Animal Symbolism:
Meaning of the Rhinoceros

Animal Symbolism of the Rhinoceros

Rhinoceros Meanings in the Realms of Animal Symbolism

Animal symbolism of the rhinoceros revolves around a mass of misguided perception. The rhino is replete with contradictions.

One of the top three largest land mammals, the rhino's physical presence is mammoth. Although the rhino is known to display aggressive behavior, for the most part it is a passive creature - preferring to roam its wide-open grassy spaces in contemplative solitude. Here we see the first of many paradoxes that lead us to the underlying symbolic theme of the rhinoceros: "things are not as they seem."

Rhino animal symbolism reminds us to appreciate the expansive bounty we have around us. When the rhino comes to us in our daily lives it is time for us to stop and give thanks to the infinite wonders occurring in every millimeter and minute of our lives. Here are a few examples of how we may do this:

Symbolic Messages from the Rhinoceros

  • Do as the rhino does and press your feet into the mother (earth) with connective assurance that all is well.
  • Inhale the richness of green as the rhino does in the tall grasses in which it lives. Savor the scent - impress it fully into memory - recall it during times when you need revitalization.
  • Surround yourself in cool comfort as the rhino does with his mud bath rituals. Again, let the rich abundance and stability of the mother (earth) enfold you and reassure you.

It is the rhino's intimate connection with the earth that makes it a perfect symbol for confidence, assurance, steadiness, and sure-footedness. When we are feeling insecure, nervous, or disconnected, the best tonic for our nervy ails is to allow the rhino to run through our spiritual realm. Mentally envision the stoic, noble rhino swaggering easily across the awing expanse of the Ngorongoro Crater where the scenery is equally matched to the regal rhino's energy.

And speaking of energy, the rhino possesses solar animal symbolism and you will find your envisioning it will produce heat within your body.

Simply put, the rhino is a creature of substance, stamina, solidity, and explosive power. When you are feeling transparent and empty, invite the rhino into your being - see what happens - observe yourself being filled with the majesty this creature represents.

Animal Symbolism Dealing with the Rhino Horn

  • Protection
  • Achievement
  • Heightened Senses
  • Utilization of Inner Resource

It's not the actual horn that is powerful - the horn itself is nothing but built-up rhino skin - physically, the horn is worthless. Symbolically however, the horn is priceless.

Shamans, and ancient practitioners of animal symbolism and spirit communication have recognized the symbolism of the rhino horn as special and unique. Humans, in their misunderstanding of universal energy, have tried to take the horn to own specialized energy. When, in fact, it cannot be physically acquired. That energy is available at every turn.

Our physical human eyes see something special and magical in the rhino horn - we can initiate that powerful strength, protection, and success internally. Indeed, mystics tell of having visions of an illuminated (sometimes golden) horn the rhinoceros thrust through the veil of ignorance - ripping the veil open to let loose all the opulence and riches (enlightenment) of all mankind's desire.

This was not a vision that indicated everyone should go out and get a rhino horn for their alter, or horn powder for their morning elixir. These symbolic visions beckon us to think, feel, pray, love, and live on a deeper level.

By invoking all that is true, beautiful, loving, and joyous we don the golden horn of power. By directing this horn of virtue, we ourselves rip through the ambiguous veil, and find our own clarity and abundance on the other side of the fog.

Quick-List of Symbolic Rhinoceros Meanings

  • Agility
  • Solitary
  • Wisdom
  • Paradox
  • Freedom
  • Stability
  • Gratitude
  • Longevity
  • Judgment
  • Grounding
  • Peace of Mind
  • Self-Assurance
  • Unconventional
  • Sensory Perception

If the rhinoceros is your totem, it is your responsibility to take heart of the underlying symbolic message the rhino has for you "nothing is as it seems." The rhino is your companion to help you on a soulful journey in recognizing the truth with your spiritual eyes - not what your physical eyes see.

The rhino will also help you maintain connection with the Mother (earth) as you soar into a broader, expansive insights that brings your understanding and awareness to a whole new (and wonderful) level.

I hope you have enjoyed this essay on the symbolic meaning of rhinoceros (and the symbolism of the rhino horn). Be sure to check out the links at the end of this page for more articles on animal symbolism.

Special thanks to William Warby on Flickr for the kind use of his rhinoceros image featured at the top of this page.

An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings

Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time in society as well as mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.

This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."

Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)

As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!


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