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:
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.
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.
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.