The black butterfly is often labelled as a misfortunate and unwelcome sign to see, but it carries so many hidden messages of guidance, hope and optimism beneath its wings.

In this post, we’ll dive into the deeper meaning of the black butterfly, its true symbolism and what it means to see one in your dreams and in real life.

Black Butterfly Meaning: Symbolism, Spiritual Meaning & Significance

The black butterfly is elusive – it’s rare and full of mystery. It carries the beautiful and powerful energy of life-changing transformation, individuality and uniqueness.

It’s a symbol of rebirth, recreation and more importantly the ‘death’ of anything misfortunate. It represents freedom of the mind, body and spirit.

They teach us to look within our souls and uncover our authentic and fearless selves even when scared to do so. Above all, they symbolise that life is full of abundance, miracles and joy for those who dare to dream. 

These sensational creatures are what I call ‘messengers from the beyond’ – they cross your path exactly when there’s a specific message you need to hear. Anytime you make contact with or feel a special pull towards a black butterfly in particular, take note.

black butterfly meaning

Here are 5 major reasons you might see a black butterfly:

#1 You’re being reminded to forge, not follow

A black butterfly is truly a magical sight to behold. They’re rare, and many species are critically endangered. Seeing one cross our path encourages us to look deep within our souls and rediscover what it is that makes us truly unique.

If you’re questioning your purpose on Earth, are going through some financial difficulty or are struggling to see where you fit in, take note.

The black butterfly brings the message of remaining hopeful despite the endless barrage of pain and suffering.

You’re being asked to drop those false images you harbor of yourself and replace them with ones that show you to be what you really are –  a being full of talent, creativity and gifts.

You deserve nothing but the best. You’re being reminded that those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it.

Trust your gut instinct instead of blindly following that of someone else’s.

#2 You’re being asked to see the bigger picture that is life

The life span of a butterfly is incredibly short – just 30 days in most cases. Seeing this butterfly can be a spiritual reminder that life is short, precious and not to be taken for granted.

This beautiful butterfly can also appear as a message from a passed loved one – a message to live life to the full, and know that no matter what happens, they are always with you. 

You’re being asked to zoom out of your current situation (no matter how stressful), take a step back and remind yourself of the living miracles that surround you each and every day.

After all, you live on a blue planet that is suspended in space next to a moon that moves the sea. Miracles are here.

#3 You’re a transmuter of negative energy or there’s negative energy in your life that needs healing

You’re a generational healer here to break a karmic cycle that has run through your family’s lineage for quite some time. In this scenario, seeing a black butterfly is a reminder of your strength, your courage and innate healing abilities.

You have the rare and intuitive gift of transmuting the dark into the light, the yin into the yang. You’re likely going through or have been through a tough time recently.

The message here is one of perseverance. We need to experience the dark sometimes to know and appreciate how beautiful the light truly is.

#4 You’re experiencing a deep spiritual awakening/re-birth

A spiritual awakening brings immense change- it’s the death of the ego and the reawakening of self. It signals the birth of new energy, new ways of thinking and limitless freedom.

As I said earlier, the black butterfly has some rather negative connotations including death, but it’s often misinterpreted.

Seeing one cross your path or having one come to you in a dream doesn’t mean you’re going to die. Instead, it symbolizes your ego’s death – something which can be painful, terrifying and confusing no less.

#5 You’re being asked to think about your next actions carefully (a need for secrecy)

It is said that something as small as the flap of a butterfly’s wing is powerful enough to cause a tsunami across the other side of the world. This is known as the butterfly effect or chaos theory.

A symbol of mystery and secrecy seeing a black butterfly means it’s important to consider who you divulge your next steps, actions and plans to. This isn’t necessarily a warning – more of a cautious reminder. 

Whilst most people have the best intentions, they can subconsciously project their fears and limitations onto you as a means of trying to keep you ‘safe’. But, you don’t need protection.

That guiding vision you have is the right path for you, and no-one else can or can’t confirm that. Trust in yourself.

What Does Seeing More Than One Black Butterfly Mean?

Seeing 2 or more black butterflies is always a positive omen. It means the energy is amplified. It signals good luck as far as finances, career and material wealth are concerned. 

If you’ve been asking about a deceased loved one recently, this is likely the sign they’ve sent to let you know they’re okay.

Many spirits send a double confirmation so that us Earth souls truly believe and finally acknowledge it is them who is sending the sign. It’s a  beautiful and heart-warming thing to see.

Black Butterfly Meaning in Dreams

When deciphering dreams, it’s always important to think back to how you felt when you first saw the image of the black butterfly.

If you felt calm and serene, it will always have a positive connotation. Spotting a black butterfly in your dreams is often a sure-fire sign that whatever has been troubling you is now coming to a glorious end.

Similarly to seeing one in real life, a black butterfly, or many black butterflies floating around you in your dream can also be a gentle ‘hello’ or nudge from a passed loved one. 

If you felt anxious or tense during the dream, a black butterfly can symbolise that there is something in your waking life that is overtaking your mind.

It can also be perceived as a ‘play’ threat too, meaning it feels like a true threat but it’s really not. Sometimes, seeing a black butterfly in your dreams can mean that you’re distrusting your intuition to solve problems in your everyday life.

It can signal a lack of self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth – all of which can be healed. 

What Does Seeing a Big Black Butterfly Mean?

A butterfly that’s larger than the average specimen always symbolises a greater, more profound message.

Bigger than usual animal spirits are often sent to us when there’s a fear that we might miss out on special guidance or an important message.

These messages are likely one of the 5 core ones above, but amplified. Humans can’t help but take notice when something strikes our curiosity – it’s a clever way of getting our attention. 

Are There Superstitions Surrounding The Black Butterfly?

In ancient Aztec and Mayan culture, seeing the first black butterfly of the season was deemed to signal that a thunderstorm was coming, or that the crops will be graced with more rainfall than usual. 

The great Aztec Goddess Itzpapalotl is also believed to be associated with the black butterfly, more specifically the Obsidian Clawed Butterfly.

An unusual Aztec myth describes how Itzpapalotl saved a butterfly beautiful from its death during a volcanic eruption. The goddess gave the butterfly a darker, midnight black appearance and dotted its wings with razor sharp blades that could cut through even the darkest of nights.

The story follows that the goddess wanted the butterfly’s wings to act as a mirror to the most ignorant souls on Earth so that they may see that love and light are always the answer.

In some regions of the Philippines, Mexico, China and Pacific Islands, the sight of a black butterfly symbolises regret, remorse, famine and even death, all of which revolve around stories, legends and myths which are thousands of years old.

This is often why many people fear the sight of a black butterfly, but there is nothing to be afraid of.

A Final Message

I hope this black butterfly meaning guide has been helpful to you, and has perhaps brought you some comfort.

Even if you don’t feel lucky, you should know that seeing a black butterfly is an incredibly fortunate and auspicious sign.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to note them below, and I’ll be sure to answer them.

Wishing you lots of love and light,

Charlotte x