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What Does it Mean When You See a Yellow Butterfly?

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Is there anything we can learn from various cultures around the world and the yellow butterfly’s meaning to them?

We all know how beautiful butterflies are, how graceful. We’ve seen our dogs and cats chasing them, the insect fluttering always beyond their reach.

Butterflies have caught the imagination of societies for thousands of years.

yellow butterfly's meaning

Besides their beauty, do they have any other significance? What is the yellow butterfly’s meaning?

Does it have spiritual or superstitious meanings?

Why Are Yellow Butterflies Yellow?

giant yellow butterfly in public park

As we investigate the secret spiritual meaning of yellow butterflies, let’s start with some basics.

The reason yellow butterflies get their joyful, vibrant color is a large amount of melanin, which is the same thing that colors human pigmentation.

When the light hits the wings of the butterfly correctly, we see the pretty yellow color.

Basic Symbolism of Yellow Butterflies

yellow butterfly's meaning
Image by Wolfgang Hasselmann via Unsplash

The spiritual meaning of a huge yellow butterfly is hope, optimism, guidance, and happiness and good fortune.

A yellow butterfly’s meaning also includes good fortune. It can appear to a person who’s sitting around moping or who is feeling dread or worry.

Maybe you’re having issues with relationships, finances, jobs, or interpersonal relationships.

When a yellow butterfly lands near you, it’s hard not to feel more hope. In fact, it’s hard to not feel as though someone up there is trying to communicate with you.

You are seeing a sign that things will turn up. This puts you in a position to participate in great improvements in your life.

Yellow Butterfly’s meaning: Yellow Butterflies as Transformation

Yellow Butterfly's meaning as transformation
Image by Wolfgang Hasselmann via Unsplash

A yellow butterfly starts off as a pupa, inside of a sticky, soft egg. It then goes into its larval stage, which is another way of saying it’s a caterpillar.

The yellow butterfly is in this stage for roughly a week before it emerges as an adult butterfly, or what we just call a butterfly.

It now has lovely wings and can fly. It’s hard to think of a more dramatic transformation.

As such, when you see a yellow butterfly flying in your vicinity, you are being spurred toward transformation.

There are two major transformations that may pertain: one caused by you or one that happens due to larger circumstances.

Orange, black and yellow caterpillar on leaf
Image by Hacı Elmas via Unsplash

A transformation can involve so many things. Within the yellow butterfly’s meaning, your transformation might be something that makes you feel better, like going through a major change in your attitude, spirit or style.

It can involve solving a problem such as shyness, a tendency to anger, regret, etc.

Through extended work, you may resolve these issues, emerging like a butterfly from a cocoon.

However, there can be transformations of all kinds. And some of these may include circumstances that are forced on you: a divorce, a loss of a job. Or the death of a loved one.

yellow butterfly
Image by Krzysztof Niewolny via Unsplash

The key takeaway, of course, is that the butterfly doesn’t go from being a yellow winged creature to a fuzzy caterpillar.

Instead, it goes through the larval stage and comes out much more beautiful.

Imagine going through a change that is unexpected and emerging improved! What a wonderful goal to have, and what a wonderful bit of encouragement you are receiving in this way.

While you need to do the work to come out better after a new epoch in your life, the butterfly is a symbol that you will.

Yellow Butterflies and Your Childhood

yellow butterfly's meaning: childhood
Image by David Clode via Unsplash

If you think of your childhood, whether you’re picturing an actual butterfly or if you just have a feeling that can be represented by a color, it probably wouldn’t be a blue butterfly, since blue means “sad.”

Most likely it’s the yellow butterfly. Many people’s childhoods were fun and bright, perhaps even carefree. All concepts that go along with childhood.

A yellow butterfly symbolizes innocence and delicacy, plus joy and lightness.

Yellow butterflies symbolize optimism. When you were a child, didn’t you look to the future with optimism?

yellow butterfly
Image by József Szabó via Unsplash

In fact, didn’t you look toward that weekend, or a soccer game you were going to play? Or towards the pizza that was on the way, with great optimism?

When you see yellow butterflies flying around, you’re being pointed in the direction of a childhood memory.

It can be there to show you the joy of childhood as a way of recharging you.

Or it can give you the momentum to re-think something in your childhood.

As mentioned above, hope and optimism are big parts of the yellow butterfly’s meaning.

Thus, when thinking of your childhood, you may go back and have a more optimistic view of some of the things that happened.

Yellow Butterflies and Spiritual Experiences

yellow butterfly's meaning: black and yellow butterfly
Image by Naturelady via Pixabay

While many people might be religious and might look for a god on a regular basis, only so many people have true spiritual experiences on a frequent basis.

