Buffalo: Spiritual Meaning, Dream Meaning, Symbolism & More

The mighty buffalo. Warrior cow. Furry friend. Give it whatever name you like, it doesn’t bother this beast. buffaloes will always do as they are meant to.

Once they were one of the largest animal populations in the US. But people hunted them into an endangered species, for nefarious reasons.

Buffalo was the staple in the Native American diet, then when the colonizers came they wiped out as many as they could as a means of starving the original population.

Buffaloes represent more than just food or a mindless animal.

They represent decades of history and power struggles, of the difference between right and wrong.

Symbolically they are a powerhouse because of their sheer strength and size. But is strength all there is to the buffalo?

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out that there’s a lot more to the buffalo than muscle mass.


Buffaloes are herd creatures and rarely alone.

Have you ever seen a buffalo stampede?

An old hunting method was to rile buffalo up into a stampede and then to collect any animals killed in their wake because nothing can survive a stampede. buffaloes are strong alone, but strongest together.

In that way, they symbolize what we can do with unity.

Buffaloes were once the most abundant animal in the US. Native Americans believe that the buffalo was a gift from The Great Spirit, the creator of all things.

People believed this because a buffalo was used for more than just food.


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People used its fur for clothes. They used bones for tools. Lasty, they used a live buffalo for its strength, endurance, milk, and so much more.

Nothing of the buffalo ever went to waste. That’s why symbolically, the buffalo represents abundance, and when you see a buffalo it’s reminding you to be grateful for all you have.

Spirit Animal

To have a buffalo as a spirit animal means to have the Great Spirit of the buffalo watching over you, guiding you, and protecting you.

If you have a buffalo as a spirit animal you may be a very independent person, strong both physically and mentally.

Like the buffalo, which is part of a herd, you are happiest when you are with your own metaphorical herd.

You could be very family and friends orientated, and see yourself as part of the bigger picture in life.

You are always contributing to humanity in the best way that you can, and see the grand scheme of things.

A buffalo spirit animal means the divine realm protects you. Further, it means you should practice gratitude on a daily basis. You will always have everything that you need in life. Remember not to go wanting.

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Moreover, remember that, deep down inside, the buffalo is a wild animal which cannot be tamed.

Just like you. Never get into a situation where your independence will be stifled. You are a free creature.

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Totem Animal

Totem animals are specific to Native Americans and are interchangeable with a spirit animals.

In Native American culture, people held a ceremony to bring forth a person’s totem animal. In addition, it is an especially high honor having a buffalo as a totem.

Further, buffaloes are sacred animals to Native Americans because of all they provide.

Buffaloes have a deep connection to the earth and mother nature.

They wander the wild plains and sleep beneath the sky. That’s why buffalo people will find that they often have a deep-rooted spiritual connection to the world around them and mother nature.

Buffalo people may even find that their empathy levels are higher than others because of their ability to feel the world around them, and connect on a deeply spiritual level.

Buffaloes are symbolic of service. As are people with buffalo totems.

They often find self-actualization and inner peace through acts of service towards others. This is why buffalo people are some of the most blessed, and abundant. They get as much as they give.

Power Animal

Power animals links to the Native American concept of Animism.

This is the belief that all living things in this world have a spirit or soul, and that they have natural power and influence that they can exert.

A power animal uses this influence to guide people, and a person often shares similar traits with their power animal.

Buffaloes are the most powerful of power animals.

Their strength physically matches their mental strength.

To have a buffalo power animal means you have strong conviction, and when you don’t you can draw it from your buffalo spirit. Calling on your buffalo spirit can help you ease and carry your burdens.

Perhaps the best thing about the buffalo spirit is its ability to live in the moment and appreciate the day, stemming from universal gratitude.

Seeing your power buffalo is a reminder for you to do the same.

Buffaloes are representative of stability and sometimes connecting to your buffalo spirit is a great way to ground yourself and borrow some of that strength and stability.

Native American Symbolism

Each culture has an animal that they consider sacred.

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In Tibet, it’s the vulture and in India, it’s the cow.

For Native Americans, buffaloes are the most sacred animal. People thought buffaloes are gifts from the Great Spirit in the sky.

Buffaloes provided them with everything they needed and sustained their way of life.

In the days before guns and horses, when hunting was difficult, the Native people would perform special rituals and ceremonies to attract the buffalo.

Image by Nel Botha from Pixabay

Miraculously it actually worked. Buffaloes would come and allow themselves as sacrifice in order for the tribes to gain sustenance and other benefits from them.

People believe that the buffalo also gave the tribe medicine and taught them about spirituality using their sacrifice. That’s why buffaloes will always hold a special place in the heart of Native American culture.

As a result, generations passed down a 2,000-year-old legend about buffalo to many generations.

The story tells of the White Buffalo Calf Woman.

