Deep Black Butterfly Spiritual Meaning & Symbolism [Complete Guide!]

The black butterfly is often labeled 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, I’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 in your life. They represent true freedom of the mind, body, and spirit.

I’ve always seen them as spiritual guardians, sweeping in to offer us strength, hope, protection, power, and courage when we need it most.

Spiritually, black butterflies teach us to look within our souls and uncover our authentic and fearless selves even when we feel scared to do so.

They encourage us to take leaps of faith, make the decision that feels right, and let go of something that is no longer fulfilling us.

black butterfly meaning

Above all, they symbolize 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.

7 Major Reasons You’re Seeing a Black Butterfly


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.

It’s time to pursue a path more aligned with your personal values and skills. You don’t have to follow the path everyone else is taking.

You’re being reminded that those who follow the crowd usually get lost in it. What visions would you like to bring to life?

You don’t need to see 5 years or even a year down the line – take baby steps in the right direction. What calls to you? What lights you up with joy just thinking about it?

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


The black butterfly brings the message of remaining hopeful despite the endless barrage of pain and suffering you’re currently going through.

You’re being asked to drop the 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’re far more capable than you give yourself credit for. Cultivate a growth mindset and watch how quickly things start turning in your favor.

The butterfly wants you to dig deep, and unearth exactly the beliefs that are blocking you from moving forward. How you do this?

Practice saying ‘I am where I am’. This allows you to embrace your current situation without judgment. From there, seek out knowledge that will help you transform your belief system.

Now would be a great time to dive into inner child work, shadow healing, and self-compassion.

You deserve nothing but the best.


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.

In Irish folklore, black butterflies only ever mean the spirits of passed loved ones.

I’ve heard of many accounts where black butterflies appear at funerals. This should only ever be taken as a good sign; it means that the person in question is moving onto the spirit world.

This black butterfly can also symbolize your unrelenting grief. The loved one cherishes you and recognizes how painful this experience might be. This message can apply to either a person or a pet.


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.

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.


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.


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.

The death of the ego can launch you into a deep and powerful spiritual awakening.


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.

Additional Black Butterfly Meanings

  • A time to embrace change
  • A highly fortunate time to relocate, change of environment, or move houses
  • A time to make amends with friends and family (someone you have grievances with)
  • You’re going through a major life transformation
  • You’re weighed down by worry and doubt, hand it over to your guides to deal with
  • A call to adapt to the aging process and cherish every memory you’ve experienced

Psychological Interpretations of Seeing a Black Butterfly

Here’s where it gets super interesting. There is a psychological phenomenon called ‘motivated perception’ whereby we ‘see what we want to see’.

Whilst some argue that this means we’re actively looking for signs from Spirit and so they don’t hold any meaning, I take a different stance.

Nothing in this world is coincidental. If you saw a black butterfly, you energetically called this creature into your life to deliver a specific message. Remember you are the co-creator, the vessel, the holder of the power.

a black butterfly psychological meaning dreams

In this sense, seeing any black butterfly in any circumstance can represent a desire to start afresh, to do something radically different, or even something others would deem foolish.

It often means striking out on your own or interestingly, it can represent you being outcast as the ‘black sheep’ of your family or community, or not feeling as though you truly fit in anywhere.

This is sometimes seen during a deep awakening phase (please see: kundalini awakening or starseed awakening for more details!).

Digging deeper, it also relates to fears about living the life you truly wish to. This is especially true if you’ve been having nightmares recently.

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.

What Does it Mean to See a Black Butterfly Flying?

A black butterfly flying is always a positive omen! It signals welcome and positive news flying into your life very soon.

If the creature is flying around your head, you can expect this energy to be amplified; meaning incredible shifts and opportunities.

Career changes, promotions, sudden financial windfalls, and new relationships could be on the horizon.

What Does it Mean if a Black Butterfly Sits on You?

