'American Gods' Season 2 preview: The significance of the White Buffalo in Shadow Moon's visions
The White Buffalo is a mystical symbol of a prophecy that is yet to come in Native American folklore and when it appears in Shadow Moon's visions, it also holds a prophetic message
Season one of 'American Gods' is full of mystical symbolism, and one of the most prominent symbols appears to Shadow Moon in one of his many visions in the form of a huge White American Buffalo with fire flowing from his eyes. Neil Gaiman is well versed in the world of symbolism, as he's proved throughout his many religion and mythology inspired novels and graphic novels.
A White Buffalo in Native American folklore is considered sacred amongst many Native tribes, and according to the National Bison Association, just one out of every 10 million buffalo born are white. The American Buffalo or Bison is a symbol of abundance and manifestation, but a White Buffalo, according to Hopi Indian tradition, signifies the coming apocalypse and purification of the world.
The White Buffalo in the 'American Gods' series is slightly different from the version in Gaiman's book, where the book version portrays a man and sometimes a woman, with a buffalo head communicating telepathically to Shadow in his visions and foretelling prophecies, and the appearance of this spirit creature is the only difference so far.
The White Buffalo in the series appears as a hulking White Buffalo with flames flowing from his eyes, which would give any dreamer nightmares, but his calm assuring voice says only one word "believe". The White Buffalo symbolizes the Earth or the land and the creature is the personification of the actual landscape.
The word, "Believe", holds much sway in the series, as the entire 'American Gods' series revolves people believing in their chosen Gods. A God's power and hold of the Earth and reality itself comes from the faith of humans, and the more believers they have, the more power they're entitled to have.
While Shadow may not know it yet, he may just be the God, Balder Moon, so the White Buffalo telling Shadow to "believe", may just be trying to wake up Shadow's latent Godly nature.
But the question is if the White Buffalo is actually guiding a God, like Balder, isn't the White Buffalo a lot more than a God? 'American Gods' show the Gods we know in a more human form with human tendencies as well, but they are still Gods, yet, they require guidance from a sacred symbol?
The White Buffalo in the TV series is also voiced by Ian McShane, who plays Mr. Wednesday aka the Norse God Odin. Is it possible that Wednesday is actually the White Buffalo, and he's entering his supposed son, Shadow/Balder's visions in order to manipulate him into doing his bidding for the upcoming war between the Old Gods and The New Gods?
Well, season 2 is just around the corner, and 'American Gods' is slated to release on March 10 only on Starz network, and we're just a month away from learning the truth about The White Buffalo and Shadow Moon.