Lepidoptera Anhang


[Madeline Evans]

Butterfly used as symbol for the spirit or soul for thousands of years; the ancient Greeks used the same word for both – psyche and butterfly. It signified the fulfillment

of man's destiny and the transition from earthly to heavenly life. Many cultures see the butterfly as embodying the incarnating or dying soul. For Native Americans, it was

the symbol of transformation and resurrection.

We associate the butterfly with the mind: we say someone has a 'butterfly mind' if they have a short concentration span and flit from one interest to another. We never say someone has a 'butterfly heart' if he or she is emotionally inconstant and moves quickly from one relationship to another.

The imago, the name given to the final butterfly stage, comes from the Latin meaning image, which also relates to the mind, the places where we create images, the seat of

our imagination.

Most butterflies are masters of camouflage which is usually their only defence. When their wings are closed they often look like the leaves or twigs on which they feed.

This could connect them to the Syphilitic miasm, characterised by conditions which are hidden and not what they seem.

Butterflies cannot transmit diseases to humans as they are so different from us physiologically and they do not carry diseases. They appear to flit about but in fact fly thousands of miles and in straight lines. They are very territorial and what we interpret as pairs of butterflies dancing are in fact territorial fights. Each species of butterfly

is usually dependent on one or two plants on which the eggs are laid and on which the larvae (caterpillar) feed when they hatch. Consequently they are very vulnerable

to changes of climate and habitat.



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