White Butterfly – Meaning and Symbolism

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Butterflies are beautiful insects with large wings and are usually beautifully coloured.

They have an unusual fluttering flight, which grabs people’s attention. They are a very old group of insect and some of the oldest fossils of butterflies date from around 56 million years ago.

Butterflies are special also because of their specific life cycle which consists of different phases.

The process of their development is called metamorphosis. The butterfly goes through this process until becoming a full-grown adult.

Butterflies are usually migratory species and cross great distances on their path.

Many of them can be considered pests, and especially the white ones which can cause great damage to crops and trees during their feeding stages.

They can also be considered useful insects because they pollinate some plants.

Butterfly symbolism

Butterflies have always been around people. That is why during ages people have developed a lot of symbolism related to butterflies.

Butterflies are presented in the art of different cultures all around the world.

Especially in the ancient Civilizations of South America and Middle America, butterflies were used as a jewelry inspiration; they were carved in temples, as well as used for other decorations and ornaments.

Some of these cultures and ancient people considered butterflies as incarnations of warriors, killed in battles. One of the main symbolisms of butterflies is in relation to the human soul.

In many cultures and countries around the world, butterflies are considered as symbols of the human souls.

For example, the ancient Romans had a belief that the soul of a human being is leaving the body of a person through their mouth and when they wanted to depict that moment, they often used an image of a butterfly leaving the mouth of a dead person.

In Japan, the butterfly is also considered a symbol for human soul, whether living or already dead.

Also in Japan swarms of butterflies are considered a very bad omen and they usually foretell something evil or bad that it’s going to happen soon. Also, black butterflies are considered as a sinister Omen in almost all cultures around the world.

In many cultures, a butterfly entering a house is considered a visit from some departed relative, who is visiting that family from another world.

In many cultures when people see a butterfly inside their house, they considered it and an omen and a confirmation from their dear loved ones, and a confirmation that everything will be alright.

These occurrences often happen during periods of crisis and difficulties when the appearance of a butterfly symbolizes that these difficulties will soon end or that a solution will soon be found.

Another important symbolism of a butterfly is found in the Christian religion where the butterfly is considered as a symbol of spiritual transformation and rebirth of Jesus Christ.

The main reason for that is the process of developing of a butterfly into a grown adult.

Significant symbolism of a butterfly is related to human existence in general and the process of life and death itself. In Christian images, the human souls are often depicted with images of butterflies.

Another essential meaning of a butterfly is that the appearance of a butterfly in someone’s life is a great omen of changes that are about to happen.

A butterfly is usually an omen of good changes and transformations that are happening and it often represents life cycles and the transience of life itself.

White butterflies

White butterflies are native to Asia and Europe. They are a group of butterflies from the family Pieridae which consist of around 1.100 species.

The most common and widespread species of white butterflies are the Large white, the Small white, the Orange tip and the Green-veined White. These are the most frequently seen white butterflies in nature in general.

As we said, the process of development of a butterfly and the white butterfly as well, goes through different stages. The white butterfly is present in nature between February and mid-November.

Usually they’re the first one’s which appear and the last butterfly we see in the fall, before winter comes.

They are widely spread. They begin mating very early, since they’re 3 to 4 days old.

The mating lasts shortly, after which the female lays eggs. Depending on the conditions the eggs will probably hatch around 48 days after they were deposited on the plants. Their larvae are green worms with yellow stripes and then they feed on their host plant.

The white butterfly is a big pest and they destroy a lot of plants during their feeding and growing stages. The larvae molts 5 times before going into the next stage.

The end stage is changing from a caterpillar to a butterfly.

White butterfly meaning and symbolism

People often wonder what does the appearance of a butterfly, especially a white butterfly in their lives means. The white butterfly can appear in our real life or in our dreams.

White butterflies can enter our house, or land on our body, or we can see it landing on someone else’s body etc.

The meanings of a white butterfly can be various. Different cultures and different people have different symbolism and meanings attached to the presence of a white butterfly in their lives.

One thing is general, is that most cultures give a white butterfly spiritual meaning. It is considered as a sign from the other realms, trying to communicate with us.

A white butterfly is often considered a sign from beings from parallel realities which try to avert our attention to something that is important for us.

Usually it is a sign of our transformation and growth that is expecting us. White butterfly is commonly considered a positive omen.

Some of the meanings related to the appearance of a white butterfly can be:

Good luck

One of the most common meanings for a white butterfly appearing in our lives is that they represent an omen of good fortune. When people see them, they usually get excited and happy because they expect good things to happen into their lives.

They should expect positive changes and transformations for the better coming soon into their lives.

Good news

White butterflies are also considered a symbol of good news. When people see them, they usually consider their appearance as a sign of receiving some news and information about good things awaiting them.

A white butterfly can also be a sign of news of great and prosperous life that awaits a person.


White butterflies are also considered as a great omen of change and transformation that awaits the person that has seen a white butterfly or experienced its presence in some other way, for example in a dream.

These insects in your life are usually a sign that you are about to experience some great transformational change that will change and transform your life for the better.

Spiritual growth

The white butterfly appearing in a person’s life is often considered a symbol of a strong spiritual development and growth.

It also announces the rise of someone’s spiritual knowledge and wisdom.

This is a great sign to experience if you have recently began doing some spiritual practice or gaining some spiritual knowledge.

If you are currently on the path of spiritual development, this could be a confirmation of being on the right path and that you are headed for the right direction towards spiritual awakening and enlightenment that you seek.

