Dragonfly symbolism

I’ve been drawn to dragonflies for some time now, perhaps because I love rivers and lakes and these peaceful creatures are mesmerizing as they flit and skimmer across the water.   They have brought me great peace, and even their life spans symbolize change and transformation.   The first year or more of their lives, they live in the water as nymphs.  When they metamorphose into the flying creatures we recognize as dragonflies, they live only a few weeks.  I like to compare this pattern to a person who has spent her whole life working her way to her truest path and then finally has the strength and means to express her purest nature.   Even if for a short while, this person will flit and skim across the days of her life, inspiring those around her to live joyfully, as well.

According to Jessica Palmer in her book, Animal Wisdom, in Native American lore, “dragonflies are equated with mirage or illusion” (Palmer 126).   The Lakota believed that dragonfly had a special power that allowed it to evade hailstones, and because of this, the Lakota decorated their shields with images of the dragonfly for protection against arrows and bullets (126).    In other traditions, dragonfly held the special power of changing forms and manipulating space and time; “the metamorphosis is one of transformation and maturation, rather than that found with the shape-shifting of raven and crow” (127). So dragonfly symbolism, one can assume, has a depth to its magic. While raven and crow signify shape-shifting and change for the moment, perhaps to enter an altered state, dragonfly symbolizes a more permanent change in maturation and ability, much like the swimming nymph who changes to the winged lightness of the air.

Additionally, on a more magical and attractive note, Palmer explains that lore from Europe associates dragonfly with the world of the faeries.   “The ‘wee’ ones of Ireland used dragonflies as their steeds — birds, such as robin, being reserved for drawing their coaches.  One fable suggests that dragonflies are actually faeries who when looked at in a certain way can be seen for what they truly are” (127).

Most importantly for the symbolism of healing, however, is that dragonfly “medicine” is the  “reawakening of the magic and mystery of life” (128).  One calls on dragonfly energy to facilitate “letting go of the past, which is always the first step in spiritual expansion” (128).

Native American Elder and Turtle Island Storyteller, Agnes Baker-Pilgrim, is the chairwoman of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, 13 elders of various global tribes who have banded together to travel this earth and bring their peace and wisdom to our clashing urban ways.  She tells a story of Daldal, the dragonfly, saying:

Some of the animal stories tell of the dragonfly – dal dal. The dragonfly is a transformer of the people because they believed they went to the Star Nation and came back as dragonflies.  Dragonflies were born in water like us and like us when they are born and come out of the water they can’t go back to where we were all water babies. Water will always attract the two-legged people of this earth” (http://www.turtleislandstorytellers.net/tis_oregon/transcript_a_pilgrim.htm).

Speaking of dal dal, I’ve also read of Dal Dal being the great peacemaker between tribes, and there is an ancient wooden throne in the American Northwest that is reputed to be Dal Dal’s throne.   I have read the legend, but I have not been able to locate it for this post – I will try to find more details and update this when I do.

Ted Andrews, a brilliant mind who understood the guidance and blessings animals bring us, notes that dragonflies have:

similar symbology around the world. To the Japanese, they are symbols of new joy and light, and many traditions speak of how they are the dragons of old in a new expression. When dragonfly appears, it is time to trust in the power of light. (164)

He notes that when the nymphs are fully grown, they split their skins in order to transform into adult dragonflies. This is powerful change – much like the snake shedding its skin to become new again – but this time with wings! One might see this as a direct symbol of dying: leaving the old body to become a new, lighter creature inhabiting a different realm. There may be things you miss from your earlier existence, and the watery home had its peace and comfort, but the lightness of the air, the brightness of the sun, the joy of flying – truly there is nothing to fear!

Jamie Sams and David Carson rely on Native American wisdom in their description of dragonfly. They say:

Dragonfly is the essence of the winds of change, the messages of wisdom and enlightenment, and the communications from the elemental world. This elemental world is made up of the tiny spirits of plants, and of the elements air, earth, fire, and water. In essence, this world is full of nature spirits…If you feel the need for change, call on Dragonfly to guide you through the mists of illusion to the pathway of transformation…Follow Dragonfly to the place inside your body where magic is still alive, and drink deeply of its power. This strength belongs to you. It is the power of becoming the illusion. This ability is ever changing, and contains within it the knowledge that you are creating it all. (145-146)

Chris Luttichau, in his book, Animal Spirit Guides, echoes these authors when he says, “Dragonfly encourages us to see the illusions that define us. Let him guide you to the forgotten part of your soul, so that an understanding of your true self can begin to emerge” (106). He continues by saying, “Realizing our true potential, in a way that also benefits other people, is the ultimate expression of the power of the dragonfly” (106).

The peacemaker, the symbol of transformation, the being of light who helps us see through our illusions:  the dragonfly as a symbol helps us defy obstacles in order to become our most powerful selves – the dragonfly as an example (in its lifespan) literally demonstrates the journey we all must take to become our truest selves. (Note that one never sees a tired or depressed dragonfly!)

Let us listen to the dragonfly, learn from its journey, and take inspiration from its life-force and powers.   We should realize with its longevity over time –it dates back to 300 million years ago, before the dinosaurs — comes great wisdom and strength (http://www.motherearthnews.com/Nature-Community/2006-08-01/Dazzling-Dragonflies.aspx).

Surely we can learn to live in a smaller, more natural niche, take only what we need, and leave room for other creatures to thrive.  Surely a life lived in joy, harmony, gratitude, efficiency, purposefulness and respect is a life well-lived.

And so, perhaps this answers why the dragonfly is an apt symbol for my life’s work, and why I have been drawn to spiritual health coaching and natural healing.   The dragonfly inspires me to do my best to live in a clean, pure, and efficient way, and it reminds me that the world around us is quite magical and beautiful, as it has been for millions of years.  I hope that dragonfly inspires you to find your own unique expression of the powerful magic within you, and then to have courage to share it with the world.  We need you to do so!

References:
Andrews, Ted. The Animal-Wise Tarot. Jackson, TN: Dragonhawk Publishing, 1999.

Luttichau, Chris. Animal Spirit Guides. London: Cico Books, 2009.

Palmer, Jessica Dawn. Animal Wisdom. London: Thorsons, 2001.

