An American Indian Legend

According to an American Indian Legend:

If anyone desires a wish to come true they must first capture a butterfly and whisper that wish to it.

Since a butterfly can make no sound, the butterfly can not reveal the wish to anyone but the Great Spirit who hears and sees all.

In gratitude for giving the beautiful butterfly its freedom, the Great Spirit always grants the wish.

So, according to legend, by making a wish and giving the butterfly its freedom, the wish will be taken to the heavens and be granted.

The following line is often added when the Legend is read prior to releasing butterflies at a wedding:

We have gathered to grant this couple all our best wishes and are about to set these butterflies free in trust that all these wishes will be granted.


Anne and Ralph of Sassyfrass Butterfly Ranch wish to share this text. It was written for their local Relay for Life that they donate butterflies to every year.

On The Wings Of Hope

As an ancient legend goes;

If anyone desires a wish to come true,
they must capture a butterfly and whisper that wish to it.

Since butterflies make no sound,
They can’t tell that wish to anyone but the Great Spirit.

So by making the wish and releasing the butterfly,
It will be taken to the heavens and be granted.

Although this legend implies that we should keep our wishes silent,
there are some wishes that need to be expressed out loud.

To those that have been touched by the disease we are helping to fight today,

We wish the caregivers strength and tranquility,
and thank them for their gifted labor of love.

We wish the survivors a long and happy life,
and thank them for showing us how to fight with courage and determination.

We wish those currently fighting the battle energy and hope,
and thank them for showing us what true bravery is all about.

And finally, we wish the victims peace and love,
and thank them for the joy and happiness they brought to us.

With this symbolic gesture, we honor those that have left us and encourage those left behind to continue the fight “On the Wings of Hope”.

Ralph Charles Ritchie

An Aboriginal story of transformation, which has been passed down through the generations, tells of a man and his son, who were walking through the outback when the boy suddenly fell ill. The father had built a shelter to protect his son, and then he left to find food and medicinal plants, which took a few days. When the father finally returned, his son was gone. In despair, he leaned against a tree for support during his anguish, and through his tears he noticed a cocoon in its branches. He knew that the cocoon represented the shelter he had built for his son, and his tears stopped, for he realized then that the boy's spirit would soon be released as a butterfly.

A request on the IBBA Mailing List for biblical verses relating to butterflies generated these responses:

The transformation of a butterfly is comparable to a new christian, all sins are forgiving and we start anew or a newlywed couple, when your life together starts...a life of sharing, one love, one dream, one heart.

II Corinthians 5:17

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."

Nora Donston
A Butterfly Affaire

The Bible doesn't use the word butterfly anywhere that I have found. Here is my answer on this subject to Kinza a couple months ago:

I have done a personal Bible study to determine the same thing. All I have found is Romans 12:2, "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."

The Greek word for "transformed" in this verse is metamorphoo, which means to change into another form, with the stress on inward. (Is this not the picture of a butterfly?!) It is also translated as "transfigured" in reference to Jesus in Matthew and Mark. I use this verse to give a presentation entitled Be Ye Transformed: Butterflies and the Christian Woman.

The Bible is full of illustrations from the world around us. The Hebrews didn't have words for abstract things. That is one reason Jesus told so many parables. He brought the abstract into everyday, calling himself the "bread" of life. That means a lot when bread is the center of every meal and takes MUCH planning: sowing, tending, reaping, storing, grinding, kneading, and baking -- constant attention.

I believe this is what the illustration of metamorphosis above is -- showing us dramatically (in real time, if you will) what can be done within us by the power of God.

Peggy Hatcher.

The Bible has a lot of verses about moths. They are mostly in conjunction with destruction -- moths eating.

Just my FYI and quoted from another source:

Metathesis {met-ath'-es-is} noun
AV - change 1, translation 1, removing 1; 3
1) transfer: from one place to another
2) to change

Translators often look for other words in a language that might have similar meanings to illustrate a concept [of change]. The closest word we have in English to the meaning of the Greek word metanoia-as used in the original scriptural text-is "metamorphosis," or the life cycle of change as seen when the caterpillar becomes a butterfly. If we look closely at the concept of metamorphosis we might find insight into the process of metanoia, and the importance of repentance in our lives.

