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Some of the links for the 197 pages in this Totem Animals section
are below. For the rest please go HERE
*Lady Stearn Robinson & Tim Gorbett/The Dreamer's Dictionary:
Social success, romantic success, and/or domestic happiness
is forecast by a dream of these gaily
*Zolar/Encyclopedia of Signs, Omens, and Superstitions:
Widespread is the belief that the soul takes the form of a butterfly.
Medieval angels were
sometimes depicted with butterfly's wings. Likewise, fairies
are often shown with them.
In Northern Europe, to see a butterfly flying at night was considered
to be an omen of death. In
Great Britain, should one wish a favorable year, you must kill
the first butterfly you see.
According to a Glouchestershire belief, however should the first
butterfly you see in the year be
a white one, you will have bad luck. In Ireland, seeing a butterfly
nearby a corpse was an omen
for eternal well-being for the deceased. In Scotland, too, it
is considered fortunate indeed for a
golden butterfly to be seen near a dying person.
To see 3 butterflies together is as lucking as seeing 3 magpies,
says a Nottinghamshire
superstition. Pink butterflies are said to promise lifelong
If on a given day the first butterfly you see is yellow, this
foretold an illness; should it be white,
good luck. To see three butterflies together on a flower was
said to bring misfortune.
Among the Blackfoot Indians, there is a belief that dreams are
brought to us by butterflies.
Hence, a mother would often embroider the sign of a butterfly
on a piece of buckskin, which she
would tie to her baby's head when she wished him to sleep. The
Zunis of New Mexico believe
that, when white butterflies are seen, warm weather may be expected.
Should they fly from the
southwest, however, rain is on the way.
In parts of the United States, a butterfly in the house is a
sign of a wedding to be. In Maryland,
should a white butterfly come into the house and fly around
you, it is said you will die. In
Louisiana, however, such is taken as an omen of good luck.
Some country folk believe that, if a butterfly flies in one's
face, it indicates cold weather. Others
say a yellow butterfly will bring weather that will turn the
leaves yellow in a single week.
*Mary Summer Rain/On Dreams:
Butterfly exemplifies renewal and rejuvenation. May refer to
an ability to bounce back after
specific setbacks or disappointments.
*Denise Linn/The Secret Language of Signs:
This is a powerful sign of a new beginning on a higher plane.
Just as the butterfly emerges from
the cocoon, it can mean emerging in beauty and new awareness,
signifying a time of rebirth and
transformation. Among the ancients, the butterfly represented
the soul and even life itself. Are
you in a time of rebirth? A "social butterfly" is
someone who flits here and there without ever
making a real commitment to a relationship. Does this apply
to any aspect of your life? A
butterfly can also signify joy and bliss.
*Jamie Sams & David Carson/Medicine Cards:
Transformation. The power that Butterfly brings to us is akin
to the air. It is the mind, and the
ability to know the mind or to change it. It is the art of transformation.
To use Butterfly medicine, you must astutely observe your position
in the cycle of selftransformation.
Like Butterfly, you are always at a certain station in your
life activities. You may
be at the egg stage, which is the beginning of all things. This
is the stage at which an idea is born,
but has not yet become a reality. The larva stage is the point
at which you decide to create the
idea in the physical world. The cocoon stage involves "going
within": doing or developing your
project, idea, or aspect of personality. The final stage of
transformation is the leaving of the
chrysalis and birth. This last step involves sharing the colors
and joy of your creation with the
If you look closely at what Butterfly is trying to teach, you
will realize that it is the never-ending
cycle of self-transformation. The way to discern where you are
in the cycle is to aks yourself:
1) Is this the egg stage: Is it just a thought or idea?
2) Is this the larva stage: Do I need to make a decision?
3) Is this the cocoon stage: Am I developing and doing something?
4) Is this the birth stage: Am I sharing my completed idea?
By asking yourself these questions, you will discover how Butterfly
is relating to you at this
moment. When you understand where you are, the symbol can teach
you what to do next to
continue in the cycle of self-transformation. If you have found
the position through which you
are cycling, you will see the creativity of Butterfly.
Using the air, or mental powers, of this medicine is done with
ease. As an example, if you have
been feeling exhausted and have asked how to heal your fatigue,
take notice of the colors you
have been drawn to recently. Does your body feel better in green?
Could this mean that you need
to eat more green vegetables? This type of thinking is an inspiration
from Butterfly medicine.
Butterfly can give clarity to your mental process, help you
organize the project you are
undertaking, and assist you in finding the next step for your
personal life or career. The main
message to be obtained from drawing this symbol is that you
are ready to undergo some type of
Contrary: If you have drawn Butterfly reversed, your lesson
is a simple one. There is a need for
change in your life that you are not recognizing. This could
be a possible need for freedom, for a
vacation, or for a new job. You may believe that change is too
difficult, and you may rule it out
to preserve the comfort of old habits. But in ruling out any
possibility of change, you are saying
that the courage of Butterfly has been lost. Why does Butterfly
represent courage? Because there
is a totally different world outside the cocoon, where the known
realities of the chrysalis are no
longer applicable. This new world demands that you use your
newfound wings -- and fly!
*D.J. Conway/Animal Magick:
The name butterfly is given to a large group of Lepidoptera,
which includes moths. These insects
are found in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes around the
world. Most of them fly only during
the daylight hours and usually feed on the nectar of flowers;
moths fly at night. Colorful dustlike
scales coat the wings. They have a knob, or enlargement, at
the tip of their antennae; this
physical trait distinguishes them form moths.
The butterfly is a Chinese symbol of immortality, leisure, and
joy; if shown with a
chrysanthemum, it depicts beauty in old age; with a plum, long
life. A jade butterfly was
believed by the Chinese to be an emblem of love. In Japan this
insect represents much the same
thing, with a pair of butterflies meaning married happiness.
However, it can symbolize a false
lover or vain woman. The Japanese say that a pure white butterfly
can contain the soul of
someone who has died.
The labyrs, or double-axe, of the Bronze Age and Crete may well
symbolize a butterfly. This axe
probably came from the original hourglass-shape of the Goddess,
who symbolized death and
regeneration. The Greek, Germanic, and Slavonic words mora,
mara, and morava mean both
"nightmare" and "butterfly." The Death Goddess
of Lithuania (More) and of Ireland (Maro or
Mara) may well be connected with this Mediterranean interpretation.
In Greek art, the butterfly symbolized the psyche, or soul,
and represented immortality. The
Horae, who were goddesses of the seasons, were sometimes shown
with butterfly wings.
In such widely-separated places such as Cornwall, Mexico, and
Siberia, the white butterfly is
said to be a spirit of the dead. The Celts firmly believed that
the soul could occupy either a
butterfly or a fly.
Certain Native Americans believed that the butterfly had power
over the whirlwind, causing it to
appear and disappear by the flapping of its wings. Xochiquetzal,
the love goddess of ancient
Mexico, was pictured as a human-headed moth or butterfly.
Superstitions: In Siberia they say that if you kill a butterfly,
you kill a witch. The people of
Devonshire believed that if you killed the first butterfly you
saw each year you would have good
luck. In Scotland, a golden butterfly near a dying person was
considered to be a good omen of
eternal happiness; much the same was believed in Ireland. If
the first butterfly you see in the year
is yellow, you will become ill. Three butterflies on a leaf
are unlucky. A butterfly flying at night
is an omen of death. If a black moth flies into a house, someone
will die. However, if it flies at
you from the darkness, an important letter is on the way.
Magickal Attributes: Reincarnation, magick, beauty, love. Transformation
of the personality and
life. Understanding where you are in the cycle of your life
and using it to the fullest. Divination
concerning future events that have a bearing on your cycle of
life and rebirth.
*Patricia Telesco/The Language of Dreams:
Personal growth, especially spiritual. In classical Greek and
Roman philosophy, the butterfly's
transformation mirrored that of the every evolving soul.
Esoterically: Reincarnation, which may be literal or figurative.
If you see yourself emerging
from the cocoon, this speaks of a new, beautiful beginning,
and astounding positive changes.
The question of personal identity and uniqueness. In China,
there is a story of the sage Hsuang
Chou who dreamt of being a butterfly. During the dream, he had
no awareness of Hsuang Chou,
only the butterfly. When he awoke, this experience left him
wondering. Was he really Hsuang
Chou, or actually a butterfly dreaming of being Hsuang Chou?
In China, the butterfly also symbolizes a happy union, usually
a marriage. An excellent portent
for any type of partnership, especially if the butterfly is
formed out of jade.
Missives from beyond: The Hopi Indians believe that butterflies
carry the soul of the departed.
Swallowing a butterfly: In Ireland and ancient Greece, this
The ability to rebound and rejuvenate after a major setback.
If seen in its caterpillar form, it
means you're entering a stage of positive transformation. If
the creature is flying, you may soon
receive news from friends afar. For a young woman, this foretells
*Bobby Lake-Thom/Spirits of the Earth:
The Butterfly is a very spiritual bug and represents the presence
of good spirits. Butterflies signal
change, metamorphosis, balance, harmony, grace, peace, beauty,
and spirituality. They are a
The Greek word for both "soul" and "butterfly"
is psyche, and it was once believed that human
souls assumed the form of butterflies while they searched for
a new incarnation. Throughout
Europe, Asia, and the Americas, butterflies have maintained
their standing as a symbol of the
soul and rebirth.
To the Chinese, the butterfly is a symbol of joy and conjugal
happiness. A Chinese bridegroom
would endear himself to his new wife by presenting her with
a jade butterfly, which represented
the union of their souls.
In the butterfly's unique lifecycle from dead and dried chrysalis
to vibrant and soaring entity, the
early Christians found a ready symbol of the resurrection of
the human soul and the resurrection
of Christ. Certain Christian sects, however, perceived the lovely,
but fragile, butterfly as a
symbol of the transient and perishable nature of the flesh.
In the Dakota tradition, the butterfly was a living fragment
of the rainbow, a beautiful creature
that floats with soundless wings above wild flowers on sunny
currents of air.
If the butterfly is your totem animal, you are probably a very
lively person with rather exotic
tastes who loves beautiful and colorful expressions of clothing,
decor, art, poetry, music, and
self. Although you are a high-energy person, you are also a
visionary, so you have little difficulty
in settling down in a quiet place in nature or in your own home
and going deep into the Silence
The butterfly totem will aid you in achieving depths of inner
and outer exploration far beyond
the ordinary. As a symbol of personal transformation, your spirit
helper will hover ever-near to
assist you in all those changes within yourself and within your
environment that are necessary
for you to attain the highest levels of enlightenment.
Keynote: Transmutation and the Dance of Joy
Probably no animal or insect has come to represent the process
of transformation and
shapeshifting more than that of the butterfly. For those with
this totem, the process of
metamorphosis should be studied closely. With butterflies and
moths there are always four
distinct stages of change. (The cocoon is only spun by the moth,
and not by a true butterfly, for
the chrysalis stage).
When butterfly shows up, make note of the most important issues
confronting you at the
moment. This is probably why butterfly has shown up. What stage
of change are you at in regard
to them. To determine that, you may have to examine and determine
what you wish the outcome
to be, and how best to accomplish it.
The butterfly is a powerful symbol in myth and religion. In
early Christianity, it was a symbol of
the soul. In China, it was used as a symbol of conjugal bliss
and joy. In the Hopi tradition,
unmarried girls of the butterfly clan wore their hair in the
shape of butterfly wings. In Indian lore
are stories of how butterflies come when called by the children
of the Nez Perce tribe.
To the Native Americans, the butterfly is a symbol of change,
joy, and color. The colors of the
butterfly should be examined for its significance and to help
you understand its role within your
life. Prior to a workshop on fairies and elves recently in Florida,
I was performing a meditation at
a nearby nature center in preparation for the workshop. When
I opened my eyes, I was
surrounded by approximately a dozen black and yellow butterflies
(Zebra heliconius). There
were even several in my lap.
This was very significant to me for several reasons. First,
there has long been an association in
folklore of a relationship between those of the Faerie Realm
and butterflies. The black and
yellow was even more significant. In traditional angelology,
these are colors often associated
with the archangel Auriel in her guise of overseeing the activities
of the nature spirits. It was a
wonderful indication of the energy that would accompany me to
Butterflies appear to dance as they light upon flowers and such.
They remind us not to take
things quite so seriously within our lives. They awaken a sense
of lightness and joy. They remind
us that life is dance, and dance, though powerful, is also a
great pleasure. Butterflies can be
reminders to get up and move, for if you can move you can dance.
Dance brings the sweetness of
life back. This is further exemplified by the fact that butterflies
actually have taste receptacles on
their front legs. They taste flowers by walking upon them.
