Caterpillar Symbolism And Meaning (Totem, Spirit and Omens)

caterpillar symbolism

Religious, spiritual, and cultural symbolism is found all over the world. This article will focus on caterpillar symbolism, including the meanings behind their symbolism, caterpillar spirit animal meanings, and other related symbolism.

Known for their large and insatiable appetite for foliage, the caterpillars are not unique insects but the younger form of butterflies and moths. Their big appetite helps them in growing faster and reaching their full maturity. Although these crawling creatures have no bones in their body, the number of muscles they possess surpasses our muscles by large. But what do they symbolize to us spiritually?

Since transformation is the central law that rules their little lives, caterpillars are first and foremost symbolic of it. The traits of patience, endurance, determination, and deception are also associated with them. In many cultures, they are considered to be the harbingers of good fortune and prosperity.

Have the caterpillars been frequenting in your dreams? Are you curious about what it could mean for you? Rest assured, in this article, you will find all the answers that you’re looking for.

Here we will talk about their symbolism, discuss the hidden meanings of their dreams, and explore their significance in different cultures. Moreover, we will also learn about their totem and spirit animals.


What Does A Caterpillars Symbolize?

The caterpillar, a wormlike creature in the process of building itself, is a symbol of internal circumstances where one cannot feel where one is going but one is being pushed and prodded by internal forces.

What are the traits that you can learn from caterpillars? There might be many, but today, we will focus on two of the most predominant traits of these crawling insects:



Caterpillars symbolize patience to us because although they’re fragile and vulnerable in their current form, they know that one day they will evolve into beautiful beings and have freedom in the form of wings.

They are true believers of the idea “good things come to those who wait”. We can learn this virtue from them.


Change and transformation

The whole existence of the caterpillars has meaning because one day they are going to transform into their true self. These little worms don’t shun transformation, but accept it with open arms, knowing that it is an inevitable truth of their lives.


What Does It Mean To Dream Of Caterpillars?

As we’ve already mentioned, caterpillars are primarily symbolic of transformation.

Does that mean that their dreams are suggestive of change in our lives? Though that is true in some cases, there are other interpretations as well.

Below, we are going to talk about some of the most common caterpillar dreams along with their symbolic meanings:


A caterpillar cocoon

If you dream of a caterpillar cocoon, you must be careful. Such dreams are symbolic of dishonest and shrewd people in your inner circle (a close friend or a relative). These people are only concerned about their own gains, particularly financial ones, and are willing to go to any lengths to achieve them.

Take your dream as a warning not to trust others blindly.


A small caterpillar

A small caterpillar is indicative of your careful and consistent attitude towards your life. You’re more of a “slow and steady wins the race” kind of person, and it works well for you.


A giant caterpillar

A giant caterpillar is symbolic of the monumental changes you need to make in your life in order to achieve the success you have always dreamt of. If you’re not brave enough to do what it takes, you might as well give up now.


A caterpillar transforming into a butterfly

As you might have guessed, dreaming of the transformation of a caterpillar into a butterfly is symbolic of a major transformation in your life.

This transformation might be triggered by the arrival of someone in your life, or could be due to the beginning of a new phase of your life (a new job, new course, a different city, etc.).

These changes are for your own betterment, so the sooner you embrace them, the better.


A caterpillar falling on you

If you dream of a caterpillar falling on you, it is symbolic of your selfish nature. Such a dream indicates that your selfishness is hurting your intimate relationship, even if you’re not aware of it at the moment. If you truly want to make this relationship work, you have to work on yourself.


A caterpillar coming out of your body

If you dream of a caterpillar coming out of your body, it indicates that you are in desperate need of change within yourself. You’re seeking ways to be more optimistic and confident, which is the key to being happier in life.


Caterpillars crawling all over you

Doesn’t the idea of caterpillars crawling all over you creep you out? Seeing it in a dream is a bad sign as well.

Such a dream tells you that you are about to be disappointed by someone you love in the near future. It could be your siblings, your partner, or one of your friends.

The disappointment, while it might not look like a big deal to others, will hurt you deeply. It will take you a long time to forgive that person, in case you forgive them at all.


