Thoughts about Symbolic Cow Meanings
In many cultures, animal symbolism of the cow is married to the concept of Mother Earth, and has been a symbol of fertility, nurturing, and power for centuries.
This makes udder sense (pardon the pun), cows have been generous with their life force for eons. They are closely associated with provision and very earth-associated in symbolism.
A quick-list of Animal symbolism of the cow would include...
The Egyptian goddess Nut is sometimes depicted with the cow having four stars on its belly. This represents the four cosmic quadrants of the earth, and the respective flavor each directional energy freely flows through each of these corners.
Also in Egyptian mythology, Hathor was an ancient goddess worshipped as a cow-deity. Hathor was the Great Mother gooddess of joy, and was considered the nourisher of all things. She was originally a personification of the Milky Way, which was seen as the milk that flowed from the udders of a heavenly cow. She was also considered a protective goddess and an emblem of royalty.
In Norse mythology the cow makes an appearance as Audhumla whose utters emitted the four rivers of power - these provided nourishment for the giants (primarily the first giant, Ymir) that ruled the First World.
In Vedic literature the cow is also a symbol of abundance and fertility as it represents both earth and sky.
To Hindus and Buddhists, symbolism of the cow deals with patience and holiness. It is considered India's most sacred animal. The calm, tender nature of the cow wins this right among the Buddhists.
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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!