One of the yellow butterfly’s meanings is that you are on your way to a major spiritual experience.

In short, certain truths will cross your path, and you just need to be able to recognize these truths as such.

You’ll learn more about the true nature of reality and the universe, and about your spiritual gifts.

Not only will this happen, but it may help you navigate a major change in your life, one that very well could be on the way.

The combination of having some sort of change in your life, along with having a spiritual experience is sure to be an emotional experience, and a learning one.

Yellow Butterflies as Spirit Animals

yellow butterfly
Image by Miriam Fischer via Pexels

A spirit animal is one that watches over you and protects you. This is a spiritual idea from hundreds of years ago, when many civilizations believed in various spirits.

The work of a yellow butterfly as a spirit animal is quite fascinating. It isn’t a spirit wolf or spirit shark that serves as a fierce protector against physical danger, but more a reminder.

It’s easy to picture a yellow butterfly flittering by, saying “pssst.”

This spirit animal is reminding us to look on the bright side and to be optimistic.

yellow butterfly
Image by Steve Harrris via Unsplash

Not only that, but the creature can help you focus on the things that are important in your life.

This allows you to give love in the places where it is most needed and to pay the most attention to those important to you.

Yellow Butterflies in Various Cultures Around the World

yellow butterfly
Image by Lindsay Korth via Unsplah

The information we know and value about butterflies wasn’t made up ten, or even fifty, years ago.

Most of it has been passed down over many generations, originating in times when people looked more to nature for meanings of a spiritual nature.

Here’s a look at the customs passed down to us by blessed people from many cultures.

The Yellow Butterfly’s meaning in Ireland and Scotland

Yellow Butterfly's meaning in Ireland and Scotland: An abstract and whimsical painting of butterflies and flowers against a blue sky background
Image by Kathleen MacGregor via Unsplash

One cultural concept from these two jolly countries involves death and souls.

These cultures felt that if a yellow or golden butterfly were seen near a person who is near death, it meant a peaceful death for the person.

The yellow butterfly also symbolizes that the person will have happiness in the underworld.

The yellow butterfly symbolizes something else having to do with our passage into the spirit world.

These cultures also believed that if a yellow or golden yellow butterfly was seen near the grave of a loved one, it means that this loved one is in the spirit world and is thriving there.

Native Americans

yellow butterfly's meaning: yellow and blue butterfly
Image by C_kawpranee via Pixabay

For centuries, the continent of North America was populated by hundreds of tribes of what are now called Native Americans.

Their populations were thinned out by white settlers who massacred buffalo herds and killed masses Native Americans in various battles and wars.

But over more than a thousand years, various tribes built complex, rich traditions.

As one fun example, in Pueblo traditions, the folks put together a legend that the Creator looked at children and thought of them later aging.

Realizing they’d grow gray-haired and wrinkled, he decided to share some color with them.

So, he took oranges, whites, blues, purples, and all sorts of colors from leaves and birds, and put them into a bag.

When the young Pueblo children opened the bag, a bunch of butterflies flew into the sky and fluttered all around, filling the sky with color.

In this way, the yellow butterfly represents, as much as any of the other butterflies, the creator looking down on his people and caring about them.

The Yellow Butterfly’s meaning in Indian Culture

yellow butterfly
Image by Rajat Sebastien

The main religion in India is Hinduism. This belief system includes the concept of transmigration, the component of reincarnation in which a soul migrates from one body to another.

Because of this, in the culture at large, the yellow butterfly symbolizes the movement of souls from one vehicle to another.

This is due to the incredible transformation from caterpillar into an adult butterfly, which looks so different from the former creature that some people don’t know they are stages of one life!

Other Cultures

In China, the yellow butterfly’s meaning can sometimes be the love of a couple and their passion; but, within China’s Buddhist tradition, it can signify enlightenment.

In Japan, a yellow butterfly means spiritual enlightenment.

In Polish folklore, if you see a yellow butterfly on the ground before it dies, it means you are destined to go to Heaven when you die.

The yellow butterfly’s meaning in Roman culture is way out of whack with its meanings to a lot of other cultures, since to Romans the butterfly symbolizes death.

Imagine a bright yellow butterfly meaning death! It goes to show the variety of beliefs in different cultures.

The Yellow Butterfly’s Meaning According to the Bible

yellow butterfly front view
Image by József Szabó via Unsplash

The Bible turns to the natural world for symbolism in many cases. Butterflies are no exception. The biblical symbolism of yellow butterflies is full of learnings!

For example, the yellow monarch butterfly shows God’s protection of man. Further, the butterfly is used in the Bible to talk about newness and spiritual rebirth.

