Black Butterfly Spiritual Meaning & Symbolism {2022}

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, 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 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.

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 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 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. 

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 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 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

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


Charlotte Kirsten

Charlotte is a renowned trauma psychotherapist, psycho-spiritual writer, and founder of Typically Topical. 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, been awarded the title of Yale Young Global Scholar, and featured across major networks such as ITV, BBC, Soul & Spirit & Cosmopolitan. You can find her on Linkedin & Twitter.

12 thoughts on “Black Butterfly Spiritual Meaning & Symbolism {2022}”

  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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