Emma-Jayne Saanen

[Totem Animal] Moth

This is an article on moth as a generic totem, my skills are not sophisticated enough to be able to work with different species. I originally wrote this in the summer of 2008, when I first began working with Moth, and was interested in the directions and elements as presented in many neo-pagan systems.

Square-spot Rustic

Square-spot Rustic

Moths and their relatives the butterflies inhabit that unique space between here/the Middle World and the Lower World. They dance between here and there, and I often feel if I could just let go for long enough I could follow them.

I associate them with the north, the region of rebirth and renewal. Change and progress – as each stage of their lifecycle, they are something new, something different. I also associate them with the element of air, of wisdom, life-long learning and intellect.

The majority of moths are nocturnal. Creatures of the night. Pathfinders, they can negotiate their way through even the deepest glum, but know when they cannot make progress, so take the time to rest and revise. Day-fliers remind us of their ever constant presence, in the realms of night & day, of our world and Annwn.

They are softer than their relatives the butterflies. They feel more delicate and fragile.

Often moths are masters of camouflage, and they wrap themselves snugly within their wings. Moth represents security, comfort and warmth. But as we should all be aware, not all moths are like this. Some are vibrant jewels, and many rest in alternative positions. I think the message here is that they are confident, but don’t feel the need to show off or brag about their achievements. And like all of us, at times they feel undervalued, and like a little bit of the spotlight. We all like to be recognised for the good things we bring to our communities.

Moths are an undervalued ally. They bridge our world to the Otherworlds, they teach us about safety and security (both physical and emotional), and show us to be comfortable with who we are. If there is a Moth person in your life, be sure to show them how much you treasure them.

What are your experiences with Moth as a totem? Have you worked with specific species of moth? I would love to hear from you!


  1. I have moths that started appearing to me in a very deliberate way, in clusters about 5 years go – one even came out of the key hole of my security gate! They have quite a striking appearance – I’m not sure if it is the exact species but from what I have seen on the internet they are called Burnished brass moths. They have this exquisite gold on their wings, like pure gold leaf. I feel they come as a support and with a message. I struggle to understand the messages, though I get the feeling they are representative of very loving energies connected to my soul lineage manifesting to remind me of who I am and of sacred knowledge,. Sometimes differnt moths come too, but they usually seem to be of that similar type of Family/look.

    • Those moths sound beautiful.

      I like moths a lot. As part of my volunteering, I try to trap and identify moths to make a record of where they live and when.

      Don’t worry about struggling to understand. I find that I put so much pressure on myself to find meaning that it becomes impossible. And of course, the message for each of us can be different.

      Thank you for stopping by my blog. ♥

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