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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

-Jackie 2015-06-18 16:03:59

I had a dream about 12 elephants, some were small (if you can say that about an elephant) a few were medium sized. They were in my childhood home, actually they were roaming around outside at first and I was worried about them getting hurt so I said out loud that I wanted them in the house lined up in a straight line. And they were. While they were lined up and bowing down, I sat in my bedroom, with the door shut. I started thinking about the mess that they would make and how I could get them out of the house. All of a sudden it occurred to me to say (out loud again) that they would turn into birds and fly out of the windows and doors. And they did.
What could all that mean?

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    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-06-22 8:00:19

    Dear Jackie – The way I see your wonderful dream is that you are using your power of imagination to evoke inner change and you returned to your childhood home, because imagination is part of your inner-child too.
    So your dream expresses that instead of using your power of imagination to create an inner world that is a mess, you use it to create an inner world filled with “uplifting thoughts/energies” which radiate from you.
    The realm of sleep and dreams offers us a world so vastly different from waking, that our life may be enriched by happenings and realisations totally impossible otherwise. It has been said that travel broadens the mind. Dreams expand it far more. Without them, and without the act of imagination and fantasy that arises from such powers of the mind as dreams emerge from, we would indeed be impoverished. Without the process of mind that lies behind the inventive fancy of dreams, art, music, drama, literature and architecture would have remained starkly utilitarian. Imagination, in dreams or otherwise, is a divine power which lifts us out of today and transports us to yesterday, or to the future.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/the-wonder-of-imagination/
    And
    http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/childhood/
    and
    http://dreamhawk.com/inner-life/inner-world/
    Anna :-)

    Reply

    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-06-22 8:14:10

    Dear Jackie – What will be an interesting read for you too is this book Tony wrote and published online:
    http://dreamhawk.com/inner-life/lucid-dreaming/
    Enjoy!
    Anna :-)

    Reply

      -Jackie 2015-06-23 23:41:07

      Hi Anna,
      I just wanted to thank you for your response to my question about my dream regarding the elephants. Your response actually made total sense of things that are going on in my life. That dream is one that I felt was very significant, so much so that it led me to the Dreamhawk website.

      I appreciate the links that you included and am excited about reading them!

      Again, thank you so much!

      Jackie

      Reply

-Jamie 2015-06-28 13:41:56

I had a dream last night that I was laying down side by side with an elephant…simply petting its head and belly–almost like it was a dog? I was so confused when I woke up…my entire night was consumed by this elephant that wanted me to pet it…to snuggle it?? Any explanation of this? I remember in my dream I was afraid of its hoof knocking me out b/c as a dog does, it kept “pawing” at me when I would stop petting it…so weird! Any thoughts on what this might mean? Thank you!

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-Apeksha 2015-07-10 9:29:44

I am an Indian.I saw an elephant in my dream which wasn’t too young or old.The elephant was happy and had lot of gold accessories on him.I was in a palace and was watching him from a window!.. And in my dream I was happy that the elephant was happy.
What does this mean?

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    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-07-13 20:22:23

    Dear Apeksha – Your dream reflects that you meet the wonders of your amazing mind and its wonderful qualities.
    The inner world you have created is a happy world; and you become aware in your dream that happiness does not reside in the outside world, but that it dwells within.
    The gold is a symbol of the most valuable in yourself – like inner joy – or of the eternal in your life and what you radiate to others from that place within like joy, love, patience, care etc. You have a lot to give Apeksha!
    Anna :-)

    Reply

-Cristian 2015-07-15 1:57:57

Hello,
I had an elephant dream, but it was tragically sad. I found information about elephants in dreams on the internet, but none described as in my dream.

I was at a flea market, a pretty run-down place, and at the end of the isles there was a one-man show featuring an elephant. The elephant was big, but not yet adult. It was not a happy elephant. After it was forced to do a few tricks, the handler announced [to the small group of spectators] that it was break time, and that he had to give the elephant water. The crowd dispersed, and the handler (a very mean black man) backed up his box-truck, and with a chain hastily tied the elephant to it. He drove carelessly, faster and faster, with the elephant tripping and being dragged. He tried to get up but was pulled by the chain too fast and kept tripping. This is when I started panicking, but mostly feeling extremely sad. I started running, as to try and tell the driver what was happening, but at the same time knowing that it’s a mean man who is probably aware of it and does not care. I was feeling heartbroken that there are still humans treating other beings in this manner. By the time I caught up (the truck had turned behind some building) the handler had placed a humongous chain on the elephant’s two front legs. The elephant was kneeling on it’s front legs (wasn’t able to do anything else) and was crying and trying to blow it’s trunk in a manner that all I felt was it’s pain – so much so that I woke up in that moment, I think because it was too tragic. I had tears in my eyes.

I am a person who remembers maybe one or two dreams PER YEAR, so I feel that this was a powerful message for me, and am trying to interpret it. I am also very much against almost all circuses, so the message coming in this manner was designed to really hit the spot.

Any constructive thoughts would be appreciated. I thank you in advance!

