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The Meaning of the Moth as a Spirit Guide

Updated on February 13, 2017
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Kitty has been communicating with her spirit guides for over a decade. She uses the lessons she's learned through them to write about them.

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A gorgeous Atlas moth. If this moth comes to you, you know it brings a beautiful message.
A gorgeous Atlas moth. If this moth comes to you, you know it brings a beautiful message. | Source

Animal Spirit Guides

Connecting with your animal spirit guide can be enlightening. Understanding your guide can uncover wisdom from deep within yourself. Often the first question people ask me is "how do I know my animal spirit guide?" The answer to this question is quite simple. You don't have to seek out your animal spirit guide. Your animal spirit guide will find you.

Typically when an animal spirit guide makes itself known to you, it will appear recurrently in many different places. Sometimes you'll see them in the wild (with animals living today), sometimes they'll show up on the Television, online in articles or ads, in newspapers/magazines, in dreams, or you might even hear someone talking about it in a passing conversation. If you are open to receiving messages from your animal spirit guide, they will come to you.

Once they appear and you've realized their presence, the best thing to do is to study them. Study the mythology behind the creature, study the various cultures' beliefs of the creature. Study what they eat, their habitat, the ways they move, hunt, and mate. Keep in mind that sometimes after your animal spirit guide's message has been understood, they may disappear. And then another will appear when the next message is ready for you

The hummingbird hawk moth has much to teach us about survival.
The hummingbird hawk moth has much to teach us about survival. | Source

Moths in Mythology and Lore

The moth has been both admired and feared in various cultures all over the world dating back to ancient times. The moth is sometimes viewed as the uglier, hairier cousin of the butterfly, but there are qualities of the moth that the butterfly could only dream to have.

Some of the most majestic moths are known as hummingbird moths and can be found in many places throughout the world. These moths are so large and flap their wings so fast they are often confused with hummingbirds! They have long mouths with which to suck nectar out of flowers and hover above the flowers just as hummingbirds do. One of the hummingbird moths is known as the Sphinx moth and can be found in the United States but originally comes from Africa. Although I've found no mythology concerning the sphinx moth in African mythology, it makes one wonder where the Sphinx moth acquired its regal name.

To some Native American tribes, moths were thought to be sacred and powerful creatures and there is even talk of moth cocoons being used as rattles in certain Californian Native tribes. Others view the moth as a symbol of death or a messenger from the dead. This can be seen in the symbolism of the deaths-head hawk moth (which is also another type of hummingbird moth!). This particular moth has a skull pattern on its back and was featured in the horror movie Silence of the Lambs.

In old Appalachian folklore, if one saw a group of white moths it meant their ancestors were watching over them and bringing them messages of protection and love. This is in direct opposition to the idea that moths cause death and destruction as some Old Wives Tales claim. In Mexico, the moth known as the "Black Witch" is said to be a harbinger of death and causes fear in those who see it's bat shaped body and large dark wings.

One thing is for sure - the moth is a powerful totem and animal spirit guide. Whether it causes fear or awe, it causes a strong reaction in its beholder. While some moths are "ugly", keep in mind there are many beautiful moths too like the luna moth and the garden tiger moth.

Do not fear moths. They have much to teach us.

— Nicole Canfield
The death's head hawk moth might be coming to you as a representation of your old way of life coming to an end and a new beginning right around the corner.
The death's head hawk moth might be coming to you as a representation of your old way of life coming to an end and a new beginning right around the corner. | Source

The Moth Spirit Guide

So the moth has appeared in your life and has a message for you. It may even have a specific lesson to teach you. But with the muddled and sometimes confusing mythology behind the moth, how do we decipher what the moth animal spirit guide is trying to teach us?

Moths represent three main ideals: mystery, darkness/light, and transformation. It is possible the moth spirit guide is trying to teach you the mysteries of the occult. The ancient mysteries of your ancestors. If one particular moth is coming to you often, research and find out what kind of moth it is and whatever the folklore or mythology is behind it. You might find your answer in your research. If not, let the moth continue coming to you until the message is loud and clear.

It is possible you have been hiding from something in your life and the moth is here to bring it into the light. To draw you to the light, just as moths are drawn to the light. It is also possible that some of the mysteries in your life are about to be revealed. Let the moth be your guide out of the darkness and to the light.

Just as butterflies go through an intense metamorphosis from caterpillar to adult, so too do moths. The moth spirit guide is here to help guide you through your time of transformation from a young person (in either spirit or mind) into a full-grown adult able to spread your wings and take to the sky. Perhaps you are embarking on a new career path, or a new family path. Perhaps you are outgrowing your old self to make way for the new. Let the moth spirit guide wrap you in its loving cocoon and show you the way to redemption.

Whatever the moth spirit guide teaches you, it will be a valuable lesson and you will walk away knowing the moth is a special creature indeed.

My Video on the Moth Spirit Guide!

The marbled emperor moth is beautiful to behold.
The marbled emperor moth is beautiful to behold. | Source

© 2017 Nicole Canfield

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  • Lipnancy profile image

    Nancy Yager 25 hours ago from Hamburg, New York

    I love these multi-colored moths. They are more common at my home in Florida. You cannot believe the vibrant colors in these beautiful creatures.

  • MizBejabbers profile image

    MizBejabbers 2 weeks ago

    I never thought of the moth as a spirit guide before. Very interesting.

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