Black Unicorns: Traditional Meanings & Symbolism in our Culture Today

When the image of a unicorn comes up, the traditional imagery of the mythical beast is of a white horse sporting a black horn in the middle of its head. This is not to discount the notion of a black unicorn, as while not as present in mythological stories or in current culture, it does make an appearance from time to time. From Arad the Black Unicorn to the unicorn appearing in Deckard’s dream in Blade Runner, understanding the traditional meaning and symbolism while also learning about how it is used currently in today’s modern culture can help paint out a more favorable picture of the while creature.  It also holds the key as to why it is not as typically referenced as a white unicorn.

Traditional Meanings of a Unicorn

To understand the traditional meanings and symbolism of a black unicorn, it first is necessary to understand the meaning of a unicorn in general. A black unicorn adds an overlapping layer to the meaning as it takes the mythos to another level, but the underlying layer is still present.

In the traditional European, Judeo-Christian meaning, the visualization of a unicorn in a dream means the dreamer is likely to be deceived soon. If the dreamer sees themselves walking with a unicorn, the person is likely to experience something physically or emotionally uncertain in their life, while riding the unicorn is a symbol of good fortune of desirable events to come.

In Hinduism, new life followers a unicorn, and if the beast appears to offer help, it symbolizes someone unexpected is going to offer help with a difficult situation coming up in life. In Arabian cultures, the seeing of a unicorn is of great joy and if seeing the unicorn in a garden, it means a new phase of life is coming. However, if a unicorn attacks the dreamer, it means a time of misfortune is fast approaching.


The dreaming of a white unicorn is almost always a good omen and a desirable image to see. A white unicorn offers help and it is a sturdy, strong animal that can be there to help while other friends and family members are not around. A white unicorn is the symbol of purity, although this is where seeing a black unicorn starts to differ.

While a black unicorn does not necessarily mean impurity, it symbolizes strength and power and that it can lead someone towards obtaining their goals as a black unicorn can overcome barriers and push forward to a desirable, powerful life.

Black Unicorns in Pop Culture

The Black Unicorn is a novel by Terry Brooks. The book focuses on mythical times and the appearance of a black unicorn offers  power and assistance when the kingdom of Landover is under attack from outside forces. It is part of the Magic Kingdom of Landover series and is the second novel in the book. With the help of the black unicorn, which sports a golden bridle, it is able to offer the strength and power to go against the darkness evils that threaten the kingdom.

Bennett Martellus, a player for the Chicago Bears, once referred to himself as a “Black Unicorn.” He called himself a black unicorn as he pointed out black unicorns are the rarest of all unicorns, and that he sees himself as the rarest of the bunch.

The Black Unicorn is a character in Mobile Suit Gundam, which a Japanese anime series. While not an actual horse with a lone horn out of the crown of its heat, it is more of a combat character that refers to himself as such as his armor is black and he does have an extended crown of hors, which are all bursting with gold.

In music, probably the most common song to feature black unicorns is 2 Chainz’s song “Black Unicorn.” One set of song lyrics states “And here you are, a black unicorn, mythical, mystical, since the day that you were born.”