Born in the water and later taking to the air, the dragonfly is a symbol of change and transformation. It also represents wisdom, lightness of being or joy, adaptability, an invitation to explore emotions, and being on your guard for illusions and deceit.
As a spirit animal, totem, or power animal, these iridescent insects can teach and remind us of valuable life lessons.
Meaning of a Dragonfly
Often the subject of myths and legends, dragonflies have been a part of many stories, art, and culture throughout history. Revered in some legends while feared in others, these curious-looking insects have held significant meaning in various cultures.
Common Interpretations That Dragonflies are Known For
New Beginnings and Change
What does it mean to see a dragonfly? What does it mean when a dragonfly visits your house? A lot of people believe that it’s an indication of change.
Dragonflies start life in the water, but unlike other winged insects, they do not undergo a pupal stage. There is no chrysalis for the dragonfly. They go straight from water to air. It is because of this transition that dragonflies are associated with change and the ability to embrace new opportunities.
A Reminder to Live Life to the Fullest
Has a dragonfly crossed your path? Many think that this could be a reminder to start living life to the fullest.
It may surprise you to know that dragonflies spend most of their lives underwater. Before they are born as the adult dragonflies we know and recognize, they spend anywhere from two months to five years and even more developing as larvae in the water.
Only after this lengthy process does they emerge as the dragonflies we’re familiar with, but they only live around six months. Such a short lifespan considering the time they can spend in utero! Because of their short but fulfilling lifespan, dragonflies are a symbol of living in the moment and making the most of the time given to us.
An Invitation to Look Inward
It’s easy to become engrossed in the daily habits and routines we set for ourselves until sudden and unexpected changes reluctantly force us to take stock of our lives.
While people generally don’t embrace times of change, dragonflies molt or shed their outer coverings about eight to seventeen times during their lifespans and are hence a symbol of growth and maturity. The fact that they spend a large part of their life in the water a reminder to move beyond the superficial and reflect on the deeper aspects of life.
To embrace change like a dragonfly, we must learn to adapt to the changes that life throws at us without neglecting our deeper emotions.
A Symbol of Poise
A dragonfly in mid-flight is amazing and beautiful. It can easily fly in all six directions while flapping its wings only about 30 times a minute, but still have 20 times the strength of other insects. Though the flight of dragonflies has fascinated scientists and engineers for ages, they continue to be symbols of poise and elegance.
Meaning of a Dragonfly Landing on You
It is said that when a dragonfly lands on you it is an indication of good luck. Dragonflies are known to be harbingers of blessings, harmony, and beautiful relationships. They drive away bad luck and signal that you have good news from a loved one coming your way.
For people who consider dragonflies as their spirit animal, a dragonfly landing on you could be a symbolic representation of the onset of change and a life full of vigor. It can also be interpreted as a sign to embrace potential and possibilities.
The next time a dragonfly lands on you, don’t chase it away. It may be a sign of good things to come.
Meaning of a Dragonfly Flying Around You
A dragonfly hovering around you generally means that change is about to enter your life. It also represents freedom from captivity or the onset of freedom of opinion and uniqueness in your life.
Interestingly, Vietnamese culture links flying dragonflies to changes in weather. A low-flying dragonfly is predicted to bring rain while a high-flying dragonfly is prophesied to bring a bright, sunny day. If they fly at the mid-level, it is going to be a gray and cloudy day.
Seeing a Dead Dragonfly
According to legend and folklore, seeing a dead dragonfly is a sign of impending bad luck, sad news, or a bad change.
However, as dragonflies primarily signify change, it is said that even unwelcome change can bring in something good. Even if the change is something you didn’t wish for, it could still produce long-term benefits for you.
For ages, the association between dragonflies and death has been significant: They are also depicted as positive messengers from departed loved ones or sometimes as a sign of a soul’s entry into the spiritual world.
On the other hand, dragonflies could also mean that it’s time to find direction by getting out of your head and following your heart and source of joy.
The Dragonfly in Religion and Culture
We can also find dragonflies in different cultures and religions. Though most of the beliefs and opinions are centered around some form of change or transformation, they vary at their core level.
Here are a few examples of how different cultures and religions see dragonflies.
The Dragonfly in the Bible
Though the Bible does not specifically reference the word “dragonfly,” many Christians associate it with the rebirth of Christ and His ascension to Heaven, an important tenet in Christianity.
There are also other aspects of the Christian life that followers relate to this insect.
#1. Growth, Change, and Development
Throughout a dragonfly’s life, it molts about seventeen times. During this process, a dragonfly enters a new phase of life by shrugging off the old skin and acquiring a new one.
