Literature has often turned the Donkey into a symbol of dim intelligence. This is a very unfair reputation, as Donkeys are among the most eager and hardworking of animals. They have been used as means of transport for thousands of years. They do their jobs diligently, no matter how hard, and they do not complain. They are among the most faithful of the various “beasts of burden”.
Donkey Symbolism Facts & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal
Fact is that Donkeys used to be a status symbol for the people who owned them. Slowly, as technology took over, the sure and steady pace of the Donkey has been turned into an object of ridicule. Now, however, it is time to rediscover the wisdom of the Donkey.
Donkey Symbolism & Meaning
The Donkey is an understated symbol of determination and strong will. They are very dedicated that they seem not to tire easily. It may be true that scientifically they are very strong and durable, but still they grow tired.
Donkeys are known as stubborn creatures but it is not due to low level of intelligence as many would assume. The only reason they could go on for extended lengths is because of the strong will they have to do so. This illustrates a very important life lesson.
Coupled with their work ethics, Donkeys are also known for their instinct of self-preservation. They can be extremely cautious, but in normal times, can also be very well-mannered.
Donkey Spirit Animal
When the Donkey comes as your spirit animal, then it is a wake-up call to shun the more glamorous aspects of life and to look at the more practical. Donkeys look very simple, and can be really misunderstood — but they just keep on doing what they do best. They tend to not be distracted by external stimuli (unless it is related to danger).
In this world of distractions and short attention spans, the Donkey is a very important example.
Donkey Power Animal
If you need to help other people by being able to hold some weight for them, or by taking part in their burdens, then the Donkey is a vital power animal to call upon. Its devotion to its masters is very much like the devotion of friendship (albeit with a few important differences). Still, the Donkey accepts burdens with a willing heart, and this is a good thing to imbibe.
The Donkey is also a good power animal to call on when you feel that you are biting off more than you can chew. The Donkey knows that life (especially other people) can pile up more and more work and responsibilities upon you, that even at the worst, you still need to act accountable for your actions. The Donkey will help you do that.
Lastly, the Donkey is also the symbol of giving more than it takes. There are times in life when we need to do just this, especially when others are in need and there is no one else they can turn to but you.
Donkey Totem Animal
People born under the totem of the Donkey are some of the most hardwearing among all. They are those who quietly suffer the hardships of life, and yet still have enough of themselves to give to make others happy.
These people also have very good instincts, built up by their various experiences. They may not always take the lead, but they know where danger lurks. This makes them very good decision makers, and their overall attitude in life helps them find the most ideal road on which to travel.
Donkey Native American Symbolism
The Native Americans, especially the Sioux tribe, tells us of the legend of the Donkey that was hailed by the chief of the village to carry his grandchildren on a journey. The chief believed the Donkey was fit because it is steady and sure-footed. However, the chief’s daughter decided that she would rather have her children carried by ponies. The Donkey saw this, and protested. Eventually, the daughter saw the wisdom of the chief — a decision that became vital as the Donkey saved the lives of the children when a battle broke out amidst the journey.
Donkey Celtic Symbolism
Donkeys weren’t given much special attention in the culture of the ancient Celts. But we do have a mention of them as having been connected to the Celtic goddess Epona, who was the only Celtic goddess also recognized in Rome.
Donkey Far Eastern Symbolism
In China, the Donkey is especially noted for its stubbornness. This carries a very negative connotation in their culture, much like the modern-day interpretation. However, the Donkey is redeemed as the Hong (the rainbow dragon) which was interpreted in West China as having the head of a Donkey. The Hong is regarded as a symbol of good luck.
Donkey in Dreams
When the Donkey is calling on you in your dreams, it means you need to re-evaluate your plans and the decisions you have recently made. You may have made those plans or done those decisions under the pressure of others, or due to your own emotions. In the process, you may have ignored your gut feeling, and have forgotten to put emphasis on your own well-being. The Donkey is telling you to double-check things so you could make the necessary changes while there is still a chance to do so.
Donkey Encounters / Donkey Omens
When the Donkey appears in your path, then it may be calling you to ignore the hubbub that goes around you and instead focus on what goes on deep within. This allows you to ground yourself, and objectively assess the plans and decisions you need to take in life. You may hear others calling you stubborn or hard-headed when you don’t ride on the bandwagon, but you know that it is for the better.
Donkey Mythology and Folklore
We mostly know the Donkey in religious contexts as having been the chosen animal of Christ when entered Jerusalem, in order to show humility. In Greek mythology, tribute is paid to the good instincts of the Donkey when Apollo decreed that Midas should be given Donkey’s ears so he could clearly hear the beauty of the god’s music.
It is clear that given our current times, the Donkey is one of the most important animal symbols to meditate upon. Take time to understand the meaning of the Donkey in your life, and you may find yourself greatly blessed.