For example, 2 Corinthians 5:17 states “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old has gone, the new has come.”

It is clear how this refers to the particular lifespan of a butterfly, which is unique to this beautiful creature.

Yellow and Black Butterfly

yellow and black butterfly
Image by Athanasios Papazacharias via Unsplash

When we look at the meaning of a yellow butterfly it becomes inevitable to look at the meaning of the yellow and black butterfly.

This color of butterfly symbolizes a positive change ahead. This can be of great comfort to someone who is in emotional pain or dissatisfied.

Anyone who is understandably concerned about change must remember it is positive change that’s coming your way.

That gives you a great chance to take that positive change and build on it.

The Dream of the Yellow Butterfly

yellow butterfly on purple flower
Image by Eric Kants via Unsplash

Let’s say you have a dream of a yellow butterfly. I bet you’ll wake up refreshed and in a good mood.

This is because the yellow butterfly means inspiration and hope. It shows you that you’re embarking on a time when you will have good energy for your endeavors.

That is the time to spring into action when it comes to a goal you have.

The Symbolism of a Dead Yellow Butterfly

Encountering a dead butterfly may seem like a very sad event, and a depressing thing to think about.

However, it’s not without its uplifting aspects as well. This is due to the fact that it is a symbol of resurrection and rebirth.

To explain, say you see a caterpillar in a chrysalis. Because it is mostly motionless, it may almost seem to be dead.

However, it comes back to life, so to speak, as a creature that to the human eye is much more a lovely sight.

Not only is that true, but even though butterflies have very short lifespans (or because of this), they spend most of their lives doing all they can to procreate, creating more and more life.

It is the only purpose of the life of the adult butterfly.

What a Yellow Butterfly Tattoo Means

Tattoos have been around for centuries, and so have tattoos of butterflies, including yellow butterflies.

The yellow butterfly’s meaning in terms of tattoos is rebirth and immortality.

Sometimes people get the tattoo to honor people who have died. However, people can forge their own interpretations of their body art or any other choices.

The Color Yellow’s Meaning

As we look at the yellow butterfly’s meaning, it’s necessary to look at the meaning of the color yellow in general.

Historically, it should come as no surprise that the color yellow has been associated with the sun, and also with warmth, life, and a sunny disposition.

Yellow is also associated with joyfulness, optimism, and positivity. The idea is that something bright yellow is automatically positive or uplifting.

It is hard to know if people naturally feel this way or if it is societal.

Yellow is by its nature, striking and attention-getting. If you see yellow gingko leaves on the forest floor, you feel as though you’re in the presence of beautiful nature.

The color has the brightness of orange or red or some greens, but it’s a “softer” color, usually easier on the eye.

Types of Yellow Butterflies

Here are the common types of butterflies to be found in the color yellow.

 little yellow butterfly
Image by Andy Reago & Chrissy McClarren via Wikimedia

Little Yellow- This little fellow has a wingspan of 1-1.5 inches (2.5-3.8 cm) and is found on partridge pea plants, where they lay eggs. More broadly, they are to be found in open, drained regions.

Orange Sulphur- Despite the name, these butterflies are indeed yellow. They are often a pale yellow with green markings on their heads. They feed on nectar and are usually spotted near milkweed or dandelions.

Sleepy Orange- These are beautiful creatures that have an antique or classic look to them, like a faded photograph. These butterflies prefer empty lowland areas.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail yellow butterfly
Image by paulbr75 via Pixabay

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail- Eastern Tiger Swallowtails have black markings all around their edges. They are large, with wingspans of 5.5 inches (8.3 cm). These lovely butterflies fly at higher altitudes than many, often soaring higher than treetops.

Western Tiger Swallowtail- This variety of yellow butterfly is mostly found in the Western United States and Canada. They have small and intricate black markings all around their edges.

Southern Dogface- This amazing variety is a light yellow, with exquisite wispy white markings, almost like powder. They love eating the nectar of verbena and alfalfa plants.

Mexican yellow butterfly
Image by ALAN SCHMIERER via Wikimedia

Mexican Yellows- While parts of the bodies of these magical creatures can often appear nearly white, their heads are usually a bright yellow. These varieties live in woodlands and feed on New Mexico locusts.

Yellow Butterfly’s meaning FAQ

What is the spiritual meaning of seeing a yellow butterfly?

Seeing a yellow butterfly has a profound spiritual meaning, showing you that you have great spiritual potential. You will be given a big spiritual experience soon, and you are just the person to make the most of it.

Tags: black and yellow butterfly, yellow butterfly symbolize, yellow butterfly symbolism, yellow monarch butterflies