The Purple Butterfly
We chose to use the purple butterfly to symbolise our role as doulas. We support women at a time of great change and help them to transform into the powerful mothers they were born to be. Much can be learned from the butterfly! :) Furthermore, the colour purple denotes royalty, nobility, spirituality, ceremony, mysterious, transformation, wisdom and enlightenment. All of these have strong links to femininity, birth and motherhood. click here for more info on colour symbolism
Pasted below is a lovely article which summarises the butterfly symbolism beautifully...
"The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough." ~ Rabindranath Tagore
Overwhelmingly, cultural myth and lore honor the butterfly as a symbol of transformation because of its impressive process of metamorphosis.
From egg, to larvae (caterpillar), to pupa (the chrysalis or cocoon) and from the cocoon the butterfly emerges in her unfurling glory.
Imagine the whole of your life changing to such an extreme you are unrecognizable at the end of the transformation. Mind you, this change takes place in a short span of about a month too (that’s how long the butterfly life cycle is).
Herein lies the deepest symbolic lesson of the butterfly. She asks us to accept the changes in our lives as casually as she does. The butterfly unquestioningly embraces the chances of her environment and her body.
This unwavering acceptance of her metamorphosis is also symbolic of faith. Here the butterfly beckons us to keep our faith as we undergo transitions in our lives. She understands that our toiling, fretting and anger are useless against the turning tides of nature – she asks us to recognize the same.
Interestingly, in many cultures the butterfly is associated with the soul – further linking our animal symbolism of faith with the butterfly.
It’s connection with the soul is rather fitting. We are all on a long journey of the soul. On this journey we encounter endless turns, shifts, and conditions that cause us to morph into ever-finer beings. At our soul-journey’s end we are inevitably changed – not at all the same as when we started on the path.
To take this analogy a step further, we can look again to the grace and eloquence of the butterfly and realize that our journey is our only guarantee. Our responsibility to make our way in faith, accept the change that comes, and emerge from our transitions as brilliantly as the butterfly."
And another extract...
[Butterflies] are a symbol of change, joy, and color. (There is also an association of Faerie folklore with butterflies.) Their flight appears as dancing, and a reminder not to take things so seriously. They have a sense of lightness and joy. They are reminders to get up and move, for if you can move you can dance, and dance brings joy.
The butterfly is a powerful symbol for transformation. It leaves the safety of the cocoon in it's new form. This is an excellent image for anyone contemplating, or in the midst of a major change. A butterfly is a strong symbol of metamorphosis, with distinct stages. The butterfly is a reminder to make changes when the opportunity arises. Change and transformation are inevitable for us all, but it does not have to be traumatic.Butterfly symbolism is also closely tied to the idea of spirits and souls. Celts thought that women became pregnant by swallowing butterfly souls. These butterfly-souls flew about seeking a new mother.