Butterflies landing on us: a magical day

What does it mean when a butterfly lands on you?

I would tell you that this was the first time a butterfly landed on me, but it’s not.

My first butterfly friend came to me one day while I was talking with a group of friends. I noticed the butterfly fluttering nearby and had a very strong feeling that the butterfly would land on me if I opened myself to it happening. In fact, I KNEW the butterfly would land on my finger if I extended it. So, I calmly extended my finger and the butterfly landed on it. The butterfly and I watched each other for several minutes. I felt that we were communicating on some level, communing peacefully together. I felt the butterfly’s trust in me and the world faded away. Butterflies have that effect.

When it was time for the butterfly to fly from the perch of my finger, I looked up at my friends. They had stopped talking and were looking at me, jaws dropped. The most surprising thing, they said, is that I acted as if it was supposed to happen; I acted completely unsurprised that a butterfly landed on my finger. They were right. I wasn’t surprised at all, although I can’t explain it more than that.

In this case we were at a butterfly conservatory that had the happiest butterflies I’d ever seen. The space was kept at the perfect temperature and humidity for butterflies, and they happily fluttered around the large room filled with flowering plants. Still, they kept landing on me the entire time we were there.

I mentioned my experiences with butterflies to a colleague and was surprised to learn that she had studied the symbolism of animal guides. We quickly searched “what does it mean when a butterfly lands on you” and found that the internet is full of opinions on the matter.

Butterflies landing on a person symbolizes good luck.

Others say it symbolizes rebirth – but of course! In a chrysalis transformed.

Butterflies inspire me when I think about them finding their hidden wings, even if we do not see the challenge of their metamorphosis. I think about the “wings” I still hold inside of me.

There are other cultural references too, such as butterflies in the stomach indicating nervousness.

My favorite butterfly reference is from Chuang Tzu’s (Zhuangzi) The Inner Teachings: Theories On All Things Being Equal. I couldn’t believe I didn’t remember it before; I loved reading Chuang Tzu in my early twenties and this is a well-known passage in Chinese philosophy.

“A while ago I, Zhuang Zhou (Zhuangzi), dreamed I was a butterfly. Happily absorbed in being a butterfly, I was thrilled to fly around and do what butterflies do. I didn’t even know I was Zhou. When I woke up, I suddenly found that I was Zhou. I didn’t know if I was Zhou dreaming I was a butterfly, or if I was a butterfly dreaming I was Zhou. There must be something that separates Zhou from the butterfly. It’s called metamorphosis.”

I’ve often seen the last line translated as “This is called the Transformation of Things”, which ironically I never took to mean “metamorphosis” even though we’re discussing butterflies. But what does it mean?

Perhaps it means the world of dreams and the world of waking are one but it takes letting go of presumptions to see it. Or perhaps dreaming and waking are both real and transform into one another as if from a chrysalis. Or perhaps the passage is a metaphor for spiritual awakening and the transformation into harmony with nature, the ten thousand things.

If I was Chuang Tzu, I might wonder if the butterfly is whispering to me that it is human, or that I am a butterfly.

I recall from the days when I studied Taoism sitting in a pine forest that Western linear thought doesn’t lead to understanding as much as right-brained reading does. Like poetry. Sadly, this type of right-brained immersion is something I find challenging in the distractable mama life I now lead.

All I know that four butterflies landed on me that day. One butterfly landed on Orchid and two landed on Sunboy. For me,this makes five fluttering friends for whom I’ve provided a perch. When butterflies land on you, it’s bound to be a magical day. In our case, it was one that transformed us all.

Oct/Nov 2017: For a limited time, sign up for email updates about my books, and get a free copy of my inspirational poetry book about finding happiness after sadness! Thanks for sharing your butterfly experiences in the comments below. I love to hear your stories!



32 thoughts on “Butterflies landing on us: a magical day

  1. beautiful and so touching. that the butterflies found you a non threat and decided to land on you is indeed magical. Never had a butterfly perch on me before :-( Tells one how calm and centered you are as a person

    1. Thanks, Anita. Not being a butterfly myself I can’t speak to the reasons, only that these are moments I’ll never forget. Years ago, it seemed that ladybugs sought me out. There was always a ladybug on me or near me, even in the middle of winter.

    2. Anita, I appreciate your thoughts on the matter.. We were at the pool, I had a yellow and black towel wrapped around me, and a yellow and black butterfly landed on me and stayed for a few minutes. I felt special for once.

      1. Wow, Carolyn, sounds like the butterfly was claiming you as one of her own! I’m sure you were very special before the butterfly landed on you though. :)

  2. Your writing is magical. Your thoughts are magical. And sometimes they descend on me quite unexpectedly, like butterflies. And make my day.

  3. I love the fact it was insightful and that all of u stop to see the beauty in the world.

    1. Hi Mona, Thanks for your kind comment! I love when I slow down and notice beauty that was always there. Sometimes it’s just a shadow on the wall or a cloud. It’s a constant reminder to me to slow down and look, experience the moment. :)

  4. What a wonderful story!! You have a gift of writing. I love butterflies – they are beautiful creatures!

    1. Hi Laura, Yes, there’s something magical about a butterfly. This is a day I’ll always remember. Thanks so much, and please visit again! :)

  5. This Is very touching, although I was walking back in to work from my lunch break today a beautiful brown and orange and yellow butterfly landed on me and it was like we smiled at each other and communicated without words spoken and it wouldn’t leave my chest we stared at each other for at least 4 mins then my friend spoke it flew away and came right back and it sat on my hand as I walked and this is the second time in my lifetime this has happened I feel really special!!! :)

    1. Wow! That’s amazing, TamTam! I know what you mean by communicating without words with a butterfly. It feels like time has stopped and for a moment we share existence together. :) Thanks for sharing this very special experience and please stop by again.

