Monarch Butterfly: Spiritual Meaning, Dream Meaning, Symbolism & More

It is springtime. If you live in the north or the Midwest of America, then the snows might just be receding and the mornings will still be chilly. Yet, plants are still pushing through with flowers opening up and the morning calls of birds are in full gusto once again.

With the opening of the flowers comes one intrepid traveler from the south, the monarch butterfly. These tiny insects travel thousands of miles to reach the flowers of the north.

Monarch Butterfly spiritual meaning, dream meaning, symbolism & more

Their life is a short one, full of danger and with disastrous weather events around every corner, but it is a sweet one, full of fulfillment and life.

The monarch butterfly is a creature of transitions and migratory patterns that moves with the ebbs and flows of life as is necessary. It is a creature that wholly changes itself in order to adapt to the conditions of our world and environment without complaint or even a cursory glance backward.

Many people look at this butterfly simply for its beauty, and while there is no denying its visual appeal, it is a disservice to ignore the lessons it can teach us about surviving in an ever-changing world.

Monarch Butterfly: Symbolism and Meaning

The monarch butterfly is a new world butterfly that exists outside of America or Australasia in small pockets, like the UK or the Azores islands, however, that is not to say that it has not existed in the human consciousness for generations.

These gorgeous creatures have had many cultural and spiritual meanings applied to them for millennia, but the most prominent of these meanings are change and renewal, exploration, grace, and joy.

Change is one of the most daunting things that will occur in our lives, even little changes can weigh us down and sometimes utterly devastate us in the right circumstances.

Yet, the monarch butterfly incorporates change into the fabric of its life, quite literally, as it has 4 different stages of its life with 4 different bodies to match.

Each of these bodies has different abilities, and so the butterfly must work out how to use their bodies properly before moving onto the next stage and renewing the cycle.

The monarch butterfly migrates at the beginning of spring and then at the beginning of autumn in, what is considered, one of the most spectacular natural phenomena on earth.

The butterfly makes a journey of thousands of miles, traversing the North American continent every few months in flocks of up to half a million. They are extensive explorers who are not daunted by fierce predators, driving rain or howling wind, continuing their bi-annual trek against the odds.

Grace defines the butterfly. Every one of the animal’s actions is done with grace, its flight, its feeding, its landing, every action no matter how subtle or overt is bound to draw gasps from any spectator.

Watching a butterfly is wonderful simply because of its grace and the movement of every limb is slow and deliberate to maximize the effect on the audience.

When a butterfly flies into your eye line, there is wonder at its display. When a thousand butterflies lift into the air in front of you, there is nothing but pure joy at this spectacle.

These amazing creatures are awe-inspiring and bring joy to whoever may see them, even in the darkest of times.

Their presence in a spring meadow turns a pretty landscape scene into a joyous occasion that people will talk about later.

Monarch Butterfly: Spirit Animal

The butterfly as a spirit guide will come fluttering down onto your shoulder and whisper secrets that could aid you in life. If a butterfly appears, then it knows you have hidden potential and all you have to do to make it happen is to accept the changes that are occurring around you.

By accepting them, you are growing and changing yourself. Fighting them would be as pointless as fighting the tide of the ocean, so why waste the effort?

Take whatever time and form you need to come to terms with this, whether that be slow and steady as the caterpillar or free and easy as the butterfly, but acceptance will make it easier.

A butterfly coming forth as your spirit animal can also be a portend of happiness and clarity.

The butterfly is sometimes thought of as a clairvoyant animal, and it will come forth to bring you good news, troubled times are almost over, and it is time for joy and celebration. If you are working on artistic endeavors, now is the time to finish them and reap the happiness you sowed.

On a more somber note, a butterfly may come to you with a missing antenna. If you see this, then you may be losing your way in life and feel apathetic about finding your way back.

The antenna helps the butterfly fly and so in coming to you with a broken one, it is telling you to not give up and to take time to find yourself or your happiness, even if it is a long road.

Monarch Butterfly: Totem Animal

Those born under the sign of the monarch butterfly are free-spirited travelers with a sense of wanderlust that seems to take them every year. Their free spirit makes them some of the best companions, being able to joke and socialize easily without putting pressure on other people.

Butterfly people attract others to them, but somehow still manage to stick out from the crowd, often being colorful and vibrant in either personality or dress sense.

Yet, even with their closest friends, people of the monarch butterfly totem are restless and yearn for exploration. It is not uncommon for monarch butterflies to disappear for weeks on end, only to reappear and regale those closest to them with stories of their adventures.

However, this behavior should not be misconstrued with flakiness or derision for others’ lives, as they are kind people who are just happy to be involved or chat with others about what’s going on.

Being a monarch butterfly means that you are also better equipped to cope with trying or difficult situations, you are able to see multiple perspectives and are able to calm down both parties with ease.

If the situation proves too difficult even for a butterfly, you can always change and adapt to the problems you face, very much like your totem.

Monarch Butterfly spirit animal

Monarch Butterfly: Power Animal

If you are looking at your world and seeing nothing but a massive change in your future, then it is time to call upon the power of the monarch butterfly.

The butterfly is a creature defined by change, and they can help you through the transitions that are coming with ease and certainty, they know how scary it can be to confront such a large upheaval, and they will try and comfort you as they focus on getting you through this change.

The butterfly is a creature of vibrancy and brilliance, but it was not always such, in fact, many parts of its life are difficult and colorless, making it a sympathetic soul. This is perfect for when you have a creative block when you can no longer continue your art, or you’ve lost your joy.

Oftentimes, we drift away from these parts of ourselves thanks to anxieties and stresses in our day-to-day life, butterflies know how to guide you back to these outlets and thus joy one step at a time.

