What Is the Mythology of the Dragonfly?


Quick Answer

Myths and beliefs surrounding dragonflies vary widely, with some cultures believing they bring blessings and others associating them with evil. In European folklore, Satan sent dragonflies to earth to cause confusion and chaos among the people. They called the dragonfly "the witch's animal."

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Full Answer

Because the arrival of dragonflies in the summer coincides with the blossoming of corn tassels, the Native American Zuni tribe believes that dragonflies bring continued blessings for fertile corn crops. The Hopi tribe believed that dragonflies had the power to restore a poor corn crop to prevent starvation, and that the song of the dragonfly warned of nearby danger.

The Swiss believed that dragonflies came to earth to judge and retrieve bad souls. A dragonfly's sudden appearance near a person meant tragedy or injury might befall him.

In Japan, dragonflies signify success in battle. The iridescent exoskeleton of the dragon was at one time thought to be invincible, and warriors adorned themselves with images of the dragonfly, thought to bring good fortune to warriors. They believed red dragonflies carried the spirits of departed loved ones.

In many cultures, the dragonfly is associated with change or transformation. This may be because those cultures observed the metamorphosis of the dragon from windless nymph to adult.

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