13 Animals That Symbolize Love (A to Z List)

These animals symbolize love: swans, penguins, doves, cows, flamingos, lovebirds, starfishes, horses, and dolphins.

Many animals symbolize love. The symbolism depends on the culture, tradition, and iconography of different populations.

Some animals represent romantic love, but others represent fraternal love, eternal love, or divine love. In this article, you will find some examples of animals that symbolize love.

Remember that symbolism is subjective. The below are examples of possible interpretations only, and may not be the correct interpretations for you and your situation.

Animals that Symbolize Love

1. Beavers

Beavers build happy families. They construct their houses together, live in close-knit communities, and even mate for life.

Because of this, we often see beavers as a symbol of the love between family. Two beavers who have mated for life are believed to be very happy in their little life together.

The beaver can be a spiritual symbol for couples and can bless them with a long happy life together in their own little house raising their family.

2. Cows

Worldwide, cows are a symbol of maternal love. Life’s continuance, motherhood, Mother Goddess, and nurturing are nearly universal spiritual symbolism for Cows.

Among Hindu communities, the cow is a sacred creature to the point that they don’t consume meat and have special housing for older cows. Cows are symbolic of fertility and fulfilling physical needs since they provide us with food and milk. 

Egyptians associated their deity with cows. She acts as a nursemaid to humanity, especially mothers and children. They depicted her as a giant cow that represents the heavens.

3. Dolphin

Dolphins symbolize love, passion, and even unconditional, spiritual love in general because of their elegance, beauty, and their association with harmony.

The Dolphin, in addition to its speed, attentiveness, and intellect, is also a love messenger. This is partially attributable to its link with Delphi, which means “womb” in Greek. It represents the love embodied within the womb. 

The Greeks also called Aphrodite (the goddess of love) “the Woman of the Sea” and they thought she took the appearance of a dolphin.

In Greek art, she appears accompanied by dolphins and nereids. The dolphin represents the church being guided by Christ’s love when it appears on an anchor or is pierced by a trident. 

4. Dove

Most people associate doves with the concept of peace. However, dove images appear frequently in weddings. They are also regarded as a symbol of love.

Doves are birds that mate for life and are exceptionally devoted to their partners. They give their children a lot of love and attention and are commonly considered as a symbol for hope, peace, and love.

They build their nests near human populations. As a result, people can see the enormous love, care, and loyalty that white doves demonstrate.

White doves are symbolic of love and passion in Greek mythology. There are numerous representations of Aphrodite, the Goddess of love, with doves flying around her or resting on her hand. Her birth takes place in a chariot pulled by doves.

In ancient Aztec tradition, Xochiquetzal is the Goddess of Love and the mother of mankind after the great flood.

According to the legend, she arrived on Earth in the form of a dove and bestowed onto the world the gift of language and communication.

In Hindu mythology, the god of love is Kamadeva. Hindu scriptures describe it riding a dove bird.

Read More: Symbolism of Birds

5. Flamingo

Flamingos are a symbol of romance because their reddish hues symbolize passion and seduction.

Flamingos engage in fairly intricate courting rituals, including what appears to be synchronized dancing. The courting dance includes crooning their necks, shaking their heads, and fluttering their wings. 

While flamingos are not monogamous for life, like ravens and hawks, they do stay with one partner for one breeding season, sharing responsibility for their offspring and building a nest together.

6. Hares

In mythology, the hare is the sacred symbol of Eros, the god of love. They therefore were seen as a symbol of the love that Eros can bless you with.

Aphrodite, a goddess of love, would also give hares as gifts to lovers as a blessing of their love.

Like rabbits, hares reproduce rapidly and seem to love making love! So, hares can be a blessing on a couple who are hoping to have children, as the hare can be a message to the couple that they will have many happy children.

7. Horse

Many cultures associate horses with vitality, passion, virility, and sexuality because of their strength and power.

Since there is a strong relationship between the concepts of sexuality and fertility and love, the horse is also a symbol of love.

The Chinese link the horse with love and pragmatism in their zodiac. They describe Horse people as hot-tempered but loveable, and very passionate and sensual.

The ancient Celts were great horsemen, and they associated the horse with Epona, whom they knew as the Horse Goddess. Epona was famous for her wealth, love, and fertility, among other things. 

