The Myth of the Golden Butterfly


So last week, Dr. Solly ended one of his Blog articles, mentioning that He saw his first butterfly of the year, and that it was golden. He said that it “means it’s going to be a good summer.”

I have never heard of this expression/superstition before. When I looked it up, it was specific to Scottish/Irish folklore, that a gold-colored butterfly near the dead ensures that the soul is in heaven.

When I was young, I would try to catch butterflies. I would do so by waiting until they seemed relaxed on a leaf or other perch. I would slowly bring my hand near, and when they brought their wings together, I would grasp them between thumb and forefinger.

This reinforced a lesson I had been taught in my free society. That you must not restrict the freedom of any living thing. Even though I did not mean these butterflies any harm, they were ripping their own wings apart, trying to get away from my finger trap.

Anyway, if you read Dr. Solly’s blog regularly, you get the impression that this man is completely pragmatic and far removed from superstition, to the point of being a happy athiest. I am left to wonder whether or not his statement about it being a good summer due to the appearance of a small flying insect that happened to have a bright color scheme was a subtle sarcastic jab at superstitions, a meaningless platitude, or if he really let himself slip into a superstitious folktale. Based on my reading of his blog, I am leaning towards “sarcastic jab”. However, people sometimes say the funniest things….