Totem Animal: Rhinoceros

The rhinoceros holds an ancient wisdom…

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They have been around for about 50 million years starting with their ancestor, Paraceratherium, the largest of all rhino species. They stood over 16 feet tall at their shoulder! This ancestor is also shared by horses and tapirs. Rhinos have actually been mistaken for horse-like creatures before. After being described by a historian around 400 BC, the myth of the unicorn began. A magical beast with a horn atop it’s head. The horn was said to have the power to protect one from poisoning if used as a cup. They were prized in medieval times and rhinos and narwhals were hunted to provide the gift of a “unicorn’s horn” to the king. Even today the rhino is poached for it’s horn which is used in traditional Chinese medicine, powdered and used for fevers. Unfortunately, this and habitat loss has led to the extinction to certain species of rhino such as the western black rhino and the northern white rhino.

Rhino might appear to be a lumbering brute but is in fact fast and agile for it’s appearance and is seldom aggressive. Males will use aggression when defending their territory. They will charge head on but not attacking with their horns as one may think. Their horns are actually soft being made out of keratin. They instead use their teeth, the lower incisors which can reach up to five inches long! They typically live solitary lives, only grouping up during mating season. A group is called a crash.

So what ancient wisdom do these creatures hold? They are strong and heavy, planting themselves firmly into the earth. They teach us to be grounded and stay connected to Mother Nature. Rhino holds all the wisdom needed in life. If rhino has come to you, it is time you believe the same in yourself. You know the answers; you have the wisdom. Be strong with your decisions and know why you are making them. Rhino knows when to use aggression and when to be gentle. We, too, should practice this balance. It is time we take the knowledge we hold inside us and use it to charge forward in life. You know what is best for you. Take that and run! Do not hold yourself back! You can go far if you take out self-judgement and fear.

Be careful not to trample others as you stampede through life with your newfound confidence. Help them as you go. Share your wisdom and help others find their own inner knowledge. We all have rhino’s ancient wisdom inside us. It is time to put it to use!

I hope you enjoyed learning about the rhinoceros with me. I sure learned a lot I hadn’t known before. For instance, the word rhinoceros is derived from two Greek words, “rhino” and “keras”. Together they literally mean “nose horn”. Thanks for stopping by this week! Check back next Monday to learn what squirrel’s message is!

Until next time,

“You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

 

Sources:
Animal Speak by Ted Andrews
https://www.sunsigns.org/rhinoceros-animal-totem-symbolism-meanings/
https://www.britannica.com/topic/unicorn
https://www.britannica.com/animal/rhinoceros-mammal
http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20150518-the-epic-history-of-rhinos
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2 Comments on “Totem Animal: Rhinoceros

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