Butterflies and their symbolic meaning

Butterflies are of course very beautiful insects.Delicate,perfectly formed and seemingly {to me},to have a carefree happy spirit throughout their short lives.

I recently felt drawn to creating some butterfly art,so thought I would look into their symbolic meaning.What i found was really quite interesting!

A section of the large canvas I created

All over the world there are different symbolic meanings for them,here are a few,including my particular favorite!

The mandarin Chinese word for butterfly is ‘hu-tieh’.Tieh meaning 70 years,therefore becoming a symbol for long life.
In the same culture they have also become representative of young men in love.

In Japanese culture they are thought to be representative of young maidens and marital bliss.

In mythology from all over the world,there many links with butterflies and the human soul.
Ancient Greeks considered them as the souls of those who had passed away,their word for butterflies being ‘Psyche’,which translated means Soul.{This being my favorite!}

There is a Native American legend that says, ” If you have a secret wish, capture a butterfly and whisper your wish to it. Since butterflies cannot speak, your secret is ever safe in their keeping. Release the butterfly, and it will carry your wish to the Great Spirit, who alone knows the thoughts of butterflies. By setting the butterfly free, you are helping to restore the balance of nature, and your wish will surely be granted.”

There are many more symbolic meanings for them,the most well known probably being change,the transition from an old life into a new one.

I find these meanings all equally beautiful,and quite fitting for a creature so beautiful itself.

Long deep edged canvas which can be hung either horizontally or vertically.It measures 80 x 30 cm and has gold and silver dot detail which looks beautiful as it catches the light.




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  1. Lovely Thankyou x


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