When we think about the symbolism of the bull, the first associations that come to mind are about masculine virility and sheer muscular power. While different cultures and mythologies have their own take on the bull, some characteristics are stable cross-culturally.
Bulls are wonderfully created animals that please the eyes with their muscles. A mere look at a bull is enough to deduct how strong that creature is, which gives it a sense of aestheticism, similar to bodybuilders. That’s why we often associate bulls with masculinity and masculine beauty.
“Talking about bulls is altogether different from being in the arena with one of them.”–Spanish Proverb
So, what are the hidden meanings behind bull symbolism, aside from danger, and why is the bull one of the most important spiritual animals throughout history?
What do bulls symbolize?
The bull is a powerful totem with many meanings. He is associated with strength, power, and tenacity. Bulls are also symbols of fertility and abundance. They are considered to be lucky animals in some cultures. If the bull has come into your life as a spirit guide, he may be urging you to be more aggressive and assertive in your pursuits. He may also be reminding you to stay focused on your goals and to continue moving forward despite obstacles.
The bull spirit is always associated with masculine vigor, virility, determinism, fertility, and earthly power. The bull reigns over the earth with its sheer physical strength. The last thing a person wants to encounter is a bull heading towards him/her.
We often associate bulls with hostility and aggressive bursts of energy. But that’s not all there is to the symbol of the bull as a spirit animal. Ancient societies often revered bulls for their symbolism as a sign of material or spiritual wealth.
In ancient societies like Egypt, Greece, and Mesopotamia…, bulls have always taken a spot in their mythical lore.
For example, we have:
- the kingship symbolism of the bull in Ancient Egypt;
- the half-man, half-bull: Minotaur of Greek mythology;
- and the Bull of Heaven that King Gilgamesh fought in his epic poem.
Most of the ancient lore about the bull is closely associated with the Taurus constellations. Nowadays, we often associate people born under the Taurus (between April 20 and May 20) with the qualities of the spiritual bull.
Since the bull is usually associated with spring and fertility, it’s also a solar symbol. The solar, phallic symbolism of the bull is closely tied with spring coming and rejuvenation of life.
Bull Spiritual Meaning
The Bull as a Solar Symbol of Fertility and Wealth
The spiritual meaning of the bull is often associated with masculine solar energy. As a solar, phallic symbol, the bull tells us that strength comes from asserting power and dominance. Just the like sun shining and bringing light, fertility, and prosperity to the land, the strong bull copulates with cows and brings more of his kind. While the cow is a symbol of motherhood and nurture, she wouldn’t be as such if it wasn’t for the seed of a bull. Thus, the ancients saw a symbol of sheer masculine strength that brings fertility and wealth to the bull.
The Bull as a Lunar Symbol of Self-mastery
Aside from its solar associations as a phallic symbol of the masculine sun rays, the bull can also be seen as a lunar symbol. The Roman lunar Goddess, Luna, is often depicted riding a bull, symbolizing mastery over the animalistic side. Luna rides a raging bull because her feminine power balances the masculine, animalistic force of the bull.
From a Jungian (Jungian psychology) perspective, such a symbol represents the unification of opposites, which is a sign of personal development (individuation). In other words, the two powers compensate for one another and thus can be used as a symbol of a healthy psyche.
Luna’s bull symbolism is also associated with healing and emotional maturity.
The bull totem is usually assigned to people born under Taurus. It’s a totem that you carry with you throughout your life.
People with the bull totem are charismatic leaders who have an aura of strength. While most bull-headed people are not to be messed with, especially during times of emotional turmoil, it doesn’t mean they don’t have a sweet side.
The female counterpart of the bull totem is the cow, which is a symbol of the holy mother, Earth, and her fertile side that nourishes all life. The cow symbolizes abundance and material goods such as a good harvest.
All in all, the bull/cow/ox totem symbolizes the power of perseverance, patience, and robust self-determination in a person or a nation. The totem can also represent stubbornness and bad temper, but that’s just the opposing side that balances this spirit animal’s positive aspects.
If you live around bulls and cows, there’s a big chance that you have dreams of them. The dreams usually can be interpreted in relation to your emotional and symbolic associations with the bull. The personal unconscious mind usually links the animals in our dreams with actual experiences with them or the patterns of symbolic associations we grew up with.
