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Red Butterfly Symbolism and Meaning [Interpretation]

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Written by: Tina Caro

The red butterfly has many meanings across many cultures, which might seem contradictory and complex. Let’s learn more about red butterfly symbolism and meaning!


Red butterflies are deeply connected with esotericism and have been considered mystical creatures throughout history.

Superstitions and beliefs surrounding red butterflies vary across cultures, with some viewing them as omens of positive change and others as harbingers of danger.

The symbolism of red butterflies is multifaceted, representing love, passion, transformation, and the cycles of life and death.

When a red butterfly lands on you, it is considered a special and fortunate event in many cultures, signifying a personal connection to the energies of love, transformation, and positive change.

How is Red Butterfly Connected with Esotericism?

Some Native American tribes believe a red butterfly means a powerful soul or spirit.

Seeing a red butterfly has many positive meanings such as:

  • Flying near you often indicates that important news is coming
  • Considered as a good omen on the first day of the year or at the beginning of a season
  • It’s a symbol of love and passion
  • Red or purple butterflies promise many years of happiness to come
  • Carrying a special message for the person who sees them inside their house.
red buttefly

Overall, seeing a red butterfly can bring excitement and can provide a lot of energy to a person.

However, red butterflies have also some negative meanings such as:

  • In Scotland, a red butterfly was once believed to be a disguised witch.
  • In some cultures, a red moth (in particular the species Vanessa atalanta, better known as the red admiral’s butterfly) is actually a symbol of evil or danger.
  • According to a Korean superstition, these delicate red-colored creatures are bad; apparently, you will become blind or have sight problems if you touch a red butterfly (or moth) and then touch your eyes.
  • For some, the red butterfly is associated with anger.

Seeing a red butterfly can remind us to pay attention to something, to be more cautious about what is going on in our life at that moment or to be prepared for something that is about to come.

Video about the symbolic meaning of red butterflies

Red Butterfly Superstitions and Beliefs

Love and RelationshipsIn some cultures, red butterflies are believed to be messengers of love and bring good fortune to relationships.
Spiritual GuidanceRed butterflies are considered spiritual messengers, providing guidance and signs from the spiritual realm.
Protection and LuckIt is believed that encountering a red butterfly brings protection and good luck to the person who sees it.
Rebirth and RenewalRed butterflies are associated with rebirth and renewal, signaling a new phase in life or spiritual journey.
Symbol of PassionRed butterflies are often seen as symbols of intense passion, desire, and romance.

Red Butterfly Meaning and Symbolism

Usually, the red butterfly is a synonym for transformation for many people or cultures. As mentioned before, the reasons for this association are quite obvious, but the butterfly has other meanings in the esoteric world.

Symbolic MeaningDescription
TransformationRed butterflies symbolize transformation, change, and personal growth.
PassionRed butterflies represent passion, intense emotions, and desire.
LoveRed butterflies symbolize love, romance, and deep emotional connections.
VitalityRed butterflies represent vitality, energy, and liveliness.
CourageRed butterflies symbolize courage, strength, and overcoming challenges.
RebirthRed butterflies represent rebirth, renewal, and starting anew.
CreativityRed butterflies symbolize creativity, inspiration, and artistic expression.
SpiritualityRed butterflies represent spiritual growth, divine guidance, and transformation of the soul.
JoyRed butterflies symbolize joy, happiness, and celebration.
ProtectionRed butterflies represent protection, warding off negative energies, and bringing positive influences.
Table 1: Symbolic Meanings of Red Butterflies

Spiritual Meaning of Red Butterflies

Red butterflies are amazing natural creatures. Their power of total transformation and their beauty inspires millions in the world. They are also a spiritual symbol associated with various meanings.

As we said in the beginning, universally a butterfly represents changes, transformations, and evolution towards something positive. We are intrigued by their metamorphosis and just like them, we want to be able to completely transform our lives when we aren’t satisfied, to evolve and fly free like butterflies; we all want to have a happy life.


Many cultures admire butterflies. Because of their color and beauty, many people see it as a synonym for joy and peace. It is also associated with trips between worlds or spiritual planes searching for knowledge.

Celtic culture believed butterflies were fairies; small flying beings with supernatural powers. However, for most cultures, butterflies represent the soul.