A caterpillar on your head

If in your dream, you see a caterpillar crawling specifically on your head, it signifies your doubts. Such a dream indicates that you are unsure about some important decision you’ve made in the recent past. However, it is too late to change anything now so you might as well go through with it.


A dead caterpillar

Dreaming of a dead caterpillar is symbolic of despair. Such a dream might be the foretelling of difficult times in the near future, where you will not find any help from your loved ones. Only you can pull yourself out of it.


A caterpillar eating a leaf

Dreaming of a caterpillar eating a leaf has a negative interpretation. Such a dream is a sign that one of your enemies or competitors will have an edge over you in the near future.


Eating a caterpillar

If in your dream, you see yourself eating a caterpillar, it indicates that in the near future, you will have to swallow your pride in order to maintain peace in your family life. Someone in your family might offend you by saying something harsh, but if you lose your calm and retaliate, it will invite more turmoil in the future.


Killing a caterpillar

The idea of killing a caterpillar sounds rather cruel, but if you see yourself doing it in a dream, it is a good sign. Such a dream is a sign that there are people around you who want to hurt you or take advantage of you. In the near future, you are going to recognize these people for who they are and discard them from your life.


Someone else killing a caterpillar

If you dream of someone else killing a caterpillar, it suggests that very soon you are going to get caught up in a conflict between two people you really care about. You might also be asked to make a judgment, which will not be an easy task.

If you don’t want your relationship with either of them affected by it, you should restrain yourself from participating in it.


Someone else eating a caterpillar

Dreaming of someone else eating a caterpillar indicates that the malicious actions of people around you will disgust you, and make you want to sever all ties with them.


Interpretation Of Caterpillar Dreams Based On Their Color

It might come as a surprise to many, but the color of the creature you dream of can play a major role in its interpretation.

If you remember the color of the caterpillar in your dream, read ahead to know what it might mean for you:


A black caterpillar

A black caterpillar symbolizes a loss that you’re not expecting. Dreaming of them might mean that a loved one might move to another city, or you might have to leave the country for better prospects, leaving behind the people you love.


A white caterpillar

White is believed to be the symbol of spirituality and wisdom. Dreaming of a white caterpillar is, therefore, indicative of your mental and spiritual growth.


A yellow caterpillar

Yellow is the color of warmth and happiness. If you happen to dream of a yellow caterpillar, it is a good sign. Such a dream indicates your happiness and contentment with where you are and what you’re doing in your life.


A brown caterpillar

Brown is symbolic of hypocrisy. If you see a brown caterpillar in your dreams, it is a warning to beware of hypocrites around you, who pose as your well-wishers but are truly envious of you and want to pull you down.


A green caterpillar

Dreaming of a green caterpillar is a bad sign. These dreams indicate that you might suffer from some kind of health problem in the near future which will change the course of your life. If you see such a dream, you should take extra care of your health.


A purple caterpillar

A purple caterpillar symbolizes mystery. Dreaming of these caterpillars indicates that you are soon about to uncover some truth that has remained hidden for a long time. You might feel confused about what to do with it or how to handle it.


A blue caterpillar

If you dream of a blue caterpillar, it is a reminder for you not to lose your self-confidence even in the most struggling times. You must remember that your self-confidence is your true inner strength, and losing it might cost you everything you have.


A multi-colored caterpillar

Dreaming of a multi-colored caterpillar indicates that you’re soon going to be in the company of arrogant and unpleasant people, most probably in your workspace. Such people will make you feel annoyed and angry constantly, but you can’t afford to have an outburst with them. Your best choice is to ignore them and focus on your work.


The Cultural Significance Of Caterpillars

Just like butterflies and moths, caterpillars are found in almost every part of the world as well. But how do the people of different parts of the world perceive them?

Let’s find out:

In England

In England, the caterpillars are seen as a harbinger of good fortune and abundance. Seeing them in your garden is considered to be a good omen. Many people also believe that they can keep you safe from cough and cold.


