Animal Symbolism

This page lists all the various symbols in the Animal Symbolism category.

Symbols in this category:

Bear

Even if they’ve never seen one in person, most people are probably familiar with the bear. In modern times, some of this familiarity doubtless comes from, shall we say “juvenile” sources; i.e. stuffed teddy bears, children’s literary characters and perhaps movies/nature documentaries. On the other hand, the human fascination with this animal is by no means a modern phenomenon. The symbolic importance of the bear is extremely widespread, encompassing the traditions of many different cultures over the course of thousands of years.

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Boar

When it comes to symbolic meaning, the boar can be distinctly different from the “pig”, so in this article we will only be addressing the former. While there are some general connotations to the boar that are fairly easy to understand, there are also innumerable cultural associations that follow in the tracks of this animal, wherever it happens to reside.

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Bull

A powerful animal in all senses of the word, the bull has held symbolic importance for thousands of years across many different cultures.

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Crocodile

The crocodile is one of nature’s premier predators; at home both on land and in the water, crocodiles can remain motionless for hours while targeting prey, and their bite strength can reach well over 3000 pounds of force per square inch. For these and other reasons, this creature has acquired a great deal of cultural symbolism over the millennia.

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Dove

With its pure white feathers, softly rounded body and gentle demeanor, the dove is one of the most ubiquitous symbols of peace, innocence and purity. On the other hand, the dove’s symbolism is considerably more complex than notions such as these, and in some cases those complexities can prove quite surprising.

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Duck

Compared to other birds such as the peacock or the eagle, the duck seems like a rather unimpressive and unremarkable fowl. Appearances are often deceptive, however, as this creature has more symbolism attached to it than might be expected.

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Elephant

As one of the largest and most powerful land animals of all time, the elephant is rich in symbolic meaning. This meaning includes not only the animal’s physical presence, but also its behavior and sense of “society” with others of its kind.

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Fox

In terms of symbolism, the fox is one of the more interesting creatures that you’ll ever come across; not only does it hold symbolic importance in a number of diverse cultures, but the nature of that importance can vary quite widely from one culture to another, and sometimes even within cultures. While some of its meanings are quite well known, the fox also represents concepts that may not be immediately obvious to the causal observer.

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Griffin

The griffin, griffon, or gryphon (Greek: γρύφων, grýphōn, or γρύπων, grýpōn, early form γρύψ, grýps; Latin: gryphus) is a legendary creature with the body, tail, and back legs of a lion; the head and wings of an eagle; and an eagle's talons as its front feet. As the lion was traditionally considered the king of the beasts and the eagle was the king of the birds, the griffin was thought to be an especially powerful and majestic creature.

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Hippopotamus

The hippopotamus is an extremely powerful animal, both on land and in the water. Its massive size and fierce demeanor, yet also its association with fertility, all contribute to its potent symbolic meaning.

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Jackal

In certain parts of the world, the jackal often carries negative meaning, and some would argue that even the word “jackal” sounds harsh to the ears. This, however, is not the complete picture, and here we’ll examine some of these symbolic meanings and pinpoint specific aspects of the animal’s nature that has led humanity to classify jackals the way they have.

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Peacock

Although indigenous to the Indian sub-continent, the peacock has acquired symbolism in countries and cultures far beyond its native land.

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Phoenix

In Greek mythology, a phoenix or phenix (Ancient Greek φοίνιξ phóinīx) is a long-lived bird that is cyclically regenerated or reborn. Associated with the sun, a phoenix obtains new life by arising from the ashes of its predecessor. The phoenix was subsequently adopted as a symbol in Early Christianity.

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Raven

Although the raven has a widespread reputation for ill fortune, this is not the case everywhere you go, and even where it is, there are subtle layers of meaning assigned to this bird that some may not be aware of.

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Scarab

This little beetle may seem to be a rather innocuous creature, but the symbolism attached to it places this insect in the same rank as many far more impressive beasts, and in some cases above them.

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Spider

The fear of spiders, or arachnophobia, is far from uncommon in today’s world. What is uncommon, however, is a deeper understanding of the immense symbolic importance this creature has to many cultures.

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Stag

When it comes to symbolic meaning, the stag can be distinctly different from the “deer”, so in this article we will only be addressing the former. While there are some general connotations to the stag that are fairly easy to understand, there are also innumerable cultural associations that follow in the tracks of this animal, wherever it happens to reside.

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Tiger

In parts of Asia, the tiger supplants the lion as the so-called “King of Beasts”. Its ferocity and majestic appearance have given it important symbolic meaning in cultures throughout the continent.

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Unicorn

The unicorn is a legendary animal from folklore that resembles a white horse with a large,pointed, spiraling horn projecting from its forehead, and sometimes a goat's beard and cloven hooves.

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"Animal Symbolism Symbols." Symbols.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 31 Oct. 2014. <http://www.symbols.com/category/13>.

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