Sams, Jamie and David Carson. Medicine Cards. NY: St. Martin’s Press, 1999.

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78 responses to “Dragonfly symbolism

  1. Hello! All my life I have had this “connection” with dragonflies. I every time I see one, all I can do is just sit still and stare and “soak” them in. I am even more obsessed with them now that my father is no longer with me. You see, 8 years ago while he was in the hospital, the night before he went down hill I went by my parents house to get something for my mom. When I shut my car door, there appeared a dragonfly!! It was at least 9:00 at night! I have NEVER seen one at night before! It seemed like it just hoverd at my window forever, just staring at me! It gave my shivers down my back! It was if it were a dream! If my husband wasn’t in the driver’s seat I would have thought I did dream it! I live in Maryland and not near any body of water so I really have no explanation for the dragonfly being there. I feel as though it was telling me that I would have to be strong from then on. I have two children and I couldn’t totally fall apart. My father was my world, my everything! Needless to say, I am Daddy’s little girl! So, when ever I see a dragonfly I feel that I is my daddy sending me his love! And I feel like I see a lot more of them since he has left this world!

    Thank you so very much for listening to my story. I google the meaning of dragonflies now and then and I came upon your website this time. I have never seen yours. I am so very glad that I did this time. I do believe in Reiki. My best friend is taking classes.

    Take care.
    Sandi

    • Hey Sandi –
      Your story is beautiful, and I am so grateful that you shared it. I am certain that animals and things from nature are guides for us, and often when someone has passed away, a sign seems to come from the natural world pushing us to stay strong, as you said, and to persevere through this often confusing and sometimes challenging life.

      How wonderful that the dragonfly has become a spiritual messenger for you. They are magnificent, and perfect creatures to embody a message of love. I am sure that you are still closely connected to your father, and the dragonfly is a strong reminder of that.

      Thank you again,
      Jennifer

      • Hi,
        I cannot tell you how glad I am to find this site. What beautiful stories!! I wanted to share what happened to me the other night because it was almost unbelievable to me. I have been going to College trying to finish up my degree in Psychology. I also work a really stressful job. Well to make a long story short. I went last Sat. to the hospital with chest pains. I felt my body was telling me that I was taking on too much. I made a decision to change Colleges after this incident. The next morning I let my dog out and looked up to see a dragon fly trying to fly into the light.( I have an obsession for dragonfly’s). I lifted a finger close to where the dragonfly was and he came and sat on my hand. The very second that this happened I felt that this was a confirmation that my decision was the right one. I am still mesmerized just thinking about it. The dragonfly stayed on my hand and just came I lifted my finger and he came back to me. I then took him back out for his safety. The dragonfly sends off a vibration from his body and I could fell this as he sat on my hand. I apologize for this being such a long post.

      • Thank you so much for sharing this story! I believe it is meaningful that the dragonfly lit on your finger so securely, and that it also came back to you. I’m fascinated by the vibration that you felt. I’m glad that you have made a decision to change your life in a way that will benefit you! I wish you luck on your journey! By the way, check out this amazing slow motion video of a dragonfly just escaping a frog: http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid3698508001?bctid=615477631001
        They are wise and quick creatures!

    • I have a similar experience with dragonflies. Two and a half years ago my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Six months into her fight, things took a turn for the worst and the cancer got the better of her. The day that she passed I went out on my Grandmother’s porch to make a few phone calls and realized that there were hundreds, and I do mean hundreds, of dragonflies flying around her house. It sent chills all through me. A day or two after, I started gathering pictures to be shown at her visitation. One of the first pictures I chose was from a family vacation, in which my Mother was wearing a dress with a beautiful dragonfly pattern. Since her passing, I have seen dragonflies on the day of her funeral, the anniversary of her passing, her birthday, and days that I’ve felt down. I once read that in some spiritual rituals, dragonflies are believed to be the guides of souls revisiting their families on earth. There’s definitely something comforting about seeing a dragonfly.

      • Thank you for sharing this inspirational story about the comfort you have received from dragonflies. The connection to your mother seems obvious; I can see how the ritualized understanding of dragonfly as a spirit guide is appropriate.
        Blessings to you!
        Jennifer

      • Hello my grandmother passed away yesterday. The day before, I saw a butterfly as it approached my car window, in the parking lot of my job. It hovered and seemed to stare at me. When I arrived home, there was much larger one that flew up to my car window and hovered for a number of seconds. I did not make the connection until I heard the news about my granny. She was 103.

      • Thank you for sharing this story. It seems more than coincidence to see the two dragonflies.
        I am sorry for your loss, but what a wonderful life to live 103 years!
        Jennifer

  2. How truely amazing life is once brought to you on the wings of a dragonfly. I only say beautiful in the sense of the true spirtual power of life within us all before and after death….i never felt the power and energy that came to me a few days before my mother passed away….i will never forget how everyday at work on break outside,the week before she passed, Dragonflies would appear but always in a pair notjust one i knew by the vibe they brought at those moments that life was about to change.

    • Yes, I agree that the natural world will guide us if we just pay attention. What an insight you received by seeing the details around you. So many people ignore these moments, but they are intense and real! Thank you for sharing this. I am sorry to hear that your mother has passed, but perhaps you will still feel a connection with her through various forms in nature, or dreams, or otherwise. Again, thank you.

  3. I randomly woke up at night, about 3:30 am…..and couldn’t sleep so decided to read for a while…and suddenly small dragonfly comes flying at me and it sits on my book, and it was as though it was looking at me….a little afraid as I have very little or almost no knowledge about dragon flies and insects in general, I just slowly put the book down and moved away and decided to check up on the internet and by the time I looked back it was gone, does this mean anything?

    • This is a beautiful story to me. The fact that it was 3:30 AM makes it seem special as dragonflies are typically creatures of the day. The fact that it sat on your book could have been a message to pay attention to what you were reading – or, since that was the place of your focus, to pay attention to the dragonfly itself! As Ted Andrews says, it is a messenger saying, “trust in the power of your light and your perceptions to succeed. Efforts are maturing. Spiritual path is ahead” (Animal Speak Pocket Guide). Perhaps it was a messenger telling you to trust the spiritual path that you are on – or that you are about to embark upon a spiritual path.
      Dragonflies do not harm humans, and they have long been considered harbingers of good luck – a good sign. It seems to me a nice sign and a gift that a dragonfly came and sat on the page of your book in the middle of the night. I am glad that you did not hurt it as it was bringing a message to “be light.” Be light as in being bright in the world – but also be light as in treading lightly.
      Thank you for sharing this story.

