Spirit Guides

Moth Symbolism, Folklore & The Moth Spirit Guide

The dusty winged one. The flutter in the dark. The misunderstood cousin of the beloved butterfly. The moth. When the light comes on, the moths gather. Maybe you’ve seen moths around a lot lately and you’re wondering what the meaning is. In this article, we’ll cover black moth symbolism, the white moth meaning, brown moth in the house, and general moth folklore. We’ll also go into detail about having a moth spirit guide and the beautiful messages they bring us.

Moths: Feared Yet Beautiful

The moth is both admired and feared. The moth is viewed as the uglier, hairier cousin of the butterfly, but the moth bears unique qualities the butterfly doesn’t. Truly, some of the most beautiful creatures I’ve seen have been moths, the Luna moth and rosy maple moth as two examples. And have you ever seen a hummingbird moth? These moths are large and flap their wings so fast, they are confused with hummingbirds! They have long tongues that suck nectar out of flowers and they hover just like hummingbirds. One of the hummingbird moths is called the Sphinx moth and is found in the United States, but originally comes from Africa. Although I’ve found no African mythology concerning the sphinx moth, I wonder of its ties to Egypt.

Amazing Moth Facts

According to Thought.co, moths are fascinating creatures that tend to be overshadowed by the butterfly. But consider these amazing facts about moths:

  • Moths outnumber butterflies 9:1
  • Their sizes range from a wingspan of 2mm to 28cm (the largest moth is almost the size of a dinner plate!)
  • Luna moths only live for a few days and have no mouths!
  • Some are important pollinators to plants like yuccas and orchids
  • Some are attracted to odd things like bananas, lights, and molasses
  • Male moths of certain families can smell a female moth miles away

Native American Moth Lore & Death Symbolism

To certain Native American tribes, moths were sacred and powerful creatures and there is even talk of moth cocoons being used as rattles in tribes in California. Others view the moth as a symbol of death or a messenger from the dead. We see this in the symbolism of the deaths-head hawk moth (which is also another type of hummingbird moth). This skull-bearing moth was featured in the horror movie Silence of the Lambs.

Moth Symbolism: The white moth meaning represents our ancestors and guardians.
The white moth brings protection and love, and represents our ancestors.

White Moth Meaning

The white moth meaning isn’t as some might expect. In old Appalachian folklore, the appearance of white moths means the ancestors are present – bringing their protection and love. Similar to finding a white feather. This white moth meaning is in direct opposition to the old moth superstition that they cause death and destruction. Perhaps the color of the moth holds significant meaning depending on the person and culture. Which leads us to the black moth symbolism.

Black Moth Symbolism

Black moth symbolism is vast and complicated, depending on the region and culture. In Mexico, the black moth known as the “Black Witch” is a harbinger of death and strikes fear in those who see it. But does all black moth symbolism mean death is imminent? The color black is regarded as “evil” to some, yet to others black is a magical color, one that is all the colors combined. So the black moth symbolism might represent death to some people, yet might mean mystery and spirituality to others. If you have a black moth spirit guide, be prepared for initiation into the magical arts.

A brown mouth in the house has various meanings including needing to "clean out your closet".
Brown moths represent a need for purification.

Brown Moth in the House Meaning

The brown moth in the house meaning is something people often search for. Why is this? Logically, it’s because there are SO many kinds of brown moths that like to get into the house. But spiritually? The brown moth in the house meaning is much deeper. Brown moths, depending on the kind, will invade your pantry or closet – symbolically this means to CLEAN out your closet (i.e. let negative relationships go, cleanse yourself of bad habits, etc.) Once we had an infestation of little brown moths who had taken up residence in a bag of old cat food. The brown moth in the house meaning also tells us to watch who we’re letting in – be more cautious of the people you trust. If you find brown moths in your home, it’s time to declutter, clean and cleanse (and potentially look for a food source they might be feeding on and breeding in).

More Moth Color Symbolic Meanings:

  • Green moth meaning: if you see a green moth, these are usually the large luna moths as pictured below. Green luna moths connect us to moon deities like Selene and the fay (fairies). If it’s not a luna moth, it’s a sphinx moth which connects us to guides and past lives in ancient Egypt
  • Pink and yellow moth meaning: a pink and yellow moth is a rosy maple moth and its symbolism includes joy and self love even in the darkest moments of life
  • Red moths meaning: the color red itself symbolizes anger, passion, intensity, lust, motivation, and protection. If you’ve seen a red moth, it may be a warning of something to come
  • Orange moth symbolism: orange moths bring a time of creativity and inspiration, as well as energy.

The Moth Spirit Guide

The moth has appeared to you and has a message for you. It may even have a lesson to teach you. But with the moth’s muddled mythology, how do we decipher what the moth spirit guide wants to teach us? Moths represent three main concepts: mystery, darkness/light, and transformation. It is possible the moth spirit guide is trying to teach you the mysteries of the occult – the sacred mysteries of your ancestors. If one particular moth is coming to you recurrently, research what kind of moth it is and its folklore. You’ll find an answer in your research. If not, acknowledge the moth spirit guide’s presence and focus on it until the message is loud and clear.

