Lightness, time and soul

Photo essay: Butterflies

by Azadeh Azad
Somewhere in Brentwood Bay on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, there is a butterfly garden that makes us delight in the wonders of nature and reflect on what butterflies symbolise: transformation, celebration, lightness, time and soul. Many cultures relate butterflies to the human soul. In the Persian mystical metaphor of the candle and the butterfly, divine love is the candle’s flame and the butterfly is the human soul attracted by the flame, searching to transform its material condition into higher spheres and knowing the joys of the beyond by burning in the divine flame. The Greek name for a butterfly is psyche, which also means the soul, and is the name of god Eros's human lover. Often when Eros and Psyche are depicted together, they are surrounded by butterflies. Finally, there is an old Irish saying, "Butterflies are souls of the dead waiting to pass through Purgatory". For these copyrighted photos, I’ve used a Canon PowerShot SD800-IS camera. Enjoy!

more from Azadeh Azad

#8 is the best

by RostameDastAn on

It looks like a wonderful painting from a children's book. Thank you.


Incredibly Beautiful Creatures of Nature

by Monda on

- Would you mind if I printed your photos on invitations to a graduation event?

- Also, I'm thinking about showing your name and on them, unless you'd rather have your name taken out. Please let me know what you think.

Thank you.

JJ: I wonder if you have a problem showing on the      cards?


Please Ignore My Question! Now I Know :-)

by sb (not verified) on

As much as I LOVED your introduction, it seems that I skipped the first few lines - sorry! :-(

Azarin Sadegh

As stunning as a dream

by Azarin Sadegh on

Dear Azadeh,

I loved your breathtaking pictures! I couldn’t even decide which one I liked the most. These images reminded me of an old childhood dream of mine...I was lost in a garden, but somehow I wasn't afraid and I knew my parents were nearby. The garden was like a 3-D painting and the flowers were flying in the air, and every time I woke up after this dream, I wished to fall asleep again! 

Thanks for sharing your work,



Where were these pictures taken?

by sb (not verified) on

Without a question I LOVED your pictures but it was the introduction that did it for me - "it closed the deal"! A! Truly Wonderfull!


creator of colors!

by ym (not verified) on

How can one explain these transcendent colors? aahhh...but I do know!
I'd much rather call these beautiful beings 'parvaneh' than butterflies.
Thank you, I so enjoyed these photos.


Butterflies in Canada

by Mazloom on

There are too many butterflies in Canada :O)

Nazy Kaviani


by Nazy Kaviani on

Thank you for the gift of beauty and the magic that is a butterfly!


Thank you.

by Feshangi on

So magnificent. So colorful and so beautiful. I am speechless. 


Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

So so beautiful. I almost came to believing in god again. But Darwin holds the edge.