The story of Kumuhea

There is a popular myth in Hawaii of a divine being named Kumuhea, the God of the caterpillars. Kumuhea was the son of the War-God. After falling in love with a lovely mortal woman, Kumuhea married her without telling her the truth about himself. The couple was happy, except for one tiny problem.

During the day, Kumuhea would take the form of a caterpillar and, thus, couldn’t be with his wife. The two were together every night. However, soon his wife became curious about the nocturnal nature of their relationship and began to dig for the truth. When she finally came to learn of Kumuhea’s real identity, she was terribly frightened of him and couldn’t even look him in the eye.

Alone and disturbed about losing his love, Kumuhea was blinded by rage and began to eat all the foliage of the forest, unable to satiate his hunger. When the very existence of the forest was threatened, he had to be stopped. This was done by cutting him into thousands of small caterpillars that spread all around the world.


The legend of the Io Caterpillar

All of us know about the Io Moths and caterpillars (Automeris io), a moth species endemic to North America. But do you know how these moths have been named? They have been named after Io, the princess of Hera in Greek mythology. These caterpillars are also known by the nicknames of “Queen of the corn” since they prefer to host on the corn plants.


Caterpillar Totem

The caterpillar totem enters your life when your tendency of rushing things is sabotaging your work. Their totem has mastered the art of an even-paced consistency and will come to you to teach you the same.

Many people have trouble dealing with change and transformation; their fear of the unfamiliar makes them paranoid and stubborn, resisting the change that is necessary for their growth.

However, the caterpillars have made peace with the fact that change is an inevitable part of nature, and fully accepting it is the only way to move forward.

They have faith that things fall into their rightful place in time and will help you in accepting it.


Caterpillar Spirit Animal

If you’re known for the virtue of your patience, the spirit of the caterpillar is probably guiding you. Such people are steady and have a grounded personality on the one hand, while on the other, they’re very ambitious with larger-than-life dreams.

Now you might believe that high ambitions go hand in hand with ruthlessness; however, these people can teach you otherwise.

They’re living examples of how consistency and hard work are far more effective than ruthlessness in achieving big dreams. No chore is beneath them, and no effort too little to be counted. This is how they slowly reach their success.

Guided by the caterpillar spirit, these people have a surprisingly sharp mind, although they don’t believe in bragging about it. They always think 10 steps ahead, every single move they make is calculated and serves a purpose.

This is how they gain a strange inner calm that is difficult to disturb. You will, thus, never see them in a fit of rage, even if you’re very close to them.

If you work with one of these people, you should never try to outsmart them. If you make a move against them, they might let you believe you’ve won until they strike back. And vengeance is something they take very seriously. Trust us, you’d much rather have them as your friend than your enemy.

Having such people as a family member means you will always have a lot to learn from them; their calm composure, their extraordinary deducing abilities, their wise judgment, and so on. Because they have no shortage of patience, these people also make outstanding teachers.

Unfortunately, trust is not one of their strong suits; which is why being in a relationship with them can be a little challenging at first.

They might not behave in a paranoid manner around you, but deep down they’re skeptical of everything you say and do. They might even try to test your honesty and loyalty time and again. But once they’re convinced that their feelings for you are genuine, they will love you back with the same intensity, if not more.


Conclusion: Caterpillar Symbolism

Caterpillar is one of the creatures with great symbolism in mythology, religion, and folklore. The caterpillar is a symbol of transformation, metamorphosis, and growth.

The symbolism of the caterpillar is sort of like a mirror of transformation and change. Caterpillars do not just become butterflies, but they go through many changes to get there.

The characteristics or traits that a caterpillar has, as this animal during this time can be symbolic in multiple ways. The symbolisms may vary as well due to the differences created by the environment and exposure.

Caterpillars are truly fascinating creatures that eat their way out of their form, becoming a butterfly or a moth in the end.

Some of the traits and symbols that can be associated with them are transformation, deception, beauty, fortune, patience, endurance, determination.

While dreaming of killing them can be lucky for you, finding them already dead in a dream can bring you despair.

If you have them as your spirit animal, you can call on them when you need patience and consistency in your life. They are incredible teachers and can teach you the toughest lessons of life with ease.

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