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    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-07-20 11:33:41

    Dear Christian – Every image and person and animal in your dreams is an expression of your own life process. As such it is alive and intelligent and is something sent to help you. A dream is like a projection from a movie projector, except that you are the projector.
    Everything you see as outside you is coming from you, your emotions, your fears, your beliefs, your joys and explorations and are all you, clothed in the dream images and drama.
    I feel that this is also expressed by this part of your dream “a one-man show featuring an elephant”.
    On this market place you meet part of your shadow in the form of an autonomous complex; “a very mean black man”.
    This “very mean black man” is a part of you which you have not accepted yet as yours.
    Many of the characters or elements of our dreams act quite contrary to what we consciously wish. This is why we often find it so difficult to believe all aspects of a dream are part of our own psyche.
    Driving carelessly also reflects the lack of responsibility from this autonomous complex and a need for more awareness. It also expresses that when this autonomous complex takes over that you are not really in charge of your life in any positively aware way.
    Please read http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/the-archetype-of-the-shadow/
    and
    http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/autonomous-complex/
    You wrote “The elephant was kneeling on its front legs (wasn’t able to do anything else) and was crying and trying to blow it’s trunk in a manner that all I felt was its pain – so much so that I woke up in that moment, I think because it was too tragic. I had tears in my eyes”.
    Becoming aware of and allowing the pain that your approach to Life is causing you is a wonderful step, and often indicates that you have reached a turning point in your life.
    The next step could be that you use “Being the mean black man and the elephant” and “Talking as” to explore which aspect of you has chained the power and influence of the potent forces active in your body and mind.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson
    and
    http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/practical-techniques-for-understanding-your-dreams/#TalkingAs
    Another very helpful approach to free the wonderful potential of your elephant is Power Dreaming;
    http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/secrets-power-dreaming/
    I trust this will give you a start to get a better understanding of what you have created in your inner world Christian and how you can help to transform it.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/inner-life/inner-world/#MakesInner
    Anna :-)

    Reply

      -Cristian 2015-07-23 6:10:54

      Thank you so much for all the information you gave – it all makes sense. I am now understanding this dream much better. I labeled the black man in my dream as “mean” due to the carelessness toward the elephant, but what I should be paying attention to is the actual carelessness! He never beat the animal or was mean to the bystanders. Yes! it all makes sense. I used to be a successful, organized person, but in more recent years I’ve let myself slide into dangerous carelessness about most aspects of my life, including not having a business and not caring about making an income. Yes, this aspect in my life bothers me a lot! I now feel like this dream was telling me that I have to get it together, because I’m killing my opportunities with my carelessness. This may be due to my view of elephants as symbols of prosperity (this was an overall feeling throughout my life) so having the dream in this manner I feel that it was a clear message. I often feel like I have great business opportunities that I just let slide by, then hate myself for being careless. So yes, I think the dream really makes sense in this way. I really appreciate you sharing your information (haven’t read the links yet, but I will) and wanted you to know how much it mattered to me – I came to the website every day hoping someone commented with information. :)

      Reply

-Marie 2015-07-17 11:47:03

Hi my name is Marie,
I had a dream that I was look out my window and I sees baby elephant on the back of a patio and was trying to get free he fell and was dangling from a two story building n fell but was ok I ran trying to help him n find him, he was hiding and I want to help set him free just then he smiled at me and went on his way what does this mean

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-Rupak Deshmukh 2015-07-28 6:44:15

Saw a dream in elephant was trying to eat my father in law bt he saved by one small cjildren

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-Archi 2015-08-02 13:03:39

I had a dream yesterday night . It was like I am standing near some hill and there on the top of the hill saw a pickock and horse both with golden back and golden crowns. then I saw four elephants on the same hill top standing diognally making a square. then there comes a big Queen Elephant again with golden back and then all four elephangts started dancing. There was loud music of drums. some tribalmans were standign near elephant’s feet and dancing on the beats. It was stange dream. i had never seen elephants before in my dream. Can you please interpret my dream.

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-Susan 2015-08-03 5:30:14

i saw an elephant with three tusks while i was climbing a hill nd another girl was with me i got scared nd was running then i saw a house nd a lady was preparing something in the kitchen and she gave me the food she prepared and while i was eating i saw the elephant standing in front of the house but it was not not doimg any harm to is it was just standing there

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-Tanya 2015-08-08 9:29:30

I had a dream that many elephant’s were falling from a mountain /hill and I was running trying not to get hit by one….also long pythons were hanging from trees and I was also afraid and trying not to pull them down while running.

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-Alana 2015-08-09 2:54:32

Hi Tony,

I had a dream there was an elephant in shackles. it was a big beautiful warm beige coloured elephant and it was struggling ot get out of the shackles. A friend of mine was there and she was very upset that the elephant as shackled. I put my arm around her to comfort her. Then, there were suddenly rabbits everywhere. Do you have any insight on the meaning of this dream? Thank you. :)

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-Sophia 2015-08-10 17:11:14

In my dream I saw several massive elephants and their skin had been painted decoratively, each one different. They were huge like dinosaurs and were standing in a river.
A man told me he had finally saved up enough money and gallons of water to buy them. He told me they could fly, on a plane, to New York if needed. I live in California but in the dream it felt like I was somewhere even farther away from NY.

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-Michael 2015-08-21 15:44:43

I dreamed last night that their was 2 teenage elephants and their were humans around and they were explaining to me what they were planning to do.

They planned to take the two Teenage elephants penis’ and tie them together and make them tug a war each other until they fell off.

So I saw the two elephants penis’ tied to one another like a tug of war rope, and they wrapped their trunks around there penis’ until one loss.

I am not sure who won or who los but it was super odd.

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