Monarch Butterfly Tattoo: Meanings, Design Ideas

Monarch Butterfly Tattoo: Meanings, Design Ideas

Let’s be honest; choosing the perfect tattoo design can be pretty difficult. And, considering that a tattoo is going to last you a lifetime (unless you decide to remove it), the pressure to choose the best design idea increases as the appointment day nears. That is why we always recommend people go for tattoo design ideas that make sense, have a deeper meaning and are relatable to their lives and stories.


One such tattoo design idea is a monarch butterfly. Considered to be the king of all butterflies, the monarch butterfly is an incredibly beautiful, delicate being that carries a plethora of symbolism, meaning, and even a touch of spirituality. If you like the sound of this, and you’re also gathering ideas for your new tattoo, then keep on reading. We’ll go through all of the symbolism and meanings, but also some tattoo design ideas and recommendations. So, let’s get started!


Monarch Butterfly Tattoo: Everything You Need To Know


Monarch Butterfly (Tattoo) Symbolism and Meaning


As we mentioned in the introduction, the monarch butterfly is considered to be the king of all butterflies. It is easily recognizable thanks to its specific appearance, including the spotted, bring orange wings and the bold black outline of the wings.


Monarch butterflies live in the US and Canada area, but can also be spotted in the central Mexico area, depending on the climate conditions. Unfortunately, this butterfly species is endangered; every time we humans see something beautiful, we destroy it, and we did the same with this incredible being.



When it comes to meaning and symbolism, monarch butterflies are considered to represent spiritual evolution and cosmic connection. This belief comes directly from the way monarch butterflies live.


They can fly up to 2,5000 miles from the US and Canada, where they breed, down to central Mexico, where they hibernate. To travel such a long way is an incredible endeavor, and these delicate beings manage to do it without a problem. Truth be told, their migration is a battle between life and death, but they never stop on their way, which to people is inspirational and spiritual as well.


As such, monarch butterflies serve as the perfect inspiration for a meaningful tattoo. Here are some of the other things Monarch butterfly (tattoos) may symbolize, and that you may relate to;


  • Endurance – on their way to central Mexico, monarch butterflies travel up to 2,500 miles. They endure different climate conditions and come across predators of all kinds. However, they survive and never give up; endurance and keep going are what contribute to their spiritual symbolism.
  • Transformation – this is a general meaning and symbolism when it comes to butterflies, but it cannot be ignored or overlooked. The evolution from caterpillars to such incredibly strong and beautiful monarch butterflies is what humans need to be inspired by every day. There is an incredible beauty to this transformation and we must appreciate and learn from it.
  • Internal change – to expand on the previous point, monarch butterflies don’t necessarily only symbolize transformation; they also symbolize the internal change one may be going through without even knowing. The change can be spiritual, or one is simply discovering one’s truth and wisdom. Either way, this can serve as endless inspiration to keep going, just like these butterflies always do.
  • Life and death – to a monarch butterfly, life and death have equal importance. Being alive means that the butterfly has managed to reach its destination where it can hibernate. Death means it is no longer contributing to ‘overpopulation’ and genetic diversity; as if it is known that both life and death are the essential part of their journey, so there is no fear of what’s coming, just appreciation of the moment.
  • Spiritual awakening and truth – monarch butterflies symbolize one’s seeking and finding the highest of the inner spiritual truth as well as one’s inner compass that will lead one through life. Alongside spiritual awakening, these butterflies symbolize strength, trust, knowing thyself, evolution, and transformation.


Monarch Butterfly Tattoo Design Ideas


If the symbolism and meanings of the monarch butterfly speak to you, then you should definitely consider getting it tattooed. However, a good tattoo meaning should go well with a good tattoo design. That is why we have gathered some of the best design ideas, all in one place, for you to go through and get inspired by. The tattoo designs we feature in the following paragraphs are not to be copied; it is important to respect other tattoo artists’ creative property and use their work for inspiration, not plagiarism.


Monarch Butterfly Tattoo in Black and White


Fine line work, bold black color, and intricate design are what make a monarch black and white tattoo extremely special. Black and white tattoos in general have this elegant, classy element to them, but used for a design such as a monarch butterfly, you feel like the symbolism and meaning really comes through at their fullest. Consider getting a black-and-white tattoo if you want to go lowkey, but are still looking for an effective, impactful tattoo that packs in highly intricate detailing and exceptional linework.








Small Monarch Butterfly Tattoo


Despite the small size of the tattoo, the meaning, symbolism, and design quality is still there. Small tattoos in general are excellent for those who want to go lowkey with their body ink but still want quality, meaningful tattoos. Smaller-sized tattoos are also great in case you want to keep your tattoos well hidden, in case of a workspace policy or personal reasons. Either way, the Monarch butterfly design is probably one of the best choices for a small tattoo, so keep it as an option for your future body ink endeavors.







Red Monarch Butterfly Tattoo


If you’re into tattoos that are bold and ‘in your face’ then you might consider getting a monarch butterfly tattoo but in red color. Red tattoos have become incredibly popular in the past few years, so to follow the trends, if it’s your cup of tea of course, then getting a fully bright red monarch butterfly tattoo may sound like a great idea. The design intricacy is still there, and the meaning/symbolism is as well, so why not go all the way and get a badass butterfly tattoo?








Realistic Monarch Butterfly Tattoo


Keeping it real is probably the best to honor the beauty and symbolism of a monarch butterfly. Sure, not everybody is into super realistic tattoos, especially of insects, but you’ll probably change your mind once you see how absolutely amazing the realistic monarch butterfly tattoo really is. The linework, intricacy of the overall design, the incredible shading and color blending… all of this adds, or even elevates the symbolism and almost divine beauty of the butterfly.








Blue Monarch Butterfly Tattoo


The Blue Monarch butterfly is different from the regular Monarch butterfly. It is found in tropical Africa and lives in lowlands and riverine forests. Nevertheless, its beauty is completely unmatched, mostly because of how the blue color of its wings accentuates every line and pattern across its body. The meaning and symbolism of a Blue Monarch revolve around joy, luck, and happiness. Nevertheless, we’ve decided to include it on our list of the best Monarch butterfly tattoo design ideas just in case some of you are looking for something with a bit more zazz.








Final Thoughts


Because finding that perfect design idea for a new tattoo is pretty difficult, we hope that our insight into the meaning and symbolism of a monarch butterfly tattoo, as well as design recommendations, were helpful. These tattoos are made for people looking for deeper meaning but also a beautiful, intricate design.


There can be different, multiple variations to the original designs, so make sure to use that to your advantage and allow yourself to be completely inspired by these incredible butterflies. If you’re still not sure about the design direction of your new tattoo, make sure to show these design recommendations to your tattoo artist, and maybe they can come up with an elevated design just for you. Good luck and happy tattooing!

Disclaimer – Information provided in the blog article is based on personal opinions and experiences, for general reference only. The blog article may contain external websites or resources, if any of the content belongs to the original copyright holder, please contact us for removal.
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