, a young woman strolls wistfully through her favorite garden. Washed in the pale light of dawn, she dreams of fairies amongst the flowers, her fingertips grazing the soft colorful petals blossoming around her. A gentle hum ripples the crisp air — a world beyond ours is also waking. 

Just then, a mysterious breeze tugs at her flowing hair, and she knowingly glances to her shoulder. A delicate white butterfly has rested there, its wings spread wide and still. She admires its quiet beauty. A brief moment of comfort and peace washes over her. With one more understanding breath, the butterfly wings flutter and it takes flight, disappearing into the surrounding brush. 

An intimate moment shared between two souls passes in a fleeting moment, but she will remember this forever …

Butterflies as Symbols Through Culture

Butterflies are valuable creatures both ecologically and spiritually. They are energetic symbols of growth, hope, freedom, and so much more. This is why they are magical, beautiful creatures to incorporate into jewelry and carry with you wherever you go. 

We want to share with you the many meanings and symbols of the beautiful butterfly and the different cultures that have given us such diverse stories and legends of this gentle creature.


Our natural inclination is to turn to the butterfly as a symbol of transformation, growth, and change. Represented by its natural cycle of metamorphosis from a cocoon to a full-fledged butterfly, we each must undergo a rebirth as we grow from infancy to adulthood. Or perhaps this change embodies itself as personal growth or a spiritual transformation during a pivotal moment in life where our values and ideals change. 

Like innocent caterpillars, we have no way of knowing what awaits us on the other side of our personal transformation, but we trust the natural instinct to walk into our chrysalis and embrace the change and spiritual growth that the universe has planned for us. 

Regardless of timing, butterflies teach us how we can search inside ourselves and shed the old practices and identities that no longer serve us, and embrace a newly evolved form of ourselves. In this way, butterflies may also come to be a symbolic meaning of freedom as well.


Butterflies have been seen as a sign of hope for centuries. In Celtic Culture, the butterfly is more specifically known to be a power animal or spirit guide, encouraging good choices and positive change when presented with a second chance. Butterfly totems are a strong reminder that even in our darkest times, there is always hope and beauty in the world and a spirit that will guide us to the other side of our hardest battles.

Love and Passion

Do you ever say you feel like there are butterflies in your stomach when you think about the one you love? These fluttery feelings that arise in the face of your soulmate are no coincidence. This phrase grew from the belief that butterflies were a symbol of love and connection. 

Old Chinese lore tells the story of a smitten young man who followed a black butterfly in his garden that led him to his true love.

Good Luck

Butterflies are popular symbolic figures in many nations, quite notably in Taiwan and China. In Han culture, butterfly designs are common in arts and architecture. The first character in the Han Chinese word for butterfly sounds similar to the character for good fortune. 

This is how butterflies came to be a symbol of good luck. The Yellow Butterfly Festival is held in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, annually to celebrate and protect butterflies of all different colors and their habitats.

Souls Between Worlds

One of the most shared beliefs about the butterfly across cultures is that it is a symbol of the soul and may carry the soul of a loved one who has left behind their earthly form. The ancient Aztecs and modern regions of Mexico (where monarch butterflies are common) view butterflies as the souls of passed loved ones returning to check in on their earth-bound loved ones and let them know all is well. 

Butterfly spirit animals are also significant for Native American tribes. Many Native American cultures view butterflies as totem animals that can act as communication vessels for ancestors. 

Importance of Butterflies in Jewelry

In many cultures (in addition to Han culture), butterfly jewelry is known to bring good luck to its wearer. A Bethany Butterfly Necklace worn close to the heart can help attract abundance and prosperity. Adorning a pair of delicate Butterfly Dance Earrings may attract love to your life and help you surround yourself with supportive and caring energy. 

In the greatest devotion of cosmic love, there is no more powerful gesture than proposing with a Butterfly Ring or presenting a unique wedding ring adorned with a butterfly. 

For a less momentous occasion, we recommend the Dew Drop Fairy Ring Set to connect you to the ethereal realm of the fairies. ​​The Dew Drop Fairy herself is often depicted as an iridescent butterfly with the corps de ballet as her flowers.

Gifting Butterfly Jewelry

Butterfly jewelry can be an incredibly thoughtful and impactful gift for anyone in your life going through a period of transition or significant change. Weddings, births, engagements, and coming-of-age ceremonies are traditionally life-changing events. But butterfly jewelry can even be a powerful gift for those embarking on a period of extensive travel, moving from one level of education to another, or going through a career shift.

Gifting butterfly jewelry is a generous offering of guidance through a loved one's overwhelming but exciting metamorphosis. Since several cultures believe butterflies to have a spiritual meaning and can act as watchful guides, gifting a piece of butterfly jewelry to a newborn ensures that they will have a long, prosperous life. Butterflies represent spiritual guides for children, protecting them as they age and overseeing their transition into adulthood. 

Butterflies Across Boundaries

Butterflies are not just powerful symbols but also represent a grander cosmic connection between all living people. Transcending borders, the symbol of the butterfly has permeated cultures across the globe for centuries. It is important to remember that there is not one single truth to the meaning of the butterfly. Rather, it is important what the butterfly means to you

Next time a friendly blue butterfly passes through your dreams or your waking world, stop and consider what it means to you. Maybe your butterfly dream is trying to tell you something. We leave you today with this Irish Blessing about the mystical butterfly:

“May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun and find your shoulder to light on

To bring you luck, happiness, and riches today, tomorrow, and beyond.”



Butterfly Life Cycle | The Academy of Natural Sciences

Butterflies in Culture | American Museum of Natural History

Butterfly Lore | Baylor University