The Butterfly World

Butterflies are considered as the most beautiful and colourful insects in our planet. In addition, its peculiar biologic cycle has also stimulated that they were specially included in religious and mythological manifestations.

Among the Greek butterflies were considered as a primitive feminine divinity in relation with sex although, later on, became related to the human soul. Goddess Psyche was generally represented with butterfly wings. Cupid image killing a butterfly or burning its wings with a torch would express the annulment of soul submitted by love… However, it could also mean the beginning of the annulment of the feminine soul. Some pieces of old craftsmanship in precious metals show the myth of the eternal love as two butterflies pulling Cupid’s plough and later on, this scene can be seen on roman sarcophagus.

The association between butterflies and soul can also be seen in Central American, Africa and Asia. Among Aztecs meant the soul or the vital breathe with magic powers, and a divinity condition. In the Maya culture butterflies were considered as the souls of warriors dead in battles or sacrifices. In the Mexican mythology, Xochiquetzal Goddess was represented as a butterfly goddess of love.

The Australian aborigines considered butterflies as the coming back of dead people souls to our world. New Zealand Maoris considered them as the immortality. For the Congo Baluba tribe, the butterfly life cycle was considered similar to man’s life: small caterpillar meant childhood, big caterpillar corresponded to maturity, chrysalis was the old age and imago corresponded to soul.

In Asia, butterflies generally represent immortality. The Burmese soul symbol was a butterfly and in other Asian cultures such as the Japanese, a human soul could reincarnate in a butterfly. It also represented the feminine soul and the Japanese iconography shows the image of two butterflies regarding the spouse happiness.

In the Christian symbolism, some pictures of Virgin Mary and the Baby mean Christ resurrection as a symbol of His three life moments: life, death and resurrection. In Europe, butterflies became the symbol of superficially, inconstancy, femininity and sensuality. Now-a-days, dispossessed of the majority of meanings above mentioned it is associated with nature and since art oeuvres through informatics products it is used as a symbol.

Over the times, butterflies were considered as an entity between the mortal and life after death worlds. It was also said that souls took over butterflies form or a butterfly body in order to come back to our world and be free to take care of their beloved one and warn them of future events…  But note that the butterflies are so fragile that they can be killed by a strong rain!

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Chuang Tzu dreamed he was a butterfly. When he woke up he did not know whether he had dreamed he was a butterfly of if he was a butterfly dreaming it was Chuang Tzu…