Skip to main content

Tattoos all have their own meaning to the people who bear them. A long-time form of self-expression for many, but a lot of people don’t know that there are some hidden meanings to their favorite Ink.

The humble butterfly, for instance, there are so many variations, but so many different meanings. In the below article we will be going over some of the hidden meanings to one of the most popular tattoos, the butterfly!

Butterfly Sticker on child hand, Dress up tattoos.

The butterfly is known for it beautifully colored wings, but there is so much more to these delicate creatures than just being beautiful!

Meaning in Culture

Vector of Chinese Traditional Artistic Pattern

The Chinese believe the butterfly symbolizes joy.

The Aztecs believe the butterfly symbolizes the souls of the past warriors who died in battle or of infants who passed away in unexpected ways. For the Aztecs, the butterfly’s meaning was of remembrance for those who have passed, and now their souls are eternal.


To stay on the subject of culture, many different cultures see the butterfly as a symbol of good luck. Seeing a butterfly can be a good luck charm, and maybe having one on your temple can provide you with luck for the rest of your life!

Life And Death

Young redhead woman with butterfly on her shoulder

Butterflies symbolize femininity and beauty in their rarest, most beautiful forms. And as with any insect, the butterflies’ life is fleeting.

They can symbolize the death of a loved one or the rebirth of a soul, a spiritual death of a life already lived. Butterflies metamorphosis, as do many, in a metaphorical way. They can symbolize a great change in someone’s life. Typically, an event that has impacted you in a significant way.

Colored Butterflies

The first and most common type of butterfly tattoo is one beautifully drawn and filled with color. There are so many versions of them, and each one has a different meaning.


Tattoo blue butterfly decorated with elegant pattern on white background.

Good luck


Hand drawn butterfly illustration isolated on white background

Christianity: salvation and purity.


More common in Europe, a symbol of peace of soul and harmony.


Set of Butterfly Silhouette Vector Design Illustration.

Black butterflies are often done as a tribal or Celtic tattoo, a black butterfly can represent anything from death to the souls of loved ones. It can also signify something bad is about to happen, perhaps loss of sleep or a financial crisis.

They can also signify the concept of aging or the loss of a loved one.

Age, death, and loss are a part of life, and going through such events makes us so much stronger.


butterfly monarch Admiral orange red

Chronic invisible illness


Red butterflies are either considered a good omen or a symbol of fear. Some Native American tribes believe that seeing a red butterfly can mean great luck is coming your way.

A red butterfly can also signify love and passion or to go to the other extreme anger and danger.


pink butterfly with open wings top view decorated with flowers, sketch vector graphic color illustration on white background

Love and compassion.

Different Forms

Not only do different colors signify different meanings, but the butterfly species you choose can say an awful lot!


Exotic butterfly wild insect in a watercolor style isolated. Full name of the insect: butterfly. Aquarelle wild insect for background, texture, wrapper pattern or tattoo.

Monarch butterflies are defined by their beauty, a feminine tattoo, the monarch butterfly tattoo represents the loveliness of a woman and their attraction and charm. Many also believe the monarch butterflies are visitors from heaven. Seeing the monarch butterfly can mean that an angel or someone from the celestial realm is coming to visit you.

Blue Monarch

Beautiful tattoo for your chest. Blue Machaon butterfly. Tropical realistic butterfly with shadow. Female symbol.

The blue morpho is mostly found in South America, Mexico, and Central America. Its beautiful wings are in a pattern that refracts light to become blue, containing no pigment at all.

There is a dual meaning to the blue morpho, it can mean good luck and happiness or symbolize the battle between you and evil spirits.

Semicolon Butterfly

Semicolon variations, don’t let your story end

Most know that the symbology behind the semicolon is a continuation of a sentence that could have ended or a life that could have ended but continued on to finish the story.

Therefore, a semicolon butterfly means that losing someone you love isn’t the end, but only the beginning of his or her soul’s adventure.


Graphic icon of butterfly. Butterfly tattoo isolated on white background. Vector

Tribal tattoos often take a meaning to their roots.

The base of death, beauty, and a life about to change,


Celtic Butterfly

The ancient Celts believed the meaning of the butterfly is to metamorphosize.

Metamorphosis symbolizes change in being, the caterpillar literally transforms into a new body. Therefore, the Celtic butterfly is about to change or did change into a whole new person. Leaving its old life behind to start fresh.

Skull With Butterfly

The skull represents death among other meanings, however, when you add a butterfly to the mix it can represent the fate of one’s own struggle with life and mortality.

Butterflies, being insects do not enjoy long lives. The skull butterfly tattoo is perfect to describe life’s fleeting journey.

Half Butterfly, Half Flower

When the flower and the butterfly are combined it shows you are one with nature.

Infinity Butterfly

Symbol infinity with realistic butterflies monarchs and morphs on white background.

The infinity symbol can be said to symbolize the soul’s immortality and change in life. This style of tattoo symbolizes metamorphosis into a new way of life.


In conclusion, the butterfly tattoo is such a classic and common tattoo. Not only because of its beauty but also because of numerous symbology.

The meanings behind them are not always a beautiful as the creature that it is inspired upon, but they almost always represent life in some way or another. And although life is so very fleeting, there is beauty right around every corner.