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October 5, 2022 — 9:32 AM
Spiritual messages are all around us, and sometimes, you see a particular number, insect, or animal so frequently you start to wonder if it actually has a message for you. Moths, for instance, have a handful of common spiritual messages, plus notable historic significance.
If these winged-creatures seem to be following you lately, here’s what they could be trying to tell you, according to spiritual experts.
Moths are commonly associated with a few central themes: change, transformation, endings, death, and even the mystery of the night.
As Dawn Baumann Brunke, author of the book Animal Teachings, tells mbg, “Most moths navigate by moonlight and are at home in the dark. For this reason, many cultures have associated moths with the foreshadowing of death.”
In Ancient Greece, for example, moths and butterflies were linked with souls of the dead. As two Greek researchers write in their paper Soul, Butterfly, Mythological Nymph: Psyche in Philosophy and Neuroscience, “While the butterfly symbolizes awe, the moth has become the unwilling symbol for that which is ugly and negative. Other symbols identified with moths—such as insanity, for example—are also responsible for the moth’s low esteem. However, the moth, attracted by the flame—just as the soul is by heavenly truth—burns itself in the flame, reflecting the trials that must be endured to eliminate the flesh before knowing the joys of the beyond.”
Baumann Brunke adds that moths aren’t always looked at in a negative light, however, explaining that they’re also sometimes seen as a messenger of spirit, or a representation of a departed soul returning to earth. “In some myths, moths signal immortality,” she adds.
3 spiritual meanings behind the moth:
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According to Baumann Brunke, one of main teachings of Moth is to assist in the transition between worlds. As aforementioned, many cultures viewed moths as emissaries from the Spirit realm. To that end, they can also relate to endings within our lives, which bring with it, new beginnings.
Relating to themes of beginnings, endings, and change, Baumann Brunke tells mbg that working with the moth on a spiritual level is often an invitation to become more fluid in easing through change, as well as working in both the physical and spiritual worlds. “In general, Moth helps us to celebrate transitions rather than fear them, and so awaken to larger experiences,” she says, adding, “They may bring messages to us, insights, guidance or advice.”
Lastly, like their daytime counterpart, the butterfly, moths too begin as caterpillars, retreat into a chrysalis, and are reborn in a completely new form. This transformation represents the transformation possible within all of us when we work with this creature’s medicine, even when it’s not always comfortable or easy.
Different types of moths.
There are over 100,000 different kinds of moths in the world, each with very unique abilities and colorings, according to Baumann Brunke. “The Death’s-head Hawkmoth, for example, bears the image of a human skull on its thorax,” she says, while other moths are quite delicate and beautiful. “So there are many different nuances in regards to Moth’s teaching,” she adds.
Or take black butterflies and moths, for example, which research indicates are associated with the souls of the dead/ancestors in places like Chad, Senegal, and Madagascar. The Luna moth, on the other hand, connects to themes like intuition, psychic abilities, and searching for truth.
“Key things to consider when a particular moth appears to you are not only its coloring,” according to Baumann Brunke, “but also its shape and any distinguishing features.”
If a moth appears in your dream.
Just as animals can appear to us in real life, they can also be known to visit people in dreams, and the moth is no exception. Interpreting these dreams, however, can be very personal. As animal spiritualist Jordana Van previously explained to mbg, you should think about any personal associations you have with moths first, before going with a standard interpretation.
“Dreams are much more personal than we realize, in which case, the symbol is supposed to get us to look at what is going on in our life and ask ourselves if it mirrors what happened in our lives the last time we experienced that animal in the aforementioned fashion,” Van says, adding, “If so, what issues from that time might still need to be resolved?”
And if moths have been appearing to you in dreams, it’s worth noting that they are often associated with dreams and inner visions, according to Baumann Brunke, who notes some say they hold the secrets of the night.
“Dreaming about moths can be powerful. Moth may show up in a dream as an inspiration to open conscious pathways to the inner world, or perhaps as a teacher to help heighten your intuitive or psychic abilities,” she says, adding, “Moth can also appear in dreams to help us be more aware of the dream realm and learn to be more comfortable in that realm.”
What to do if you keep seeing them.
So, whether you keep seeing moths when you’re awake or in your dreams, what do you do about it? The answer lies in getting clear on what the moth’s message really is for you.
Baumann Brunke explains that for many, moths remind us of the importance of endings in the process of transformation. “While we may fear its connection with death and endings, Moth is also a sign of rebirth. Its presence encourages us to trust the process of letting go so that we may move ahead,” she explains.
That said, the first thing she recommends is asking yourself how you feel about endings. “Seeing a lot of moths may indicate the ending of something—a job, a relationship, a particular phase of your life,” Baumann Brunke tells mbg, adding, “Thus you might ask yourself, Is it time to let go of something? Do you fear loss or are you excited to let go and move on?
Endings are inevitable, but resisting those endings doesn’t have to be. As Baumann Brunke says, “How we feel about endings in our lives often influences our experience. Moth is so helpful in this way, because it reminds us that by coming to terms with endings, we can better welcome and move into new beginnings.”
Moths can represent a lot of different things, depending who you ask, what kind of moth it is, and even your own personal associations. But by and large, they have a long association with endings and transformation, so if you’ve been seeing a lot of them, change could very well be on the horizon.
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