  4. Hi Jennifer!

    The reason I found your site was because I was looking for clues of this beautyful dream. Actually I woke up after the second dream, but still remembered the previous dream or at least that part. As I saw the dragonfly, it spoked to me and was amazed, but it knew my name and who I am. I see it as a sign of development. that all years of struggle will pay off. Like a door to a secret garden, where life is beautyful, exciting and giving, the world of dreams mot the world of work and obligations, a world where the spirit is free.

    I wish you a wonderful new year!

    Yours sincerely Stefan

    • Hi Stefan! I love the interpretation of the dream – that if it knew your name and who you are, it is a sign that some part of you is already living in that world of dreams where life is exciting and giving – very much in the present. We do get so wrapped up in the world of work and obligations – it is good to be reminded the true essence of life. Thank you for sharing the dream and the dream gift from the dragonfly.

      I wish you a wonderful new year, too, one full of wonder!

      sincerely, Jennifer

  5. Tonight I came across your site when I was looking for the symbolism of a dragonfly. I was looking for this information because tonight around 10:30 I had a dragonfly land on me and came into my house with me. When I took him back outside he flew away and then flew right back onto me. When this happend I said to my friend this means something. I didn’t know what but I knew he was wanting me to know something. Keep in mind I have never seen a dragonfly at my house before. So after looking up the symbolism I feel I know what he was here for. When I was a little girl I was molested and just in the last couple days I have been working through this workbook to help me heal. And to identify coping mechanisms. There is nothing I want more than to find the true me and to move forward with my new life. I feel I was given a gift tonight from a dragonfly.

    • I think that the dragonfly was a gift and a sign perhaps – I hope that the symbol of transformation, magic, and lightness helps you move forward to living your fullest, most joyful life! Blessings to you,
      Jennifer

  6. I am very glad to come across this site and hear stories of our amazing connections to dragonflies- ive never looked it up but always knew all of this… It started when I was 5 years young, my grandpa was sick with cancer and myself my mother my two aunts and my grandmother were all sitting around his bed knowing he didnt have much time left. All of a sudde two dragonflies came swirling inside and floating around all of us one by one, we were absolutely mesmorized (i remember this day so vividly even now). By the time we brought our attention back to pops he was gone, no words were spoke but we all knew that it was a sign. From then on my family loved dragonflies and celebrated their visits

  7. Hello again, I just posted but am only half finished. Years later when I was 13 my beautiful mother Angelina was diagnosed with cervical cancer. It was a devestating as well as confusing time in my life. On my 14th birthday (my last to celebrate with her) my mother gave me a beautiful card – the message inside is one I will cherish for ever. It read how much she loves me and so forth, she ended it by writing “no matter what happens to me, or how far away I feel, I will always find my way back to you on your birthday! Always! Love you always mama.” It was a great moment together. A few weeks later she turned 30 & my grandma gave her a dragonfly bracelet. She passed away a few days later.. At age 14 I had a very tough year learning to live on my own for the most part. On my 15th birthday- visiting my grandma with my aunts and we were all in the pool. A dragonfly appeared and we all broke out in smiles and tears. We knew it was my mama. After hovering over them one by one the most amazing thing happend.. A dragonfly landed right deliberately on my nose, looked me in the eyes, and I swear it was a little kiss then flew off! I couldnt hold back my pure joy! The comfort it brought me kept me strong, knowing my mom was good to her word. As a bonus I even got a visit from her in my dreams that same night. I know that there was so much love, magic, and beauty in that day I can never forget. A beautiful dragonfly reuinited a mother and daughter and I am truely thankful. Sorry for the length but I felt the need to share my story on here.

    • Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. Your mother’s name, Angelina, seems appropriate as she is angelic now, and powerful. Both instances of the dragonflies visiting you (prompted in some spiritually connected way to your loved ones) are so inspiring – thank you for sharing them here as I know many others will be inspired by this story. It made my heart glad today to hear it even though the stories also have sadness in them. In all of our lives we have to grieve the passing of loved ones, but stories such as these remind us that the love remains and the spirit remains connected.
      Blessings to you!

      • Thank you for all of that! I can only hope that my story a long with dragon flies gives someone comfort and hope in this crazy world! Lovely blog and blessing to you!

  8. I am drawn to the dragonfly. Ever since my youngest son started playing baseball, there always seems to be a dragonfly “attending” his games. During his last year of little league, the same year my dad died, there were always 3 dragonflies that hovered around the same area close to where we would sit. As my family gathered to spread our sister’s ashes around a beloved farm pond, we all parked in a field. As we looked out along the ditch, there were hundred’s, if not thousands, of dragonflies hovering around us. Oh, the many spirits welcoming ALL of us and showing us everything will be okay!

    • What a beautifully written line: “The many spirits welcoming ALL of us and showing us everything will be okay!” Yes, they seem influenced by spiritual beings – almost as if a representation of spirit. Thank you for sharing!
      Jennifer

  9. Hello! So neat to hear the different symbolism of dragonflies. I am Lakota and just now learning my traditional ways. Its been helping me to find myself and walk in a good way. Last summer was my first Sundance, a ceremony in which we offer our suffering and prayers for our people. I camped out there just outside the Badlands and woke up to the sound of the drums before the dancers came into the sacred circle. One evening while I was camping, I had the most amazing dream. I was riding on the back of an enormous dragonfly made of pipestone! He took me through our sacred Black Hills, through the valleys, and through the Badlands. When we circled back to the valley, I noticed below us, was a circle of people. Dancing. No cars, no teepees, no roads for miles. I have heard that in Lakota culture the dragonfly is the one who carries our spirits from this world to the next. I usually have a hard time remembering my dreams but this one I remember vividly. I still don’t understand the meaning of this dream, but I know in my heart I was supposed to learn from it. And after this, I have been so much more drawn to the dragonfly. I am doodlin pictures and I remember seeing tons of them zipping in and out of the Sundance circle almost as if they were dancing and carrying the dancers’ spirits. Any thoughts on my dream though?

