As a symbol, the butterfly represents transformation, ascension, immortality, rebirth and resurrection. It can also be a symbol for the soul.
In Shamanistic tradition too, the butterfly is a sign for (self-)transformation. "It is akin to the air. It is the Mind, and the ability to know the mind or to change it. It is the art of transformation."
The "Medicine Cards" offer the folling practical information on what you can do, when faced with the Butterfly.
"To use Butterfly medicine, you must astutely observe your position in the cycle of self-transformation. Like Butterfly, you are always at a certain station in your life activities. You may be at the egg stage, which is the beginning of all things. This is the stage at which an idea is born, but has not yet become a reality. The larva stage is the point at which you decide to create the idea in the physical world. The cocoon stage involves "going within": doing or developing your project, idea, or aspect or personality. The final state of transformation is the leaving of the chrysalis and birth. This last step involves sharing the colors and joy of your creation with the world.
If you look closely at what Butterfly is trying to teach, you will realize that it is the never-ending cycle of self-transformation. The way to discern where you are in this cycle is to ask yourself: (1) Is this the egg stage: Is it just a thought or idea? (2) Is this the larva stage: Do I need to make a decision? (3) Is this the cocoon stage: Am I developing and doing something to make my idea a reality? (4) Is this the birth stage: Am I sharing my completed idea?
By asking yourself these questions, you will discover how Butterfly is relating to you at this moment. When you understand where you are, Butterfly can teach you what to do next to continue in the cycle of self-transformation, (or in assisting others in their cycle.)" (Jamie Sams & David Carson, the Medicine Cards.)