In Mesopotamia, there was a legend that the sun was brought across the horizon by a horse. They saw the horse as the personification of love for the country since it provided life-giving light and warmth.

8. Ladybugs

Ladybugs are believed to come to people who are looking for love. The ladybug landing on you or biting you could be a sign that new love is coming soon.

One reason ladybugs symbolize love is that they are highly feminine creatures. While of course half of them are male, their names and their beauty make us think of feminine traits such as lovingness and caring for one another.

This association between ladybugs and love is very old. John Gay wrote in his poem in 1714 about how ladybugs can be sent to seek out true love, the ladybug being told to: “Fly where the man is found that I love best.”

9. Lions

Lions are symbols of the true love of matriarchs or patriarchs. Lions are the rulers and are often seen to be ruling over their land as a happy, strong, noble, couple.

The lioness is the great matriarch of a family. She is not only the mother who cares for her cubs, but also cares for the whole tribe. The male lion loves and cares for his lioness. He provides for her and ensures the tribe’s strength.

Thus, lions are symbols of love that most commonly are associated with couples who have been together for a long time and may have children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren.

10. Lovebird

Lovebirds are any of the many species of grey or green parrots who demonstrate remarkable affection for their mates.

The name stems from the parrots’ strong, monogamous pair bonding and the long periods that paired birds spend sitting together.

Lovebirds are the perfect emblem of love. These little parrots are always seen in couples. They are the ideal representation of love, passion, long-term commitment, devotion, and care.

The lovebirds are said to be unable to survive without their mates for long periods and have so come to symbolize faithfulness and love across time.

11. Penguins

Penguins are a symbol of faithfulness and everlasting love. These birds believe that there is only one real soulmate. They give their partners a pebble as a symbol that they have chosen to spend the rest of their lives together.

Not only are penguins monogamous, but they are also sweet, caring, and devoted lovers. They form a family with their partners and commit their lives to each other. These creatures demonstrate fidelity and commitment.

Penguins also illustrate vividly the concept of parental love. These birds are not only faithful partners and companions but are also devoted parents, which is a rare trait among birds.

Penguins are very concerned about the safety of their offspring. They protect their eggs with their lives, and when the eggs hatch and their younger siblings come, they hold them firmly to their bodies to shield them from the harsh environment.

The parent pair does not leave the baby’s side until it is old enough to care for itself.

12. Starfish

The star, like the starfish, is seen as a heavenly sign that represents endless divine love. In addition to love, the Starfish possesses qualities such as guidance, attentiveness, inspiration, brightness, and intuition.

The starfish represents the Virgin Mary (Stella Maris, which means Star of the Sea) in Christian iconography.

In this context, she is the one who lovingly facilitates safe navigation through stormy waters. She is also a symbol of redemption during difficult times. 

13. Swans

The swan is one of the creatures that people think of first when they think of animals that symbolize love.

You may notice in pictures how a pair of swans’ necks and heads make the shape of a heart when they approach each other. 

The swan is a monogamous creature. Once it has chosen a mate, it stays with them until death. That is why they symbolize everlasting love.

For the Hindus, the swan appears in the concept of the mystical Hamsa, the inner swan, located within all. In other words, it is the inner essence of the heart.

In Greek myth, Zeus (Jupiter in the Roman pantheon) transforms himself into a swan to satisfy his overwhelming passion for Leda.

Read More: Swan Symbolism and Meaning

How to Interpret Spiritual Symbolism

Interpreting symbolism and spiritual meanings is subjective and deeply personal. The symbolic meanings listed in this article are examples of potential interpretations, but might not be true for your situation.

Make sure you meditate and journal about your vision. Reflect on what you saw and think about what message you think is relevant to you and your life right now.

This doesn’t mean choosing the message you want to hear, but the one you think you need to hear at this point in your life. Only you can decide which meaning is the right one for your situation.

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Conclusion

Many animals symbolize love. Some of them are most obvious, such as swans and lovebirds that represent romantic love.

Some animals represent divine love or paternal love. These animals give us a lesson of what it means to love someone else unconditionally. They live in the memory of humankind as a representation of pure love.

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