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Top 15 Symbols of Transformation With Meanings

Top 15 Symbols of Transformation With Meanings

Change and transformation are an inevitable part of life. The world is constantly changing, and so are humans. Change is extremely significant and holds profound meaning. Cultures all around the world welcome change either ritualistically or in good faith.

There is also negative change that people often avert and deflect. There are many symbols that have reflected change over the years. These symbols can be animals, flowers, colors, or even heavenly bodies. 

Let’s have a look at some of the top 15 major symbols of transformation and their significance:

1. Wine

Old Wine.
Old Wine
Image by ColinB from Pixabay

Traditionally, wine has been a primary symbol for transformation. Through nature, you can see the ongoing cycle of renewal, growth, and transformation. Wine is a mirror held up to nature, and the very process of winemaking embodies transformation. (1)

Wine making embodies this concept largely because grapes literally undergo the process of transformation when they are fermented. Wine also represents life and sustenance due to its importance in the Near East. In literature, wine connotes friendship and happiness, while white wine also implies the concept of purity. (2)

Spirituality is a journey of inward transformation, and so is wine – from growing grapes in the wineyard to making wine in a barrel to pouring it in a bottle and drinking it. The aromatic yet fleeting incense of the wine can transform a drinker. (3)

2. Butterfly

Yellow Butterfly.
Captain-tuckerCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A powerful symbol of individual change and evolution. People who attribute themselves to butterflies also attribute themselves to constant change. It is said that if you see a butterfly in your dream or see one in real life, you are destined to encounter a change in your life.

Change can always be twofold. You might encounter positive change, or something might change that you do not want changed. The butterfly also represents resurrection, beauty, and energy. A butterfly might connotate gaining something beautiful and a rigorous struggle. A butterfly’s life cycle also implies waiting and patience. (4)

3. Owl

Beige and brown owl on top of a tree log.
Beige and brown owl on top of a tree log
Photo by Jean van der Meulen from Pexels

An owl mostly implies intelligence, experience, and wisdom that is gained from age. But several interpretations of owls also hint at unveiling the unknown or disclosing the hidden. Owls also symbolize the capacity to detect deception.

They are often referred to as ‘indicators of deceit.’ This deceit can be prevalent, or you may encounter it in the near future. Owls also hint at change, listening to one’s instinct, and an ultimatum when it comes to decision making. (5)

4. Snake 

Roman Fresco depicting Lares & sacrifice scene with a pair of snakes.
Roman Fresco depicting Lares & sacrifice scene with a pair of snakes; from Pompeii Naples Archaeological Museum, Naples, Italy.
Image courtesy:

The serpent or the snake is an ancient mythological symbol. Snakes are involved with some of the most ancient rituals known to mankind.

They often represent change and transformation as well as expressions of good vs. evil. (6) In many societies, snakes embody life, change, and well-being. This comes from the snake’s attribute to shed its skin. This enables it to be born anew.

This implies transformation as well as the washing away of sin. You start afresh and get a clean slate. If one often dreams of snakes, it can imply rejuvenation and the potential for growth. It can also imply upcoming positive life experiences.

5. Frog

Frog on a lake.
Image courtesy:

A frog’s life serves as a reminder of the transient nature of human life. A frog transforms from an egg to a tadpole to an adult frog symbolizing change and progress. Frogs help us realize that change comes in various forms and frequencies.

We have to embrace and adapt to change even if we don’t want to. Frogs make us understand that all change is, inevitably, for the better. Frogs are associated with the water element. They also imply purification, feminine energy, and the universe of feelings.

Physical, emotional, and mystical changes are all connected to the frog. Frogs also symbolize wisdom that is derived from resurrection, wage, and cleansing. Hence, frogs symbolize the good and bad as well as transformation and cleansing. (7)

6. Dragonfly

Dragonfly on the plant stalk.
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels 

The dragonfly is an insect attributed to transformation. The symbol of a dragonfly personifies the versatility of change witnessed through the course of everyday life. Dragonflies are small in stature but have wings that are usually in motion.

The particular element of the dragonfly attributes to overwhelming change that is able to take place one step at a time. Dragonflies also represent light and progress. They also symbolize satisfaction, flexibility, and a connection with nature.

