I remember watching a video series on YouTube a while ago.

It was the spiritual journey of someone doing a relatively long fast (over a week). She documented the whole process with videos — one for each day of the fast.

On the last day of the journey, something quite miraculous happened — a butterfly landed on her shoulder while she was filming. This was spontaneous and not planned in any way.

Coincidence, perhaps? Or maybe the butterfly symbolized the new person, her rebirth after one or two weeks of fasting and meditation.

This is the beauty of spirituality. Nothing spiritual will even be confirmed through mere logic. It can only be felt, be experienced.

Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.

Attributed to Einstein

Butterflies: symbolism

I don’t think there is a single person on the planet who dislikes butterflies. They are just wonderful creatures.

And their beauty goes beyond the pretty colors, or the pretty shape — it has to do with the mysterious, profound, incredible transformation they symbolize.

Quite a few animals undergo metamorphosis — butterflies just happen to be the most obvious example.

In reality, all living beings, and probably all things that exist and will ever exist in the universe, go through phases and cycles.

We humans are no exception. Our body continuously transforms itself; our thoughts, outlook, ideas, and emotional state change all the time.

See, change and transformation will happen anyway, whether we try to resist it or allow it. Typically, we resist change; it’s uncomfortable at best, and painful at worst.

Why are butterflies so enchanting? Because they remind us — in a very obvious, tangible, undeniable way — that change is beautiful.

And that if we don’t like the person we are right now, perhaps that’s because that person is undergoing some type of transformation; physically, mentally, or spiritually.

Perhaps perfection doesn’t exist, but we can still work toward it. We are our direction.

Spiritual meaning vs cause

The rational cause-and-effect process won’t explain why a butterfly may “choose” to land on you. Unless you’re swimming in an ocean of flowers.

If you are into spirituality, you can interpret things around you not just with causation, but also meaning.

Why is meaning so special? First, it’s subjective rather than objective. But most importantly, meaning isn’t limited to time or space; it transcends both.

If you dismiss a butterfly landing on you as a mere coincidence (which may be totally correct), then what you are experiencing is basically randomness.

By contrast, if you give it a meaning, then the event isn’t random anymore because it can be linked to something that transcends time and space (e.g. your own transformation).

Or you may say that time and space are, in fact, involved, but that the accepted view of how reality works doesn’t match the event.

If like attracts like (law of attraction fans seem to be big into this), then it makes perfect sense that a butterfly may “choose” to land on you and not someone else.

For example, you may be undergoing a transformation yourself, or feel lighter or freer, and at that point the energy of the butterfly would “match” yours.

Again, there is no way to prove this. That’s not the point. A lot of things we experience in life are pure coincidences. Some things aren’t. What matters is our interpretation.

Spiritual meanings

So, what could it mean, spiritually, when a butterfly lands on you? Here are the three possible meanings…

Butterfly landing on you: growth/rebirth

If you look closely at the body of a butterfly (not so easy in person, but there are plenty of pictures online), you’ll find that it’s not that pretty.

Metaphorically, the butterfly could have spent hours upon hours trying to change its body, trying to fight against what it didn’t want.

Instead, through the process of metamorphosis, the butterfly invested every ounce of its energy and time on beauty as well as the ability to fly — the wings.

The butterfly focused on what it wanted, not what it didn’t want and that’s why we look at it with amazement and wonder.

If a butterfly lands on you, it may be because you “match” its energy in terms of growth and transformation.

For example, you may have embraced new habits in your life, or you may have just moved somewhere new, and feel like a completely new person.

Butterfly landing on you: lightness

Eagles fly. Parrots fly. A lot of animals have this “superpower” — it’s definitely not exclusive to butterflies.

However, to understand the potential spiritual meaning of a butterfly landing on you, we have to look at its essential quality when it flies.

To me personally, butterflies communicate lightness. They seem to be lighter than clouds, lighter than air, lighter than everything.

This can symbolize, for example, taking life less seriously, or living more spontaneously, like a child, or being above everyone else’s opinion.

We all have a relatively heavy body, but I think our mind can become very heavy too if we fill it with unnecessary thoughts and “overload the system”.

Be like a butterfly — be light. Never attribute excessive importance to anything, not even yourself. And get rid of physical and mental clutter.

Butterfly landing on you: harmony

Again: to interpret the spiritual meaning of anything in your life — from unexpected phone calls, to seeing spiders, to precognition — you want to ask what these things mean to you.

More specifically, what are the emotions or mental states triggered by the sight or appearance of that thing?

The third spiritual meaning of a butterfly landing on you can be that there is a sense of harmony and/or balance in your life.

And make no mistake — these can’t be faked, improvised, or even hidden. Could it be that the butterfly “sensed” some type of inner alignment and somehow chose to land on you?

The fact that you are paying attention to seemingly random events, itself, could mean that you are approaching reality from a wider, more complete point of view.

Butterflies and spirituality: quotes

Butterflies live most of their lives being completely ordinary. And then, one day, the unexpected happens. They burst from their cocoons in a blaze of colors and become utterly extraordinary. It’s the shortest phase of their lives, but it holds the greatest importance. It shows us how empowering change can be.

Kelseyleigh Reber

The butterfly does not look back upon its caterpillar self, either fondly or wistfully; it simply flies on.

Guillermo del Toro

Forgetting is a beautiful thing. When you forget, you remake yourself. For a caterpillar to become a butterfly, it must forget it was a caterpillar at all. Then it will be as if the caterpillar never was, and there was only ever a butterfly.

Robert Jackson Bennett

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.

Richard Bach

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.

Maya Angelou

A season of loneliness and isolation is when the caterpillar gets its wings. Remember that next time you feel alone.

Mandy Hale

A butterfly symbolizes acceptance of each new phase in life.

Lisa Kleypas

Did it happen to YOU?

I’m curious — did you read this post purely out of curiosity, or have you actually experienced some type of “synchronicity” with butterflies?

If so, feel free to share your thoughts/experience by leaving a reply below. Thanks for reading and have an amazing day 🦋