Cirlot on butterflies
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
A Dictionary of Symbols – J. E. Cirlot
Among the ancients, the butterfly is an emblem of the soul and of unconscious attraction towards the light. The purification of the soul by fire................ is for example visually portrayed on a small Mattei urn by means of an image of love holding a butterfly close to a flame.
The Angel of Death was represented by the Gnostics as a winged foot crushing a butterfly, from which we may deduce the butterfly was equated with life rather than with the soul in the sense of the soul or transcendent being