Moth Symbolism: Light/Dark and Transformation

Moth’s symbolism is different from it’s cousin the butterfly’s in a few key ways. While they both represent transformation, the moth’s transformation is even more painful and darker than the butterfly’s. So if you’re emerging from an intensely dark period in your life, the moth spirit guide might be showing up to guide you through to the other side safely. Maybe you’re in recovery or coming out of an abusive or toxic relationship. Whatever your story, the moth has come to usher you out of the darkness and into the light.

Are you hiding something from someone? Are you hiding in the dark? The moth spirit guide is here to bring it into the light. The moth will draw it into the light, just as they’re drawn to the light. Some of the mysteries in your life are about to be revealed. Embrace the change and come out of your cocoon when it’s time.

Moth Metamorphosis

Just as butterflies go through intense metamorphosis from caterpillar to adult, so too do moths. The moth spirit guide is here to help guide you through times 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. Maybe you’re embarking on a new career path or a new family path. Maybe it’s time to outgrow 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 rebirth. Whatever the moth spirit guide teaches, it’s always a valuable lesson. The moth spirit guide is a valuable teacher.

Learn More About Insect Symbolism:

24 Comments

  1. Leo

    July 12, 2022 at 8:29 am

    I have had 2 encounters with moths recently. One was the moment that I saw a white moth on the potted plant that sits at my front door. This plant has been in my family for years and shared by means of making roots out of stems to create new plants. Interestingly enough it the first time I had ever seen a moth so white.
    The second encounter happened yesterday. I am going through a very rough moment and was sitting in my car talking to my therapist. Two gray moths mating appeared on the hood of my car, walked back and forth a few times then flew away. Can anyone help me interpret this?

  2. [Chasity Gorman]

    July 5, 2022 at 12:21 pm

    So i am going through a dark moment and have been for the pass few months now and i always felt like i lost someone i truly loved, someone i truley cared about and one day as it seemed the entire city was against me as tears flow down my face in my heart i lost someone very special to me and as i was sitting in my car the wind picked up and a white month tiny little thing with what appeared to look like a bite chunk taken from its right wing flew/landed on my dashboard and looked right at me as if it were talking to me. I didnt understand what it was trying to tell me, but i was able to offer my finger out and it gently sat there calm and never flew away. I asked what it was trying to tell me and it flew to my tazer i had next to me then to the bible that special person gave me. I was in awe 😢. I miss him so much and i pray for him everyday. May God watch over you and protect you and thank you for teaching me the true meaning of Faith over Fear……always and forever my beloved ❤…may we meet again.

  3. Veronica Morris

    March 9, 2022 at 2:07 pm

    Hi. Today while working in my garden, I saw a beautiful moth it had brown outer wings but with distinct gold on the inner parts, then 10 min later found a gold beetle.
    Any ideas?

  4. The Mexican CosmicWitch

    August 15, 2021 at 12:06 am

    Black and white Sphinx Moth is in the top of our front door… Any message, I’m not getting?

    1. Ashley

      August 30, 2021 at 12:33 am

      So crazy. I was searching the Internet bc I too have a black and white Banded Sphinx moth at the top right of my front door. Very curious to know what it means.

    2. Anonymous

      October 1, 2021 at 12:49 pm

      Last weekend I had a sphinx moth above my front door it stayed there all weekend .when I came home Monday night it was dead on the door mat. meanings?

    3. lisa

      October 1, 2021 at 12:53 pm

      Last weekend I had a sphinx moth above my front door .when I came home Monday night it was dead on the door mat.
      any meanings?

  5. Cara Cooper

    July 16, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    What does it mean to have the trust of a moth?

    1. Sophia

      May 5, 2021 at 2:32 am

      To have the trust of any creature is a profound privilege. It sees the kindness within you.

      1. Veronica

        June 5, 2021 at 3:13 pm

        I just found a white silk moth on my railing. What does it mean?

      2. Evelyn Melendez

        September 23, 2021 at 11:31 pm

        I walked into my apartment after work and I seen a black moth on the top corner of my kitchen.

    2. Michelle

      September 8, 2021 at 11:29 pm

      I know this post is a year old. But I am so curious. I have had what it looks like the same black moth- along with other moths, want to come into my house nightly. He/she -!it seems when I talk to it – let’s me capture it in my hand and set it free outside. ?? I was told that one of my spirit guides was a moth. I am trying to understand what I have to learn from the fellow. But I don’t. Can you help ?

  6. Anonymous

    July 2, 2020 at 8:47 am

    What about green moths? One just landed on my neck.

    1. admin

      March 3, 2020 at 4:44 pm

      No. You are incorrect. I originally wrote this piece for Hubpages in 2017. I have the original documentation with the date. I deleted it from that platform and moved it here. I’ll be reporting your link for stolen content to google. Thank you.

    2. Anonymous

      May 7, 2020 at 8:52 am

      Judge not lest you be judged.

  7. Sarah

    March 20, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    <3 thankyou fpr this I have always been drawn to to them and had them around me a lot. I call them my friends cause I let them land on me or scoop them up and put them on my head or shirt and let them hangout somewhere safe. If I find a hurt one I Invote it into my home or I brimg it to a large bush with flowers and hope they make it. Very lovely things.

    1. Anonymous

      July 30, 2020 at 5:20 am

      yes sarah excellent

Leave a Reply