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Cow symbolism and meaning: What is the spiritual significance of cows and cattle

Cow symbolism and meaning: What is the spiritual significance of cows and cattle

Cows are wonderful creatures if raised right and with love, they will be more loving than the dog you had when you were growing up. Many people around the world have started looking at cows as nothing but large dogs that love humans and enjoy frolicking across fields. However, cows have a long and deep spiritual history that should be remembered and their appearance, whether suddenly or not, should never be forgotten. 

Cows represent a connection to the earth, with strong meanings for medicine, nurturing motherhood, and Gaia the goddess of the earth. In many cultures around the world, the cow is holy, with Hinduism believing that all cows are sacred, which is why many people of that faith do not eat cows at all. As spirit animal cows are there to help with those that are struggling with fertility usually offering motherly advice.

There are many facets to cows as spiritual animals, with many types of symbolism represented by the cow, each of which relies heavily on how the presence of a cow comes to you. We are not always happy when we see a cow appearing to us, however, cows are stubborn and despite our dislike, they will be immovable and ultimately be important to our spiritual journey.

Spiritualism Meaning of a Cow

As a spirit animal, the cow has always taken the front stage with the Celts, with the bulls as workhorses, while the cows provided milk, cheese, and butter. This tied in tightly with the meaning of the cow as a spiritual animal, which signified a significant change in your life. Representing fertility and nurturing, steadfastness, compassion, and perceptiveness cows appearing as your spirit animal is a good sign.

This lines up with the transformation you can expect in your life when you see the cow, as it shows that your life will drastically change. Usually showing that you will have children or that you will have to fulfill a motherly or fatherly role soon. This is why seeing a cow, either physically or in the spiritual realm is considered a good sign for the future and that you will most likely prosper.

However, when it comes to the other signs that the cow can represent, it is believed that if you see a bull you will need to stand by your beliefs or look deeper at some of the issues you may have in your life. A lot of people are shocked to see that cows are their spiritual guides; however, this is a good sign because cows are adept at leading a herd to a safe space and away from danger.

The symbolism of a cow

In the realm of symbolism, cows have always been intricately linked to mother earth and the power that represents. You will find that when you do see a cow in the world, either literal or just through signs, that you will find the world exerting a few new things on your life. The cow can represent patience, nourishment, female power, potential, possibility, beginnings, and calm. Much like the deer, they are positive symbol in life.

The cow has been a symbol of fertility, growth, and nurturing in many cultures around the world for thousands of years. In Egypt, three noteworthy goddesses were often represented by the cow, Nut which was represented by a cow that had four stars on its belly, each one representing the four quadrants of the world. With the goddess Hathor as the Great Mother goddess of joy, being considered the nourisher of all things. 

Further, the milky way that the Egyptians saw in the night sky was believed to come from the udders of a great holy cow. Moving away from the symbolic meaning that the Egyptians placed on the cow, Norse mythology has Audhumla. The udders from Audhumla provided the four rivers that provided nourishment for the giants of the Norse world and continues to do so today.

Is a cow a bad omen?

The only bad omen that a cow can give is when it breaks into your garden, signifying that there will be a death in your family. Twin cows that are born with a white stripe down their back are bad luck, while cows that are seen feeding close together or lying down near each other are omens of rain coming. With a cow lowing at a person, 3 times means death, and a cow lowing after midnight means that death is coming.

However, these omens are more superstition than full-on beliefs, the spiritual meanings of cows strongly contradict these, and most of the time seeing a cow is a good omen. However, the simple solution to seeing most of these omens is to simply throw a handful of salt over your shoulder or to spit three times over the shoulder. The bad omens that cows represent have always been closely tied to the injuries one would receive on a farm.

These omens are all things that farmers would fear while, cows have become an everyday part of their lives, usually having at least one herd of cows walking around their grounds. However, if you live in a village or a city these omens are not things that will appear to you, with even the slight sight of a cow in your everyday life showing that you will prosper. 

What does it mean when you see a cow?

Seeing a cow in your dreams can be a sign that all of your hard work will soon be paying off, achieving all of your goals in the future. While seeing a cow with horns is a sign that you will soon be in an unpleasant situation. However, if you see a cow or the symbol of a cow in the waking world it will usually be a symbol that you are on the right path.

The most influential meaning of seeing a cow is when you see them in your dreams as cows can come in various shapes, forms, and temperaments, each one having a significant meaning behind them. Knowing the most important ones will save you some time and ready you for anything that may be happening in your future. 

If you see a fat cow in your dreams it symbolizes that you are going to have a good year ahead of you, while a skinny cow means that there will be something bad in the future. A cow giving birth in your dreams is a good sign that you are going to be a parent or that you are enjoying being a parent right now. The last most important sign that you need to look for is a dream where you are milking a cow, which shows that you will inherit something from a friend or family. 

What does it mean when cows are interested in and investigate you?

Cows are naturally some of the most inquisitive animals in the world and if you come into their pasture they will naturally drift towards you to investigate you. Usually, if this does happen to you it will have a similar meaning to those that the spirit animals of cows have, showing that you can expect some change in your life, that you are close to Gaia, and that you should be patient. 