Parallels can be drawn between this phase and 2 Corinthians 5:17 of the Bible which says, “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Both the dragonfly and the Bible encourage us to embrace every challenge in life and aspire to be better versions of ourselves.
#2. Self-Awareness and Being Present
The dragonfly spends most of its life as a nymph in water, a state that is scientifically considered immature and is known to fly for a very short period of its life. Despite this, it manages to fly millions of miles as an adult symbolizing a life well-lived.
The Bible teaches us a similar lesson. Matthew 6:31-32 tells us, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.”
Just like the Bible, the dragonfly is a reminder to be present and live in the moment, to live life to the fullest without carrying the baggage of the past with us.
#3. A Call to Delve for a Deeper Life
As the dragonfly glides through the water, it’s a symbolic representation of a divine act of going above and beyond, of not settling for the ordinary materialistic things.
In Philippians 4:12-13, the Bible reminds us that there is more to this life than what we see: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Native American Beliefs About the Dragonfly
In a few Native American societies, the dragonfly is seen as a herald of change and the carrier of messages from the spiritual world while others consider it as a representation of souls in the afterlife.
According to the Cherokee Indians, dragonflies are believed to have been birthed from nymphs and they are considered sacred birds. The Cherokee consider seeing a dragonfly as a sign of a future auspicious event.
The people of Lakota and Dakota compare the fast beating of a dragonfly’s wings to mirages and illusions. They believe dragonflies possess great powers. Hence, they decorate their armor with images of dragonflies to summon the power they believe them to have.
Some Native American nations also relate dragonflies with healing, therapy, and shamanism. They associate dragonflies with resurrection and protection.
To the Pueblo and Hopi tribes, killing a dragonfly is taboo as they are medicinal animals that hold within themselves the power of transformation and healing.
For the Navajo community, a dragonfly signifies purity and happiness.
The Dragonfly According to Feng Shui
The dragonfly is a lesser-known symbol in Feng Shui. It is believed to be a symbol of power, success, change, happiness, wisdom, peace, and harmony along with good luck and new beginnings.
It is also said to have a close association with the subconscious world of hidden dreams and ideas.
Feng shui cultures inspire us to become aware of our thoughts and motives. It encourages us to rectify our behavioral patterns to improve the quality of our lives.
The dragonfly is likewise associated with action and going with the flow and is also used as a symbol of encouragement.
Dragonflies can attack their prey mid-flight and are quick predators. In feng shui, this quality symbolizes the ability to grab opportunities that come your way and to hold on to them as soon as you recognize them.
A dragonfly’s quick flying ability also enables it to be forewarned of obstacles ahead and skillfully avoid them. Similar to this trait, the feng shui culture believes that with the right focus and concentration, people can also avoid obstacles that prevent them from reaching their goals.
Meaning and Symbolism of Different Dragonfly Colors
A dragonfly, if observed closely, possesses an iridescent quality to its wings and body. It swiftly darts back and forth while its wings glint in the sunshine and reflects different colors.
The colors of a dragonfly are associated with various characteristics and beliefs of human beings.
A red dragonfly is rare. If you spot one in the wild, consider it a lucky treat.
Red represents power, passion, and intensity. It’s also the color of primal energy. Asians associate red with wealth and good luck while in Japan red dragonflies are linked to autumn. For Native Americans, red dragonflies are a symbol of hope.
As a spirit animal, a red dragonfly means eternal love and a much-required transformation.
The color red is also associated with one’s root chakra, an important concept in Hinduism. If you see a dragonfly after the death of a loved one, it indicates that the winged creature was sent to comfort and soothe your emotions.
Blue symbolizes loyalty, faith, and creative energy. Hence, blue dragonflies are a symbol of overflowing creativity and could also be a reminder to embrace a huge success that’s about to happen.
Blue dragonflies encourage us to find meaning in the challenges we face. They urge us to move forward from failure without neglecting the lessons we learned from it.
They are a sign that blessings are about to reach you either in the form of a career change or prosperity. They channel new opportunities and beginnings while reassuring you of success from your endeavors.
Yellow is a color for intellect, optimism, and happiness. It is the color of sunshine and vivacity.
A yellow dragonfly’s energy is a reminder of youthful exuberance and the energy that’s within you even if at times you feel tired and exhausted. It shows you that despite all the hardships in life, you’re here for a purpose.
A white dragonfly is a symbol of innocence, purity, and angels. It is associated with your sixth chakra, which deals with your psychic abilities and intuitions. White signifies simplicity and clarity of thought.
If you see a white dragonfly, it could mean that a loved one or an ancestor who has passed on is trying to reach out to you. The purity of the color signals that the pain and suffering they endured are now gone.
It is also a reminder not to focus on the anguish and the suffering that surrounded their death, but on the love and happy memories that you shared with them.
Green symbolizes growth, new beginnings, and Mother Nature. It is also the color of fertility and prosperity. Since the heart chakra is believed to be green, it’s also the color of feelings and emotions.
Green dragonflies indicate the forging of new beginnings and relationships. It is a reminder to open your heart and mind, and let love enter your life.
The green dragonfly can also be a sign that wealth and financial security are on their way. If you spot this insect anywhere near you, consider it a reminder to reach out to others and evolve. A green dragonfly can also be a sign that it is time to reconnect with people you fell out of touch with.
Black denotes mystery, elegance, discretion, and revolution.
In a society that is hungry for attention and is prone to over-sharing, a black dragonfly is a reminder that you’re entitled to your privacy. It’s okay to politely decline a connection or shut out people who invade your privacy without consent.
If you see a black dragonfly, it could mean that you need to reflect on your life and address a long-standing issue that you’ve kept buried within you. It is not enough to live on the surface.
From time to time, there’s a need to take a deeper dive and deal with your emotions and experiences. A black dragonfly could be telling you that there is a need for some self-examination.
Orange is the second chakra of life. It is related to sexuality and gut instincts. Orange dragonflies are a representation of wellness, creativity, and joy.
If you spot an orange dragonfly, it could be a sign that some areas of your life need attention. These areas may be your relationship with your friends, family, partner, colleagues, or even your own physical and mental health.
When we come from a place of good health and well-being, we tend to perform best in life. We also tend to be more sensual, creative, and content.
When you spot an orange dragonfly, remind yourself to listen to your gut. The quick and agile dragonfly is not one for stalling or second-guessing.
Giving Your Dragonfly Dream a Meaning
Have you dreamt of a dragonfly? What do they symbolize? Let’s explore some of the popular notions surrounding dragonflies in dreams.
Dreaming of a dragonfly may be a clue that something deep within you is about to break free from the realm of dreams and into the real world. Another common interpretation is that it heralds a transformation.
Perhaps it is time to break free from something that has been holding you back. Let go of questions that are creating resistance and live boldly.
However, if a dragonfly attacks you in a dream, it could be a sign that you have hurt someone close to you or are about to be hurt by a loved one.
Mystical Symbolism of a Dragonfly
In the mystical world, dragonflies point towards profound energy and a deep expression of the soul, urging you to be open to change and transformation.
Dragonflies are known for self-awareness, potential, new perspectives, breaking free of old patterns, and paving the way to freedom and new beginnings. They are also attributed with the power to convey telepathic messages to the world.
It is believed that spiritual messages from dragonflies can reach you in different ways. For example, if you’re in the middle of deserted land, you may miraculously come across a signpost that says, “The Dragonfly Lodge.” Or if you’re experiencing mental turmoil and you suddenly spot a dragonfly gliding on the water’s surface, you could take it as a reminder to reflect and regain clarity.
Some spiritual messages can be profound and you would do good to heed them. Be receptive to the messages that make their way to you. A dragonfly sighting can be an indication that you worry too much about the future and that you need to focus on living more fully in the moment. It can remind you to embrace the opportunities life offers you.
Dragonflies are considered messengers of the spirit world. It is said that our loved ones who have gone before us often visit us in the form of birds, bugs, and other tiny animals to let us know of their well-being.
To sum up, here are the mystical meanings that are associated with dragonflies:
• A call to express emotions and dive deeper into one’s soul
• An indication that new opportunities are on the way and a reminder to be flexible
• Carriers of spiritual messages
• Messengers of loved ones to reassure us of their well-being
The Meaning Behind a Dragonfly Tattoo
Image source: pinterest.com
A dragonfly tattoo is a popular choice among people. The dragonfly is a creature that doesn’t just make for a beautiful design but is captivating in reality too because of its iridescent colors and the intricacy of its body and wings.
People who choose dragonflies as their tattoo do so not just because of the design, but also because of the varied meanings and interpretations associated with them.
A dragonfly tattoo symbolizes a force of positivity, peace, strength, and purity.
Though in the past a dragonfly tattoo was linked to feminine energy, that’s isn’t the case anymore. A dragonfly tattoo symbolizes independence and can be chosen by both men and women.
Here are some of the meanings behind dragonfly tattoos and why people choose them:
• Dragonflies are associated with tranquility. It’s fascinating and soothing to watch them in flight. Thus, dragonfly tattoos carry a connotation of peace with them.
• Since a dragonfly landing on a person is said to be a good omen, dragonflies make great tattoos to signify good wishes for the present and future.
• Dragonflies spend most of their life in water as larvae. They take a long time to mature and only get to fly for six months. Hence a dragonfly tattoo symbolizes an attitude of living in the present and a life fully lived.
• Dragonfly tattoos also symbolize change and transformation and having a tattoo of a flying dragonfly is symbolic of fulfilling one’s dreams.
• For a warrior, a dragonfly tattoo is a representation of power and agility.
• Additionally, dragonfly tattoos can also signify immortality, rebirth, and spiritual awakening.
It’s amazing to think of how these small insects have influenced our culture, attitudes, beliefs, and even our tattoos. However, it doesn’t end there. There are many stories, myths, and superstitions the world over that feature this fascinating animal.
Dragonfly Myths and Superstitions from Different Countries
Dragonflies have been a source of fascination and speculation throughout history. In many parts of the world, they have become part of folklore and superstitions.
Let’s take a look at some of the more popular legends and myths that mention these interesting insects.
A Native American tribe, the Zuni people once faced a shortage of food on their land. As the tribe moved in search of more hospitable places, they accidentally left a girl and a boy behind.
Starving, the boy created an insect out of corn and grass. Using their imagination and love, the boy and girl gave life to it. The creature was supposed to go to the gods to beg for harvest on behalf of the Zuni tribe.
However, the girl suddenly became ill one day and the creature went to the corn maidens instead to ask for food. The corn maidens who had given life to the creature agreed to its request and asked the children to be ready for the plans God had in store for them.
Thereafter, the corns began to grow out of the ground again and the tribe returned to their land making the girl and the boy they had accidentally left behind their tribe leaders.
The creature who saved them became their beloved companion. It requested that it be called a “dragonfly.” Since then, the dragonfly has been part of the Zuni culture and is known as a symbol of prosperity, rain, and harvest.
Sweden considers dragonflies as symbols of impending doom. They associate dragonflies with ghouls and goblins who they believe are always in search of bad souls to carry into the jungle with them.
Romanians view dragonflies as portents of dark magic and evil. The legend goes that a devil once ordered a fisherman to take him across the other side of a bank. When the fisherman refused, the devil turned himself into a dragonfly and began terrorizing the villagers.
Germany has an interesting tale about dragonflies. It goes like this: There was once a mean princess who refused to speak to a man from her kingdom. She was so vindictive that she ran him over with her horse.
In return, the man cursed the princess to be forever joined with her horse. That’s how the dragonfly came to be. Because of this ominous origin, dragonflies in Germany are considered bad omens. They are associated with evil, curses, and wrongdoing.
In Japanese culture, dragonflies are loved, respected, and revered. They are often portrayed in art, design, and poetry.
According to Japanese legend, an emperor who was out in the forest was once attacked by a perilous insect. A dragonfly came to the emperor’s rescue by eating the insect, saving him from danger. Ever since the dragonfly has been regarded as a symbol of peace and harmony.
Popular Dragonfly Quotes
With so many stories, meanings, and traits attributed to dragonflies, it’s no wonder that they have been the subject of many sentiments. Here’s a list of some of the most popular quotes involving dragonflies.
#1. “Magic is seeing the wonder in nature’s every little thing, seeing how wonderful the fireflies are and how magical are the dragonflies.” – Ama H. Vanniarachchy
#2. “Clouds of insects danced and buzzed in the golden autumn light, and the air was full of the piping of the songbirds. Long, glinting dragonflies shot across the path, or hung tremulous with gauzy wings and gleaming bodies.” – Arthur Conan Doyle
#3. “Living things tend to change unrecognizably as they grow. Who would deduce the dragonfly from the larva, the iris from the bud, the lawyer from the infant? Flora or Fauna, we are all shapeshifters and magical re-inventors. Life is really a plural noun, a caravan of selves.” – Diane Ackerman
#4. “Bees and butterflies, moths and dragonflies, the flowers and the brooks and the clouds.” – George Macdonald
#5. “The sun is lowering below the lines of the mountains that encase the town and stars sparkle across the sky like dragonflies.” – Jessica Sorensen
A Few Parting Words
We hope that this article has given you a new appreciation as well as additional knowledge about dragonflies. If you’ve been seeing a lot of dragonflies lately, well, we’ve given you a wealth of dragonfly meanings and symbolisms to choose from.
Despite the varied significance given to it throughout the world, the dragonfly is regarded by most to be a creature of transformation, wellness, and positivity.