What Does It Mean When You See A White Butterfly

These gentle insects pack a whole lot of spiritual meaning.

white butterfly Butterfly Hunter & Marek Mierzejewski / Shutterstock & Unsplash

With over 1,000 species known, the white butterfly is native to Europe and Asia. But unlike other butterflies, which are sometimes seen as a visit from a deceased loved one, white butterflies are notorious pests, destroying plants as they grow.

Even though they are a nuisance, white butterfly symbolism has many meanings associated with this gentle creature.

White Butterfly Symbolism & Spiritual Meanings Of White Butterflies

White butterflies are symbols of peace, purity, success, abundance, transformation, new beginnings, intuition, spiritual growth, manifestation, and angelic energy. The white butterfly is also associated with your third eye chakra.


Because the color white represents purity and transcending the normal consciousness, it's no wonder the white butterfly has an association with angels and spirit guides trying to connect with you. These creatures are a sign of perceptiveness and a coming spiritual journey.

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White Butterfly Encounters and Omens

While gardeners may consider white butterflies to be a pest, when you encounter one, it's an incredibly positive omen, one associated with spirituality. Just like the butterfly begins its journey in a cocoon, so do you when you try to figure out your higher purpose.

Seeing a white butterfly means you need to trust the Universe and its Divine power to bring you the answers you're looking for. When you encounter one, pay attention to the peace and confidence you feel, and the good luck you will soon experience.

When a white butterfly comes into your life, it's also a good sign that your ups and downs will soon subside, and if you approach these circumstances with positivity and calmness, you will make it through. Trust your gut and intuition, and take the time to look inward for peace and serenity.

The meaning of seeing a white butterfly also depends on where you encounter them.


When a white butterfly flies in front of you while you're walking, it symbolizes new opportunities coming your way. On the other hand, a white butterfly in the garden is associated with manifestation and abundance, and is a good omen for success.

What Different Types of White Butterflies Symbolize

Though there are roughly 1,100 species of white butterfly, some are common in outdoor gardens and areas. And each one has a different meaning associated with it.

A cabbage white butterfly, with white wings and usually black dots on the top part of the wing, are a sign of good luck that will continue to follow you.

A Large White butterfly tends to have a black body, with black markings on the bottom of its wings; this white butterfly is indicative of something hidden that will soon show itself.


An Orange Tip butterfly is white, but has orange and black markings, similar to that of a Monarch butterfly, on the outermost part of its wings; much like the cabbage white, these creatures also represent good luck in your future.

Finally, the Green-veined White butterfly, which, as its name suggests, has hints of green in its wings, represents a balance in your life, and how you are connected to practicality.

White Butterfly Symbolism in Dreams

When you dream of a white butterfly, pay close attention to how the dream makes you feel. Usually, white butterflies are a pleasant dream experience, and represent a spiritual awakening of sorts. A dream involving a white butterfly may also be a message from your angels or spirits.

White butterflies in dreams also indicate good luck and fortune, a future transformation and change for the better, inspiration and new ideas, and a nudge to express creativity and journey forth with any projects on your mind.


In dreams where the appearance of white butterflies creates anxiety or stress, this may indicate death or disease, and a threat to an upcoming goal or accomplishment.

White Butterfly Spirit or Totem Animal

Spirit animals are spiritual guides whose purpose is to teach us lessons as they guide us down the right path. Similarly, totem animals are also spirit guides, but are those we call upon when we need guidance. Both spirit animals and totem animals are meant to help us find our higher purpose.

While you can't choose your spirit animal — rather, they choose you — you'll know if you have a white butterfly spirit animal if you resonate with these insects or have had some kind of profound experience with them.

A white butterfly spirit animal symbolizes compassion, love, purity, honesty, and holding a positive disposition in all areas of life.


When you discover that you have a white butterfly as a spirit animal, it's a sign from your angels that you need to focus less on the negative, and put your energy into forviging any slights or hurts from the past. Instead of dwelling in the past, take it as an opportunity to move forward and treat yourself with the kindness you deserve.

white butterfly meaningPhoto: Butterfly Hunter & Marek Mierzejewski / Shutterstock & Unsplash

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Spiritual Meaning of White Butterflies in Christianity and the Bible

White is a color of purity and, as such, represents angels in Christianity and the Bible. But white butterflies, specifically, are related to rebirth and starting anew.

In the Bible itself, any references to white are symbols of virtue and righteousness. But they are also symbolic of Divine messages from God. As 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come."

White Butterfly Symbolism in Mythology and Folklore

Native American White Butterfly Symbolism

In Native American culture, while black butterflies indicate bad weather coming, white butterflies are symbols of good luck. But different tribes have superstitions and folklore associated with this insect.

The Zuni tribe believes that seeing white butterflies in a non-summer season indicates that the weather will become hotter, while other tribes believe that white butterflies appearing in the summer indicate plenty of rain for the season.


The Blackfoot tribe believes a white butterfly entering your home is a sign of a person's death. This tribe also embroiders white butterflies on the clothing of babies to help them sleep better.

Other beliefs include the white butterfly representing the human soul, a sign of good sleep to come, and good luck if a white butterfly lands on someone's body.

Far Eastern White Butterfly Symbolism

In Chinese culture, white butterflies symbolize the soul of a deceased loved one and the love they feel for their family and loved ones. A white butterfly also means angels are protecting you as they watch over you.


In addition to representing a human soul, white butterflies that enter the home represent good luck in the future.

In Japanese culture, there is a folklore story called "The White Butterfly." In the tale, an old man named Takahama is a caretaker at a cemetery. One day, his sister and nephew visited him and found him ill. A white butterfly flew around his face and landed on his pillow; the nephew attempted to shoo it away, but the butterfly remained.

As Takahama died, the butterfly left the home, leading the nephew to follow it to the grave of a young woman named Akiko, who died 60 years earlier; however, fresh flowers were on the grave.

The nephew returned to his mother, who told him the story of Takahama and Akiko. Takahama and Akiko fell in love and got engaged, but she died before the wedding. He brought fresh flowers to her grave and promised to always be near her. The day he died was the first time he hadn't visited her grave in all those years. The white butterfly represented Akiko's soul, and how true love is stronger than death.


Irish White Butterfly Symbolism

In Ireland, white butterflies are symbols of immortality and the souls of dead children. In fact, before the 1600s, it was illegal to kill white butterflies, as the Irish believed they contained the souls of dead children.

White Butterfly Tattoo Meaning

Getting a white butterfly tattoo can symbolize a person's dedication to discovering their connection to a higher power or spiritual growth. But a white butterfly tattoo can also be related to living a life of peace, transformation, and compassion towards one's self.

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Samantha Maffucci is an editor for YourTango who has written hundreds of articles about relationships, trending news and entertainment, and astrology. Follow her on Twitter for more.