Butterfly Tattoo Meaning
In nature, the butterfly is one of the most wondrous, amazing creatures. It starts as just a caterpillar before metamorphosing into a gorgeous butterfly. Because of this metamorphosis, the butterfly is often connected to resurrection and rebirth. Like the phoenix, it is used by people to represent the changes that they are going through and how they will emerge triumphant like the beautiful butterfly. In Christianity, the metamorphic powers of the butterfly are used to represent the way Christ was resurrected and ascended into heaven.
For many people, butterflies are also a symbol of spirituality, beauty and love. In Greek, the word for the butterfly is psyche. This word was chosen in honor of the goddess of the soul, Psyche. For this type of tattoo, the goddess is drawn with the wings of a butterfly. In Greek mythology, psyche married the god of love, Eros.
The Butterfly Tattoo Meaning Through the Ages
Throughout history, the butterfly has been a symbol of metamorphosis. At first, the butterfly starts out as an egg. Before long, it changes into a hungry caterpillar. It ultimately makes a cocoon where it changes into a lovely butterfly.
For humans, this transformation is emblematic of the change that people go through. Becoming something amazing and beautiful takes time and odd phases. Like the butterfly, the human soul and individual abilities must transform over a lifetime until they become something as beautiful as the butterfly.
Other than transformation, the butterfly is a reminder that life is impermanent. Everything is constantly evolving, and nothing lasts forever. This tattoo helps to remind the wearer that even the best things in life will ultimately fade away.
Depending on the meaning that you attach to the butterfly tattoo, your new body art could mean:
The egg stage of the butterfly is often used to symbolize birth or a new beginning. With the larva, people use their tattoo to represent socialization or dependence. Meanwhile, the caterpillar stage is a representation of awareness and independence. At the chrysalis or cocoon stage, the butterfly is used to show the death of a single type of existence and withdrawal from the world. The last stage of the butterfly tattoo represents illumination, emergence and awakening and the evolution of a new stage in life.
The Butterfly Tattoo Meaning in Different Cultures
In Celtic mythology, the butterfly is used to show love, beauty and honor. In addition, it is used to represent the soul in Celtic symbolism. These types of tattoos are rooted within paganism and show a strong connection to Irish culture and the natural elements. For the Japanese, the butterfly represent delicateness, femininity and beauty. Because of this meaning, geishas are often represented by butterflies.
In China, the butterfly represents positive attributes like health, good luck, blessings, abundance and joy. Asian culture often use a black butterfly to show the recent or imminent death of a friend or a loved one. For esoteric Christians, the butterfly is the representation of Christ’s resurrection and immortality. It is also used to show the higher love that can be awakened within the human heart.
The Ulysses Butterfly Tattoo
This type of butterfly is native to Australia and is protected by law. It may not have a symbolic meaning attached to it, but it is often used within tribal or aesthetic tattoos.
Butterfly Dragonfly Tattoo
The dragonfly is one of the best symbols for water and air. While water shows meditation and the subconscious mind, air represents transformation. The butterfly and the dragonfly both represent freedom, transformation and prosperity. When used together, this tattoo is used to symbolize inner peace.
Monarch Butterfly Tattoos
The Monarch butterfly is one of the best known butterflies in the world. In Mexico, these butterflies are celebrated on the Day of the Dead because they represent the returning spirits of loved ones who have passed away. It is thought to be bad luck to move a dead Monarch butterfly because it means that you are disturbing the final resting place of a loved one.
Dragon Butterfly Tattoo
The dragon is often used to show power and strength. While the dragon is considered masculine, the butterfly is often thought of as a feminine symbol. Because of this, the dragon’s masculine qualities and the butterfly’s feminine qualities show a balance in a tattoo. Together, they represent beauty, innocence, strength and power.
Breast Cancer Butterfly Tattoos
Many women wear butterfly tattoos, so it is unsurprising that the butterfly would become a part of breast cancer awareness tattoos. A pink ribbon is often added because it is a widespread symbol of the fight against breast cancer. When someone has a breast cancer butterfly tattoo, it shows rebirth and hope after losing a loved one to the disease. It can also be used by breast cancer survivors to show their struggle and hope throughout their fight.
Angel Butterfly Tattoo
Angels are the guardians of human beings and thought to be messengers from God. When used with a butterfly, they are often used to show the protection of an innocent soul. People who get this tattoo often feel like they have been given a task by a higher being to protect or guide a more fragile, innocent person.
Butterfly Fairy Tattoo
When used together, a butterfly and a fairy tattoo shows transformation, freedom, rebirth and femininity. These natural elements often show that the person has a deep connection to the natural or spiritual world.
Butterfly Eyes Tattoos
For many cultures across the world, the eyes are believed to be the windows of the soul. A butterfly tattoo with eyes shows the ability to look within someone’s soul. Often, people will get this tattoo after they have experienced a major change that has caused them to reevaluate their life. This may be done after a divorce, following a battle with addiction or another transformative event.