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The dragonfly as a totem animal and a symbol of transformation

  1. The dragonfly is an animal that many people attribute special powers. From Japan to Sweden the dragonfly occurs in stories and traditions and among the Indians on the American continent it is considered a totem. As a totem animal, the dragonfly represents transformation and the gift of being able to adapt to circumstances. When the dragonfly appears in your life, you are asked to think about illusions and bad habits and to be more playful in life. The dragonfly represents the deeper meaning of life, that which can be found beneath the surface.

What are totem animals

  1. A totem animal, also called a power animal, is an animal that has personal symbolic meaning. The traits that are attributed to the animal stand for character traits and skills that you possess and / or must learn in this life. Each animal has a special message and can give you certain powers. The totem animals come from the traditions of the Indians (Native Americans), where each family had its own totem. This totem was seen as the mythical representative and guardian spirit of the tribe. In the meantime, the concept has spread more widely as part of a wider spiritual development.

The symbolism of the dragonfly

  1. The dragonfly belongs to the insect order Odonata and is characterized by two pairs of wings, a long slender abdomen and large eyes. Dragonflies are usually found in (especially) standing water. The oldest form of the dragonfly dates back to the Carboniferous, some 320 million years ago. In its current form, Dragonflies originated about 150 million years ago, in the Jurassic period. They have hardly changed since then. The dragonfly has been used as a symbol in cultures around the world for thousands of years.


  1. In Japan the dragonfly stands for strength, courage, light and happiness. It was used by the Samurai as a symbol of strength, maneuverability and victory. The dragonfly is a renowned hunter and would never retreat. They never fly backwards. Popular belief dictates that the dragonfly is the soul of a deceased ancestor who has returned to visit his loved ones. Japan itself is also called the island of the dragonfly (Akitsushima), because of the shape of the land that is reminiscent of the animal.


  1. In Chinese tradition the dragonfly is seen as a child of the wind. It represents playfulness and change, but also happiness, prosperity and harmony. Because of its name (qingting), which resembles the Chinese word for pure (qing), the dragonfly is also seen as a symbol for cleanliness or purity. Due to its mobility, the dragonfly also represents instability and weakness for Chinese. In Feng Shui, where the dragonfly is a less commonly used symbol, the dragonfly is seen as a bringer of luck, new insights and a new start. It is a symbol of prosperity, strength, change, wisdom and peace. The dragonfly is said to be the soul of the dragon in the modern world and thus the carrier of the ultimate happiness that belongs to the dragon.


  1. Originally, the dragonfly does not have such a good reputation in Europe. In Sweden they were seen as the devil's instrument for weighing souls, in English they were associated with evil and pain, with the Romanians, Spaniards and Danes she appears in stories as the devil's horse and in Portugal and Norway they are also called eye pickers. However, in Celtic tradition, the dragonfly is associated with the fairy realm, where the dragonfly is said to serve as fairies' horse, or even be a fairy in disguise. In some stories they are associated with the power to see the truth. They are said to be magical and can move between different dimensions.


  1. For Native Americans, the dragonfly is a symbol of luck, speed and purity. The dragonfly announces change. In the Dakota / Lakota, the dragonfly represents illusions and mirages because their wings move so fast that you cannot see them. The Lakota invoked the dragonfly when they wanted to confuse their enemy. The Hopi Indians see the dragonfly as a bringer of luck, fertility and abundance. In the Maya, the dragonfly represents the god of creativity, Ix Chel, as well as the bearer of the souls of deceased ancestors.

The dragonfly as a totem animal in your life

  1. When the dragonfly appears in your life as a totem animal, you are about to undergo a transformation. The dragonfly changes color in its level and every person also undergoes growth. By looking at yourself differently and organizing your life differently, you can go through a metamorphosis that brings you closer to your real self.

New opportunities

  1. Because the dragonfly can move in all directions, it represents the endless possibilities in life. The dragonfly totem animal asks you not to think in terms of limitations and to realize that these limitations are sometimes imposed by yourself. The flight of the dragonfly represents progress, but also flexibility. Embrace the lightheartedness of the dragonfly, adapt to circumstances and don't take matters too seriously.

Breaking illusions

  1. The dragonfly represents spiritual growth and the breaking of illusions. Not everything is as it seems and so you may wonder whether how you present yourself is in line with who you really are or want to be. Maybe there are habits you have to break in order to be yourself. Habits that you have imposed on yourself or that have arisen due to circumstances. Emotions play a major role, especially if they are emotions that you do not allow or that are based on thoughts that do not correspond to reality. The dragonfly offers you a new perspective and the power to view your life from a distance. In addition, the dragonfly encourages you to show your own colors and let your light shine.


  1. Positive thoughts are part of the dragonfly. With a dragonfly as a totem, it is therefore not the intention to look for heavy, dark and violent changes. The goal is to explore your emotions in a playful and cheerful way and to strive for authenticity. You can find positivity in everything, even if you sometimes have to search carefully. A dragonfly does not live long and therefore also symbolizes the full embrace of life. Try to get everything out of it. Gratitude for all the beauty that comes your way and the lessons you learn will help you with this.


  1. The dragonfly is not only a light and elegant animal, it is also a powerful animal. With her small body and thin wings, she only has to flap 30 times per minute to stay in the same place where other animals, such as mosquitoes and flies, need 600 to 1000 wing beats per minute. The dragonfly thus achieves its purpose in a simple and effective manner. As a totem animal, the dragonfly asks you to find your strength. Power in lightness, balance between emotions and thoughts and change.

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