The bull has been a powerful and prominent symbol in the minds of humanity for longer than there is recorded history.
Ancient paintings on cave walls around 17,000 years old display an insight into the lives of those from a time long ago, with horned animals featuring frequently.
Bulls are even given a prominent place in the ancient Sumerian text of the Epic of Gilgamesh when the mythical beast ‘the Bull of Heaven’ fights the titular hero Gilgamesh.
Bulls have continued to be depicted in numerous forms throughout history, with a prominent place amongst many cultures and belief systems.
They have served a practical purpose in enriching humanity’s diet and development, offering food, clothing, shelter, and companionship.
With this in mind, it’s no surprise that the bull has remained a powerful symbol in humanity’s consciousness that’s filled with intriguing and diverse mythos and legend.
As there is such a fascinatingly profound and rich history of man’s interpretation and symbolism of the bull, we must take a deep journey into the minds of civilizations across the globe and across time.
Examining their significance in the Western and Eastern schools of astrological thought, seeing how different cultures revered the bull, and peeking into the role of the bull as a guide or guardian.
Read on to discover more about the symbolism and spiritual meaning that is given to the bull.
The Bull As A Spirit, Totem & Power Animal
Bull Spirit Animal
The bull is a spirit guide for those who are born under the Taurus, or bull, zodiac sign in Western astrology.
In Eastern astrology, the bull is instead represented by the ox. The date for this sign falls between April 20th and May 20th.
The bull represents strength, leadership, friendship, and honesty, a strong mind with sharp focus and a sense of direction.
This steely grit and determination can come across as stubborn and difficult, as these individuals can hurtle forward like a runaway train when their mind is set.
The red bull has long been associated with passion, love, and desire, as has the black bull in some cultures.
Those guided by the strength, power, and passion of the bull may experience emotions to their fullest, both good and bad.
The bull is a highly charged and powerful spirit animal that wishes to remind you to stay strong in the face of adversity.
Stay true to yourself, remain patient when all seems lost and confusion clouds your judgment. As a symbol of power, the bull can lead you to growth and success.
A totem is a name given to a spirit, sacred object, or symbol of a tribe, clan, family, or individual. There is a belief that the totem animal will remain with you through life and into the afterlife.
The bull’s power makes those with the bull totem strong-minded and strong-willed, hence they excel in negotiations, debate, and leadership.
Though they can remain calm when all around them are losing their temper, they can overreact when they do lose their patience.
Their strength allows them to protect themselves and those around them, with the natural leadership qualities reinforcing a deep-rooted desire to help others.
Their association with wealth and prosperity may help people acquire value, both in a material and spiritual sense.
They frequently seek physical representations of power and status, yet they also require the emotional and spiritual support provided by their family and friends.
Bull Power Animal
Power animals or tutelary spirits are believed to be a spirit or deity who is a protector, patron, or guardian of a place, culture, lineage, person, or nation.
Some believe that people will have a powerful animal with them for their whole life, guiding them and providing strength in times of need.
Others say that these animals arrive specifically in times of conflict, they may stay with you until you have overcome the challenges you faced.
The bulls’ power and ability to protect others are prevalent in their presence as a power animal.
They provide an unwavering determination to protect those around you and to fight off any perceived threats that look to derail your plans.
The bull may visit you to remind you of the immense inner strength you have, especially in times when self-doubt has crept in and confidence is low.
Spiritual Meaning & Symbolism Across Cultures
Cave paintings from the paleolithic era depict an extinct cattle bread known as Aurochs. There is a belief that these may be found in such frequency due to the cattle having magical properties.
This itself may be tied to the ability of cattle to create life and provide sustenance.
The bull was often associated with the god of rain known as Hadad, Adad, or Iškur. The bull was used to represent him and his power.
He bears an uncanny resemblance to various gods of later civilizations. With his beard and a lightning bolt in hand, he has been linked to the Greek god Zeus, the Roman god Jupiter and the Egyptian god Amun.
In Ancient Egypt, the bull was regarded as the embodiment of numerous gods, including Osiris himself.
The word Ka in Egyptian is both the word for bull and a religious concept of life force, not unlike the concepts of chi or prana. This shows its high and revered place in the minds of these ancient traditions.
The Canaanites used to make sacrifices, including humans, in large bronze statues depicting the god Moloch, a horned man often shown as a bull.
The sacred bull of the Hindu god Shiva is named Nandi, which means “giving joy”. Nandi is a vessel for Shiva to bring forward light to battle darkness and evil in the world.
The bull held a significant place in the spirituality of the Native American peoples. It represented power, courage, strength, and abundance. They were also a symbol of fertility and new beginnings.
For those unfamiliar with the term, heraldry is the system and organization of the traditional coats of arms that families and nations have.
You may have seen the coat of arms of various royal and powerful industrial families before, though coats of arms exist for many families. Do you know yours?