    • Hi Mary Rose,
      I have thought much about your post, and I am sorry I have not written before.
      I know that this dream was a powerful message for you – a vivid dream as you describe is much different from the hazy nightly sort of personal dream we all have regularly. This dream is more of a message from Spirit, and a powerful one that has inspired me just in reading it.
      I believe that you are the best interpreter of this dream, but if you have elders or wise ones whom you can consult, they may have insight.
      To me it seems that the dragonfly visited you in the dreamtime to reinforce the sacredness of ceremony and the sacredness of the land, the ceremonial site. It seems as if you were given the gift of seeing the world purely, in a time before (or long after) human industrial changes – you were seeing humans in a pure state, dancing, expressing the joy of life, the joy of being a spirit in a body, the joy of connecting with others and with the earth and sky. Humans dancing are similar to dragonflies flying, I think; there is such joy in the magnificence of movement within the forms we were gifted!
      The dragonfly being made of pipestone is also quite significant – perhaps indicating the sacredness of the pipe and its ability to transform your vision into a larger dimension. I have never heard of the dragonfly being connected to the pipe, but I can understand what a logical connection it would be – the winged creature, symbol of breaking through illusions, connected to the ceremonial smoke wafting through the air, helping us see past the mundane worries and anxieties we carry into something spiritually larger.
      The fact that you noticed so many dragonflies in and around the dancers during the Sundance only reinforces the power of this dream. I love that you felt as if they were carrying the dancers spirits – as if a part of the dancers was so light and inspired as to be able to flit and fly through the air.
      You were given such a beautiful gift and insight with this dream and ceremony! Dragonfly is powerful for you, and for us all, and your dream shows that. Thank you so much for sharing it, and I believe you will understand more and more what it meant the deeper you move through life.
      It makes me humble before the wisdom of spirit.
      Namasté, Jennifer

  10. Blessings to you and thank you for such a wonderful site. Like many others I was looking up the symbolism of dragonflies and came across your page. I felt I should share my experience with everyone. I have always been drawn to the beauty of the dragonfly and felt they had some meaning I never took the time to research it, perhaps I was not ready until today.

    I live in the city and not near a lake or any body of water. I was sitting outside texting my boyfriend who is away at work, and about to call my cousin when I noticed several dragonflies swooping in and out of my yard. I don’t have a big yard just a small space so having 3-5 dragonflies flying in and out makes you take notice. Two of them kept circling close to me, almost landing. That is when I decided to look up the meaning of the dragonfly. I am native (my mother was first nations), I have a deep respect for nature, as well I am going through my own transformation. My mom passed away 6 years ago and I know that she is always with me.

    I thought I would share this with you. Thank you.

  11. My husband and I are going through a horrible battle for custody of his daughter. In the last few weeks I have seen dragonflies everywhere. Every time I get into my car, no matter where I am (work, home, shopping) at least one flies in front of me. It seems they are often going from left to right. I don’t know what this means, but I am hoping they are telling me everything will be OK and my stepdaughter will be with us in our safe and loving home. My stepdaughter is also fascinated by dragonflies. We had a pond in our backyard. She would sit next to it and let the damsel flies land on her finger. I would sit and watch her looking at them with such wonder and love. The same way I look at my stepdaughter. I love all the stories on this site. Thanks to each of you for sharing your beautiful stories. If I may be so bold as to ask for your prayers, good intentions and positive thoughts that we may succeed in our quest, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you again.

  12. I just recently lost my daughter in a car accident by a lake. The next day as I approach the water where the tragic event took place the first thing I saw was a dragonfly flying as it landed on a stem right in front of me just looking at me. I knew right away that it was my daughter telling me that she’s ok. Ever since then whenever I think of her the dragonfly appears. The day my daughter passed away she was wearing a temporary tattoo on her arm of a dragonfly, I know by all this that my daughter is telling me that everything is gonna be alright and to trust GOD in this path that is being layed in front of me. The loss of my daughter does hurt me a lot as she was only 5 years old but she lived her life to the fullest as a dragonfly does in it’s short life it lives. I know that that when my time comes aside from GOD my daughter will be waiting for me at the gates of heaven waiting with open arms. Til I see you again baby girl daddy loves you with all his heart.

  13. About 4 years ago dragonflies began to appear in my life. The first one came on a specific night as my life was about to change. Lately, I am noticing that I am losing them. I have lost three dragonfly accessories in two months, another one was destroyed and the fifth one I almost lost but caught in time. I haven’t been able to find out what this means and I have come to trust and rely on the dragonfly as my animal totem guide. I’m a little frightened. Any insight would be greatly appreciated

    • Thank you for writing. I applaud you for your awareness of the dragonfly coming to you as you were in the midst of a life change. Dragonflies signify change, transformation, and also a lightness (referring to both meanings: being light and airy and shining with light) that helps one see through illusion. Only you can know what the loss of the physical dragonfly images means – perhaps it is dragonfly’s way of getting your attention here in the colder months, perhaps it is a sign that you are wrapped too much in illusion, that you are clouded by others’ perceptions and not holding to your own truth. As Ted Andrews says in The Animal-Wise Tarot, “Dragonfly reminds us that we are light, and we can shine in very powerful ways if we choose to do so.” When one is aligned with dragonfly, one remembers to shine brightly, to live lightly, to rise above the petty illusions and stories that bog us down and keep us from bringing light and goodness to the world. If dragonfly brings you strength, intend courage to hold to your own truth, your own way of bringing light to this world, and live in that fullness, as much outside of the illusions that block us as possible. I am sure that spirit is with you in all your endeavors, it just takes individual courage to continually initiate the steps towards a full and bright life. Guidance is all around you, so continue to pay attention as you have been.
      I hope this helps, and thank you again for writing.
      Namasté,
      Jennifer

      • Thank you Jennifer. I am grateful for your insight and I’m glad I wrote to you, because as you know we don’t always see what we don’t see, and it’s always good to get coaching and insight elsewhere. Thank you

      • I am so glad that my insight may have helped in some way. It makes me happy to be reminded of the many people in the world who are conscious, aware, and working to stay on their highest path – ’tis no easy task in this world of rational thought, but one I believe we all must tend.

