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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



-Janelle 2017-01-12 13:23:32


I have never dreamed of an elephant (that I remember) before last night. I dreat that I was on a ship and there was an elephant in a hold I was fearful of something (not the elepant) as i was looking down into the hold I needed to hide / escape so I started to climb down into the hold but it was a much farther drop than I thought and the elephant came to where I was hanging and stood on her hind legs so I could grab her tusks she then gently lowered me to the floor. A few things happened not sure what that is blurry but then I heaRd a man yelling I coward against the wall the elepant nudged me forcefully but gentlely onto the corner and stood in front of me she was protectin me trying to hide me from the man and his friends. They came into the hold looking for me he sounded mad but also worried that I was hurt.. when he realized I was there he tried to get to me but she wouldn’t let him. He got mad and said fine stat here for the rest of the trip see if I care you know I could just tranquilizer her and get you. . . Then walked out locking the door. Then I woke up.

What could this possibly mean?


-Debbie 2017-01-17 16:49:08

I dreamt I was in my living room and in the field opposite was an enormous black elephant with tiny red eyes, it was watching me!!


    -Tony Crisp 2017-01-18 11:12:12

    Hi – I must take time to upgrade the dream dictionary, so must halt from answering your posts – I started revising the dictionary in 2006, and haven’t neared the end yet. I believe someone else may start giving interpretations.

    So, for a while I urge you to read http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/i-am-no-longer-interpreting-dreams/ – It describes ways that can help you. And often it would help too if you looked at http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/questions-2/#Summing


    Whenever we dream its images are not like real life, because a dream is nothing like outer life where things could hurt you, but is an image like on a cinema screen, so that even if a gun is pointed at you and fired it can do no damage – except if you run in fear; so all the things that scare you are simply your own fears projected onto the screen of your sleeping mind.

    It is also important to realise that every image, every scary or terrifying thing, is taken place inside you, in your mind, as you sleep. This means that every awful animal, every scary thing or person, is created out of your own fears and must not be seen as outside you as happens in waking awareness. The problem is that we are often scared of or frightened of actually experiencing our emotions and so they confront us in our dreams. Avoiding them or controlling them is like running away from oneself – there is no escape. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPersonOrThing


-RA 2017-01-30 6:45:25

I had a dream that I was rescuing lots of fish from dirty, empty fish tanks and placing them in a clean, fresh pond where they all became healthy and alive. Within the fish there was also a dolphin and an elephant, but they were small, the size of goldfish, and I rescued them too back to health. What does this all signify? Thank you!


-tami 2017-04-03 0:00:17

I had dream of a mother and baby elephant and a mother and baby rhinoceros swimming together in the river. At first the river is only shallow, but when I look closer it is deep and clear.. the animals are floating and looks like they’re enjoying swimming. In waking life I am planning to resign in my workplace (coz I don’t enjoy it) and wanted to stay at home to take care and look after my children. Is there any connection of my dream with my plans?


-Christoffer 2017-04-05 6:27:25

I was looking for the word/dream interpretation of mammoth, but I couldn’t find it, so I would just like to make a suggestion of that.
Thanks for a wonderful and great dictionary!


    -Tony Crisp 2017-04-05 8:54:47

    Thanks – I am doing it now. But here is a help.

    Levels of being that developed in you in ages past, and are given to you as a physical and mental heritage. We feel these as instincts, as profoundly strong reactions to situations. It is the part of us that makes the hair stand up at times when we sense something we do not understand consciously. See Levels of the Brain

    This usually refers to deep levels of your unconscious; your basic and instinctive responses to life events and people, or perhaps unconscious powers and activities. The levels of your brain and body that developed in ages past. Your own primeval urges and drives, such as fear, territorial aggression, mating rituals, survival; urges that have not been integrated fully into our present social situation, perhaps because they were repressed during childhood or because you were not strong enough to meet them. Many of our social rituals – such as the father giving the daughter in marriage that possibly arose out of the need to allay aggression between males, and break the father’s sexual bond with the daughter – arose from these basic drives. Also our babyhood or prenatal life.

    Example: A number of us, soldiers, were moving up to the battlefront. We had to climb over a pile of rubble, like a wall, and ran across open ground. There was a great fear of being shot down as we came into the open. This did not happen, and once passed the obstacle I felt it was actually a sort of training circuit getting us used to battle conditions. We moved on into the fighting. A volcanic type of eruption from the bowels of the earth spewed up a prehistoric monster. There was a lot more, but cannot clearly remember.

    The dream came just before the man was able to allow a deeply buried childhood trauma to emerge. The prehistoric creature was a release of a power that was the means of releasing such ancient and trapped emotions. See Life’s Little Secrets on site


-Apoorva Rathore 2017-04-09 7:30:18

I saw a pink baby elephant with a human skin playing with me. I held him in my hands he was so happy even i was extremely happy to play with him.


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