10 Ox / Bull Symbolism Facts & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal

We’ve often heard the expression “dumb as an Ox” but this doesn’t really do the Ox any justice. For an animal that remains steadfast and determined in face of troubles, the Ox surely deserves more of our respect.

Ox / Bull Symbolism Facts & Meaning: A Totem, Spirit & Power Animal

The Ox is a paragon of strength, both internal and external. Indeed, “strong as an Ox” is more like it. And their strength isn’t used just for charging around and bullying (forgive the pun) others aimlessly, but in helping support peaceful activities such as agriculture. Yet they do not hesitate to put their foot down and use their strengths in defense of those in need, if it comes down to it.

Ox / Bull Symbolism & Meaning

The Ox is a symbol of dominance in many cultures. Despite their usual bovine calmness, stirring them up causes them to flee in fury and go on a rampage. Hence, they are also a fiery symbol, a great example of one never to be crossed.

The “dumb” description has been attached due to the fact that you cannot make an Ox do what it does not want. You can prod it all day, but if it refuses to help, you can’t make it. This actually speaks more to their decisiveness than anything else. This is also interesting because it implies that the Ox’s helpful ways are freely given. This adds helpfulness to the Ox’s slew of symbolisms.

Ox / Bull Spirit Animal

As a spirit animal, the Ox speaks to us of the value of dependability. There are so many gimmicks prevalent today, purporting to boost us in our day-to-day lives, or to improve us drastically in many ways. But, while flashy, these don’t win the day. Anyone who has reached success knows that dependability is key, and it doesn’t matter if you’re doing the same things over and over everyday so long as these are the right things.

The Ox also helps when you’re at the level when you feel your reserves are getting low. There are times when we need to play hard, but while we are willing, we are physically unable to. The Ox helps us to find that last ounce of strength and to put it to good use.

Ox / Bull Power Animal

When the Ox comes to you as a power animal, aside from enabling you to embody the above virtues, it is also challenging you to change your perspective on the world and to dare to take a closer look. There are many times when we judge people and objects by their external appearances, instead of by their entirety. The Ox is also a victim of this level of judgement, considering their reputation. But peel away the formidable layers of horn, hide, and muscle and you have a creature with a pure and simple heart.

Hence the Ox asks us to look deeper, and to accept the multifaceted characteristics of those around us. In the same move, the Ox grants us knowledge on the proper use of strength — we may be strong and powerful, but that does not mean we cannot be kind. On the contrary, like the Ox, we must be kind.

Ox / Bull Totem Animal

Those born with the Ox as their totem animal are by nature, hardwearing. They are also pretty resistant to one of the time-sucking social ailments of modern times — procrastination. Their steady work ethic knows they have a goal, and they plod towards that goal daily in order to achieve them. They are also pretty intolerant of procrastination in other people, so when it comes to work, they often “herd together” with other Ox people so as not to distract themselves.

While not exactly known for dynamism, the Ox learns by going hands on. They don’t really care for theory unless it can be turned into practice. They also enjoy a stable environment, whether at home or abroad, and would give a huge chunk of their considerable strength in making sure this stability is kept.

Ox / Bull Native American Symbolism

To the Native Americans, the Oxen represent bravery largely due to their physical qualities. Being ahead of their time, they also recognized the success that their work ethic brings and hence proclaimed the Ox as a symbol of earthly wealth.

Because of their manifestation of earthly energies, the Ox/Bull is also known as a symbol of fertility. Aside from married couples, they can also be called upon by anyone who needs something to “bear fruit” — though most often the Ox teaches that what you have in front of you might just be the fruit that you need.

Ox / Bull Celtic Symbolism

The Celtic gives value to the Ox/Bull for pretty much the same qualities as the Native Americans. Additionally, they also consider the Ox as a protector and savior, as it channels its massive strength to protect those who call upon it.

Ox / Bull Far Eastern Symbolism

The Chinese hail the Ox as one of the 12 animals of their zodiac. When the year of the Ox comes in, people are expected to make great leaps and strides in their progress. This is, of course, done on the foundation of the hard work for which the Ox is known.

Ox / Bull in Dreams

When you see Oxen in dreams, it means you should focus on your personal capabilities. One of the best promoters of the internal locus, the Ox teaches us that if we want to move, we must do it ourselves — we cannot expect this to come from outside.

Ox Bull Encounters / Ox Bull Omens

When you meet an Ox, it means that you need to consider the practicality of any decisions you are making. Sometimes, this extends to making good out of any bad decisions you’ve made, the proverbial of making lemonade out of life’s lemons. After all, there’s no better way to use the Ox’s power than to turn a bad outcome into a good one.

Ox / Bull Mythology and Folklore

An ancient Greek legend tells of Minos of Crete asking for an Ox that he can sacrifice to Poseidon, god of the sea. In response to his prayer, Poseidon gave him a magnificent white Bull. Instead of sacrificing it, however, Minos took it for himself and sacrificed a regular Bull instead. This caused Poseidon’s fury, and not only Minos but the whole of Crete is punished. This again speaks of the Ox’s wisdom — true progress can only be made in honesty, never in duplicity!

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