So, suppose you had a dream about a bull. In that case, you should take the time to analyze your personal impressions and how they play in relationship with the animal.
However, if you’re looking for some ready interpretations, one of the most common two are:
- Bull as a symbol of abundance and material/spiritual wealth
- Bull as a symbol of the animalistic side, especially the masculine side of the psyche
Being charged at by a bull can mean either gaining something abundantly or struggling with controlling the inner bull within you.
White Bull Meaning vs. Black Bull Meaning
The white bull is a guide towards peace and serenity. The color white is a symbol of purity and wisdom. When you couple that color with the energy of the bull, you get a symbol of chastity, inner peace, and spiritual devotion.
The sexually pure person is like Luna riding her bull, i.e., her animalistic side. Control over your virility and sexual energy is symbolized by a white bull.
In methodology, King Minos was sent a beautiful snow-white bull by Poseidon, god of the sea. The king was meant to sacrifice the bull to honor the gods but decided to keep it for himself. To punish Minos, Poseidon made Pasiphae, Minos’ wife, fall deeply in love with the bull, and she later gave birth to the monstrous Minotaur – a terrifying beast with the body of a man and the head of a bull. To keep the bull-man contained, King Minos had a large labyrinth built close to his palace in Knossos.
The ancient Egyptian deemed the black bull a symbol of death; they saw it as a personification of God Osiris, the ruler of the underworld.
Other traditions see the black bull as a symbol of sexual desire and romantic passion. If you saw one in a dream, you can consider it an expression of your sexual energy, especially if the dream had other erotic symbols.
The bull symbolism in other cultures
Native American culture
The symbolism is particularly strong. Bulls are often associated with the sun and with masculinity. They are seen as symbols of strength, power, and virility. In some tribes, the bull is also a symbol of fertility and abundance. Bulls are often revered as sacred animals in Native American cultures. If you have been visited by a bull totem animal, he may be asking you to tap into your own strength and power. He may also be reminding you to stay grounded and focused on your goals.
The ox is a powerful animal that represents wealth, courage, and overall power. The Native American tribes often use them to symbolize physical fertility as well because they’re so associated with the Earth’s primordial energies! Even their stubbornness became an important trait for determination in this culture- it shows how committed people have been over time when looking at nature up close like these creatures are able-bodied fixtures on our planet rather than just something out there somewhere afar.
The bull symbolism in Celtic culture
In Celtic mythology, the bull was often associated with the sun and seen as a symbol of strength, power, and virility. Bulls were also revered as sacred animals in Celtic cultures. If you have been visited by a bull totem animal, he may be asking you to tap into your own strength and power. He may also be reminding you to stay grounded and focused on your goals.
In Greek mythology, the bull was associated with Zeus, the king of the gods. Zeus took the form of a bull when he abducted Europa, the goddess of love and beauty. bulls were also symbols of fertility and abundance. They were considered to be lucky animals in some cultures. If the bull has come into your life as a spirit guide, he may be urging you to be more aggressive and assertive in your pursuits. He may also be reminding you to stay focused on your goals and to continue moving forward despite obstacles.
Spiritual Meaning in Hinduism
In Hinduism, the bull is a symbol of strength, power, and virility. Bulls are also revered as sacred animals. If you have been visited by a bull totem animal, he may be asking you to tap into your own strength and power. He may also be reminding you to stay grounded and focused on your goals.
Christians often see the bull as a symbol of strength and power. However, some Christians also see the bull as a symbol of fertility and abundance. This is because the bull is often associated with the story of The Good Samaritan, in which a man helps a stranger in need. If you have been visited by a bull totem animal, he may be asking you to tap into your own strength and power. He may also be reminding you to help others in need.
What does the bible say about the bull?
7 Wild oxen shall fall with them, and young steers with the mighty bulls. Their land shall drink its fill of blood, and their soil shall be gorged with fat.
Packed with a multitude of symbols from across the world, the bull is one of the archetypal animals that play a massive role in the development of human consciousness and civilization. The importance of the bull symbolism can only be explored thoroughly through extensive reading about it from a variety of sources, especially if you feel like the bull is your spirit animal.
Each new discovery will enforce the significance of the bull in your life. So, keep your curiosity always charging towards more wisdom like the inner bull spirit that animates you.