Angel message

Seeing a white butterfly in our life could also represent a message from the angelic realms.

A white butterfly that appears in our life might be a sign of the angels or the archangels, which announce their presence in our lives, as well as their support and protection.

They want to make us aware of their presence and of their protective influence. They only appear if we desire them to appear and have influence over our life or help us in some way overcome some difficulties or some problems that we have.

They also might appear just to make us aware that they are present and they’re protecting and guiding us.

Especially if we are currently going through some difficulties and challenges, a white butterfly might be a sign from our guardian angels and archangels with which they are reassuring us that everything will be alright, and that we have their guidance to go through the difficult situation and find the right solution.


In some cases, the presence of our white butterflies in our life can be a sign that love is approaching soon.

It could be a sign that we might soon experience the beginning of a new relationship with someone.

Weather changes

White butterflies are in some cultures, especially the Native American culture, considered an omen of a weather change; when they see a white butterfly that is often considered a sign of some changes in the upcoming weather.

For example, they believe that if the white butterfly is the first that appears in summer that summer will be rainy.

Of course, white butterflies are always a sign that summer and hot weather is approaching.


White butterflies are in some cultures considered an omen of death and these people don’t like to see a white butterfly because they represent an indication that some loved one will die soon.

Such superstitions exist for example in Maryland USA where the people believe that if a white butterfly enters their house they will experience a death in the family soon.

They also believe that if you see a white butterfly at the beginning of the year then you will experience some death in the family.

A message from deceased one.

Many cultures around the world believe that seeing a white butterfly represents a deceased loved ones presence in our lives.

It is often considered a message from the other realms and our deceased loved ones, who want to give us their reassurance of their presence in our lives and confirm that everything is going to be alright. 

The soul of a deceased person

In many countries, white butterflies are considered souls of deceased people.

Especially in Ireland, white butterflies were considered as carriers of the souls of dead children and for a long time it was prohibited in this country to kill white butterflies.

A white butterfly landing on you

Many people have experienced a white butterfly landing on them and they have been wondering what that might mean.

It is good to know that a white butterfly landing on someone’s body is a good omen. It is a sign that a period of peace and tranquility, joy and happiness is approaching in a person’s life.

This occurrence also announces peaceful and harmonious relationships that are expecting us.

In some cases, it might mean a presence and the sign from a departed loved one, which confirms that they are alright and confirms their support and presence in our lives, telling us that everything will be alright.

Seeing a white butterfly often

People who experience seeing a lot of white butterflies everywhere might wonder what that means.

It does have a meaning if you repeatedly see a white butterfly, for example, if you see them everyday or see more than one during one day, that is usually a sign from the spirit world.

This is usually an announcement and a preparation from a spirit world that a significant change is awaiting us and that we need to be prepared for it to happen.

The appearance of a white butterfly in our lives usually means that we are about to go through some important transformational change in our lives.

That will happen in our minds or in our physical reality, but it is something that is inevitable and that will improve our life and life conditions.

In some cases, it is a sign from the spirit that we need to embrace the idea of a change that is inevitable and if maybe we have been postponing making a change, or refusing making a change, or trying to avoid making a change for some time, this frequent appearance of white butterflies in our lives is a sign that it is for our own good to embrace the change and to go through the transformation without fear because it will only bring good into our lives.

So, that means that white butterflies frequently appearing in our lives are a sign that we need to release the fear of change and embrace it and go through it because it is going to be for or higher good.

Two white butterflies

If we happen to see two butterflies flying together, that is a good sign.

It is a sign of harmony and balance that are expecting us.

They might be a sign of our guardian angels that are near and protecting us. 

A black and white butterfly

If you see a white and black butterfly side that might mean some experiencing some opposite things in your life which will be beneficial in the end for you.

White butterfly meaning by their common species:

  • Seeing an Orange dip usually means experiencing good luck soon.
  • Seeing a Large White often indicates experiencing some hidden matters and things.
  • Seeing a Green winged White is a confirmation of your groundedness.
  • Seeing a Small white is a sign of luck following you throughout the day.

Superstitions about white butterflies

As mentioned before, there are many superstitions related to the presence of white butterflies in our lives, especially in the Native American community.

There are many superstitions in the different Native American tribes related to the presence of white butterflies.

For example, many of them believe that watching the fight of a white butterfly for some time can hypnotize a person and can be good for inducing sleep.

They also have a belief that a white butterfly is related to the human soul and represents the human soul. Native Americans also related the presence of white butterflies with the announcement of some weather changes.

For example, they believe that if the first appearing butterflies in the summer are white, then that is an announcement of a rainy summer.

Native Americans also believe that a white butterfly appearing on someone’s body is a sign of experiencing good luck soon.

For example, the Zuni Indians believe that the appearance of white butterflies in a season which is not summer announces that the weather will change to hot water.

The Blackfoot tribe has a belief that seeing a white butterfly in your house which flies around you represents an announcement of the death of a person which had experienced that.

Many cultures around the world consider the appearance of white butterflies as an omen of the good news, and for many of them it is a sign of good luck. 

White butterfly in dreams

Dreaming about a white butterfly usually does not have such a good meaning and it could be a sign of health issues.

It might mean worsening of someone’s health or health issues occurring in the near future.

A white butterfly in dream can also indicate encountering some obstacles and challenges that will appear in the way of achieving some goals.

A white butterfly in a dream might also symbolize a good change, transformation or receiving some beneficial news.