  14. I have spent the last 12 months healing both my body and my mind. I discovered yoga, the benefits of a pure & clean diet and personal strength. This Christmas I received several gifts with Dragonflies! a Necklace , a picture frame, a wallet and more. This journey I am on forced me to google the meaning of a dragonfly and I cannot tell you how glad I am that it led me to your site. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone on this path of healing and wellness I am on.

    • Thank you, Kristen, for sharing part of your story. How inspiring that you have transformed yourself already in such magnificent ways! It is no surprise to me that the dragonfly has come to you – it seems that you have chosen (or been chosen) to become your winged self, master of a new element and new, healthy body. I think that in this way you will inspire others in the way the dragonflies inspire us – by their beauty and lightness, by their iridescence, by their speed, quickness, and amazing awareness, which gives such strength in a body that, in some ways, is so delicate. Carry on with your new vision and power! I wish you well.
      Namasté, Jennifer

  15. My name is Kelsey and as the woman before me i came across this site by searching for meanings. Like allot of others I’ve always been drawn to dragonflies and always hearing stories when i was younger. I am now 20 and i lost my dad only 3 days ago. I always told my dad i wanted a dragonfly tattoo and that i loved what they represented. As i was looking for ideas for my tattoo tribute to my dad for some reason i thought “wait i need a dragonfly”. I had never know these meanings only simply that it meant change. I had a dream the night he passed away that two unrealistically huge dragonflies had been sitting on my ceiling fan, as i was laying on my bed, and i thought to myself “i need to take mental pictures of this moment because I’m going to see my dads face in the pictures”. Needless to say i woke up balling and had to make sure i remembered this. My boyfriend pointed out this connection as i was reading your words and that’s when i knew this webpage and my dream had helped me find the perfect way to remember the man i loved so very much. I thank you from the bottom of my heart and I appreciate you more than you could ever know. <3 -k

    • Kelsey, thank you for sharing your story here. I am so sorry to hear that your Dad has just passed away, and I know it is a time of deep grieving for you. Thank you for reminding me how deeply our spirits are connected and how nature (and often dragonfly) guides us to show us these connections. The dragonfly tattoo seems a beautiful and appropriate way to remember your father. Your dream was so powerful – and what a wise connection you made. Blessings to you during this time, and I know you will live such a good and strong life because of your strength and your love.
      Jennifer

  16. I have really enjoyed reading all the posts about peoples experiences and would like to share mine also.

    On a hot still summers day i went for a cooling swim in the river that borders our family farm in Dwellingup, Western Australia. Standing shoulder deep on the opposite shore i saw a honey bee stranded in the water…as i usually do I scooped it up on my palm letting the water drain away. I then faced my hand toward the sun and with fingers high in the air the little lass began drying herself ready for flight. Suddenly out of the blue a dragonfly zipped into view and hovered before landing directly on my middle finger! I froze…….never had i got so close to a dragonfly, they are so fast you can never get that close. So astonished, so privileged. The dragonfly buzzed off but with the bee still in my hand i kept it high and out of the water. Back came the dragonfly again and again it was like holding a falcon! It was not scared in the slightest in fact i was able to twist my hand and bring it within 10cm of my eyes, getting a 360 degree view of its eyes, mouth, where its wings attach, the fur on its thorax, the segments of its elongated abdomen, its delicate transparent wings. I meditated on the detail of its body for a couple of minutes or more before the little worker bee finally took flight with the dragonfly still on my finger……. though this experience was definitely not over. Occasionally after the bee had left a second dragonfly would come by the dragonfly’s perch which resulted in a territorial standoff for a few seconds before returning to my hand. I decided now to raise my left hand out of the water and hold it as far from my right as possible. After a couple of minutes with the dragonfly sitting on my right i felt a second dragonfly land on my left. I got a rush down my spine and involuntarily yelped out in excitement yeeeehaaaaa!

    I had swam thousands of times on similar days in similar circumstances at this same river pool since I was 5 years old (now 35) and never before had i got close to a dragonfly let alone two in one go.

    As an amatuer apiarist I have always been fascinated by bees and their integral relationship with their natural environment. This experience really made me feel part of the whole of nature and has further inspired a great love, respect and more spiritual understanding of the natural world.

    Thank you Dragonfly!

  17. Thank you all for posting all of your posts. This website was so helpful!!! I walked out my front door this evening and saw about 50 dragonflies. I was heading to the craft store to get some ideas to do thank you cards for my daughters teachers for teacher appreciation day. I ended up making butterfies with glitter. They cam out beautiful. I felt like they were there helping me be creative. Also I have so many people I was close to that have passed away and I felt like they were all there at that moment letting me know they loved me and are always there to help me on my journey of life. It was an overwelming feeling of being surrounded by love!!!

  18. Hi Jennifer, I gave an Energy/Reiki Healing to a friend today. I saw a Dragonfly lying over her heart, I didn’t know what the symbolism of the Dragonfly was at the time But received the word PEACE. After reading the information on your page I discovered how significant the Dragonfly was within what we were working on within the Healing
    Thank you

  19. Every winged creature appears sacred, in energetic motion, and fantastic to me. Hummingbird was my late Mother’s favorite bird, and each time one visits our home, I always say “Hello!” and “I Love You!” because it seems to be a blessing from Mom. Butterflies feel like pure Spirits to me. As a full-time artist, I am painting a dragonfly resting on a bamboo shoot, using iridescent colors of blue, green and gold on a black background. Everyone who sees the painting has given me positive feedback, and it appears magical. I named the painting, Dragonfly Fantastic. Life seems to be spreading its wings…

  20. Pingback: The Hum of the Dragonflies | Stone Stories·

  21. I found this site for the fact that i had a swarm of dragonflies in front of my house. I don’t live near any water and was surprised to see that they were only on my property. This was strange to me. I consider myself a spiritual person and believe things and creatures are signs. I am not sure what this could represent, Any suggestions on what i should learn from this Happening.

    • Only you would know what it means in terms of your life. To me, it does seem significant that they were on your property in such abundance and that that is an unusual thing for that area. It could be a sign saying something like: pay attention, transformation is coming. It could mean something like: are you seeing the miraculous light and life that is all around you all the time? It could be a sign to wake up to the wonder of existence, to the miracles that are ever present. Gosh the dragonfly is simply a miracle in and of itself – perhaps they came simply to remind you of joy – and remind you to be joyful. Blessings on your journey!

