Seeing A Black And White Butterfly Meaning (Spiritual And Symbolic)

Butterflies are one of our favorites here at Symbols and Synchronicity. That’s why we’ve written extensively about the spiritual meaning of many different colored butterflies. In this article, we’re going to be talking about the spiritual meaning of black and white butterflies. While black and white butterflies aren’t super common, there are a number of species that black and white in color (e.g. the swallowtail, Papilio machaon). So, it was only natural that, eventually, we’d write about the spiritual meaning of a black and white butterfly.

How to Understand the Spiritual Meaning of a Black and White Butterfly

When it comes to analyzing and understanding the possible spiritual, metaphysical, or symbolic meaning all around us, a good way to approach it is to learn to identify the building blocks. Specifically, things like nature, context, shape and color play a big role in symbolism. Therefore, when it comes to breaking down the spiritual meaning of a black and white butterfly, it will help to start by picking out the contributing elements that influence the spiritual meaning.

black and white butterfly

Here’s a list of how we’re breaking it down:

  • General spiritual meaning of butterflies
  • Spiritual meaning of the color black
  • Spiritual meaning of the color white

Once we check all the items off this list, we can then combine those separate meanings to get a grip on the spiritual meaning of seeing a black and white butterfly.

What Do Butterflies Represent?

The spiritual meaning of a butterfly can be reduced to just two core representations.

black and white butterfly spiritual meaning

The first is, of course, transformation. This comes from the critter’s journey from grubby caterpillar life into fluttering butterfly glory. The second, conveniently, stems from the first: freedom! This is because as the butterfly transforms from a caterpillar into a butterfly it gains a significant degree of freedom via that metamorphosis.

So, as we continue learning how to interpret the spiritual meaning of a black and white butterfly, be sure to keep both freedom and transformation in mind.

What Does The Color Black Represent?

Now it’s time to start talking about color. We’re starting with the color black.

Black is very much a symbolic color. It’s often said that black is a color that represents power. When we look at the color black, in certain contexts that is, it certainly conveys a spiritual, symbolic, and aesthetic feeling of power. Although, it isn’t about simple, raw power. Instead, the color black does not stands for quiet, calm, and well-organized strength and unspoken influence. After all, it is for this reason governments so often use the color black for vehicles, clothing, and other forms of symbolism.

meaning of the color black

Black has other vital spiritual and symbolic meanings in all cultures around the world. In the West, we use it as a color to communicate that we are in mourning. It is well-known that wearing all black is a way of letting those around us know we are feeling emotional pain, often due to the loss of a loved one. The color black is, of course, not truly a color when considered in a more exact way. Actually, black is the lack of color. Therefore, it’s easy to see that a lack of color corresponds to a lack of positive emotions.

There’s one more role the color black plays, and that’s in fashion! Black is the stylish color. When you’re trying to look classy, cool, sophisticated, or confident black is excellent choice.

After all, think about some of the style classics on this list:

  1. The classic tuxedo!
  2. A little black dress
  3. A slim, black tie
  4. A pair of shiny black shoes

Dress yourself up in any of those, and you can’t go wrong.

The Color White And What It Means

To complete the picture of the spiritual meaning of a black and white butterfly, we have to learn the meaning of the color white in isolation.

White is a very spiritual and symbolic color. We use it to suggest innocence and purity, which is the reason brides wear white wedding dresses. However, white is also used to represent spiritual purity—this is why so many religious roles require the wearing of white robes.


Additionally, white, like black, its fundamental counterpart, stands for tranquility, stillness, calmness. This is because both white and black convey a message of peace; and they do this by being devoid of color. While black is truly a lack of all color. White is the entire visible spectrum in one, which we see as white. As such, white not only represents calmness, peacefulness, but also the cleanliness and simpleness that we often link with a spiritually pure lifestyle.

Also worth noting, in some places the color white takes over the role of black as the primary color of bereavement. This is because, as we have discussed here, white represents peace that our lost loved ones experience as they complete their journey into the next phase of being.

Spiritual Meaning of a Black and White Butterfly

So, we’ve laid all the correct foundations for understanding the spiritual meaning of a black and white butterfly. So, now we’re going to talk about how those component elements contribute to the overall spiritual meaning of a black and white butterfly.

Let’s Talk About Yin and Yang

It’s impossible to talk about black and white animals of any sort, including black and white butterflies, without talking about the contrast between extremes. The classic symbol for the contrast and balance between black and white is, of course, the yin yang symbol. The concept of yin and yang can be alien and difficult to fully grasp for people from outside of China and its cultural sphere of influence.

yin yang spiritual meaning

Put simply, the concept of yin and yang is about light and dark. And how, in the light, there is always a seed of darkness that can grow. And vice versa. Also, as those seeds grow, the opposing force, diminishes to maintain the balance.

When it comes to black and white butterflies, the message of yin and yang is, of course, worth considering. It’s asserted that in the face of yin, we should should embody yang as a way of being harmonious. Adopting this philosophy helps avoid unnecessary and counterproductive friction. This spiritual meaning synergizes well with the butterfly—it flitters and floats with the utmost of ease, never visibly struggling. Ask yourself, what issues are you making more difficult than they have to be? Is there a different perspective you could take on so as to better navigate contentious situations?

Black and White Butterflies and Transformation

Black and white, yin and yang, and transformation—they all go together. The yin always has the possibility to become the yang, and vice versa. The transformation is natural, comfortable, and above all else, in balance. Therefore, the black and white butterfly can come as a message to you that personal transformation can be an excellent tool to navigate difficult challenges. That is, if embodying the energy of yin isn’t working then, hey, no worries—just become yang and give that a try.

Further Reading