Many are quick to believe a black butterfly sitting on you means something bad is on the horizon, but it’s actually a call to let go of troubling thoughts.

It wants you to let go of the past so you can embrace the present. It’s the universe’s way of asking you to start afresh and move forward.

What Does a Black Butterfly Mean for Love?

This is an interesting message. As far as love is concerned, black butterflies symbolize that so many beautiful new beginnings on the horizon.

Many would take this to mean separation, but I see it as more about getting to know yourself and your needs on a much better level and then making a decision based on your true inner knowing.

black butterfly meanings for love and relationships

What feels right to you? Deepening the already existing relationship or starting afresh with someone new or even taking a break from dating altogether? Deep down you know what you feel pulled to do.

If you’re single, a black butterfly can symbolize you made the right decision to let a former relationship come to an end. It also means that new connections are absolutely on the horizon for you, and are much closer than you think.

What Does a Black Butterfly Mean for Twin Flame Relationships?

For twin flame relationships, the black butterfly represents entering a new phase or chapter of deep spiritual growth. It symbolizes the eternal nature of the bond between both souls, so even if you’re facing a separation right now, know that the outcome will benefit you both in the long run.

This can sometimes indicate a temporary separation, but more than not, it gives way to a deeper twin flame reunion.

Black Butterfly Meaning in Dreams

When deciphering dreams, I always tell clients that it’s important to think back to how they felt when they 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 surefire 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 symbolize 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 Dead Black Butterfly Mean?

Finding a dead black butterfly might seem like a terrifying experience; it’s got to signal bad luck right? Not quite.

Seeing a dead black butterfly means you’re experiencing a disconnection with your inner self. It represents a need to reconnect and shed all that’s no longer serving you.

This includes emotional baggage from past relationships, current toxic relationships, and bad habits. The dead black butterfly is actually a symbol of freedom, hope, and purging.

What Does Seeing a Big Black Butterfly Mean?

A butterfly that’s larger than the average specimen always symbolizes 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. 

Butterfly Symbolism Around the World (Superstitions)


In ancient 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.

It was a sign of both abundance and threat.


In Native American tribes, it’s believed that the black butterfly symbolizes bad news, disease, or famine. Yet, if you were to see a black butterfly with a white one, it would cancel out this negative message.


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 shiny razor-sharp blades.

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 symbolizes regret, remorse, famine, and even death, all of which revolve around stories, legends, and myths that 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 Note From Me

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,


a picture of charlotte, the founder of Typically Topical, smiling


Charlotte Kirsten

Charlotte is a renowned Trauma Psychotherapist, Astrologer, and Founder of Typically Topical. With a background in psychology, astrology, and esoteric practice, her soulful guides are read by over 300,000 people every month.

For her work, she's been named UK Womenspire Woman of the Year, awarded the title of Yale Young Global Scholar, and featured as an expert across major networks such as, Best Life, Oprah Winfrey Network, BBC, Soul & Spirit, Psychology Today, Pop Sugar, Well & Good and Cosmopolitan. You can find her on Twitter.

12 thoughts on “Deep Black Butterfly Spiritual Meaning & Symbolism [Complete Guide!]”

  1. The black butterfly that I seen flew into the yard and stayed long enough to be seen. Flew out and then checked the yard and flew in over my head and flew back out. Came back a few minutes later and left. Came back a few minutes later and left again. Does this mean anything?

    • Hi Lindy! This could mean that there’s a lesson or life experience you’re repeating in your life over and over, or there’s a message you need to hear that you’ve previously missed before. It’s hard to tell what those messages/lessons could be without knowing you personally. For some, this black butterfly could be confirmation that troubling times and hard life lessons are coming to an end (aka the death of such experiences), or it could mean that there’s a ‘death cycle’ repeating in your life that needs to be healed and fixed. You’ll likely know which one resonates.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Wow, this just happened to me as I was telling my girlfriend that she has too much darkness that even I as a light worker can’t heal. Speaking those very words. I felt the beauty and comfort and said how beautiful as she said what that black thing? I know this was fore because I had to Google the meaning and I just sent it to her. I’m just lost for words!