Butterflies bring color and joy with them. When butterflies
come into your life look at how much
or how little joy is within your life. Lighten up. Look for
change. Don't forget that all change is
good. Butterfly medicine reminds us to make changes when the
themselves. Transformation is inevitable, but butterfly will
help teach you that growth and
change does not have to be traumatic. It will teach you that
it can occur as gently, as sweetly, and
as joyfully as we wish.
The process of metamorphosis:
Change is inevitable in life, and life only becomes more difficult
and dangerous on many levels
when we resist its natural flow. Change ensures growth. We have
to shed the old before we can
come into the new. Metamorphosis is the magic inherent within
insects. It is the magic of life
that they can teach.
Biologically and psychologically, humans recognize that there
are changes--childhood, puberty,
adulthood. Change should occur on other levels and it necessary
at other times. Everything we
create in life has to go through stages. These align with the
four stages of insect metamorphosis.
All insects and thus all ideas and creations begin as eggs.
The eggs hatch into caterpillars which
feed and spin cocoons. From a cocoon comes its final expression
of life--usually with wings.
In the egg stage, there is the fertilization process. We give
birth--to an idea, an activity, a new
quality, or something. From the egg stage comes the larva. In
insects, the egg becomes a
caterpillar in this stage. The caterpillar feeds and works to
strengthen itself and achieve its
foundation. Ideas and creativity need to be worked with, shaped,
formed, developed, and honed.
When this is accomplished, when the caterpillar has laid itself
a new foundation, the stage of
A cocoon is woven around itself by the caterpillar, and a mummy
like pupa forms within. In this
stage there is a reorganization of the caterpillar's cells even
though there is the appearance of
lifelessness. Sometimes individuals need to back off, after
laying a foundation, and then go
deeply within so that creation will be able to come forth strong
and in new light. There are points
in the creative process where we must be passive and let things
take a natural course. We do
what we must, and then let it move on its own. This is reflected
in the chrysalis stage.
From the chrysalis comes yet a new and final form--a winged
insect. The fact that it has wings in
its final stages is very significant, and all of the symbolism
associated with wings apply to
insects as well as birds. The adult only comes out of the cocoon
in the warmth of spring--again
reflecting the ability to go within and determine the best time
to set the new creations in motion
on a higher level. Wings are the emblem of the adult insect
and thus the adult creation. Flight
now becomes a way of life for however long the adult survives.
The antennae of insects vary in size and shape. They are usually
larger in those insects with poor
eyesight. With their antennae, they can feel, smell, taste,
and determine temperature. They can
also use them to create sounds. The antennae have numerous tiny
pegs upon them which serve as receptors.
Butterfly represents change, transformation, and rebirth; cycles,
patterns, and harmony; love,
spirituality, and magic.
Within the transformative stages between cycles of growth comes
the ability to see the patterns
created in life. Through grace and beauty mixed with a peaceful
nature Butterfly teaches you to
touch the lives of others as you progress along your path. Entering
each phase with a conscious
awareness of the shifting reveals the dimensions of your mind.
Be determined to succeed and
you will discover that by riding the winds of enlightenment
you can learn to examine your life.
In this way you begin to recognize the shifts and changes that
come and embrace them with
pleasure for the gifts they hold.
Butterfly exudes a gentle power of reasoning and makes the most
of each cycle of change. She
lives life to the fullest through the balancing of her energies
with the harmony of the goals she
has set for herself. She teaches that patience comes by understanding
the patterns and
transformative shifts in life. Through the metamorphosis of
a gentle strength her struggle takes
on reason and from birth to rebirth she gains the ability to
succeed. By shedding illusion for
enlightenment the next stage gives birth to a transformation
and what is left behind is but a shell
of what is now a new and greater you. Something always remains
in essence since you are ever
evolving into what you already are and Butterfly will exemplify
this in her beautiful dance of life.
This creature-teacher shows you the joy and courage to move
ahead with acceptance. She will
show you that by union with a spiritual consciousness within
you there will come a trusting in
Spirit that what awaits is better than it is at present--that
it will hold great exciting mysteries to
unravel. You will come to see that there rare new quests to
explore and learn to dance on the
wind letting your own wings carry you even higher.
I found this on one of my "surfing safaris" and thought
you might enjoy it too. How wonderful for
this thread to appear at this time! There have been large gatherings
of butterflies recently
dancing in the green space behind my office building. It has
been a real joy to watch them
enjoying the sunshine
www.inspiringthots.net/mo...e-else.htm (page not found)
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