Buffalo: Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Deck

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Note, the names buffalo and bison are often used interchangeably but are different, based on the illustration and Kim being based in America (I think), I am assuming this card is representing the bison found in North America.  I may be wrong of course!  For simplicity, I have used the word buffalo to stick with the card itself.

Buffalo are not a creature I am familiar with.  We looked at them briefly in school as part of a project on North America but that’s about it… I know they migrate in herds and I know they are big…  Based on the card alone, they look a strong and sturdy animal.  I seem to recall that they are grazers.  They feel like creatures very much of the earth.  They seem grounded.

I do know that when they were hunted by native Americans, everything was utilised – meat for food, hides for warmth, tools, shelter, glue etc….. One buffalo would have provided a fair amount of resources.  Understandably they saw the buffalo as a sacred creature and celebrated and thanked it for sharing it’s abundance.  If I were to eat meat, I would want to do so in this respectful, considerate way.

Are you sharing your abundance? Are you thanking others for sharing with you?

Other than humans, they have few predators to worry about but that doesn’t mean they are safe.  The population of buffalo has a hauntingly political aspect – they were hunted in large numbers as a way to restrict food available to the native peoples.  Populations got dangerously low at one stage but despite the threat to them, they have stood their ground and populations are now more secure.

This sense of security is echoed in the timelessness and reliability of the buffalo who have been around since the ice age and survived a lot of change.

I’d love to hear other people’s thoughts on this card, as I said, it’s not a creature I am familiar with and I’m sure those of you who know it better will have some wisdom to add.

9 thoughts on “Buffalo: Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Deck”

  1. What a fantastic blog! Your interpretations are incredibly helpful and insightful.

    After some research, here is my take on the bison/buffalo:
    This animal holds a deep meaning to the Native American community, as you said yourself, it is seen as sacred and respectfully honoured. For too long the Native American community has been dismissed and mistreated, and the buffalo has continuously emerged as a symbol of gentle strength. Perhaps, due to these connections, I see the buffalo almost like a guru and protector. He reminds us that the simplest form of spiritually lies in our ability to connect to nature, to our environments and our communities. Through gracefully honouring the biological relationships we are a part of, we discover our own endurance.

    In summer and spring, buffalos congregate in herds which can contain thousands of animals. They live and thrive as a community and reject isolation. What is your role within your own communities? Have you found our own herd with which you can share a belief system and set of values? Are you spending enough time with these people? Are you protecting them the same way they would protect you? Remember that in order to be part of a pack you must be present and show mutual appreciation.

    Let me know what you think! Thank you!

    1. Hi, thank you so much for your comment – it’s clear you’ve thought about the animal and it’s symbolism!

      I love the idea of the buffalo as guru and protector and absolutely see him as a connection to the earth, nature and elements. A reminder to be embodied and to feel yourself as part of a wider web of relationships.

      Those questions feel very attuned to the buffalo and also to it’s tie with the Native American community and role within it.

      As I have written more animal posts, I have learnt so much more and I’m thinking at some point in the future of returning to the early ones and expanding on them.

      Thanks!

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