Speaker for the Animals

We live in a rapidly changing landscape where people and urban areas are displacing the places for the wild ones to live. Who speaks for the animals? We will.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Elephant - Symbol of the Highest True Self

Ancient Power, Strength and Royalty,
Strength of the Feminine: The Child, the Woman,

and the Wise Woman (Matriarchal Head of Family).
The Importance of Family, Fertility, Sexual Power,
Discrimination, Clouds and Illusion,
Out of Control Masculine Rage

The symbolism of Elephant is ancient. In India, Elephant was the mount of Kings. Elephant was a devastating weapon of war and would throw the enemies of the Kings of India into confusion whenever the giant animals would rush into their ranks. In the West during the Roman Empire, the general Hannibul was made famous for attempting to bring the Carthagenian war elephants over the Alps to attack Rome from the city’s exposed flanks. He failed, of course. But in India and even in the West, Elephant came to symbolize the God of Warriors. Elephant is the totem of the greatest of warriors, denoting royalty, inner strength and nobility.

The myths involving Elephant have profoundly influenced humanity through history. Dreams filled with Elephant carry messages of transformation and spiritual power. Elephant in one’s dreams can signify the emergence of one’s Highest True Self. The Self, deep within the Collective Unconscious, only emerges when one has done one’s shadow work and integrated the contents of the Unconscious with Conscious Mind. This cannot be done by oneself, but is a sign of the Grace of the Divine and gift of Love of the As Above.

Like most mythic symbols, Elephant carries both positive and negative symbolic content.

Elephants live in separate social groups of females and male. Members of the female herds care and protect their young, act together for mutual protection from predators, and maintain loving relationships across the generations. The older, experienced females act as the Grandmothers of the Herd, using their experience and wisdom to assist the mothers and calves with the problems of life. Unlike much of human society, elephant herds demonstrate how close supportive relationships can be maintain between the generations by the feminine members of family.

Elephants depend heavily on their well-developed sense of smell to stay informed on their environments. The sense of smell symbolizes the ability to ‘discriminate’ between positive and negative environments. Elephant can bring the gift of discrimination, so that if you are contemplating some important decision, you will notice if “something does not smell right” about your options, and you will take more time to find more positive solutions.

Male elephants wander with other males during much of each year, seeking food. But during breeding season, they become aggressive and go individually in search of the female herds. Once the breeding seasons are ended, they leave the females and return to their bachelor herds. In rut, the males are dangerous and so the term “rogue elephant” has become part of even the Western vocabulary. In the dark, Elephant symbolizes the abusive, enraged, out of control male.

Linked with the planet Neptune, Elephant can also symbolize illusion or fantasy. In Greek mythology, the god Neptune was the god of the oceans. The Ocean, in dreams, symbolizes the Unconscious. But then imagination is a gift of the Unconscious as well, so Neptune/Elephant can bring gifts of creativity. However, the danger of the Unconscious is the possibility of becoming lost in illusion or fantasy. The dreamer can become lost in illusion in life or escape reality into fantasy, turning ones back on the challenges and learning opportunities in everyday life in exchange for the lure of imagination and fantasy. The dreamer therefore must learn to live in the Present, using his creativity to build dreams here, instead of wandering only in the realms of the fantastic within his mind. Fantasy can also bring riches of creativity. Children often fantasize about life as a way of experimenting with solutions to problems. Adults need imagination to find solutions to life’s challenges, but too much fantasizing can lead one to withdraw from life into isolation, leading to depression and loss of healthy relationships if not attended to. If we lose the ability to play and instead start to take life too seriously however, Elephant can teach the adult how to play with others again and thereby restore lightness and laughter to his life.

Thanks to Ted Andrews’ book Animal Speak for symbolic analysis. Also, Mary Ellen Guiley’s book The Encyclopedia of Dreams for information on Jungian dream symbols.


Blogger paddy said...

Keep up the good work. Great stuff!
Y;-) Paddy

10:08 PM  
Blogger Ali said...

I arrived here via a link from Paddy above, after my own entry on Elephants.

Very interesting history and facts. Will be back to finish the read later

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved your interpretation of elephant. I had a dream which puzzled me involving a herd of elephants and a line of bears crossing a beautiful jade-green ocean. I was having trouble linking the 3 elements but now they make sooo much sense! I was looking from overhead and wondering if anyone was in the water and would get hurt. I thought it was beautiful. Thank you for your take.

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Blogger neta said...

I had a very powerful dream: I'm in an inner room and the circus is coming out. there is a mother/queen and i ask if she has elephants here. she replays "no". i turn to her again and look in her eyes and say "i know there are elephants here!" a young female beautiful elephant comes in it has been hidden away and her trunk castrated because she had forbidden relationship with her brother. she is so pretty and receptive to her condition i want to help her.
i felt it was a good dream although the intense implication. your words helped me. it is true it represents my hidden most highest self. Thank you.

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Blogger China_Alicia_Rivera said...

Great write on the Elephants symbolism. Loved it. I read the whole thing. Good stuff! ;)

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Blogger Kassy said...

Does anyone know what the elephant symbolizes for the Hindu God Ganesha??? i need to know for a project!

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Blogger cheryl said...

I have been meditating and on a path of self enquiry. I have had quite a few symbolic visualisations/ sensations... I have been part of a shamanic womens circle in discovering your power animal, I am a great believer in spirit guides. Today I saw an elephant, very warm and cuddly if you like, but firm. The elephant had a rider. After my meditation I always journal my thoughts feeling etc.. and I came to research the symbolism of the elephant and your site was the first. I was so delighted in what I read, and it is so significant in my life right now, so I wanted to share this with you and say thank you for writing this!!... peace be with all :-)))

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Blogger Jennifer Hughes said...

