A Unexpected VisitorEarly this morning while most of the family members are still in deep slumber, Tita Mercy and I went about with some morning chores. She went out the front door to unlock the gates and I was preparing breakfast. “Come here, we have a visitor” she said as she entered the main hall. Wondering who it was, I went to the living room to greet the “visitor.” My aunt held her hand up and I saw a beautiful butterfly. I haven’t seen a butterfly for a very long time and I felt joy and excitement, as if I was a little girl, as I gazed upon such beauty. My aunt mentioned that “someone” came here to visit us. The “someone” she was referring to was probably a soul of relative who passed away. I immediately thought of my cousin who passed away of dengue last year. The butterfly didn’t even budge considering that I had to take my camera-phone closely when I took its photo. It only startled when Sophie wanted to take a closer look. The butterfly flew across the room and landed on the curtains. It stayed inside the house for a very long time until it just disappeared later this evening.
Could it be possible that a butterfly indeed symbolizes a visiting human soul, a loved one who passed on to another life? I searched the net about the butterflies and I’d like to share some of the myths I’ve found.
- The Greeks believed that a new human soul was born each time an adult butterfly emerged from its cocoon.
- Butterflies have been used by the Chinese and Japanese cultures for centuries as symbols of joy and the essence of happiness. Both cultures have added them to manuscripts, paintings and drawings for centuries.
- Early Europeans believed that the human soul took the form of a butterfly so, they viewed the butterfly with great respect and often with fear.
- Northern Europeans thought that dreams were the result of the soul-butterfly's wanderings through other worlds.
- In southern Germany, some say the dead are reborn as children who fly about as butterflies, resulting in the belief that they bring children.
- The Irish believe that butterflies are the souls of the dead waiting to pass through purgatory.
- Native American Indian legends told that butterflies would carry the wishes to the Great Spirit in heaven to be granted.
- Shoshone Indians believed that butterflies were originally pebbles, into which the Great Spirit blew the precious breath of life.
- Native American Zuni tribes believed that butterflies could predict the weather. The Zuni also believed that the white butterfly predicts the beginning of summer.
- The Blackfeet Indians believe that dreams are brought to us in sleep by a butterfly.
- The butterfly is a symbol of the fertility of the earth among some tribes of Mexico.
- Born out of the caterpillar in the chrysalis, butterflies were a symbol of rebirth, regeneration, happiness, and joy to Native Americans in Mexico.
- The Maya looked upon butterflies also as the spirits of dead warriors in disguise descending to earth.
- Among the Nagas of Assam the dead are believed to go through a series of transformations in the underworld and are finally reborn as butterflies. When the butterfly dies, that is the end of the soul forever.
- The Aztecs believed that the happy dead in the form of beautiful butterflies would visit their relatives to assure them that all was well. These butterflies flew around the house and around bouquets of flowers which were carried by Aztec men of social rank.
- Metamorphosis of butterflies and moths is one of the mysteries of Nature. The ability of these insects to change from the crawling caterpillar to the flying adult is almost magical.
- Many people are so awe inspired by the metamorphosis that they believe that butterflies and moths could never have evolved over millions of years without a God behind it.
- The night butterfly [the moth] attracted by the flame, like the soul attracted by heavenly truths, burns in the flame, reflection of the trials that must be endured to eliminate the fleshy sink-stones before knowing the joys of the beyond.
Labels: Daily Musings