  6. I was out for lunch, stopped by to buy myself an avocado shake and I “felt” fluttering, then I see a blue/indigo/purple butterfly, I knew it would land on me and it did land straight to me!! It won’t fly away so I watched for a few seconds thinking, the dude is so calm just sitting on my lap. Then I had an idea I’d gently take it with my hand and perhaps put it on my chest turn it into a brooch or put it atop my head and pretend it is a hair clip. I did neither but I took it softly and let if fly off. It wanted to go back to me but I said later dude:) People around me were amazed. I’m centered like that huh. (I’m kidding with my wording but not with the butterfly landing on me.) I felt it’s wings in my fingertips, it’s as soft as an Angel’s wings.

    1. What a great butterfly story, Dudette! I know what you mean when you say you knew the butterfly would land on you. That was my experience too. I wonder if that feeling begins with us, the butterfly or the connection between the two. Thanks for sharing.

  7. WOW!!! Your experience is so magical. I had an experience with a butterfly today, i was about to wash some dishes outside my house, this little gentle butterfly came and landed on my finger(engagement finger) and stayed on it till i finished washing the dish, it was amazing, i was looking deep into its eyes and i could feel some great strange connection. It was on that finger for a while and entered another one, it stay for about 25minutes before flying away. When it did fly away, i felt like crying, oh i missed it!!! I wished it to visit me some other time (smiles)

    1. What a special experience, Efota! Thank you for sharing it here. I know what you mean by the connection you felt – it’s unexpected but feels very real. I hope you have other butterfly visits in your future :)

  8. Hi there, I had this beautiful experience of a yellow and black butterfly landing on my head. Its my daily ritual to go and stand on the balcony when my husband leaves home to go to office.Although today it was a different experience….I kept standing in the balcony after my husband had left,a yellow and black butterfly landed on my hair and kept playing …I had left my hair open…and this butterfly kept moving in between my hair for sometime and then left…I had a happy feeling throughout the day… I wish I have similar experience again and again…

  9. While vacationing in Aruba with my friend we visited a butterfly farm. A butterfly landed on her hand and was there for several minutes. I walked over to Her and raised my hand and the butterfly walked on to my hand, The butterfly then walked onto my hand which I thought was very amazing. After a minute I decided to pass it back to her, The butterfly then walked back onto her hand. I never seen or heard anything like that, I thought it was amazing that It just landed on her let alone to be passed back and forth. It was an awesome experience and I felt truly blessed. Has anyone ever heard of such as experience? Or know what this means?

    1. What a beautiful and peaceful experience you shared with your friend! A butterfly can leave whenever it wants, so when it stays, it is voluntary. It must have sensed that you and your friend would show kindness.

  10. Hi,
    I had a butterfly land on me today. At first it was flying around me and I opened my hand hopeing it would land on me and it did it landed right in the palm of my hand. I was so excited. I love butterflies but never had on to just sit in the palm of my hand. It sit there about 20 mins. But i still dont understand what it means…?? I wish i could upload a photo because i dont know if color had to do with anything of what it means.

  11. Hi
    I would like to share my amazing experience. It was one night, I was out of the house and having a smoke and everyone in the family was sleeping when I saw a big shadow moving close and open. It was a beautiful butterfly a size of my middle finger when the wings opened. It looks unsettled and before I went inside I used my finger and put in the pot plant. The next day morning it was still there and before I went to school it’s flies away. After few days, me and my husband chillin outside the house, suddenly three same butterflies flying around the tree close to us and they are the same as the other night. One of them flies around me and like an eagle landed in my smallest finger for few seconds. It was so amazing and I felt so good and feeling emotional. Since then it doesn’t comes out from my mind and thinking what is really meaning of that experience of mine and what message that the butterfly brings to me.

  12. I stumbled upon this because I’ve had the same butterfly (I believe) land on me every day this week. It seems to be waiting for me in front of my garage when I come home from the office. It flies to and rests on my hand, it dances around my head, rests on my shoulder….I’ve been lucky enough to capture these encounters with my i-phone. What does this mean? I’m a little perplexed…..

    1. How wonderful, Karin! It sounds like you have a butterfly friend. I suspect you have a deep peacefulness about you. My experiences with butterflies landing on me is that it happens when I am feeling “open” and serene. I can sense it will happen before it does, and I wonder if the butterfly picks up on that, like an intention. Thank you for sharing, and stop back again!

  13. A year ago as I was working in my yard, a butterfly landed on my heart area and just stayed there for a long time. My husband came over and said “you know there is a butterfly on you right?” I said yes, it’s been there <3 the feeling was amazing!

  14. Thank you for sharing your beautiful butterfly experience. I have been going through significant changes, wonderful changes. I am not sure if it has all started with my manifestations or from within, one in the same I suppose:). Anyway, I was sitting on my deck and the most beautiful butterfly was dancing around me and then landed right on my finger. I was holding a cup of coffee and it just sat right there on my finger! Like you, I had this feeling that it was going to do just that. It made me feel so alive and I felt this sort of confirmation that everything is in perfect order. My very own metamorphosis is at play…this I now know for sure.

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