Sheep Meaning and Symbolism
Dec 22
Sheep Symbolism

Sheep Meaning and Symbolism

Overview of the Sheep Spirit Animal


Sheep symbolism brings with it a myriad of meanings and perspectives.  From the rams mighty power, sun energy and fertility to the ewes vulnerability and nurturing nature.  As a spirit animal the sheep totem has a complex meaning and message.  In the wild sheep tend to naturally separate into two groups, nursery herds and bachelor herds.  The nursery herd is made up of ewes, lamps and young rams that aren’t mature.  In this group the individuals work together to find adequate grazing while keeping each other safe.  While in the bachelor herd mature males practice refining the pecking order by challenging each other through contests of strength.  They do this by crashing their horned heads together at great speed and strength.  The winning ram is considered dominant and solely has the privilege of breeding with females.  Through dreams and encounters it is important to determine whether your spirit animal is a Ram, Ewe or a Lamb since this will impact its meaning.   

Sheep Icon

Embrace Your Spirit Animal


Encounters with the Sheep

What is the meaning of sheep symbolism? Find out what symbol the sheep spirit animal is trying to teach you, and gain some insight into your life.

Are you struggling to make friends?

When you think of sheep symbolism think of community.  Just as it is important for sheep to have friends and a close knit community it is also important for sheep totem people.  When you’re struggling to make friends ask yourself this important question, are you being vulnerable?  Being vulnerable doesn’t mean weak since it takes great strength to open up to those closest to us.  When you haven’t been vulnerable with your friends or family now is the time to open up and share what’s in your heart.

Is there something in your life you need to let go?

Across the world sheep symbolism is synonymous with sacrifice.  As a sheep totem person it’s important to keep a close eye on your physical and spiritual well being.  There are times in life when the sheep totem will appear to you to help you let go of things that you shouldn’t hold onto anymore.  The sheep totem is telling you it’s time for you to make a sacrifice and let go of the thing that is holding you back.

Have you been responding harshly to others?

Lamb symbolism teaches us to embrace our gentle and innocent nature.  When you are responding harshly to others this goes against your sheep totem.  No matter the circumstance the lamb totem is telling you to do your best to respond with grace and gentleness.  This will help you protect your reputation and it will keep you from losing your temper or saying words you don’t mean.

Is there someone in your life that needs help?

The sheep totem teaches us to embrace our caring and nurturing side.  In the wild ewes are known for being exceptionally good parents in the way they care for their young.  When someone in your life needs help or just a little loving care the sheep totem tells you to take action.  Call on sheep symbolism to give you the strength and insight into how to care for the person in need.

Do you feel like there are other forces at work in your life?

For thousands of years sheep symbolism has been connected to magic forces.  When the sheep totem appears in your life it can be a sign that there are magical forces at work.  Spend time in meditation and open up to the work of the universe around you.  The universe may be trying to send you important messages.

Sheep Symbolism: The Sheep Spirit

Could the Sheep be my spirit animal? What are the traits of the totem? This might be your spirit animal if you are:

Good Listener

Sheep totem people are known for being good listeners.  In the wild sheep are known for being able to distinguish and make distinctive bleats and voices.  Ewes are especially good at picking out the voices of their young.  People with the sheep spirit animal are incredible listeners and make great counselors and friends.


Because sheep live in close community with each other and rely on each other for support people with this totem animal know how to be there for their friends.  Sheep totem people take care of people and support their friends through thick and thin.  As a spirit animal sheep symbolism teaches us to step out of our own comfort zones to care for others.

Learn About: Sheep Symbolism
Is the Sheep your Spirit Animal?


There’s a reason why the ram is a sign of Mars the god of war.  Sheep symbolism is known for being a symbol of power.  This totem draws its power from the sun and other celestial bodies.  People with this totem are very driven and have a will to overcome obstacles and get others to follow them.  Whatever they’re after they go after with power and will.


When you think of sheep symbolism many people immediately think of magic.  That’s because for centuries sheep and rams have been associated with the occult.  It’s true that these animals have a special connection with the world and spirit realm around them.  People with this spirit animal will find themselves attuned to such forces and influences.

What are the Traits of the Sheep Totem?

Lessons from the Sheep Spirit Animal

Sheep are:

  • Caring
  • Social
  • Sacrificial
  • Vulnerable
Learn About: Sheep Totem

We learn from sheep symbolism the importance of community and friendship.  Alone sheep have a very low chance of survival but in a herd the chance goes up considerably.  As a sheep totem person it’s important for you to surround yourself with people who care about you and your livelihood.  Don’t underestimate the importance of these friendships and take care to nurture them!

Another trait of sheep symbolism is its ability to be vulnerable with others.  For many people being vulnerable is a negative thing but sheep totem people understand how important it is to their wellbeing.  There is something truly cleansing about being able to open up to others and share your heart.  Embrace this trait and see where it takes you.

What does the sheep spirit mean?  Sacrifice and vulnerability! Sheep totem people must learn the importance of sacrifice and vulnerability.

