Symbolic Butterfly Meanings
for Tattoo Ideas

meaningful Butterfly tattoo ideas

Meaningful Butterfly Tattoo Ideas

The butterfly, throughout ages and cultures is an inspirational metaphor for complete metamorphosis. Because of its impressively intricate phases of change as it transforms itself from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis and finally to breathtakingly beautiful butterfly.

It's a long process to reach that kind of striking beauty, and that tells a story about the evolution of the soul. In sometimes strained and unquestionably odd phases, the human soul makes its progress in much the same way as the butterfly. Just as the butterfly looks almost nothing like it does when it was a caterpillar, the landscape of the human soul also goes through the same kind of graduation in evolution.

The butterfly also talks to us about impermanence and the consistently forward momentum of life. All things grow, evolve and change. It's this inevitable cycle of life the butterfly perfectly symbolizes.

When considering butterfly tattoo ideas, I always think of psyche in Greek myth, where the term psyche is alternatively used with life. In fact, the term psyche is translated to mean "breath of life." Further, Psyche in Greek myth is a companion to Eros (Cupid). All this plays nicely with the ephemeral butterfly symbolism of love, intuition, life, peace, adoration and beauty.

Symbolic Butterfly Meanings for Tattoo Ideas

  • Life
  • Love
  • Peace
  • Dreams
  • Beauty
  • Thoughts
  • Fertility
  • Tenderness
  • Intuition
  • Playfulness
  • Tranquility
  • Spirituality
  • Delicateness
  • Resurrection
  • Immortality
  • Transformation
  • Appreciation
  • Metamorphosis
Butterfly Tattoo Meanings

The meaning of butterfly tattoos also deals with transformation because of the butterfly's impressive evolution through life. Follow this path of metamorphosis:

Symbolic Connections to Butterfly Metamorphosis

  • Egg (beginning/birth)
  • Larva (dependence/socialization)
  • Caterpillar (independence/awareness)
  • Chrysalis (withdrawal/death to a singular way of being)
  • Butterfly (emergence/illumination/awakening/evolution into a new phase of life)

Pretty impressive, when we look at this amazing transformation with spiritual eyes. Indeed, if you're getting a butterfly tattoo - it is a symbol of significant transition and change in your life.

The Japanese consider the butterfly to be a symbol of fine beauty and delicate feminine qualities. Geisha's are commonly identified with butterflies.

In esoteric Christian symbolism and art the butterfly is an icon of immortality and the resurrection of not only Christ, but an awakening to the higher love each human holds in his/her heart.

In Celtic symbolism the butterfly holds similar attributes and represents beauty, love, honor. It is also a symbol for the soul in the Celtic mindset. (more on the Celtic meaning of butterfly can be found here).

In Chinese symbolism, the butterfly is a sign of good luck, joy, abundance, health and blessing.

I hope you have enjoyed these symbolic thoughts on butterfly tattoos. To further your research, here is a list of symbolic keywords associated with butterfly tattoo ideas:

Flit through my other butterfly pages for more symbolic nectar in your search for meaningful tattoo ideas by clicking on the links at the end of this page.

An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings

Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.

This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."

Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)

As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!


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Celtic Symbols
Chinese Symbols
Dream Symbols
Lucky Symbols
Love Signs
Native American Symbols
Nature Symbols
Number Meanings
Tattoo Meanings

click links below for symbolic meanings.