The bull is a widespread and popular symbol in heraldry, appearing on the arms of several old and wealthy British families, as well as those associated with a history in agriculture.
Bulls hold a significant status in Spanish culture, with their traditional, if not divisive, bullfights being known the world over.
In a less brutal practice, the famous ‘Running of the Bulls’ festival takes place annually in Pamplona, northern Spain.
Residents try to outrun a group of bulls as they are guided through the historical and stunning scenery of the town.
Bulls In Dreams
What Are Dreams?
There is great debate regarding the true nature of our dreams, a mystery that has amazed mankind for time eternal.
Logically speaking, they are the mind and body’s way of processing the day we’ve just had, a way for the mind to store data in the memory bank.
For others, there is a significant spiritual significance, a higher purpose in dreams, that can guide us in our lives.
Whatever the truth is, we can choose to attribute significance to these magical experiences and perhaps learn from the visuals and visitations we might experience.
What Does It Mean To See A Bull In Your Dreams?
How you visualize, perceive, or perhaps interact with a bull in your dreams can have several meanings.
There are both positive and negative connotations associated with their presence, meaning one should think carefully about their interpretations of their dreams.
As the black bull was associated with death in Ancient Egypt, seeing a bull in your dreams may be a sign of some impending disappointment and loss.
The bulls’ mighty strength and tenacity can visit when your own inner strength is dwindling.
You may be overworked both physically and emotionally, meaning you’re unable to set boundaries with others and stand your ground.
It arrives as a reminder of your own inner strength, that you have overcome every obstacle that has come your way.
Go forth with self-belief and in the knowledge that you can do it. Don’t be afraid to stand by your beliefs, despite possible disagreements with others.
Those who have developed tunnel vision in their strong-mindedness may see the bull as a sign to adapt their perspective a little and open up to others’ ideas.
Don’t dictate to others around you, lead them when appropriate, and help inspire.
People may see the bull in their sleep as a reminder of their own power, a strong visual affirmation that they are on the right path, and are working in the right direction.
Due to the strong association of passion and love, seeing a bull can represent deep or repressed urges and desires. You may be holding on to intense and passionate feelings for someone close to you.
The link to fertility can signify that new life is on its way in your family or for someone close to you.
The strong symbolism of the bull representing good luck, affluence, and abundance means a visit from a bull is a fortunate one indeed.
Good times may lay ahead, as both material and emotional wealth could soon be enriched.
The bull can be telling you to stop dithering and take life by the horns. Face up to the situation and resolve any conflict that’s troubling your mind.
Bull Tattoo Meaning
As bulls have been prevalent throughout human history, people frequently appreciate tattoos showcasing much older or even ancient depictions of bulls.
Their strong association with mythos and legend inspires many to adorn their bodies with imagery of bulls.
The Ancient Egyptians and the Native Americans each attributed the meaning of death amongst its use and symbolism of the bull.
Those with a bull tattoo often select this to show that they have accepted their fate, are at peace with their mortality, and no longer fear death.
Due to the bull being a popular patron of localities and organizations, especially sports, many people choose to have a bull tattoo to signify their loyalty to that place or team.
Many who display traditionally strong masculine characteristics are drawn to tattoos of the bull. Wishing to display their strength and power, their determination, and unquestionable willpower.
Astrological Significance & Zodiac
The bull constellation is home to the Taurus astrological sign of the zodiac, the dates fall between April 20th and May 20th.
Though represented by the bull in the Western school of thought, in the Eastern zodiac the bull is replaced by an ox.
The bull represented significant strength and power across cultures throughout the ages of man.
As Taurus is an Earth sign, those under its influence can combine an intense will and desire to succeed with viewing things from a pragmatic and grounded perspective.
They can take their time to be patient with their long-term goals in mind, however, sometimes a willingness to be more patient and open with others is needed.
The power, strength, and leadership of the bull are present in the characteristics of Taurus.
Confident to steer things in the right direction and ensure momentum is maintained with any project or relationship they are involved with.
An unhealthy focus on the collection of physical wealth can sometimes lead these individuals astray.
Their courage and conviction can drive them to lose sight of the bigger picture and make ill-informed decisions for short-term gain.
Symbolic Meanings (A Quick Reminder)
- Power & Strength – The strong symbolism of the bull representing power and strength is prevalent throughout human history
- Fertility – A strong symbol of fertility, the result of passionate love
- Protection – The bulls’ willingness to give his all to protect his family and herd is staunch and relentless
- Wealth & Prosperity – The strong imagery of wealth, prosperity, and abundance, the ability to accumulate wealth over time
- Passion & Desire – Love, passion, desire, and fertility are all aspects of the symbolism of the bull. A powerful intensity of emotion and passion in everything they do
- Death – Bulls have a strong association with death across numerous cultures.
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