Strengths & Weaknesses of the Sheep

Learn About: Sheep Symbolism



Sheep have a remarkable difference in their anatomy than most mammals.  Their stomachs have multiple chambers which help aid in digestion.  Just like they are able to thoroughly process and chew their food sheep totem people are able to process ideas and thoughts similarly.  Instead of just grasping an idea and swallowing it whole the sheep spirit animal teaches us to thoughtfully consider the thought carefully.  Once it has been rightfully scrutinized it can then be accepted and digested.


With each passing year rams grow a new ring onto their horns which increase their overall length.  Because of this researchers are able to accurately determine the age of rams from the number of rings that make up their horns.  As a sheep totem person it’s important that you embrace the lessons of each year and allow your experiences to crown you with strength.  Just as each passing year adds to the rams reputation let your experiences guide you to be stronger and smarter then the year before.

Eye Slits

You can tell a lot about a creature by their eyes and sheep are no exception!  Sheep have horizontally slit eyes which provides them with extended side view and great peripheral vision.  This helps them see approaching predators and gives them an advantage.  Likewise, sheep symbolism teaches us to engage with our peripheral vision.  As a sheep totem person you will have an ability to see problems before they arise.  Trust your instincts and your vision help protect you and avoid risky situations.

Spiritual Connection

The sheep totem harbors a unique ability to access and communicate with spiritual realms.  This connection, when properly nurtured, gives people with this totem the ability to read energies and see into spirit realms.  Because of this gift sheep symbolism is often associated with the occult and symbolizes a powerful spirit animal.



A common weakness of the sheep totem is it’s draw to play the victim.  People with this totem can easily fall into the role of feeling like the negative things surrounding them are their fault.  When things don’t go their way it’s because someone victimized them!  It’s important to keep this weakness in check.  While there are valid times when we are victimized it’s important to evaluate and spend time in meditation examining ourselves, motives and the intentions of others.

Power Struggles

The sheep totem and especially the ram totem are known for their power.  As someone with this spirit animal it’s important for you to make sure you don’t get stuck in power struggles!  In the wild rams will challenge and fight rams of equal strength.  They never challenge a ram that is weaker or stronger than themselves.  It’s important for you to follow this example and not fight others who are clearer weaker than you or significantly stronger.  Be sure you avoid power struggles because they will only drain your energy and leave you wounded.

Peer Pressure

As a sheep totem person it’s important for you to be aware of the influence that peer pressure has in your life.  Naturally sheep need community and company which isn’t a bad thing until your closest friends begin leading you astray.  Before you make decisions it’s important that you spend time meditating on the choice and analyzing whether or not it is in your character or if it’s because of others influencing you.


For many spirit animals independence is a strength and a valuable trait.  When it comes to the sheep totem independence can be very dangerous!  A lone sheep can easily be picked off by predators, become lost or hurt.  In fact when a sheep falls over onto its back, stuck and unable to get back on its feet, the sheep can die.  While there is nothing wrong with taking a little time alone to meditate and evaluate your surroundings be sure to keep your herd in sight.

What is: Sheep Symbolism
Learn about the: Sheep Totem

The Sheep in Dreams: What it Means

The meaning of sheep symbolism in dreams can vary depending on whether you encounter an ewe, a lamb or a ram.  In general ewes symbolize nurturing, sacrifice, community and vulnerability.  A ram symbolizes power, fertility and a strong spiritual connection and magic.  In dreams lamb symbolism represents innocence and gentleness.  As your spirit animal they tell you to find and foster community where you will find strength and protection.

Sheep are symbolic for sacrifice and fertility. It’s important to keep these things in mind when interpreting your dreams.
animal symbolism in dreams

Cultural and Spiritual Symbolism of the Sheep

animal meaning in your life

China – The Goat/Sheep/Ram is the eighth symbol of the Chinese zodiac.  It is said that the year of the sheep is one of promise and prosperity.  People born in these years are said to be kind, caring and peacekeeping.

Japan – The Sheep is a sign of a happy family.  And is considered a sign of peace and security.

Ancient Egypt –  Sheep were revered for their valuable textiles like clothing, milk, meat and their manure was used for fertilizer.  Rams heads, horns and figures have been found in ancient Egyptian artifacts and ruins.

Christianity/Catholicism – In various works of art and scripture Jesus is depicted as a Lamb.

The Sheep is the symbol of the astrological sign of Aries. People born during this time are said to be passionate, make great leaders, they’re brave and enthusiastic.

Historical Facts

The phrase, “Black Sheep” comes from an unknown origin.  Although many speculate that it comes from the 18th century were black wool was undesirable because of it’s incredible difficulty to dye.  In the modern vernacular a black sheep describes someone who is wayward or displays undesirable traits.

Animal Quotes

To my mind, the life of a lamb is no less precious than that of a human being.
Mahatma Gandhi
Eagles fly alone, but sheep flock together.
Polish Proverb

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About The Author

We love you! The Totem Team is dedicated to expanding knowledge of, and connection to, the natural and spiritual world of animals. Whether you call it an animal spirit, totem, or guide, we aim to be THE definitive resource online for all animal dreams, meanings, and symbolism. Thank you for being a part of our wonderful community and sharing in our work!

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