Episode XCI – 91: Black witch moth

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The black witch moth is a fantastic animal that flaps its wing just like some bats do. And since it has a wing span of circa 18cm and being mostly a nocturnal creature, people mistakenly associate them with bats. Moths and butterflies symbolize hope, transformation, and new beginnings.

However when I had one black moth landing on me, those who were with me made me very curious regarding their reaction and what it meant for them since they panicked in terror. This because of what they have been taught through folk stories by their elders. However, reality is that the black witch moth is a completely harmless animal.

An encounter with a black moth can indicate that the person is about to be reborn or renewed in some way. Sometimes there is darkness before the dawn. Black moths are also symbolizing longevity for some cultures. Moths and Butterflies are recognized as a symbol of transformation. The word transform is metamorpheo in Greek, from which we get the English term metamorphosis. It describes the type of change a caterpillar undergoes to get its wings to fly. This process is comparable or similar to how a human being becomes a spirit in the afterlife. Ancient Greeks believed to be the essence of a person itself. The Greeks usually portray Psyche, their goddess of the soul, with wings.

Through the years, the meaning of the moth and the butterfly became varied, depending on their colors. In the Philippines, China and Central America varieties of dark moths and butterflies are associated with death. The Philippine culture has many superstitious beliefs or “pamahiin” and among the most enduring of these is the belief that this animal is a sign of a dead relatives making their presence felt. In Ireland, black butterflies symbolize a restless soul of a deceased person unable to move on. Meanwhile, white butterflies portray the soul of a deceased child. In Japan, white butterflies also represent the soul of a deceased person. In Germany, butterflies are believed to be the soul of a deceased child as well.

Mexican folk stories tells us about “la mariposa de la muerte” (butterfly of death). The story tells that if a person is sick and this moth fly’s into his house the sick person will die. For the Aruban a black moth or butterfly is a bad omen. Moreover, if you cross paths with a black butterfly, you should prepare for a negative turn of events for many. Although this common superstition in particular has been around for many years since we can find its origins in native Aruban myths and folk stories, the true is that the fluttering of its fragile wings should make us take note of what is happening around us: they are heralds and also victims of over development and climate change.

To get to know a little more regarding Aruba’s and its cultural origins, we highly recommend you to book and participate in a cultural encounter session to remember. A mind opening revelation and entertaining island experience. Mail us at etnianativa03@gmail.com.