The Greek word for metomorphosis is used all over the New Testament, especially in reference to the transfiguration of Christ and when His people are renewed from their sins in perfection after death. For example, "The Manifested Sons of God" will experience a change in their physical bodies. They will receive the salvation of their Spirit, Soul & Body. At some point they will all be translated in their physical bodies. They will not only be Translated but also be Transfigured (or Greek Metamorphosed) and then fully Glorified like Jesus. But, unlike a true metamorphosis, our physical body remains the same. This is because newly born-again Christians are "translated," not "transfigured," which is in the life to come. So, why is it important to keep your physical body? Because God dwells in Flesh, as Jesus does right now. The body is the temple not made with hands. Some will receive the salvation of the Spirit Soul & Body. Translation is just a step in that direction and not the end goal. One must not be perfect to be translated, one must learn attitudes of Love, Mercy and Forgiveness, not only in word but also in deed.

Perhaps Translation is but a step of Transfiguration or Metamorphosis. Metamorphosis is the process occurring in a [chrysalis] which transforms a [caterpillar] into a Butterfly. The [caterpillar] is transformed and does not die. The physical body will also transform or change like Jesus' body did. The physical body will go through a metamorphosis [until death and resurection] or change. Translation is also a change. But thinking we must first be perfect to be translated, is like putting the Cart in front of the Horse.

**Author: EE Brooks**

Butterfly Benediction

May the morning sun carress you,
The rains of change refresh you,
And the gentle breeze of His Spirit
Lift the wings of your transformation.

by Richard D. Breen, copyright 2003
Dedicated to my mother, Frances F. Breen, 81

Butterfly Memorial Poem

A rush of wings
they flutter high
to touch the sun
and kiss the sky

A butterfly
is with us now
No more a caterpillar
upon a leaf

(Person's Name) with angel wings
A soaring butterfly
with us they sing

Lili Pintea-Reed copyright 2002
for the IBBA


One day the Creator was resting, sitting, watching some children at play in a village. The children laughed and sang, yet as he watched them, the Creators heart was sad. He was thinking: These children will grow old.

Their skin will become wrinkled. Their hair will turn gray. Their teeth fall out. The young hunters arm will fail. These lovely young girls will grow ugly and fat. The playful puppies will become blind mangy dogs. And those wonderful flowers-yellow and blue, red and purple-will fade. The leaves from the trees will fall and dry up. Already they are turning yellow.

Thus the Creator grew sadder and sadder. It was in the fall, and the thought of the coming winter, with its cold and lack of game and green things, made his heart heavy. Yet it was still warm, and the sun was shining. The Creator watched the play of sunlight and shadow on the ground, the yellow leaves being carried here and there by the wind. He saw the blueness of the sky, the whiteness of some cornmeal ground by the women.

Suddenly he smiled All those colors, they ought to be preserved.

I'll make something to gladden my heart, something for these children to look at and enjoy. The Creator took out his bag and started gathering things: a spot of sunlight, a handful of blue from the sky, the whiteness of the cornmeal, the shadow of playing children the blackness of a beautiful girls hair, the yellow of the falling leaves, the green of the pine needles, the red, purple, and orange of the flowers around him.

All these he put into his bag.

As an afterthought, he put the songs of the birds in, too.

Then he walked over to the grassy spot where the children were playing. Children, little children, this is for you, and he gave them his bag.

Open it; theres something nice inside, he told them.

The children opened the bag, and at once hundreds and hundreds of colored butterflies flew out, dancing around the childrens heads, settling on their hair, fluttering up again to sip from this or that flower.

And the children, enchanted, said that they had never seen anything so beautiful.

The butterflies began to sing, and children listened smiling.

But then a songbird came flying, settling on the Creators shoulder, scolding him, saying: Its not right to give our songs to these new pretty things.

You told us when you made us that every bird would have his own song. And now you've passed them all around. Isn't it enough that you gave your new playthings the colors of the rainbow?

You're right, said the Creator. I made one song for each bird, and I shouldn't have taken what belongs to you.

