What does it mean when a butterfly lands on you?

Butterflies are beautiful creatures and come in many different shapes, colors, and sizes. Many children spend hours trying to catch the colorful winged insects, wanting to take a closer look at their gorgeous patterns themselves. Sometimes, though, a person gets lucky and is able to take a close up look at a butterfly because one has actually landed on them. 

If you've ever had a butterfly land on you, you may have wondered what it means. Is there some deep spiritual symbolism at play? Or is that butterfly simply looking for a perch? The answer depends on what you believe.

The symbolism behind a butterfly landing on you

If you're a skeptic, a butterfly landing on you doesn't actually mean anything. For those of you who prefer to take a more spiritual approach to life, though, a butterfly landing on you could be packed with meaning. 

According to The Continuum Encyclopedia of Symbols, in Christian symbolism, a butterfly represents resurrection and immortality, but it could also represent vanity. In dream interpretation, a butterfly is considered to be a sign of new beginnings and liberation. In ancient times, butterflies represented the soul and its eternal nature.  

According to The Dream Interpretation Dictionary: Symbols, Signs, and Meanings, there is a possible interpretation if a butterfly lands on you in a dream. "A butterfly landing on you can be a sign that your unconscious mind approves of something, probably related to personal development or service to others, same as a butterfly is a servant of nature," it says. "It can symbolize that you can be trusted with delicate things."

The scientific reason a butterfly lands on you

Science, however, says that the real reason a butterfly lands on you isn't quite so romantic. If you find a butterfly coming down to rest on your arm, it's probably just looking for salt. According to Animal Corner, there is a belief that butterflies landing on you will bring you good luck, but, in all likelihood, they're simply attracted to your sweat. Contrary to popular belief, butterflies don't completely live off of nectar, and some species actually need more sodium than nectar. 

While it can be exciting if a butterfly does land on you, be very careful. Butterflies have very delicate wings, so you should take care to not damage them.