The story goes that many centuries ago when the tribes had lost their connection to the Great Spirit, two hunters were wandering the plains when they spotted a woman on a white buffalo calf.

Recognizing her as a sacred being, she was invited back to the tribe. In her wisdom, the woman taught the people how to pray to the Great Spirit using prayer pipes.

She introduced the sacred seven ways to pray that are still practiced today throughout Native tribes.

Once she was done she laid down and turned into a black buffalo. Hence, people revered buffalo because of their connection to spirituality.

Christianity Symbolism

In the bible, whenever the buffalo is mentioned it’s always in reference to either strength or virtue.

In Numbers 23:22 it’s mentioned that ‘He hath the strength of a buffalo’ in relation to Moses. And in Job 39:9 it says ‘will the buffalo be willing to serve thee’.

These are just some of the scriptures that paint an altogether virtuous and mighty picture of the buffalo. The power and wisdom of buffalo are recognized across cultures and religions.

Buffalo Dreams

Seeing an animal in your dream can be more than just an adorable treat. Sometimes animals in our dreams have a more significant meaning.

Seeing a buffalo in your dreams is very symbolic, but what it symbolizes is dependent on what the buffalo is doing and how many buffalo there are.

Buffalo are representative of survival and strength.

When you see one in your dream it could mean that you should start paying more attention to your life and the path that you are on.

Take some time to re-evaluate your goals and choices.

Alternatively, seeing a singular buffalo can also be interpreted as abundance, a sign that you will get an increase in your income soon, or that there will be a small windfall of money.

Seeing a whole herd is way better. It indicates that you’ll enter a period of prosperity financially and emotionally and is more long-term.

As from the story of the White Buffalo Calf Woman, we know that white buffalo are sacred.

If you see a white buffalo in your dreams it represents a confrontation to do with your emotions. You need to look inwards and recognize what’s on your mind.

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Tattoo Meaning

In Native American culture having a tattoo is a high honor and usually reserved as a celebration. Having a buffalo tattoo is a sacred recognition of mental or physical strength.

This is in Native culture as well as popular culture.

Having a buffalo tattoo recognizes and shows people that you’ve been through many struggles in your life but have overcome them and become stronger for it.

To have a white buffalo tattoo means something a little different.

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

White buffaloes are a sign of abundance and prosperity.

They are considered very lucky. Having a white buffalo tattoo symbolizes this and is like having a permanent lucky charm inked onto your body.

Spiritual Meaning

Spiritually, buffaloes have lots of different interpretations and each one of them is positive in its own way.

The most important spiritual meaning behind buffaloes is abundance. Abundance essentially means that you will always have everything you need.

Buffaloes are incredibly useful, and not a single part of them goes to waste ergo abundance.

A buffalo is everything you will ever need for survival and spiritual wealth comes from honoring nature around us.

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Buffalo In Astrology & Zodiac Signs

In the classic zodiac, the buffalo is often interchangeable with the Ox.

In fact, in the Vietnamese zodiac, the second zodiac sign of the 12 animal/year cycle is a water buffalo. People born under the buffalo zodiac are incredibly patient.

They tend to be night creatures, following in the footsteps of the buffalo whose most active hours are from 1 am to 3 am.

Like a buffalo, people of this zodiac are very hard working. They put in the effort to reach their goals. They know how to play the long game and get things to pay off in the long run.

Be warned, buffalo people are not to be messed with.

Though they may seem calm and easy-going, if you ever cross them then you’ll find out just how terrifying the wrath of a buffalo can be. The year of the buffalo is a slow year where steady progress is made.

Hawaiian, African & Greek Myth & Symbolic Meanings

Did you know that in African folklore the buffalo was once the king of the savannah?

Once upon a time, a lion slept under a tree.

Just then a buffalo walked past and was ready to kill and eat the lion. The lion awoke in fear and immediately begged for his life.

The buffalo granted him mercy in exchange for the lion hunting and feeding the buffalo instead.

This worked well until the buffalo got too greedy. Day after day he would ask for a different animal, forcing the lion to slaughter them to feed him while the poor lion and his family went starving.

One day the lion asked the buffalo if he could take time to hunt for his family. The buffalo said no, demanding the lion slaughter one of every animal for him to eat instead.

Enraged, the lion agreed, but he started with the buffalo, killing him in one go and enacting his final revenge.

Symbolic Meanings

As we’ve discussed throughout, the buffalo is a powerhouse and incredibly symbolic in the best ways. Here are just a few of the things it symbolizes:

  • Physical & mental Strength
  • Patience
  • Abundance
  • Prosperity
  • Good luck
  • Independent
  • Family orientated
  • Driven
  • Giving

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Final Thoughts…

As animals go, the buffalo is probably one the nicest in terms of what it symbolizes, leaving incredible positivity in its wake.

If you’re lucky enough to be a child of the buffalo, make sure you use your gifts to the best you can.


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