Red dragonflies can be rare to view, and very special when the opportunity comes along. Yet, interestingly, they often appear to people surrounding life episodes of loss and death; perhaps a bit of an oxymoron that these lovely winged creatures are present at such times. But the meaning of red dragonfly includes both good and bad omens: one of eternal love and one of death. This paradox embraces the polarities we find in life, and as such, it is not surprising the red dragonfly makes an appearance at moments of death and loss. Death is the polarity of Life, and upon departing this realm, we most likely return to our home of eternal love. Red dragonfly symbolism and death are intimately entwined as the end of life’s illusions through transformation.

While there are many folks who do not acknowledge red dragonfly spiritual meaning or significance beyond being merely an insect species, I beg to differ. Dragonflies have a way of mysteriously appearing. While their appearance to some holds no deep meaning, for others the visitation clearly brings a message. It corresponds, I believe, to one’s inner attraction for the mystery of the spiritual and unseen energies of the universe. All animal species including insects carry within them a spirit of earth and cosmic intelligence. They all have a specific purpose here just as we humans do. Neither humans nor animals are here by accident wandering aimlessly with no reason for being here. It is the dragonfly, I feel, who is gifted with moving between worlds. Dragonfly is the metaphor for our own transformations out of the depths of our emotional dramas into a place of freedom. A place we could equate to going when we depart this world. Thus, the red dragonfly may emerge around death with the soothing message that this transformation will carry us to freedom and eternal love.

In Japan the dragonfly is considered to be very sacred. Red dragonflies appear most often there at the end of summer with the message that autumn is coming. A beautiful Haiku poem reads,” That the autumn season has begun is decided by the appearance of the red dragonfly.” The Japanese embrace the dragonfly as a symbol of courage, strength and happiness while the Native Americans speak of the dragonfly as bringing a time of rejuvenation after a long period of trials and hardship. Both of these interpretations bring us hope after the death and loss of a loved one. Further, the Native Americans perceived dragonflies as the “souls of the dead” so a dragonfly visitation around a loved one’s death could well signify the loved one’s soul taking form in the spirit of dragonfly. It offers the assurance their soul is free.

When we consider the color red and its meaning, particularly in relation to it as the color of the Root chakra, we find the significance to be deeply linked to the Earth. The Root chakra is associated with our basic survival needs, resources, stability, security and all manner of grounding spirit energy into both the body and the Earth. The color red is affiliated with our passions and strong emotions around heat, fire, anger and love. Thus, the color red represents a strong connection to this material world and our emotional experiences along our life journey. When we depart this world, we let go of all our earthly and emotional attachments. To witness a red dragonfly around death is a comforting reminder that in our letting go of material and emotional trappings, we are being set free.

Life is not what it appears to be. Red dragonfly says we must see through the illusions in life for then we can make this great transformation while still in body and life, before death. As above, so below. If we can lighten our load and evolve into the vibration of light in the body, then we will find the ability to adapt, bend, flow, change, shapeshift, transform and fly now. The significance of red dragonfly reflects our need to work lovingly on this earthly plane, to ground the higher spiritual forces within us to the earth beneath our feet and to celebrate our capacity, like dragonfly, to move between worlds and bring a little bit of heaven to earth. We can find freedom here on this beautiful, blue star planet as we embody living the gift of this life. Death is but a mirror of a life well lived on iridescent wings.