So the Creator took the songs away from the butterflies, and that's why they are silent. They're beautiful even so! he said.

Buck Conner
Member of the "Turtle Clan" - Lenni Lenape Society

For your memorial service releases, here is a beautiful poem
that can be used. People read this, then read Psalm 55: 6,
then release the butterflies. It brings solace and peace.

By, Linda Rogers.

(See below: "I Am Always With You")

I Am Always With You

When I am gone, release me, let me go.
I have so many things to see and do,
You mustn't tie yourself to me with too many tears,
But be thankful we had so many good years.

I gave you my love, and you can only guess
How much you've given me in happiness.
I thank you for the love that you have shown,
But now it is time I traveled on alone.

So grieve for me a while, if grieve you must
Then let your grief be comforted by trust
That it is only for a while that we must part,
So treasure the memories within your heart.

I won't be far away for life goes on.
And if you need me, call and I will come.
Though you can't see or touch me, I will be near
And if you listen with your heart, you'll hear
All my love around you soft and clear

And then, when you come this way alone,
I'll greet you with a smile and a "Welcome Home".


I see the countless Christmas trees
around the world below
With tiny lights like Heaven's stars,
reflecting on the snow.

The sight is so spectacular,
please wipe away the tear
For I am spending Christmas with
Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs
that people hold so dear
But the sounds of music can't compare
with the Christmas choir up here.

I have no words to tell you,
the joy their voices bring,
For it is beyond description,
to hear the angels sing.

I know how much you miss me,
I see the pain inside your heart.
But I am not so far away,
We really aren't apart.

So be happy for me, dear ones,
You know I hold you dear.
And be glad I'm spending Christmas
with Jesus Christ this year.

I sent you each a special gift,
from my heavenly home above,
I sent you each a memory
of my undying love.

After all love is a gift more precious
than pure gold.
It was always most important
in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other,
as my Father said to do.
For I can't count the blessing or love
he has for each of you.

So have a Merry Christmas and
wipe away that tear.
Remember, I am spending Christmas with
Jesus Christ this year.



Sonya Poland

[The following extract from an article "Dali Greets the World" by Ben Martin appeared in the N.Y. Herald Tribune's magazine Today's Living for January 24, 1960, being a report of an interview with this famous artist:]

[Dali stated]: "If you will study the entire series of cards [he had painted] you will find one theme runs through most almost all - the butterfly. The butterfly is not present only because it is in itself a thing of beauty. It is present because to one of the greatest Spanish mystics, St. Theresa of Avila, the butterfly was the symbol of the soul.

The ugly, ungainly caterpillar, our body, enters a form of the grave, the cocoon. Out of this death emerges the butterfly--beautiful, free, no longer earthbound. To me, as to St. Theresa, the butterfly is the soul of man."

From Dan & Zane Greathouse:

A couple of weeks ago, we filled an order for a 22 year-old's funeral, and we received this poem from the funeral...

"A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam.
And for a brief moment its glory and beauty
belong to our world.
But then it flies on again,
and though we wish it could have stayed,
we feel so lucky to have seen it."

On the back of the paper it says:

"Today we celebrate life with the release of butterflies.

The animals you have been given will emerge from their envelopes and alight on your hand for a moment before flying off.

Butterflies, a symbol of life, and freedom, were always special to (name).

When instructed, please open the envelope and allow the butterfly to emerge on its own.

It may take a few moments for the beautiful creature to adjust to the light and temperature before it flies off.

These animals are natives, will thrive and insure the continuation of their species, keeping memory alive."

Messenger of God

Oh, Little Butterfly,
Messenger of God,
When I see you in the sky
I cannot help but nod.
You bring me respite

From grief and despair
Everytime I see you
Sailing through the air.
You renew my faith
In all God's wondrous plan,
And I know it's all in FAITH,
Not in what I understand.

Kathryn Poland (4-12-01)


Do not stand by my grave and weep
For I am not there.

I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am diamonds that glint on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning hush
I am the swift uplifting rush of butterflies in joyous flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there.
I did not die.

Mary Elizabeth Frye


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