I have loved animals as far back as I can remember. I played with my "imaginary" animal friend as a child, not knowing at the time what a power animal was. I had vivid dreams and visions throughout my life. I also felt drawn to different animals at different times in my life and when I found out about power or spirit animals, I finally understood why. Reading up on those animals and then going on shamanic journeys and meditations afforded me the entry point into the world of animals on a spiritual level. The reason I prefer the term power animal to spirit animal is simply because it feels more grounded and manifested to me. You are, of course, welcome to use whatever term you like; power animal, spirit animal, animal guide...You choose. The important thing is to have a strong, loving connection and to trust and ask your animal to teach you and share its wisdom with you.
The symbol of the Sacred Cow appears in many cultures the world over. In Native American culture, it is its relative, the Bison or Buffalo, in Ancient Egypt, the Cow as a sacred animal comes in many deifications, which date back to the earliest being found in Fayum in the fifth millennium BC, for example, Goddess Hathor, the Goddess Nut was also sometimes depicted as a cow, representing the sky, and the Gods Ptah (as the Apis Bull), Menthu (as the Bukha bull), and Atum-Ra (as the Mnevis Bull).
In Hindu mythology, the cow appears already in the oldest known holy scripture, the Rig Veda, where she is described as having brought good fortune and the hope is expressed that they may stay and give milk every day because they are so nourishing. In modern India, the cow is revered as a gentle animal that is selfless in giving. In the mythology of Shiva, the bull Nandi appears as the guardian of Shiva’s abode and also as his mount. The Sanskrit root word “nand” means “to rejoice, delight,” the female form, Nandini, meaning bliss. (Incidentally, my youngest daughter’s middle name is Nandini).
As a spirit animal, the cow is strongly connected to Mother Earth, fertility, birth and nurturing. Cows are very gentle and loving creatures and feel deeply. They are very protective and nurturing. They have a very moving connection to keeping the most vulnerable amongst us safe, or they are there to protect you in vulnerable moments or situations in life. They are the nursemaids of humanity. (Quite literally, in view of the fact how much dairies humans consume.)
The Egyptian cow Goddess Hathor, whose name means “the abode of Horus,” also stands for joy and the ability to survive.
Although you may at first wonder what value Cow as a spirit animal has in your life, she is not to be underestimated. She is there for you when you struggle with fertility problems and to give you motherly advice. That is not always something you might like, the same as you didn’t always listen to your mother, but listen anyway, and try your best to find the wisdom in that – because it is there.
When you feel ill or drained, either physically or emotionally, Cow can give you the strength to get through this difficult time. Think of how cows weather storms, standing solid on their legs and not faltering. She will not be mooved (pun intended) unless it is an urgent matter to do with the home or heart. Family is sacred to her and she will be there to support and defend, whichever is necessary to keep those safe she loves and cares for.
Cow also lends you great perception, so you won’t miss out on any new opportunities coming your way, or allows you to see approaching disasters, so you can avoid them. Cow also hones your motherly instincts and people “in touch with their inner Cow” will always know when others are feeling unwell or sad, when their auras seem to lack their usual lustre, and they will know what to do or say to help and make things just that little bit (or a lot) better. Somehow, people heal more quickly around Cow-people, too, and trust them instinctively.
Cows are also symbols of new life. This doesn’t have to be taken in the literal sense like the arrival of a baby, but can also mean a new job, home or relationship. Because Cow is so loving, she also presides over the relationships with those you love. Look at the world through the eyes of love, appreciate all of creation and feel the love build up within you. Cow supports you to stay in your heartspace.
With her connection to the Earth and her innate gentle and loving character, Cow is predestined to teach you how to love fully, embrace life and accept abundance and nurturing for yourself.