Dragonflies also hint at adaptability and self-realization. Dragonflies can swiftly scurry across waters. This represents looking beyond the surface and examining the deeper aspects and implications of life. (8)

7. Orange Color

Color Orange.
Color Orange
Ravithakor23, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The orange color stands out due to its ferocity and dynamism. As Orange color is associated with Fall and the changing of seasons, it is sometimes attributed to transformation and change. The systematic rising and setting of the sun also denote the concept of change.

Sometimes orange color also refers to healing, growth, and recovery. Orange color is often found in nature. It is the color of fire, fruits, leaves, and a dynamic sunset. Within the realm of Confucianism, the color orange also represents transformation. (9)

8. Iris Flower

A purple iris flower.
A purple iris flower
Image by Elsa Mayfair from Pixabay

The Iris flower is the name of the Greek Goddess of Rainbows and has showy, extravagant petals. Irises are planted before or during winter and tend to bloom in early spring. These flowers symbolize change and recovery.

They embody the transition from the dreadful winter cold to the warm tranquility of early spring. Irises also symbolize the renewal of natural materials and earthy materials. Purple Irises represent wisdom and compliment. A bouquet of blue Irises also implies faith and hope. (10)

9. Black Rose

Creative close up shot of black rose.
Black rose
Photo by George Becker from Pexels

Black roses do not grow naturally; instead, common red or yellow roses are dyed black or painted black. A black rose symbolizes change and transformation at a very basic level.

It represents the transition from life to death or even represents dying love. Black roses can also be interpreted at another level. They can also mean the death of old habits and dispositions.

Hence it can represent the concept of rebirth positively. A black rose can denote new beginnings. It is an apt gift for someone embarking upon a new chapter of their life. (11)

10. Janus, The Roman God

Janus's faces sculpture.
Janus’s faces
Loudon doddCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Roman god Janus is often depicted in many Roman beliefs and sacred texts. He is often symbolized as the god of new beginnings. The start of the calendarial month, year, and day were often dedicated to him.

The month of January is also named after him; as his celebration, the Agonium took place on January 9th. Janus is also the god of transition. He was invoked between wars as he symbolized dualities such as the end of war and the beginning of peace. (12)

11. The Planet Uranus

Planet Uranus.
Planet Uranus
Pablo Carlos BudassiCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Uranus is associated with receptiveness, change, and motivation. When you analyze a person’s natal chart within astrology, Uranus signifies which parts of life a person may encounter significant changes.

In olden times, people made connections to changing times and tides with the movement of this planet. Due to these reasons, this planet serves as a symbol of transformation and change in modern times. 

12. Egg

Eggs on a bowl.
Eggs on a bowl
Image by ds_30 from

In traditional folk religion, an egg symbolizes rebirth, change, and fertility. (13) The Romans used eggs as burial offerings. Eggs are also a symbol of life because life is enclosed in it and emerges from it.

Hence Eggs embody the concepts of rebirth, rejuvenation, and the cycle of life. (14)

13. Caterpillar

Life cycle of a butterfly.
Life cycle of a caterpillar.

Caterpillars are extremely symbolic when it comes to transformation. These little worms welcome transformation with open arms and accept it as the inevitable truth of life. (15) The very life cycle of a caterpillar symbolizes concepts of change.

A caterpillar emerges from a cocoon and emerges into new life. This is similar to searching within oneself and emerging as a person upon reflection. (16)

14. Koi Fish

Koi fish.
Koi fish
Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Koi fish is a brightly colored freshwater fish that is often depicted in Asian landscapes and designs. Koi fish are often associated with strength of character, perseverance, and courage. Koi fish with a white body and black spots or an all-black body represents life’s transformations. (17)

15. Celtic Knot

Celtic Shield Knot.
Celtic Shield Knot / Celtic symbol of protection
Don Cloud Via Pixabay

The Celtic knot represents no beginning and no end. It also denotes eternal life, transformation, and unity. The Celtic knot also represents the unity of spirit when it is enclosed within the circle. 

The Takeaway

The above-listed symbols represent concepts such as change and transformation profoundly. Which of these symbols were you already aware of? Let us know in the comments section below!

See also: Top 5 Flowers That Symbolize Transformation


  6. “Savior, Satan, and Serpent: The Duality of a Symbol in the Scriptures”
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Header image of orange painting courtesy: