A couple people asked me what my luna moth tattoo symbolizes. Like anything symbolic it's layered and nuanced and incomplete as creating meaning is ever-expansive.
And, also, I thought I would share some fun facts I've learned about luna moths and their symbolism on this full moon. As a child, I was once afraid of moths, but as I become older I realize that I feel a kinship with moths. I came across my first luna moth about a year ago and the more I continue to learn about them, the more symbolic of my own life they become:
When a transformed luna moth emerges from it's cocoon, it no longer has a mouth. Luna moths don't eat. It gets it's nutrition from the fat stored in it's body from when it was a caterpillar. If you see one you will be awestruck by both it's size and it's beauty, and also, it's literally starving to death.
Luna moths live for one week only and they are here for a single purpose: to mate.
Because it knows it will die, it's singular focus of creating life gives it a sense of urgency and purpose.
The female luna moth gives off pheromones and waits for the male to come to her.
Like most moths, luna moths are nocturnal. They are at home in the dark. Unlike butterflies who soak in the sun’s warm light to fly, nocturnal moths generate heat from their own bodies through flapping their wings. They are their own sources of power.
Their ribbon like bottom wings serve as tiny stealth fighters making them less likely to be detected by predators while in flight. Their design is not only beautiful, but functional.
Like most moths, they are drawn to "false suns" and that attraction will not only burn them, but often kill them.
Moths don't rely on their wings for guidance, they can fly with damaged wings. A damaged antenna however will take a moth off it's course and it will struggle and crash into walls and lose it's way. (Continued in comments)