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Elephant

Although the elephant is much like any other animal in your dreams, it tends to represent the power and influence of the potent forces active in your body and mind, that if you relate to well bring about health and success, and if badly illness and ruin. For example the elephant can refer to the powerful responses in us such as fear, sex, survival, and the power of imagination to evoke great anxiety or great pleasure. Often our personality evokes these forces in a destructive and disorderly way. A person may have read an article about cancer for instance and develop a great fear they have the disease, causing much stress and actual physical illness in some degree.

So some elephant dreams revolve around how we relate to this power, and the attempt of the elephant to place us on its back to direct it. So in general it is your potential or energy. Also depicts your big self, or the power of the unconscious and your cosmic, eternal nature. The tremendous inner power of the unconscious, with a mahout, or conscious direc­tion or co-operation can achieve wonderful things. Ganesh, the Indian elephant god, represents the remover of all obstacles, the power of life manifesting. He is the god of good fortune.

So it is the totality of yourself rather than awareness of only the conscious ego. It is what is referred to in Christianity as the ‘spirit’, the influence that can heal or instruct, thus power from our unconscious; strength; unforgiveness from association of long memory; patience; fidelity; intelligence or wisdom of the unconscious. In some ways the elephant has similar qualities to the crocodile in its link with the collective unconscious. The difference is that the elephant does not usually in dreams seek to consume you like the crocodile or alligator. It therefore depicts a relationship with one’s incredible potential that can lead to directing or working with the potent forces of the unconscious. See: alligator.

If we run from the elephant: Being afraid of our own strength or inner power. The question is, can we meet this enormous energy in ourselves enough to direct it? Sometimes represents the collective unconscious.

Elephant’s trunk: Sometimes a sexual symbol, the penis. As such it is usually referring to how your sexual feelings are being influenced by the great spirit of Life acting on you – the cosmic power of the spirit. Also the trunk illustrates the ability to get or reach out for ones own needs – see example below.

Example: During an experience arising from the use of psilocybin, I had a very clear mental image of a baby elephant. It was like a bas-relief made out of clay, but mobile. I could see that the baby elephant had some problem with its trunk, and I wondered why my unconscious had produced this image so clearly and what it meant. Immediately the image disappeared and a series of associations arose unbidden. It was that the elephant actually ate with its mouth, but it had to reach out for everything with its trunk. As a baby the elephant would suckle, but as it matured it would have to learn to get its own needs with its trunk, therefore the problem was about me reaching out for my own needs. Danny.

Example: The I experienced the elephant as a powerful force which I intuitively sense and feel some anxiety about. I felt the elephant as a powerful influence which works below the level of normal consciousness, which acts upon masses, although it obviously influences individuals. But it influences individuals unconsciously, so they are inclined in a direction along with many others. As it enters my life I sense it seems to be an influence which might direct me into a communion with this deeper, more inclusive or integrative influence. Thus my personal activities might have added to them this influence which co-ordinates the processes of life, and adds to ones small endeavours the stamp or power of a grander life – the spirit. The life of the spirit I sensed here as the ‘company’ where I was accepted as a worker in this wider organisation behind life.

Example: I was on a road and noticed that a magnificent elephant had appeared. It had enormous tusks and ears, the latter being powdered with blue dust and adding tremendously to its impact. As it was coming in my direction I was frightened and began to run. I ran off the road, over a fence into a field. I thought the elephant would be stopped by the fence. It wasn’t. It walked straight through it after me. Then I tried to climb a low bank back to the road. The elephant was drawing nearer and I was so frightened I could hardly move to climb the bank. The elephant caught hold of me and I suddenly realised it wasn’t going to destroy me, but wanted, despite it being a magnificent and powerful beast, to sit me on its back. I was still frightened however and ran to a doctor’s surgery. The elephant came and, thrusting its trunk into the surgery, drew me out to it. AT.

Example: I looked out of a window and noticed a wild elephant in full charge. It ran past the end of the building and I went to the opposite window, seeing it charge another elephant. After the impact it seemed to be a strange mixture, in my mind, of elephant and rhinoceros. It then stood shaking with sexual motions, until a great deal of sperm came out and its tension was released. AT.

The above two examples illustrate firstly the enormous power of the elephant and how it is not usually an attacking or destructive power, and in the second example it shows the link between that power and the sexual drive.

Idioms: White elephant; pink elephants; rogue elephant. See: the self under archetypes.

Useful Questions and Hints:

If I imagine myself as the elephant what do I experience?

What powerful influence am I meeting or directing at the moment?

Am I aware in any way of the enormous impact the collective power of society and my own unconscious has on me?

What is my relationship with the elephant and what does this depict in my life?

See Do you imagine that is a real creature – Avoid Being VictimsYou are the Projector


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Comments

-Victoria 2014-06-25 0:40:31

I had a dream that this heard of elephants were in trouble and my friend was trying to shoo them, I tried to save them but in the end I died trying to save them. What does that mean?

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    -Tony Crisp 2014-06-25 8:20:08

    Victoria – Death is dreams are not the same as about dying physically, but about parts of your nature dying. But in your dream it means you were willing to take a great risk for the sake of the herd of elephants.

    Dreaming of elephants when you are not frightened of them means you are in touch with a magnificent power. It is a power you allowed you – your present personality – to die and change into something much bigger. It is like the caterpillar dying to become a butterfly. So it should not be thought of as death but a transformation. Obviously it will take a time for you to notice the huge change going on in you.

    Buy a small elephant ornament or picture of a magnificent African elephant so you can remember your dream.

