Symbolism and Meaning of a Dragonfly

Dragonfly and the family it belongs to Odonata, have evolved from the many myths associated with Dragonflies and their taxonomic cousins, the Damselflies.  The word Dragonfly has its source in the myth that Dragonflies were once Dragons.

The family name Odonata comes from the Greek word for tooth as Odonates were believed to have teeth, it is a verified fact now that while they don’t have ‘teeth’ per say, they have strong mandibles that they use to crush their prey.

Maturity and a Depth of character

The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.

The traditional association of Dragonflies with water also gives rise to this meaning to this amazing insect. The Dragonfly’s scurrying flight across water represents an act of going beyond what’s on the surface and looking into the deeper implications and aspects of life.

Power and Poise

The dragonfly’s agile flight and its ability to move in all six directions exude a sense of power and poise – something that comes only with age and maturity.

The dragonfly can move at an amazing 45 miles an hour,  hover like a helicopter fly backwards like a hummingbird, fly straight up, down and on either side. What is mind blowing is the fact that it can do this while flapping its wings a mere 30 times a minute while mosquitoes and houseflies need to flap their wings 600 and 1000 times a minute respectively.

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Focus on living ‘IN’ the moment

The dragonfly normally lives most of its life as a nymph or an immature. It flies only for a fraction of its life and usually not more than a few months. This adult dragonfly does it all in these few months and leaves nothing to be desired. This style of life symbolizes and exemplifies the virtue of living IN the moment and living life to the fullest. By living in the moment you are aware of who you are, where you are, what you are doing, what you want, what you don’t and make informed choices on a moment-to-moment basis.

This ability lets you live your life without regrets like the great dragonfly.

In Sweden, folklore suggests that we dragonflies come around to check for bad souls – to weigh souls to be more ‘accurate’ and elsewhere, believed to sneak up to children who tell lies and also adults who curse and scold, to stitch up their eyes, mouth, and ears respectively.

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To the Japanese, it symbolizes summer and autumn and am admired and respected all over, so much so that the Samurai use it as a symbol of power, agility and best of all, Victory.

In China, people associate the dragonfly with prosperity, harmony and as a good luck charm.

Amongst Native Americans, it is a sign of happiness, speed and purity, because the dragonfly eats from the wind itself

In Buddhism

Buddhist teachings connect dragonflies with life’s innermost truths, signifying the noble path man should take, to attain true wisdom.

In Egyptian Culture

Admiring the insect for its darting speed, the Egyptians frequently depicted it on their shields, clothes and personal adornments and wished their soldiers would emulate them in war.

In many pagan cultures, dragonflies are looked upon as magical creatures just like butterflies. This is because both male and female dragonflies are armed with the capacity to change their color with age.

The Dragonfly has been a symbol of happiness, new beginnings, hope, change and love. If dragonfly appears in your dreams it may be telling you that a change is coming. Other powerful meanings of the dragonfly are strength and adaptibility.

Source: dragonfly-site.com and Learnaboutnature.com

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