Monday, June 20, 2011

Myths, Folklore & Symbolism: Butterfly

butterfly: "Because of its lightness and beautiful colors, in Japan it is a symbol of women; two butterflies symbolize marital happiness.

"The essential symbolic meaning of the butterfly lies in its metamorphosis from egg to larva, or caterpillar, whose skin hardens to form the deathlike case of the pupa, or chrysalis, from which emerges the radiantly colorful winged insect attracted to the sunlight. Since antiquity it has thus been a symbol of the soul that physical death does not destroy (its Greek name is psyche); in later times the butterfly's pleasing, fluttering flight and its association with Eros, the god of love, were emphasized.

"In Christian symbolism the butterfly is a symbol of resurrection and immortality, but also of empty vanity and futility because of its short life span and its transient beauty." (Herder)

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