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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

-Willa 2014-10-20 13:52:29

I remember one of my favorite dreams – I was in in front of a house on a hill and there were multiple elephants walking in a single line behind each other on the street – they looked up at me , walked up the hill to me at the door of the house and with their trunk gave me a gentle fist bump with their trunks, then moved onward –peacefully. The most wonderfully haunting part is that as they touched me I looked into each of their eyes and saw kindness, peace, and a different universe that was, I felt, showing me my future, past, and secrets. Best dream ever.

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-Heather 2014-12-11 3:27:12

My dream was awful…. The elephant in my dream fell on me and was crushing me. I awoke hardly able to breath.

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-Mary 2014-12-29 12:58:26

I had a dream that I was at a party in my honor; rember thinking some people were genuine there for me and others were not. Someone I was very happy to see came and got me from my seat and told me he had a surprise for me; I rember being very happy to be hugging him. We went to the front of the room, which seemed like the room used to be a grocery store since it had glass automatic doors. Elephants of all sizes came running in with handlers; I remember being very happy and seeing my dig trying to run out from different places at the front of the room and I grabbed her from a preteen. I remember holding my dog and holding the man and thinking how fast and agile the elephants were. I was very happy.

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-hiren patel 2015-01-21 8:52:43

good

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-joseph walsh 2015-02-20 15:18:26

can someone explain deeper
Hi Joe,

This is what I saw when I layed my hands on your Knees: You were guiding two elephants down a path. The background behind the elephants were two colors, your left was black and your right was white. When I went to your ankles I saw another elephant twice as big as the other two coming out from in between them. He had a crown on his head and he had a blanket covering his back that was decorated with a gold fringe all around the edges and one side was black and the other was white. You climbed up on him and rode him forward.

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-Katherine 2015-02-22 18:32:07

Hi! Last night I dreamt about being on this cruise ship…and I guess somewhere in the back there were cages with elephants. It made me sad, being vegan and all. So the next night, they managed to break out of their cage, but one of the babies fell off the ship. Immediately, I got a rescue group and somehow, in the magic world of dreams, we got the elephant back up. However, it needed an injection to “come back”(IKR), and I was the one that did it.

I can’t remember it all too perfectly so there are tiny gaps, but I have no idea WHY I dreamt of an elephant. I have no connection to them other than maybe seeing them once in a zoo when I was younger.

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-Megan 2015-03-09 12:28:31

In my dream an elaphant was like nuzzling up against me and then he started to bite me but it didnt hurt. Then he bite down and hurt like crazy! He was trying to eat me. Does anyone know what this would me cuz its freaking me out.

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-Ashley 2015-03-12 15:14:21

I have had an ongoing dream for two nights now about an orphaned baby elephant I found in my back yard. It was healthy and happy the first time I found it and I was trying to figure out how to care for it and was going to call animal control to come take care of it but I forgot and got busy inside the house. Next night in my dream I remembered the elephant and maybe several days passed in the dream and I thought maybe it would be sick from neglect and when I went to check on it…it was indeed near death. I tried frantically to give it water and food which consisted of fruits and vegies and bananas that were my daughters bananas. She was only willing to share one bananas with the elephant. What could this all mean. Please shed some light on this for me. I normally don’t pay too much attention to dreams and can usually figure them out but this one is actually bothering me.

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-shelby 2015-04-01 14:44:48

I had a dream that two elephants escaped the zoo. My family wanted to keep them but i wanted to let them go we didnt have enough room. Eventually the elephants broke down our fence that was on a cliff and fell into this huge lake. I jumped in after them then i woke up.

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-Brinda 2015-04-07 22:29:43

Hi Tony,
I cannot find this interpretation anywhere on the Internet:
Last night I dreamt I was heavily pregnant- huge infact- I am lying on the operating table, waiting for the doctor to inject my stomach with anaesthetic- it is a planned c-section. I feel the needle like it was actually happening. Then they make the cut, and out pops..A BABY ELEPHANT! it is grey, trunk turned up, happy as ever, and it eats some healthy rice kichree. I am not surprised in my dream to see an elephant but boy did I wake up thinking OMG!!! I am dying to know what on earth this could mean???

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    -Anna 2015-04-08 10:02:24

    Dear Brinda – I love the way you described your dream, for there is so much understanding growing in you already, without you being aware of it yet.
    Sentences like: “happy as ever” is a reflection of your cosmic, eternal nature and “I am dying to know what on earth this could mean???” is about daring to leave your “little self” behind and explore your huge inner world. As you learn to enter more fully into your dreams you will gradually realise that your real self isn’t the body with a gender of male or female, but a shape shifter. You also will have learned how to dive under the surface of your conscious personality and realise that there is a huge and wonderful world often called the unconscious. It is actually awareness of Life, and in it you can become a bodiless consciousness, or be an animal, or know the wonder of animal consciousness.
    Please also read http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/what-we-need-to-remember-about-us-3/#More

    So writing down your dreams and your reflections is a great tool to reach beyond your “every day awareness”.
    Your dream expresses that there are still some fears concerning giving birth to this “huge that you are” and yet you are willing to allow it. That attitude shows your courage and willingness to meet “the Unknown”.
    So I suggest you continue to write down and explore – with our help if necessary – your dreams, for “you have a lot within you” ;-)
    Please also read http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/practical-techniques-for-understanding-your-dreams/
    Anna :-)

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-Sade 2015-04-13 6:20:58

I had a very impactful dream last night, part of it involved a baby elephant that was wondering in a dark house I was in. It emerged from a closeted staircase and seemed to charge at me, I felt fear but when it reached me I raised out my hands and fed him water out of a bowl. In that moment I felt joy but immediately after a man appeared behind him and broke the poor baby’s neck and I ran outside… really wondering what my mind could’ve been going through when it thought that up..

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    -Anna 2015-04-13 16:37:24

    Sade – The dark house is a symbol of something emerging from your unconscious mind and it turns out to be a baby elephant :-) It is “wondering” for you still have to explore how you want to relate to it with all of your being.
    The conscious personality is a very flexible and shapeshifting thing. It can be male or female in quality no matter what the body gender. In dreams, the male is the facet of dynamic action that projects into the world of this shapeshifting personality.
    Please read http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/archetype-of-the-animus-jungs-view-of-the-male-in-the-female/
    I feel it is important for you to explore for yourself what YOU associate with this baby elephant and with the man who appeared, because there is a conflict inside you.
    Your female self is willing to give of herself to this (elephant) part of you and it is linked with the source of Life and with emotions.
    Because water is vital to your existence it can show how you (the part of you which is symbolised by the elephant in your dream) long for or thirst for something, and feeling fulfilled.
    I reckon that because you wrote “a man appeared”, that you do not know this man. A stranger may be referring to an unrecognised part of yourself, your behaviour or character, or something you fail to see or recognise as you.
    A stranger can also mean we do not recognise who someone is in relationship to us, what they feel for us or we for them.
    Killing the elephant I feel is about stopping or repressing the joy you feel the moment it arises.
    There are many ways to “kill joy” in our life and the idea is to uncover HOW you kill the joy, so you can stop doing it and allow and enjoy these feelings instead.
    So ask yourself what gives you joy in your life, and which part in you cannot allow these feelings yet?
    A way to become aware is using “being the elephant and being the man” and “talking as the elephant and talking as the man”:
    http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson and http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/practical-techniques-for-understanding-your-dreams/#TalkingAs
    Good Luck!
    Anna :-)

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