  3. hi my name is kim a big black butterfly few into my folded towel on my beach chair while i was on the beach I thought it was odd bever saw a butterfly on the beach

  4. Hello, Charlotte. This morning when I opened my front door, I saw a dead black butterfly with single yellow stripe on each wing near my doormat with ants underneath. I was surprised since this never happened before. I have a large front yard where it could fly around. It still looked beautiful. I removed it from where it was away from the ants and elevated it to an empty plant stand. A very close family friend passed away last September 25, could this be him visiting us?

    • Hi Jeanette – thank you for your lovely comment. It’s very possible it was a visitation, especially if it was an odd sight for you. Black butterflies, though rare, are common occurrences after passings. What makes me believe more than anything that this was a message from the spirit world is the yellow stripe you mentioned. Yellow represents joy, happiness, sunshine, and warmth – all of which a loved one might try to communicate after their passing to let you know they’re safe.

      I hope this has helped.

      Charlotte x

  5. Hi Charolett,
    My daughter and I have been going through alot. And right now we are in 2 different states as of last week. Yesterday I saw a black butterfly 2 different times. It scared me that something bad was going to happen. Then she called and her boyfriend had beat her up. This morning I went to the back yard to sit, where they both visited me yesterday. Something alarms me and I stand up from my chair and both butterflys were there. One was still barely alive buy has now died. Please please please, what does this mean?

  6. Yesterday I went to church to attend my friends funeral. She passed away very young from dementia. She was such a lovely character, she was so beautiful, caring, artistic, creative and spiritual. She would light up the room when she came in. She came from a large , very troubled family who were all tense and divided during her funeral. Just after her son had finished his eulogy of he. Whilst we were seated, what I thought at first that I could see a bat hovering across her coffin. As it flew closer I realised that it was a not a bat but a very large black butterfly, hovering beautifully very low around and above everyone’s heads. None of the family saw it when asked, but almost all of the other people looked up in amazement at it. After flying above everyone’s heads it seemed to fly back to the area where it was first seen, then disappeared. I noticed that there were no windows open, although it is possible that it may have been resting in a dark corner for a long time it had just seemed to of vanished.

  7. I saw a black butterfly it was beautiful like lace it was drawn to me and my child and kept landing on our fingers and arms, there were others in the dream but it had no interest in them just us , I have lost a lot of loved ones including my mother this time last year and my little sister in 2012, I’m hoping it’s them x

  8. Dear Charlotte,

    I have had a really rough life and nothing will ever change that I know. Since I have met my biological mother and father I have been dreaming of 2 fairly large, (about the size of a lunar moth) black butterflies one has a beautiful emerald green “eye” pattern on the back wings whilst the other has no stripes but looks iridescent. (Ya know it changes color upon movement and lighting.).

    The pair glide silently in the air intertwining themselves as if they were becoming one entity. W

    When I am having a good dream session the pair seems to be dancing in my dreams.
    But…. when I am dreaming of the past torment of my horrific childhood and how I was abused the pair seems to be gliding along gathering speed and growing ever so dark converging into one large black butterfly that attacks like a vampire in the night and when I am captured by the beasts talons I see nothing but an emerald pair of eyes glaring at me when it’s wings flap I can hear it hissing and growling at me with venom in its eyes and it has a rancid smell that lingers in the air as I startle awake before I fall from the sky when the beast releases me. I have vainly fallen once that I can remember but when I awoke I was drenched with sweat and my heart was beating so fast that I thought it would surely fail me.. I was 23 years old when I dreamt of falling. But have frequent flyer points in the hissing and growling at me.

  9. Hello , my great grandmother died in a tragic way and at her funeral the other day I saw a big black butterfly in the church , and I felt peace . X


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