For the ancient Greeks, the butterfly meant the primal feminine divinity and sexuality. Later on, it became a symbol of the soul. The Greek goddess Psyche was represented with butterfly wings and symbolized the psyche or soul.

Additionally, the ancient Greeks often used butterfly wings as a symbol for the soul or human psyche in the art. In many Greco-Roman tombstones, the “Psychè” (the soul) is represented as a butterfly emerging from the body of the dead or as a winged girl.

cupid and psyche
Cupid and Psyche

In many other ancient cultures, the butterfly is considered as a symbol of impermanence and instability of earthly life. It was believed that the process of the journey of a soul from an earthly body to a divine body is similar to the amazing process of changing a caterpillar to a butterfly.

CultureRed Butterfly Symbolism
Native AmericanRed butterflies are seen as powerful symbols of transformation, spiritual growth, and messages from the spirit world.
ChineseIn Chinese culture, red butterflies are associated with love, joy, and celebrations.
JapaneseRed butterflies symbolize happiness, good fortune, and fulfilled wishes in Japanese folklore.
MexicanIn Mexican culture, red butterflies are believed to carry the spirits of loved ones and represent their presence.
GreekRed butterflies are associated with the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, symbolizing love and passion.
Table 3: Red Butterfly in Different Cultures

Identified as “Soul Animals” and associated with it, some cultures represented it coming out of the mouth of dying and deceased, as a symbol of the vital breath that leaves the body.

Also read:
White Butterfly Symbolism and Meaning
Yellow Butterfly Symbolism and Meaning

Psychological Meaning

The psychological meaning of the butterflies is connected with the thoughts of a man being able to “reborn”, to transcend his earthly limitations and rise to the light through his own psychic transformation.

They are symbols of immortality, rebirth, and resurrection, but also of lightness, inconstancy and the ephemeral nature of joy and beauty.

Because of its capacity for transformation, it embodies metamorphosis and the potentialities of being.

According to Native American tradition, identifying a red butterfly by chance is a harbinger of very important and life-changing news. Something huge is coming towards you.

Furthermore, as butterflies symbolize the souls of the dead, a red butterfly is a symbol of a very powerful spirit that watches over you. Why? Probably because of these important things that are coming.

Thus, red butterflies require respect. According to Eastern traditions, misfortune will come to the person who damages it if treated badly. So be very careful when you notice a red butterfly. You’ll soon find out why.

What if a red butterfly appears in your dreams?

Dreaming about red butterflies is a good omen in general. They announce positive changes, good luck, and prosperity, such as a new job, a new relationship or a new beginning.

  • If we see two butterflies fluttering together in a garden, this dream predicts a pure and sincere love.
  • If we kill a red butterfly in our dream, it means that we are being superficial and should focus on things that have more value in our lives.
  • If we see a red dead butterfly, business plans will not work.
  • When you dream of a trapped butterfly or in the dark, it can be a bad omen.

What if a red butterfly lands on you? What does it mean?

By believing deeply in the power of the butterfly and everything it represents, the solution to your problem will soon appear in your mind. Make sure to recognize your periods of expansion and growth and align your mindset with them. During these times, do your best to improve your situation or change the way you think, speak, and act.

This means that you have to improve not just your listening skills but your ability to face big changes with grace and acceptance. Every decision needs to be well thought without being forced out.

When that happens, take some time to think about which fields in your life need to change. By thinking it through, you will soon discover the purpose of this meeting.

When a butterfly comes by around you or nearby you, close your eyes, take a deep breath and think about your current situation or a problem you have to face.

By acting in this way, you can benefit from the meaning of the red butterfly knowing exactly what it is trying to tell you with its presence.

Red butterflies represent the ability to look at life in a different mindful way. Perhaps you have gone through a difficult period that contributed to a great amount of stress.

This butterfly will invite you to look at the situation in a lighter way and to understand how to turn darkness and negative situations into something you can use to grow.

Tina Caro

Tina Caro is a witch with more than 10 years of experience, a yogi, an astrologer, and a passionate supporter of all things holistic! She’s also an owner of the website Magickal Spot where she discusses a variety of her favorite topics.

Magickal Spot has helped thousands of readers worldwide, and she’s personally worked with hundreds of clients and helped them manifest desires to have a happier and more abundant life.

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