The dragonfly is one of the most common insects, and just like the benevolent ladybug we tend to take it for granted as we go along our daily lives. We see them darting and dashing about, slicing through the air effortlessly, and maybe we admire them for some time until they go out of sight. And then we forget about them again. But the dragonfly does not forget — not the message which it brings from the spiritual plane, not its mission to guide people to wonders unseen, and certainly not the curiosity which it knows is the key to many things.
Dragonfly Symbolism Facts & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal
Dragonfly Symbolism & Meaning
The dragonfly — or its counterpart, the damselfly — is the helicopter of the insect world. It’s hard to see it (especially when it’s flying at 45 mph) but the dragonfly can navigate in all directions. It can even fly backwards, and through rough winds. It is one of the most powerful navigators among the flying insects.
This is why the dragonfly and damselfly has become a symbol of direction and purpose even through rough times. In much the same way that the dragonfly goes on even when we can’t see it, it reminds us to go on with our purpose even when we are not noticed by others around us.
Dragonfly Spirit Animal
As a spirit animal, the dragonfly is a potent spirit guide. Its ability to weave between almost any obstacle makes it a great messenger from the magical plane, bringing with it an invitation to probe and test and discover things that are invisible to the eye. The dragonfly’s gilded wings is a symbol of its connection to the spirit world, something to allure us and make us curious as to what lies beyond.
Dragonfly Power Animal
If your mind needs a little workout, then the dragonfly is your best bet. It is the perfect power animal to call on when you need to be mentally agile, especially when you need to get past obstacles that are clouding your mind. You might need to take the long route, to zigzag your way through, but what’s important is that you stay in motion.
Being a symbol of curiosity, call on the dragonfly as well if you need to get out of your mental box. Sometimes you may encounter experiences or problems that require you to remove yourself from your current frame of mind, to take a different vantage point. The dragonfly lets you view everything from all angles, so you can decide on the best approach.
Dragonfly Totem Animal
People born under the totem of the dragonfly are naturally inquisitive, flitting through different mental subjects with ease. This makes them good students and problem solvers.
These people are also very adaptable, capable of changing course in the middle of anything. They can quickly orient themselves to new situations, giving them an advantage when the playing field of life suddenly shifts.
Dragonfly Native American Symbolism
The Native Americans have also noticed the dragonfly’s magnificent flying abilities, and attributed it to the nature of change. To them, the way the dragonfly’s path constantly shifts is pretty much like how life itself tends to shift. This tendency to be in constant motion has also made the dragonfly a perfect partner for the elemental energies of air and water.
The magical potential of the dragonfly has been noticed by the Mayans, who believe that these insects house the benevolent souls of their ancestors. Because of this, the dragonfly has gained a connection to the goddess of creativity and rebirth, Ix Chel.
Dragonfly Celtic Symbolism
We often see fairies with dragonfly-like wings, and this is something that came directly from Celtic tradition. According to the wisdom of the Celts, the dragonflies come straight from the world of the fairies. They actually serve as steeds for these miniature magic users, and when used in such a capacity can go from one place to another near instantaneously.
Celtic tradition also plays with the dragonfly’s beauty, saying that it actually is a fairy that can only be appreciated as such if we look closely (and from the right vantage point).
Finally, the dragonfly is also connected to the magnificent creatures from which they got their names — the mighty Dragons. According to tradition, a person can be connected to a Dragon via the dragonfly. The dragonfly gives the person “true sight” which allows them to see the mighty guardians of sacred places.
Dragonfly Far Eastern Symbolism
To those in Japan, it has been told that the first Emperor were so taken by the dragonfly’s grace and beauty that he designated an island especially for them. The Japanese consider the dragonfly as a symbol of strength and courage, which is the main reason these insects appear frequently in banners, armors, and other articles of war.
Dragonfly in Dreams
When you dream of a dragonfly, it means that change is coming for you. This change can come in so many forms, from the mundane to the tragic. You may have something new come into your life, or you may have something taken away. Either way, the dragonfly tells you to weather it out and adapt quickly.
Dragonfly Encounters / Dragonfly Omens
When a dragonfly flits around you, it may be sending you a challenge. You may currently be caught up in the present, so much that you do not allow yourself any room for change and improvement. The dragonfly is challenging you to break out and treat yourself to some new experiences. It’s challenging you to broaden your horizons in such a way you can see what your current life really has to offer.
Dragonfly Mythology and Folklore
It’s also the Native Americans who have incorporated dragonflies into their myths and legends. Considered sacred, it had been taboo in the Pueblos to kill a dragonfly. The American Indians have stories of the trickster coyote trying to mimic the dragonfly, a reminder that someone unworthy cannot imitate someone pure and get away with it. The Zuni found the dragonfly significant enough to merit their own creation story.
Dragonflies (and damselflies) are pretty interesting, if we can only stop to look at them in detail. But sometimes that’s hard, and we have to adapt by giving chase — one of the many lessons the dragonfly wants us to learn.