I often use symbols in my stories, although readers may not always be aware of them. Since I minored in Art History, I have studied works of art from Egypt to modern times. The focus in all my studies was symbolism. Symbols are used in various art forms to convey different connotations from their literal meaning.
I really don’t care for bugs, but if I had to choose a favorite, I’d have to go with the colorful and beautiful Butterfly. The lifecycle of the butterfly consists of four stages, the egg, larva, pupa, and adult. They represent transformation and change. The butterfly emphasizes the ability to move from one state to the next, whether this is a life perspective, or a change in being from physical form to spirit. The butterfly endures profound changes to become an adult, and its message is to accept the changes in our lives as casually as the butterfly. Like the butterfly changes, so to do our soul’s by the end of our journey.
The butterfly is a powerful symbol in myth and religion. They are often associated with the soul in many parts of the world. To the early Christians, the butterfly symbolized the soul. In China, the butterfly is seen as a symbol of conjugal bliss and immortality. Native Americans view the butterfly as a symbol of joy and change. They also believed the color of the butterfly contains it’s own message. To the Japanese, the white butterfly symbolizes departed loved ones. Butterflies serve as a reminder to not take things too seriously in life. They remind us that change is not only inevitable, but that it is also good, even if it doesn’t feel that way. So in essence, this pretty insect is telling you to lighten up and allow the heaviness and tension to fly away with the breeze, while you enjoy the ride.
Butterflies serve a higher purpose for many, and I have seen first hand how departed loved ones make use of them. The stories I have could fill pages and I can’t help finding the heaven sent butterflies amazing. The joy they bring to a hurting parent’s heart is priceless. All hail the butterfly.