Is that friendly butterfly your departed loved one? | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022


Here are two recent questions from readers.

“Do our departed loved ones really visit and make their presence felt as butterflies? Why a butterfly, not a cat or bird or some other insect or animal form? Can the dead still influence us or events, moving some of us to pray, or ask for their help or guidance? How do you explain some instances when what we ask of them indeed happens?”

Yes, there is ample evidence from people all over the world that their recently departed loved ones have visited them in one form or another.

Why a butterfly? Why not a cat, a bird or some other insect or animal?

Actually, there have been reports of dead relatives or close friends appearing to the living in the form of a bird, but it’s rare.

Aside from the fact that butterflies are beautiful and do not look scary, I think the reason why they take a butterfly form is because of its symbolic significance.

What does death really mean in the first place? In death, the physical body disappears, and from it comes a spirit.

A butterfly was formerly an ugly earthbound caterpillar that transforms itself into something beautiful and capable of flying in the air.

Periods of mourning

Butterflies have mysteriously appeared even in a closed room, especially during wakes or periods of mourning.  Their behavior is often familiar to the living and not usual for butterflies. For example, a friend in the Philippines whose daughter died in a vehicular accident in the United States told me that a few days after her death, he was in the garden in his backyard when a beautiful butterfly appeared in front of him. 

Now, that’s not unusual because he was in the garden where there are flowers. What he could not explain was why the butterfly circled around him, and after the third round, it landed on his cheek, as if kissing him. He said his daughter often did that to him. Is this mere coincidence? I don’t think so.

The dead can and do influence events among the living.  Again, there are thousands of stories around the world that attest to this. One example happened to my wife. She was having a problem collecting from one of the tenants in the apartments she was managing when she thought of asking her departed father for help.

A few days later, the tenant issued a check payment for her several months of overdue rent. Coincidence? If it happens only once or twice, it may be regarded as coincidence. But if it happens to many people many times, then this could not be mere coincidence.

“What are elementals? Are they bad spirits?” asked another reader named Christopher.

Elementals are also called “nature spirits.” Traditionally, it is believed that there are four basic elements in nature—earth, water, air and fire. Each of these elements are inhabited by nature spirits or devas.

It was the 15th-century physician and alchemist named Paracelsus who first defined and classified elementals into the following categories:

  • Dwarves, elves, leprechauns and gnomes belong to the element of Earth.
  • Undines, sirens belong to the element of Water.
  • Sylphs, fairies  belong to the element of Air.
  • Salamanders that live, but are not consumed by hot lava or fire, belong to the element of Fire.

Each element has a wide variety of inhabitants. And there are more types or varieties appearing lately in the Philippines and in other parts of the world.

According to local folk beliefs, there are two types of Earth elementals. The white or colored ones are good or positive, and the black ones are negative. Others, however, deny this distinction.

E-mail [email protected]; tel. 8107245 or 0998-9886292.

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