Butterfly Tattoo Ideas

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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.

This quote is a great example of strength gained through growing pains as the butterfly demonstrates:


“As with the butterfly, adversity is necessary to build character in people.”

~Joseph B. Wirthlin

Symbolic Butterfly Meanings for Tattoo Ideas

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

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.


As always, thank you so much for reading. May all your butterfly meanings be inspiring and your tattoo adventures be filled with profound meaning.



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