In Greek mythology, Psyche was represented in art with butterfly wings. It’s all about the airborne soul -and the caterpillar emerging from its cocoon, transformed from an earth-bound to an aerial entity, is the classic metaphor. To the Greeks, a human soul emerged each time a butterfly emerged from its cocoon. Diverse cultures looked upon the Butterfly as a symbol of transformation, regeneration and flight. Souls were carried by the Butterfly from earth to heaven, or in some cases were believed to be the souls themselves returning to earth.
So, the Butterfly is not entirely the exclusive domain of the feminine. The Roman Emperor, Augustus, took it as his personal symbol, and the warrior priests of the Mexican Popolucas peoples sported the Butterfly as a motif on their breastplates. Their Butterfly was also the symbol of fire.