A Guide to the Dragonfly Meaning and Symbolism

A Guide to the Dragonfly Meaning and Symbolism

The dragonfly holds great meaning as it symbolizes light and change. It is a spirit animal that is thought to have arrived from the realm that houses fairies, spirits, and other magical beings. Many people view the dragonfly to indicate a form of personal transformation and the ability to adapt to whatever life throws their way. It is a gentle reminder of a whole world of possibilities. This article will explore the meanings associated with the dragonfly and what cultures have viewed it in different ways.


Dragonflies have been on earth for well over a million years. They have the ability to do many things that other flying creatures cannot, like travel upwards at great speeds, hover, fly backward, and even change direction quickly regardless of speed. This is all accomplished by a simple wave of the wings. By exploring the dragonfly and its symbolism, we can better understand the animal as well as the human place in the universe.

In some cultures, dragonflies are thought to be elemental messengers that carry the spirit of God inside them. This may be due to the sheer beauty and abilities of the dragonfly. If you observe one closely, the impact can be deeper than just a beautiful creature in nature. Dragonflies can play the role of spiritual guide in their power and grace. They can demonstrate how to navigate through the tornados or life with ease and full confidence, teaching us to let go of what holds us back.

The dragonfly is further symbolic of change and transformation. They remind us to be open to change, be relaxed even in difficulties, and to simply love life because we are alive. The dragonfly is related to the elements of air and water, born into water, but thriving as airborne beings. The water for humans is the subconscious while the air is conscious, demonstrating this parallel. We learn from the dragonfly to trust intuition, but use intellect to do better in life.

Science and Myths

Dragonflies can be found in various parts of the world. They are insects in the Odonata family of winged insects that are predatory in nature. Vibrantly colored, the color dies when they do and they become transparent. Some believe, as the myth goes, that dragonflies were once dragons and this form allows them to continue living among us. This myth may be in part because of the now extinct genus of insects known as Meganeura which resembled present day dragonflies, but existed 300 million years ago.

Cultural Symbolizing of Dragonflies

Different cultures have slightly different views and meanings for dragonflies. In Japanese culture the dragonfly is a spirit animal that signals the end of summer and beginning of autumn in life. It is a symbol of strength, victory, and power that are often found in haiku poetry. In Chinese culture, dragonflies are symbols of prosperity, luck, and harmony. In Native American culture, particularly the Navajo, the dragonfly represents happiness, purity, and activity. Swedish culture considers dragonflies in folklore and believe that the dragonfly comes near to measure the purity of the soul. Vietnam culture uses the dragonfly to predict the weather. If they fly low, it will rain and flying high means sun. It will be overcast if they are flying at a medium level. In European countries like Portugal and Denmark, dragonflies are dark and evil, something to be feared. Cultures assign their own meaning, but all are valid to that specific culture.

Spiritual Meaning

Since the dragonfly signifies transformation for so many, there are several spiritual meanings associated with the insect. These include:

  • Connection with angels
  • Change
  • Adaptability
  • New opportunities
  • A call to explore your inner self
  • An ability to freely express emotions
  • A call to stay alert to possible deception

Spirit Animal

For some, the dragonfly is a spirit animal that is symbolic of new beginnings. It signifies transformation and revelation of the true self. The dragonfly urges you to remove doubts, live life to the fullest, and enjoy every moment as it comes. As a totem, this animal brings a sense of identity by unmasking the real persona and assuring you of your abilities by removing any false parts of your being. The dragonfly ensures the virtue of free living while happily following your inherent life values. It depicts deep thinking and wisdom. The dragonfly is considered a wonder animal that is representative of purity of heart and lightness in being while also symbolizing harmony and prosperity. This spirit animal urges you to take chances to reach your full potential. It further prevents you from falling for deception and false hope.

Tattoo Meaning

If you feel the dragonfly is your spirit animal or guide, or even just like the creature itself, then a tattoo may be for you. Before making this commitment, know a few details about this type of tattoo. It is said to represent the following:

  • Positivity, prosperity, courage, balance, good fortune
  • Symbol of freedom
  • Dragonflies are the second most popular design following butterflies
  • Thought of as feminine, but unisex
  • Captivating to the eye
  • Boosts confidence
  • Spiritual messengers


In some cultures, as mentioned previously, dragonflies signify death. They are thought to be a death omen. Some tribes believe they are a loved one in transitory phase just after passing. They can represent a metaphor of life and death and these illusions are often misinterpreted as bad luck. Death is simply a reality of life. There is no need to be scared of the dragonfly or the death omen. It may not signify a physical death, but the death of old beliefs and arrival of new ones.


The dragonfly spirit animal is closely connected to the heart and emotions as it symbolizes the true self. As you shed emotional barriers you can attract the right kind of romantic energy. Above all that, this spirit guide will urge you to stay pure and own your personality with pride. Being yourself will allow real love to manifest. Much like this animal totem, you can have a personal metamorphosis and transform to something better. True love can then blossom. This spirit animal encourages you to stay open to love and watch as it unfolds.

Dragonfly Landing

A dragonfly landing on you can have multiple meanings. These include:

  • New beginnings and changes
  • Living life to the fullest
  • Grace entering your life
  • Reaching maturity and wisdom
  • Encouragement to adapt and be flexible
  • Encouragement to be energetic
  • Reminder to be light and joyful
  • The removal of old patterns
  • A messenger of the spirit world
  • Big life changes to come (often signified in a dream)

The dragonfly itself, whether in life or dream form signifies the following positive traits:

  • Compassion
  • Kindness
  • Help
  • Inspiration
  • Lightness
  • Freedom
  • Clarity

However, there are also negative traits associated with the dragonfly that must be considered in context. These include:

  • Being overly emotional
  • Being overly sensitive
  • Responding too fast
  • Living in a dream world

Dragonfly Color Meanings

There are multiple species of dragonflies and all have beautiful colors and combinations. Each color holds unique meaning as shared below.

  • Red – Rare and signifying both good and bad, representative of a paradox with the message of transformation and eternal love
  • Blue – Reminders of challenges that are serving a purpose and you need to learn the lesson, symbol of new beginnings
  • Black – Somber, elegant, formality, and a rebellious streak that offers contrast to others, represents uniqueness
  • Green – Representative of Mother Nature, growth, fertility, and prosperity, Let heartfelt emotions be expressed so love can enter

If you often spot dragonflies flying about then they could be your spirit guide. If this is true, you may often find unexpected ideas popping in your head, so act when inspired. Pay attention to your dreams with this spirit animal as a deeper message is being conveyed.

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