Fabulous writing and amazing information!!! I was walking by a toy store today and saw this little elephant in the window - I was immediately drawn to it-so much so that I went in and bought it. On the way home was thinking why am I so drawn to this elephant? Sooo googled Elephant symbolism, found your amazing info and it really made sense to me. I have been sick for 8 years, going through some very intense treatment as well as some unexpected and wondrous personal growth - thank you once again for all of your passionate work!

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Blogger info said...

I was given a message by my Reiki teacher today that I have an elephant around me. Your article is so salient, thank you for giving my message true meaning.

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Blogger Jas said...

I've been going through some tough times for a long time. About a week ago, I saw three elephants in the sky and during the day I saw a statue, pictures in two magazines during the same day. Is this a good sign? What does it mean?

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Blogger ®شین said...

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Blogger SlovenianBoy said...

Elephant mother leave alone with brood with other females, no father figure there, that could be negative aspect of overprotective mother force who suffocate and make their children dependent from them, repression in autonomy and maturing (effeminate momma's boy).

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Blogger Prophet1 said...

Went to the beach with an amazing girl and had the longest day of my life. Had sooo fun. On the way there, we both saw 3 elephants in the clouds... an absolutely perfect image and they were all next to each other in a row with their trunks raised in the air. It was quite a sight - got a picture of it, but it wasn't as good as the first moment I noticed it. The entire day was a very magical experience. Any thoughts?

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Blogger Kamalani said...

I had a very surreal day today. Walked down our small main street and visited some people I knew for a moment. On the way to my car I went into an antiques shop full of old stuff from my time, not long ago. Reminded me of my childhood. I spotted a small, redwood colored wooden elephant on the shelf and just had to have it for a mere $12. I put it in my pocket and oiled him when I got home. Feels like a talisman to me. I just want to keep it with me. I set the elephant next to me on my bed and was drawn into a deep, relaxing nap. Thanks for your great description.

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Blogger axelnelson said...

there is a feeling this a battlefield but the terrain is almost lunar

from the northern horizon as far as the eye can see an array of elephants in military regalia approach in single file

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Blogger Natalia said...

I had a vision of an elephant while praying & needed to look what it symbolized. This was very helpful, thank you!

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Blogger Jaunty Mellifluous said...

Wow, I saw a dream riding Huge elephants as big as mountains in a very big ocean ..

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Blogger Melanie said...

Beautiful! I have collected and loved elephants since my early childhood. I love your writings and feel as if they were written just for me. Today is a troubling one and this reminds me of my common characteristics to my beloved Elephant. Strength, courage, nobility, the commitment to my family. Thank you.

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Blogger Leo, Hunting Tiger, said...

The elephant dream two days back just will not drift away. Photographic sharpness, their I was the elephant all around me. I was pressed to the center and surrounded with trunks and heads. The elephants were wet and the skin on their faces glistened in the light of the bright moon. I could feel their trunks pressed against my skin. I had no shirt on and my legs were also bare. The elephants were washing me. Then they move their trunks and some how lifted me onto the head of one elephant. They maid no noise while all this happened. The beginning of the experience frightened me yet, I realized in my dream they were protecting me. I also become aware in my dream I was being prepared for something magical and spiritual. Each elephant was absolutely a perfect beautiful glistening giant creature, all eyes were huge looking right into my face.s
Kept saying to my friend, have to look up what those elephants were about. When I think of the beauty of those creatures, tears stream off my face. Have been reading much today on net. Wow. Been focused much of self to work at sharing peace and helping human kind in every day work. Listening very carefully to words of those whom I might be able to help in my own way. Seems at 50 years almost, magic and ironically provocative things just fall into my path like presents from above. Yes we are all creatures of importance here! Needing our connectivity to share humanity. Nature is the teacher!

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Blogger Gabriella said...

Thank you so much for this information. I have had a couple of interesting dreams about elephants. i had one about a month ago where I was at a circus and people were stabbing and killing innocent elephants as well as a horse but I was terrified! In another dream I had last week I was at the beach holding a turtle and I noticed an elephant in a cage and it was chained up. I swore to myself I would unlock it no matter what the cost even if I got arrested. I have been seeing elephants everywhere and even heard someone talking about them at the coffee shop today.

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Blogger PECULIAR_PREREQ said...

These comments were even more interesting than this piece- due to the fact that many of them come from people searching for peace and a higher power to give their existence meaning.

If you want to find your purpose, CRACK OPEN A BIBLE. If you want to find your power animal, ASK YOUR MAKER!

You can bow now or bow later- but you will eventually bow. Call on the name of Jesus and you will find what your looking for.

I am not here to judge- just to say give it over to Him. You are already royalty as you are a joint-heir of Jesus Christ. No elephant necessary. Respect the gift of these animals but seek your purpose in His presence.

If you want to know more or to let me have it I respect what you need to say to me. So email me at essential.oddity.revolution@gmail.com

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Blogger Unknown said...

Great Article, but would like to mention it to all the people out there who are seeing elephants in dreams or meditation is that you will only see that animal when your guides and angel know that you understand the meaning of that animal, some people might associate elephants with Good Luck so your guides will only show you that when they mean Good Luck but if you associate good luck with humming birds for e.g. then they will show you that instead

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Blogger Lagoon Surfer said...

I was delighted to find your blog this evening... thank you for speaking on behalf of the animals! Because I believe the animals are trying to speak to us and offer us their wisdom in these dire times, I have started a blog, dreamingwithanimals.wordpress.com, for people who are connecting with the animals in their dreams... in hopes of sharing the animals' messages and wisdom more broadly. So glad to have found this blog... I will be back! Peace.

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