Monarchs have an instinctive ancestral knowledge that they can tap into at any given moment. This knowledge allows them to travel thousands of miles to the exact woodlands, plains, and meadows their ancestors did to roost during their migration.

Monarchs can help you tap into that knowledge, giving you a clear link to the past and a useful tool in the future.

Monarch Butterfly: Native American Symbolism

In Native American lore, butterflies feature heavily, and given the common nature of the monarch butterfly, they are present as well.

One culture that takes heavy influence from the monarch’s beauty is the Hopi tribe of Arizona. They paint monarch butterflies onto their kachina dolls, which are then given to friends and loved ones as gifts of hope, wealth, health, and as a tool for education.

These kachina dolls regularly represent spirits in nature and by making them, you call upon these spirits for aid.

The Hopi also have a dance called the ‘Butterfly Dance’, which is a traditional social dance that lasts two days and calls upon the spirits for rain, good health, and longevity for those involved and beyond.

Further to the north, the Blackfoot tribe think of the butterfly slightly differently. They view the butterfly as a creature that brings us dreams.

This tribe sometimes sings a song to infants, asking the butterfly spirit to bring them good dreams and to keep the bad ones to themselves. Sometimes depictions of butterflies are used to comfort children when they are going to bed.

Monarch Butterfly: Dreams

A butterfly appearing in your dreams is something that you should rejoice at, albeit a bit warily. They are creatures who bring with them a flair for creativity and a sense of adventure.

This can be quite useful in some areas and is particularly good for any relationships you may have currently, especially if that relationship is feeling a little distant.

However, these animals are also agents of great change and upheaval and if you see one visiting your dreamscape, you should be vigilant in your daily life as something is going to happen to create this upheaval.

Thanks to the positive nature of the butterfly though, these changes are normally good or filled with opportunity, should you see this opportunity in your waking world, seize it for another may not come for a while.

Negative changes may only arise if you see an injured butterfly in your dream, especially those with broken or lost antennae. Antennae help a butterfly fly and aid it in navigating directions, all of which can be a metaphor for how you feel your life is going.

If you feel lost, alone, and aimless when the butterfly visits, heed its warning and reach out to someone you trust, or you’ll plunge deeper into the rabbit hole of despair.

Monarch Butterfly: Tattoo Meaning

Monarch butterflies are generally known for two things: their migration habits and their beauty. As such, when the butterfly is drawn in tattoo form, it is typically invoking femininity and attraction.

The tattoo is seen as a symbol of feminine beauty, and it is said to cause the wearer to exude charm and sensuality.

The other meaning behind a monarch butterfly tattoo is endurance and transformation.

This endurance is seen much the same way as the monarch migration, a great spectacle where these delicate insects weather intense conditions to reach their destination, much like those who fight for their place in their world, either in business or personal matters.

This constant drive and endless endurance transform the insect and the person into something more, this growth being forever signified in a tattoo.

It may seem like the tattoo is a symbol of constant struggle, but in reality, it symbolizes endurance and rewards, with each stage of your struggle gaining you something important whether that be wealth, status, or contentment until, finally, there are no more struggles ahead.

Monarch Butterfly Dreams

Monarch Butterfly: Spiritual Meaning

The monarch butterfly is defined by its appearance, not just its looks but its appearance in various places at different times of the year.

The beauty behind the butterfly’s movements is what makes us look on in awe, even with the pretty patterns on its wings, without this grace of movement many wouldn’t give the butterfly a second glance.

Surprisingly, these graceful movements have some steel behind them, as these little creatures are able to explore their home continent to its extremes, living in the chilly north during the summer and the blistering south during the winter.

They see oncoming weather events and plunge into them headfirst, unfazed by the danger, driven by instinct and a need to explore the wilds around them.

To reach this point, though, the butterfly must go through several changes during its young life. It must hatch from its egg, crawl and eat as a caterpillar, build a cocoon and pupate, before bursting out as a butterfly.

These changes are necessary to its survival, and it makes them willing for the future.

In its final form, the butterfly is its most spectacular to look at and where it flies, the joy of its presence is not far behind. People feel instantly better for seeing butterflies and eagerly await their arrival, year-on-year.

Monarch Butterfly in Astrology & Zodiac Signs

Butterflies appear as part of the primal zodiac, where they are considered some of the sweetest, caring, and generous individuals that one might come across. These people have a deep love for their friends and family and are not afraid to show it.

They will often shower people they care about with praise or gifts, unprompted a lot of the time.

People of the butterfly enjoy nice things, from nice houses to just nice knick-knacks that they love to display, even if their house is not very big, you can guarantee that it is clean and nicely presented to guests.

These people are very easy-going and great to get along with, yet they struggle internally with perceived wrong-doings on their part, oftentimes thinking they have hurt someone’s feelings when the other person feels fine.

This internal struggle can have negative impacts on their lives as they cannot engage or deal with conflict of any kind. They will walk away from negative situations and will change the subject if it turns to pain or misery, which can be a problem for those needing a sympathetic ear.

Butterflies tend to measure every situation for pros and cons before making a move, making them skilled negotiators in social areas, but their passive nature means that they cannot deal with others should the situation turn against them.

Monarch Butterfly: Symbolic Meanings

  • Change and renewal.
  • Exploration and adventure.
  • Grace and beauty.
  • Joy and wonder.
  • Endurance and tenacity.

Final Thoughts

The Monarch Butterfly is an exceptionally beautiful creature that creates joy wherever it goes and considering its huge range of thousands of miles across a continent, this is an enormous amount of joy.

Following the lessons that the butterfly can teach us can give us this joy in our lives and if we are paying attention, we can also learn so much about ourselves.

We can learn about change, exploration, and tenacity as well as joy and beauty, all from watching one little fluttering insect as it traverses the world around us, one wing beat at a time.

Gloria White