Creatures of the world’s deepest forests and jungles, the unicorns are among the noblest and beautiful. They are guardians of the wood and glen, high-spirited and even aggressive in their mating battles. Their white fur and silver hooves and horns mark unicorns as highly spiritual beings linked to the light of the Moon. As such, they are both Earthy and Watery in their energy. Notoriously shy of humans and wary of predators, it is said they can only be tamed by virgins.
This is not to say they are easy to tame, however, and their horns can be deadly when the unicorn is aroused to defend itself. Herbivores, the unicorns come in a range of sizes, those of Europe being comparable to ponies in size, while those of the India are similar in size and appearance to Arabian horses. Unlike horses, however, unicorns have cloven hooves. The Greek Ctesius described them as a kind of Indian wild ass with a single horn and tremendous speed and aggressive behavior. Megasthenes similarly describes the Indian unicorns as unsociable and wild except during the rutting season. The spiral horns were prized by hunters in order to make drinking vessels for Hindus of the highest caste, vessels which could neutralize poisons (See: Rudiger Robert Beer, Unicorn: Myth and Reality, p. 18).
Unicorn hair, a traditional core component of many old wizard wands, has a silvery white light like moonlight. It shimmers with the spirit of masculinity tempered by the worship of the Moon Goddess in her full, motherly aspect. Enchanted into a wand, unicorn hair lends it steadfastness and gentleness, along with the soft insight into things magical, emotional, and feminine. There is a quality of indestructibility and incorruptible purity in unicorn hair which is ideal for wands intended for use solely for the good. The unicorn’s spirit has, like the famous horn, healing properties.
For much more lore and scholarship on the unicorn and its history in literature, I highly recommend the above-cited book, Rudiger Robert Beer’s Unicorn: Myth and Reality. Trans. by Charles M. Stern. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1972. The German title is Einhorn: Fabelwelt und Wirklichkeit.