  22. I am at the beach for a few days and in the last few days, did not see any dragonflies. Today, however, I have seen so many I have lost count. Thank you for having this well written and thorough blog on the meaning of them. I loved it! (My Ted Andrews book is at home.)
    xoxo
    Karen

    • Hi Karen,
      I’m so glad you appreciated the blog post! What an interesting thing to see so many dragonflies all at once. I rarely see them at the beach. I’m sure it had meaning for you in some way you will know.
      blessings to you!
      Jennifer

  23. The other day, me and my husband pulled into the Walmart parking lot and noticed a dragonfly keeping pace beside us as we looked for a parking spot. Then when we were shopping inside, my hubby pointed out that there was one flying high above us. I’ve seen birds inside before but not a dragonfly. A good twenty minutes or so later, we were in the grocery department and a dragonfly, not sure if it was the same one or not, stopped me dead in my tracks, staring me down right in front of my face, I moved to the left, he moved to the left, I moved to the right, he moved to the right, then finally flew on his merry way. I told my hubby that these dragonflies were starting to freak me out, lol. Nice to know their meaning. Not sure what his message is for me, but I’m all ears now. :-)

  24. I was sitting in a flower shop garden coffee shop. A small Dragonfly landed on my finger. It stayed there as if to be trying to tell me something. My friend and i both were amused as we were not out doors, or by a lake. When my friend was about to take a picture it flew away. Any meaning to this ?

    • I am of the opinion that if the encounter is somehow more significant than normal, it is likely to have meaning for you. I think that each individual has to put facts together to discover what the meaning is in terms of his or her life. It is fairly rare for a dragonfly to land on your finger if you are not outdoors by water.
      Blessings!
      Jennifer

      • Dear Jennifer thank you for your answer, if you have any further insight, i would love to hear from you again. Both my friend and myself are trying to understand this very unusual event. We were just having our usual coffee, at this beautiful coffee shop that we both love to meet at. Shirley

        Date: Mon, 23 Sep 2013 15:09:43 +0000 To: heybuffalobob@hotmail.com

  25. I was sitting on my front porch the other night maybe an hour before dawn and there were 3-4 dragonflies flying around. I loved sitting there watching them, then all of a sudden there were 10-15 of them just flying all around in my front yard as if they were all playing and having a blast. I wanted to find a sight that would tell me if seeing this, was it some kind of calling for me or a sign of something. I have been struggling my whole life since I was actually 11 but more so since I became a mother 20 yrs. ago. I am hoping this is a good sign of no more struggling in my life, not the way I have been, and hopes for a happy life for me from here on out!!

    • Oh I hope the same for you! Being a mother is a huge challenge, and life itself can be a challenge too. The dragonflies are fierce and strong creatures within those delicate bodies – I hope you will be the same in the world, fiercely holding to what you know is right and necessary for your happiness and purpose in the world.
      Best of luck,
      Jennifer

  26. What does it mean if you have many dead dragonflies on the porch table and in the pool? Many meaning about 15 or more.

    • To have that many dead dragonflies on the porch table and in the pool seems to me like a problem with the ecosystem of the porch and pool area. If you have used any sort of cleaners in the pool or bug killers around the pool, it would likely kill the dragonflies. They are delicate creatures and susceptible to the chemicals we humans use, so their death could be a sacrifice alerting you to something going on in that environment. Of course, I cannot know, and it may be something else entirely, but that is my first thought if so many have died. I hope you can figure it out!
      Jennifer

  27. Hi Jennifer,
    A friend sent me your link this morning after having read of my encounter with a pink dragonfly yesterday. My husband of close to fifty years passed away three weeks ago yesterday after a long illness with multiple terminal diagnosis’s. I was his primary care giver until eight day before his death at which he was moved to a hospice facility which gave me the opportunity to just be his wife and say good by and love him with out the stress of being his nurse etc. My grief is hard and deep but I am trying to embrace it and work through it. I was 15 and he 16 when we met…we were not without our problems but I loved him deeply and I know he loved me.
    Yesterday I went to my yoga class and it was a particularly intense class physically which I am use to but was not prepared for my response at the end where you lay flat for 5 to 10 minutes before getting to leave, I started to weep quietly as I was thinking about him not being home when I got there. As I left the building on a beautiful day there on the walk way was a pink dragonfly! For some reason I felt the need to kneel down and invite it on to my hand. As I slowly inched my way toward it and spoke to it to come to me. It flitted about always coming back to me…landing next to my baby finger then on my hand and resting there staying as long as it took for a friend to run to her car for her phone in order to take photos for me which she kindly emailed to me…it left for a second gain but back it came and settled on my hand. Some one walked by and said it was good luck…which I smiled at but did not take that too serious.
    It was not until I got home and serendipitously received a call from a hospice bereavement team person, as we spoke and I was crying, again…I told her about my encounter and she told me it was a message and that he was trying to let me know he was with me. So another friend sent e the link to your post here which I am so happy I was able to read. Thank you…I apologize for the length of this.

    • Thank you for sharing this beautiful story. I have heard so many stories of dragonflies being messengers after a beloved dies, and I cannot say I have any idea how it happens, but the encounters are real, certainly. Perhaps the dragonfly allows itself to be guided by the spirit of the loved one, just for that moment. Animal and insect life forms are certainly less rigid in their understanding of the world in which we live, and perhaps they are more able to cross between spirit and material worlds. The dragonfly itself, for example, lives such a long time underwater as a nymph until one day morphing into the winged creature. Perhaps that change feels like a death of sorts, and yet it is the same being, is it not, the nymph and the winged creature? Your husband may have connected with the dragonfly because it is a being of light and air, just as perhaps we become when we die, though moreso as we are less connected to the material world and to time. So yes it seems a powerful sign, and one with the intention of communicating something to you.
      Your life with him sounds full of meaning and growth, and your grief, which you describe as “hard and deep”, is a testament to that meaning, to the love, to the growth you each achieved together. Blessings to you in this transition time, in this step toward a new chapter, in the grieving you must do, in the living you will do. I wish you much peace in this present grief and change – and courage to embrace all that is coming and all that you are becoming.
      In kindness,
      Jennifer