    Tony

    Reply

-Kari 2014-06-26 16:22:54

Last night I had a very vivid dream of a baby elephant. He was (I think) an orphan and was being cared for by a man and his girlfriend and they somehow ended up wherever I was. The elephant took a liking to me and was following me. He was very soft and liked to be scratched like a puppy. He even sat with me. He eventually left with the couple. It was a good feeling dream, very vivid and I could feel his fur. Any thoughts? Thanks!

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-Penny 2014-07-02 12:24:57

I had a dream 2 nights ago that i saw a baby elephant running in a playful way. I was happy to see it and wondered what it was doing here.. (no wild elephants in the UK! )
The baby elephant came very close to me, playfully, and its trunk touched my face. It was so real, i could feel the texture of its skin. I felt very happy to be so close to the elephant.
Then i saw its mother , and was worried that she would charge at me to protect her baby. But she didnt. I was relieved. The baby continued to be playful.

It was such a vivid dream,… any clues? / thoughts?
:)

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-S rice 2014-07-03 11:57:59

Last night I asked my Higher Self to show me what my life’s purpose at this time is, particularly regarding work. I asked that I would have a dream that I would recall upon awakening that would lead me in the “highest” direction. I can only recall painting an elephant ceramic plate with many colors in the background. I was quite pleased with it, but ……it doesn’t seem as clear a message as I’d hoped for. what could this be telling me? any ideas?

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-Chandni 2014-07-11 2:47:00

I had a dream last night that it was a very pleasant bluish greyish night, full moonlight because everything seemed so clear and suddenly I saw a big white elephant fly towards the sky and just like a flock of birds..other smaller elephants flew with him on each sides..exactly like the pattern birds make..the feeling in the dream felt very auspicious like and I am very desperate to know what all this means..it felt like everyone with me knew this was destined to happen..and we were all watching it together..like as if now was time for something big to happen.

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-Kecia 2014-07-15 15:59:27

I came to this entry for inspiration after dreaming of a baby elephant last night. When I saw that two others have also dreamed, somewhat recently, of baby elephants, both times playful, I just had to share my dream of another playful baby elephant. It was like this: I am with my husband in our yard, specifically in my vegetable garden. Together, we are re-positioning some potted plants amidst the jungle of plants. I have to bend the lamb’s quarters over in order to untangle the okra, which I don’t want damaged. As we are working, a baby elephant gambols into sight in a lawn-like part of the yard beside the veggie garden. It’s an astounding sight, and I say aloud in astonishment, “Baby elephant!” It’s a really cute elephant, but I’m worried it’s too large for the yard and that it will damage the fences with its antics. It’s very playful and lively, jumping and running like a puppy. It drops to its knees and rolls on its back to scratch, then jumps up, runs to an open gate, spins 90 degrees and heads out. I can hardly believe the elephant made it through the gate without touching either side and without any damage at all.

The elephant is out of sight on the other side of the wooden fence. Now I see my dad coming down the stairs from the deck. He’s heavier than he ever was while alive, always being a physically fit man. My mom remains up on the 2nd story deck looking out over the yard. I know at this point that it is my mom and dad who have brought the baby elephant to my house.

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    -Johnny 2014-07-17 15:28:01

    I saw a large white elephant in my dream. It was beautiful and it was running somewhere to some village. In that same dream I was washing some chickens, a group of them. I’m only 23, and I’ve been having these animal dream symbols. I’ve also been seeing the lion and tiger.

    Reply

      -Tony Crisp 2014-07-22 12:23:06

      Johnny – To dream of a white elephant is a sign of great good fortune. It is a holy symbol, but I wonder what it was wanting to do in the village.

      The lion and tiger show your inner strength and what you are doing with it. See – http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/animals/

      Tony

      Reply

    -Tony Crisp 2014-07-18 9:27:17

    Kecia – I can’t help laughing with joy as I read your dream. It is so full of mixture of your concerns and the baby elephant’s completely joyful behaviour. Despite being abandoned in its joy, it nevertheless does no harm.

    That your mom and dad brought this gift to you says a lot about you and what you got from your parents.

    Tony

    Reply

-Puva 2014-07-18 22:34:07

I dreamt of a baby elephant who was turning green and i was so emotional in trying to save..it appeared green and cold (looks like it was not going to survive). I had to keep blowing warm air on it to try to get its normal colour back. What does this mean? And i was crying throughout while trying to save it.

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-Maggie 2014-07-20 14:42:07

I’m intrigued by the number of people having recent dreams about a baby elephant. I had such a dream last night and found this site while trying to find insights online. My dream. I looked out the front window of my house and saw a baby elephant across the street (I live on a residential street in a city in Western NY). The baby elephant saw me and came over to the house. I was a bit nervous it would damage my front porch, so I went outside. it was very friendly. I called the local zoo for help. I decided to walk it over to an open park/field area a couple blocks from my house, so it had more room. I did not feel unsafe. Actually, it was adorable and I felt a connection with the baby. I was more worried about not having anything to feed it and to protect it from getting freaked out if too many neighborhood people saw it and came out to look at it (I imagined them bringing their dogs). I called 911 to help them keep people from bothering the elephant – but kept to one side of the park so it wasn’t in full view. The baby elephant was happy, playful and very friendly and did not seem to be in any distress – which allowed me to relax and enjoy interacting with it.

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-dj 2014-07-30 11:36:09

I had a dream that a group of elephants were on display in a public park with no real barrier. One of the elephants decided to break free. It was charging through the streets. Eventually, someone calmed it down by performing a routine with it. The human and the elephant were dancing. (I feel so weird! )

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