Animal Symbolism: Elephant Meaning
Symbolic Meaning of Elephants
They say big things come in small packages...but that's not altogether true. Often very wonderful stuff comes in very big packages. Like the elephant. Like its body weight, this creature has tons of meaningful insight to share with us. She speaks to us in terms of sensitivity, loyalty and determination. The elephant is a superior guide when we are on a journey that requires our patience and devotion.
Symbolic elephant meaning deals primarily with strength, honor, stability and tenacity, among other attributes.
To the Hindu way of thought, the elephant is found in the form of Ganesha who is the god of luck, fortune, protection and is a blessing upon all new projects. Ganesha in all his magnificently vibrant elephant glory, is intent on bulldozing obstacles on your behalf (in fact, male elephants are termed "bulls").
Prime Symbolic Elephant Meaning Keywords
In Christian symbolism the elephant is an icon of temperance, patience, and chastity.
As a Chinese symbol, the elephant is considered a symbol of:
- Good luck
Some Asian cultures also believe the elephant is a cosmic creature, and carries the world upon its back (much like the tortoise does in some tribal Native American myths). This is yet another nod to the power and persistence in the symbolic meaning of elephants.
As a dream animal, elephants come into our dreams it is a message that we are able to deal with any obstacle we are faced with at this time. Dream elephants represent power, sovereignty, stability, and stead-fastness. If you dream that you are riding an elephant this suggests you have a tendancy to be the leader of the family, and others are heavily depending on you. If you dream of elephants in a circus this suggests you have a cavalier attitude about a situation in your life and you may want to invest more attention to it.
We gather more symbolic meaning of elephant by observing it in nature. Specifically, the elephant is considered a symbol of responsibility because it takes great care and responsibility of its offspring as well as their elders.
The elephant also has immense determination and loyalty - always standing up for others and always defending members of the group in its natural habitat.
Furthermore, elephants express advanced sensitivity and social connection, particularly during time of death - they travel to a specific place upon their death - fulfilling personal responsibility - even at the end of their days.
So what can we take away from all these tidbits about the elephant? I think we can get behind a sense of being steadfast. In fact, the elephant is a great energy to call upon when we are on an arduous path. Even better, elephant will help us keep our calm during those rocky roads on our path. There is no doubt no matter what journey you are on, there will be some bumps along the way. The methodical, plodding energy of the elephant can help you muscle through those snags on your path. Also, elephant energy can assist with keeping your cool when times get tough. The elephant is pretty mellow. That is, unless you mess with her babies or the herd. Otherwise, she is slow to anger. This is a big help for us hot-heads out there (me included) who need a strong, calming force when things go awry. Get in-step with solid, reliable, stable elephant energy. Ask elephant for guidance as you move through your days. She will be generous with her gifts and helpful on your way.
Learn more about elephant meaning on my Chakra Animal page here.
Are you into ink? I've also written some elephant meanings for tattoo ideas here.
I hope you enjoyed these symbolic meanings of the elephant. To be sure, she is a giant of generosity. Try a visual meditation of the elephant and see what happens. I'm willing to bet, the elephant will present her power to you, and guide you on the path you seek. Thanks for reading!
May all your energetic elephant encounters be uplifting.
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Looking for elephant meanings for your next ink adventure? Check this page for meaningful elephant tattoo ideas
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An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings
Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time, and mass societal opinion. What's cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.
This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, "Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder."
Having said that, it's in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I've got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ;)
As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It's a language that is universal and everywhere. It's super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!