  28. Two months after the death of my mother I wanted to celebrate my 50th birthday by skydiving. A few days before my jump I was driving home from work and a song on the radio ( Somewhere Over The Rainbow/What a Wonderful World) made me think of my mom and prompted me to ask her for advice as to whether I should do the jump or not. Not even a minute later I came to a stop sign and the biggest dragonfly I had ever seen came up to the corner of my windshield and hovered there staring right at me. It was bright metallic blue. I have never seen a dragonfly that big or that blue before! Then it flew over to my driver side window and hovered there briefly as well before flying off. I immediately came home and looked up what a dragonfly symbolized. What I read convinced me it was my mother telling me to go ahead and do the jump. A couple weeks after my successful jump my husband, whom my mother loved like a son, came rushing into the house telling me to come quick. A blue dragonfly had been hovering over him. He was afraid to come and get me for fear the dragonfly would fly away, but took the chance anyway. The dragonfly was still there and flew back and forth between us for about ten minutes before flying off. I know in my heart and soul that my mom came to say goodbye to us both and to let us know she is in heaven. Thanks for having this website and letting me write my story.

    • Thank you for sharing this inspiring story. What a perfect form to move in in order to encourage you to do the jump! And to see the second dragonfly flying with such intention – it is a gift.
      Blessings to you,
      Jennifer

  29. Lately i have noticed butterflies and dragonflies around me, especially when I feel sad because I miss my true love. We are having time out from each other whilst he works through some very personal issues. I know we love each very much and have something very special. When I have called on the angels to help ease my sadness they have appeared and a sense of calm and knowing we will be OK and reconcile and reunite our love in a much stronger frame of mind and soul.

  30. In 2006 my older sister was dying of lung cancer, it had gone to her brain in the form of tumors. She had a beautiful patio (in San Diego) and we would sit out there and talk on my weekend visits with her. There were always swarms of dragonflies and we would comment how lovely they were. A year after her passing, I was at my daughters in Arizona, and walked out in her front yard to have my coffee. She had a plant decor on a poll with a dragonfly on it, it was about 10″ wide with glass for wings, very pretty. I was looking at it, remembering my sister and our visits together, when a swarm of hundreds of dragonflies came into the yard! It was a sign to me that my sister was still with me in some way. I still love the dragonfly, and my daughter gave me the garden dragonfly decor, it reminds me of my experience.

  31. Hello! Thanks for posting this wonderful blog about dragonflies and allowing others to share their amazing experiences. I’m not quite sure when it started but I know it’s been many years now; I see dragonflies every summer in my gardens and jn my yard. As a child I saw them all of the time and was fascinated by them ~ especially the way their wings dazzled in the sunlight. But for years I didn’t see them or many other insects…… Sort of like they just disappeared. I’m in my forties now and I’ve been seeing these dragonflies, like i said, for many years since that disappearance time and they land on me. I’m not kidding. Every time I see more than one, I end up with one landing on me if I stay in the vicinity and don’t move to another part of the yard. Why is that? Why me? I don’t have bugs around me.
    At first I thought it was something I was wearing as I am an herbalist and do a lot of aromatherapy and homemade floral essences, etc. Maybe I had something on me that attracted them such as rosemary oil or lavender or lemon balm — maybe the pattern of my shirt? I changed everything including my hat. I showered with different shampoo & soap. No scented deodorant. Washed clothes in non scented soap.
    Nothing changed the behavior of the dragonflies. There were more than one type and I did not want to catch them and accidentally injure a wing….. So I couldn’t properly type them without having photos. I was alone each time they landed on me except for once at night. I went outside to the mosquito zapper (I live in a forest area with lots of Mosquitos and there are cases of West Nile virus so at night we run the zapper) and a dragonfly flew up to me and landed on my arm. I shook my arm and it flew off but then flew back to my arm. My husband was in the three season porch watching. So then I opened the porch door and it flew into our porch. I followed and it landed on my shoulder. As I sat down in my chair I kept asking my husband what it was doing, if it was moving, if it seemed relaxed or nervous….. I had no idea what this thing wanted. Maybe it was hungry. There were a few mosquitoes flying around in our porch so it could’ve caught one if it wanted to. I must have sat there for about 1/2 hour with that dragonfly just resting on me. Then I went back outside and literally had to go all the way out to my yard before it left my shoulder. It vibrated on my shoulder a bit before it went. So strange but really neat. I still have no idea what any of it meant.
    I’ve always liked dragonflies and I even collect things with dragonfly pictures for good luck. I also have a dragonfly tattoo on my neck that I since got after all the dragons landed on me.

  32. When I was on a jet boat, a brown dragonfly landed on my leg and stayed for a good 5 min. I was sorta freaked but there was something beautiful about it. Once the dragonfly flew away, 20 min later, two blue dragonflies flew together and landed on my right arm. They were so close to me and I could see every detail from the wing to the face. They were such a bright blue! One flew away after 10 min and the second stayed slightly longer. That was a life changing summer for me where I became more confident, independent, and stronger.

  33. I have always loved dragonflies, especially the huge ones that are metallic green or blue. One day when I was 11, I was playing with my basketball in the driveway when I noticed what looked like a cloud of smoke heading toward me and getting closer and closer to the ground. As it approached, I could see it was a massive swarm of giant dragonflies. I can’t even guess how many there were, or why there would be such an enormous swarm of them. It took quite a while for the cloud to pass- there must have been millions of them- low enough for me to reach up and put my arm in the cloud. I tossed my basketball up into the swarm and they all flew around it, the ones it came near. Eventually they all passed by and rose high up into the sky again. I just stood there dumbfounded. I have often wondered what all that meant.

    • I had never heard of this before your comment. How fascinating and what a wonderful experience!
      According to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, dragonflies swarm for two reasons: an abundant food supply (for example, after a flood, dragonflies might swarm to prey upon the booming mosquito population), and also to migrate.
      It sounds like a powerful experience for you and for anyone who is lucky enough to see it. It is certainly a sign to pay attention to your surroundings and to time things appropriately in life in the way that dragonflies are responding to a food source and also choosing to migrate. They are joining together for the betterment of each individual as well as for the betterment of their environment.
      Thanks for sharing this story!
      Jennifer

  34. Reblogged this on Tania Marie's Blog and commented:
    This is a fantastic blog by Jennifer Moore on the magickal symbolism of dragonflies. Yesterday, the first full day actually in Alaska, as our journey was detoured/delayed a day due to weather, but ultimately energetic callings where I was needed, I was surrounded by giant dragonflies at the lake here.