The meaning of these should only be taken if the cows are investigating you out of their own accord, going out of their way to look for you. If you are entering a space that the cows usually consider their own then you should be aware that it may have little to no spiritual meaning, as cows are similar to other tame animals. They will naturally want to investigate the new person that has entered their space and may even lick you out of pure curiosity.

It is for this reason that many spiritualists may seek out to interact with cows as they are some of the calmest animals that you can work with if the farm has been training them so. Being investigated by a herd of cows can be one of the most amazing experiences of your life as the cows do react the same as for dogs. Extremely loving animals that will happily let you pet them, even exhibiting some behavior that could only be seen by animals that we usually keep in our homes. 

The spiritual meaning of cows surrounding you?

The research on this can be a bit different heavily depending on what superstitions you have regarding cows, especially if you are surrounded by more rural farm areas. If a herd of cows surrounds you in real life it can mean anything from you have strong spiritual connectivity to the earth, or that they are sensing a danger nearby. Cows naturally defend those they believe are the weakest in their herd by surrounding them during these times.

If you are surrounded by cows in a dream it can mean something entirely different, with the closest comparison being that of seeing a field of cows in your dream. This means that a time of positive growth can be experienced at your work, allowing you to rest easy if this does happen. There is not direct dream equivalent to cows surrounding you in a protective circle.

It is worth noting that when you dream of a cow it can be anything from seeing literal cows in a field that are surrounding you, to just the picture of a cow. This is why it has always been so hard to interpret what cows mean as they never appear in the same way to everyone, with many people around the world only seeing totems or images of cows rather than actual cows. 

The spiritual meaning of cows licking you

A cow licking you in the real world is one of the oddest and most exhilarating experiences you may have, as it is both shocking, slimy, and odd all at the same time. However, it simply means that you have been sweaty quite recently and that your skin is quite salty. With dreams it becomes different with cows licking you in a dream having a deep spiritual meaning linked to advice given at work, arguments becoming heated, or that you are refusing to help someone in need but are refusing to do so.

Having a cowlick you in a dream can mean emotional or physical pain as well, with many people around the world not always being aware that they are doing so. Having the cow come in and tell you that you are indeed causing some distress to someone else in the world. Further, the cow licking you in a dream can be the harbinger of anxieties that you’re not measuring when it comes to achieving goals. 

Usually, a cow licking you in a dream will represent that you need to change the way you are looking at something, opening up to helping those close to you or simply becoming a bit more introspective. A good way to handle the cow licking you is by asking those around you what they need, or what they have seen you being anxious about. Allowing you to see where you need to change or improve in your life. 

Different types of cows and their spiritual message

Not all cows that you are dreaming about will look the same with many types of cows that you will meet having vastly different meanings. The cows you are meeting in your life and dreams will come in a variety of shapes, sizes, states, and temperaments, these each can be a good or bad omen that you need to be aware of. 

Usually, these cows can also be in different colors, and knowing what each one means will greatly affect the way you need to interpret these cows. Something as simple as a white, black, or brown cow can change the overall meaning behind a dream drastically. With the color of a cow being decided by the majority of the spots, they may have, white cows being eerie specifically because of their lack of spots. 

Types of cows and their meanings

  • Horned Cow: A cow with horns has negative connotations and will mean that bad thing are about to happen to you. Usually showing that you will be unable to solve a difficult situation in the future.
  • Calm Cow: This means that you need to submit to the will of someone else, usually someone that you may not like or want to submit to. Usually, it will be submitting to a boss, coworker, or friend that is asking for a difficult task.
  • Fat Cow: This simply shows that you will have a prosperous year, either through financial means or through the family. Fat cows are particularly good signs to have in your dreams and mean that you will be doing quite well.
  • Skinny Cow: That means that you are going to be having a difficulty in the future, intricately linked with financial losses that may come from the loss of work, funds missing, or large expenditures. 
  • Herds of Cow: This cow is a sure sign that you are lonely and the herd that you are seeing around you shows that you are in need of companionship. Usually showing that you are lonely because you are unable to open up to anyone around you. 

Colors of cows and their meaning

  • Black: Black cows represent your hidden thoughts and are the most common type of cow that you will see in your dreams. Showing your care and fertility power, seeing this cow shows your connection to others and the world around us. 
  • Brown: Representing comfort, desire, and contentment in the world around you brown cows show a deep connection with the earth as well. Meaning that you are usually a pretty down-to-earth person, showing that you will enjoy riches and prosperity.


Cows rarely represent a bad omen but can be seen as such in the right circumstances, however, it should be remembered that the cow has a deep connection to the earth. Brining fertility, clear-mindedness, and calm when seen in dreams and leading you down the right and safe path as a spirit animal. 

If you see cows you should be sure to listen to the advice given by the animal, enjoying the peace and serenity that comes with following the advice of one of the most trusted spirit guides. 


Monday 16th of May 2022

I was wondering what a cow nodding at me means. It wouldn't stop nodding at me. It just kept nodding & nodding... as if it knew what was on my mind exactly there & then. I had been thinking up what the best way to do about something was... just before I saw the cow nodding. And then clicked in my mind a very good way upon seeing the cow nodding. Any feedback would be much appreciated.