O Butterfly, Beautiful Butterfly

In the brotherhood, or in this case sisterhood, of ink (once you get a tattoo…you’re a card-carrying member) the most popular design sported by women of all walks of life from all over the world is the butterfly. Whether combined with a flower tattoo design (roses, lilies, daisies or sunflowers) or a vine tattoo design (typically done as a butterfly armband) or a wispy-thin tribal tattoo design, butterfly tattoos have a versatility that few tattoo designs have. Aside from the beauty of symmetry, shape, hue and infinite variety in pattern (like snowflakes, no two butterflies are totally alike) of these imaginative designs, butterfly tattoos can literally be placed anywhere on the body.

Why Do So Many People Get Butterfly Tattoo Designs?

The main reason is the human/butterfly connection that has existed for centuries and recanted in the mythologies of many ancient civilizations. It’s a widely held belief that that butterflies are the physical symbols of the human soul and just as the night butterfly is attracted by flame, the human soul is attracted by heavenly truths.

But even when you look at butterflies scientifically, the metamorphosis of butterflies and moths is one of the great mysteries of Nature. Think about it, these insects have the ability to change from crawling caterpillars to flying adults. If that isn’t magical, then I don’t know what is. In fact, many people are so awe inspired by the metamorphosis that they believe that butterflies and moths could never have evolved over millions of years without the power of God behind it.

What a Butterfly Tattoo Represents on a Woman

A butterfly tattoo on a woman usually acknowledges “woman as the free spirit.” Like butterflies in nature, the female “blossoms” from a girl to a woman, equipped with the gift to create and harvest new life. No matter where the butterfly tattoo is placed on the body, it serves as a portal to release and draw in the energies of life, the essences of human souls. A butterfly tattoo is a talisman that focuses the awesome power that is contained within all women.

Now, the types of women who get butterfly tattoo designs are as diverse as the patterns on the butterfly’s wings. These women can be creative, delicately lovely, patient, observant, and intelligent, in tune with nature, deeply committed to friendships and virginal. But they can also be pedantic, shrewd, judicious, aristocratic and reserved.

Does a Butterfly Tattoo Represent Different Meanings On Different Parts Of The Body?

Most definitely. What’s amazing is that a good number of women tend to place butterflies on one of the seven chakra points without even realizing it. The seven points are: the crown (the top of the head), third eye (the forehead above and between the eyebrows), throat, heart, solar plexus, reproduction (lower belly or lower back), and tribal root (beneath the groin). Now, some of you might not think of placing a butterfly tattoo on your crown, third eye or throat, but we have seen it and depending on the design, it can look pretty hot.

On the shoulder blade, the butterfly tattoo represents the dreamer, whose head is usually in the clouds. On the chest, butterfly body art signifies unconditional love for all living things. On the lower back, the butterfly symbolizes stability, survival, self-preservation, physical health, prosperity, and trust.

Below the belly, the butterfly tattoo design typically represents virginity. This stems from the longstanding tradition of branding virginal maidens as an act of tribute and respect to the gods (and not always as a sacrifice or offering, either). Later, a butterfly tattoo in this area came to mean a vow of celibacy or a “return to innocence”. It has since been modified to designate the reproductive region as a vessel of true love. Love enters and love is produced from this area.


Greek and Irish Butterfly Mythology

In Greece the belief is that a new human soul is born each time a butterfly emerges from its cocoon, while in Ireland, people believe that butterflies are the souls of the dead waiting to pass through purgatory, and while Germans have a similar belief, they hold that the dead are reborn as children who fly about as butterflies, bringing childbirth to childless parents.

European Butterfly Mythology

Believe it or not, early Europeans viewed the butterfly with great respect and fear because they thought that the human soul took the form of a butterfly (and fearing a butterfly isn’t as crazy as it sounds. To this day, people still fear moths, especially in their homes, because they believe moths are an omen of death).

Asian Butterfly Mythology

Butterflies have been used by the Chinese and Japanese cultures for centuries as symbols of joy and the essence of happiness.

Native American Butterfly Tattoos

In general Native American legends speak of the belief that butterflies would carry the wishes to the Great Spirit in heaven to be granted. Individual tribe beliefs include:

  • The Shoshone believe that butterflies were originally pebbles into which the Great Spirit blew the precious breath of life.
  • Zuni tribes believe that butterflies can predict the weather. The Zuni also believe that the white butterfly predicts the beginning of summer.
  • The Blackfeet believe that dreams are brought to us in sleep by a butterfly.

Aztec, Mayan And Mexican Butterfly Mythology

Born out of the caterpillar in the chrysalis, butterflies are a symbol of fertility, rebirth, regeneration, happiness, and joy to Native Americans in Mexico.

  • The Aztecs believed that “the happy dead” visited their relatives in the form of beautiful butterflies to assure the family that all was well. These butterflies flew around the house and around bouquets of flowers, which were carried by Aztec men of social rank.
  • The Mayans looked upon butterflies as the spirits of dead warriors in disguise descending to earth.

Indian Butterfly Mythology

Among the Nagas of Assam the dead are believed to go through a series of transformations in the underworld and are finally reborn as butterflies. When the butterfly dies, that is the end of the soul forever.

Did You Know?

Did you know that butterflies have a connection to the Holocaust? Concentration camps contained barracks designated for children and the walls of these barracks are covered with butterflies. Hundreds and hundreds of butterflies, all scratched into the walls with fingernails and pebbles. It turns out that the children, knowing they were going to die, decided to leave a message of hope. Although their bodies would not survive, their immortal souls would live on in the form of butterflies.

So what are you waiting for? Find the perfect butterfly tattoo design and set you immortal soul free on a wondrous journey of metamorphosis. You will be transformed!

Copyright ©2005 Rhyan Scorpio Rhys

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