    Reblogging doesn’t allow you to insert photos until after you post it, so I’ll share a few of the images, as soon as this posts.

    Upon arrival to the lakeside cabin home for the next few days, I explored the path by the lake to the row boats when dragonfly medicine was all around me. These beautiful, giant dragonflies with wingspan of 4-5 inches were all around me on the dock and two seemed to be in a mating dance. The dragonflies continued to fly at me while out on the row boat as well, while exploring Beaver lodges and listening to the haunting Loons.

    Jennifer’s share so beautifully expounds on these magickal creatures that are both of the air – symbolizing change – and water – the subconscious, dreaming mind, and mutable nature. When they skitter across the water they demonstrate deeper thoughts surfacing and of our being mindful of our wishes we intend.

    One dragonfly I saw seemed to have become water-logged and was stuck on the surface of the water, rather than skittering along, and its wings were unable to lift it up to fly again…so save it I did and off it flew to a tree limb to dry.

    These nymph creatures are simply enchanting in every way and everything they are about, as shared in Jennifer’s article, is so perfect in symbolism right now for me.

    Last night, the first night here in Talkeetna, as the eerie, but beautiful, calls of the Loons echoed across the lake, I dreamed of an adolescent Moose I was communicating with on a path in the forest. But that’s a Moose of another story. ;)

    Magick is abound and the creatures of Alaska are making me feel welcome already. I look forward to their continued wisdom and messages.

  35. I had a reader write a beautiful and inspiring comment, who then asked to remain anonymous. Here is the comment from this unnamed brave soul:

    “The dragonfly entered my life through a counselor. After 23 years together with my partner, I started realizing how unhappy and slowly ill I was getting. We married 6 years ago after our daughter was born. I always thought the reason for his unhappiness was somewhere outside, or the way I was, so I tried everything with him until I realized that for my own sake, I had to leave. He wanted me to come to counseling, so I did. Already the second time we went, the woman counselor said to him about me: her soul is like a dragonfly, don’t crash it! Since then I’m going my way, found a house, have lots of help from my dad and a very good friend – and here I fly, changing completely, being incredibly strong and effective in everything. He used to put me down with his words, not physically – specially since our daughter was born – and now I realize this was mental abuse. This changes all happened in the last few months and so two weeks ago I started looking up on the symbolism of the dragonfly and I can’t believe how much I have in common with it, now that I finally spread my wings. I’m going to start giving Shiatsu again which I studied for 4 years and got the diploma 10 years ago – the dragonfly will be my emblem and I will have a little one tattooed, so I will always remember my soul and never have anyone ever try to destroy it again.
    In those last 2 weeks a dragonfly appears all the time in our garden and even came in the house, flew around the kitchen table so my daughter and I showed her the way out again. It makes my heart jump of joy. The divorce and moving out are still to come, but with the help of the dragonfly, I’ll do it all.
    Thank you so much for your web-site. (Sorry for my bad spelling, I’m not originally english-speaking ;))
    Love to all you dragonflys out there, with or without wings.”

  36. Thank you for all who share so freely of themselves.

    While in North Carolina for a dream conference the dragonfly made its entrance. It was my dad’s birthday May 24th. Dad left this world in 98′. A Potter showed me a large black dragonfly that was deceased. It was cool but I really didn’t think much about it until it was time for me to make some purchases of which one piece was her’s and it had dragonflies painted on it..i bought it for my sister because of the colors. The Potter’s last name is the same as my maiden name (dad’s)..that afternoon while talking to my husband on the phone outside I saw a van with a license plate that read DRGNFLYS. Everyday since then I have seen a real or symbols of a dragonfly on a tee shirt, lamp, u haul trailer, purse, jewelry, and wi-fi symbol with a dragonfly. They are blue, green, black and white, red with a blue one sitting on my arm and just looked at me. Many of the places I see the symbols I am interacting with artist.
    Recently I had two dreams with dragonflies in them. One was cool and one was frighting. I think it is time for some changes in my life. Right now I am enjoying the beauty and joy the dragonflies bring.

    • Karen,
      What a moving story of synchronicity! I believe it can’t be coincidental. I hope that the dragonflies continue to be a strong part of your guidance on your journey to the changes you feel are in store.
      Jennifer

  37. I hope someone can help me as I am confused by something that just happened. I saw a dragonfly resting on the ground and went over to look at it. Normally they fly away as soon as I get close but this one let me get inches away from it, so I put my finger in front of him to see what would happen. That beautiful bug climbed right up on my finger and stayed there as I lifted him up closer to my face. I was ecstatic. He stayed there for a long time as we talked. I think I should mention that I have an unhealthy obsession for dragonflies and completely believe that when they come to me that it is for a good reason and they are telling me everything is alright. So after this encounter I felt amazing. He flew away after a while and I continued on my walk. Not 20 seconds later I came upon a giant dead dragonfly on its back and I was horrified. I don’t understand why I would have such a beautiful moment and then that awful moment right after it. I don’t know what it means…

    • Hi Crystal,
      What a moving moment between you and the first dragonfly that you described. You must have had a stillness or peace about you – or something deeper. I hope you will not rest in fears about the symbolism of the dead dragonfly that you saw. It is a fact that all things die – perhaps you were guided to see it because you are, as you said, connected to the dragonfly. Perhaps you were guided there to bless the spirit of the giant dragonfly that had died. Death is not an awful thing, it is just another transition. The body left behind deserves gratitude and respect, for it fulfilled so many needs for the spirit which had inhabited it. Perhaps seeing the live dragonfly resting on your finger then flying away contrasted with the dead dragonfly on the pavement was a reminder to you of the fleeting beauty of life, and, now that you have posted this, a reminder to all of us who read it to live as strongly and fully as we are able in all the days we have to “fly” here on this earth, dancing in the beauty of the light.
      Thank you for posting.
      Jennifer

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