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



-Katia 2018-03-20 5:31:13


Last night I dreamet that I was on the top of a mountain with my friend and there where two elephants and down was the sea. The elephants were trying to brake the mountain and they fell down with my friend and died. I was crying and then I woke up. I had the feeling that I was a positive meaning but what can you tell me.

Thank you

-B.Satyanarayan 2017-12-12 16:02:02

Yesterday my mom saw in her dream that while she was travelling with a young me (i m now 16)then she saw a group of elephants travelling.She saw that one elephant came forward and holded me ,and my mom got scared.Then the elephant lifted me and made me sit on his back. What could this dram mean.

-Cheryl 2017-11-30 18:00:28

Standing on a river bank dreary the river look as if it had just rain stormed water where running a little fast I felt like I was crossing my usual path I got to the center of the river but was on a small piece of earth that the water passed by the waters started almost boiling bubbling like something was going to imerage the earth underneath the waters where releasing resercetting out the waters emerged spheres very bright gold light spheres each one was spinning the faster the spun the image that appeared to be being reborn from the earth each sphere had an golden elephant once the elephant was fully intact from the bottom up each standing on two legs they other in the air as nose fully ended the transformation it was quite glories to see but it’s as if power and straight where standing in front of me not normal size elephants huge giants but each different size first was the leader two almost equal size thirds a tad smaller the hide up roar there snouts and charged towards my direction I began to run to a build with big glass metal doors for safety or to just simple get out of the direction of the charge they reach the door before me I instantly turned my direction the opposite way as they open the door and continued there journey I was in anther building it had 3 chamber each level of beauty 3rd level being the most high as I could see the secret chambers of all three levels I felt very fimliar of all three I had been there several times this time I was on the third level appeared two family members my blood aunt that is my desisted father sister and her husband I granted them entrance and hugs and gratitude they showed I gave them a calling to maintain the two lower levels to find women of refuge to give them a place of sanctuary to look in on them to save them from fear of the world my uncle looked over at me said where will stay we will do as you ask I said here on the third level to the west wing his thoughts and reaction was humbled and gracious and his thoughts where wow this is yours I said no matter it belongs to you I have no need of it all thus happen through thought in the mind no words left our mouth all feeling and emotions u could feel as communicating.. I then woke up thinking this was not a dream ! This is a message and I’m researching what possibles it could mean and insight would help

-Ryan 2017-11-21 2:58:10

Dreamt a elephant was sucking up stuff through its trunk but then it somehow got its trunk stuck to its tongue and it was in distress but I didn’t want to touch it without first grabbing a paper towel then helping the elephant.

    -Tony Crisp 2017-11-23 12:43:13

    Ryan – You are certainly trying to deal with your animal nature. Don’t forget that as a baby we were a tiny animal. See http://dreamhawk.com/interesting-people/animal-children/#Program

    Your dream deals with a problem with feeding. It has got its tongue function tied up with it trunk function. A baby elephant cannot feed through its trunk but has to suck its mothers breast through its mouth. We use animals in our dreams because often we do not wish to see them as our own difficulties.

    My guess is that you were never fully satisfied at your mothers breast – a lot of mothers never breast feed their children. So it might be your more mature feeding, shown as the trunk, might still be tied to the past. Try imagining yourself feeding from your mothers breasts.

    There is a wonderful saying on Star Trek – You Cannot Have What You Deny Yourself.

-Stella 2017-11-06 13:47:06

I had a dream last night that I was at my nannas house which the back yard was filled with dirt and the front of yard was a parking lot in my dream there was an elephant and every time it made eye contact with me it would find ways to get into the house it would charge outside and run straight through the wall of the house but never would get me always run right past me. I would hide in a hiding place under the bed and elephant would step on the bed but never get me it was like I was going under the floor to hide from it I have never dreamt of elephants before what could this mean

    -Tony Crisp 2017-11-08 11:12:03

    Hi – The answers I give arise not out of me thinking up things to say, but from fifty years of exploring dreams in depth. So some of what I write may seem wild. This may be because dreams arise and are experienced by a level of your mind or awareness that very few people have any concept or experience of – usually called the unconscious. So their view of dreams arise from their thinking mind, a very different creature than the thing giving you Life. Life dreamt millions of years before even humankind awoke and developed self awareness – a very young and precocious child. So I try to describe what takes place in the deeps of you.

    But it would help you to understand your dreams, if you would read – http://dreamhawk.com/news/summing-up/ and also http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/features-found-on-site/ which has so much information in.
    Nothing can replace your own ability to understand your dream. With a little effort you can do this by practising what is described in – http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPersonor http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/getting-at-your-dreams-meaning/


    Stella – The house in dreams often refers to you, and eye contact means, “I am aware of you, and you are aware of me.”

    So the elephant, which represent your enormous strength and instinctive self, is trying to become enter your life. When you were growing in your mother’s womb, you passed through the whole spectrum of evolution. You grew from a tiny seed in your mother’s womb, and as it did so it took you through the whole process of evolution, through the vegetative phase as cell division, then into a creature with gills and then the reptilian phase and up to the mammalian. Then you entered the time when you learned the amazing computer like program called language, up until then you were a little animal. See http://dreamhawk.com/interesting-people/animal-children/#Program

    In your dreams you use moving actions to try to show you your inner animal trying to get your attention, but because we/you are scared of such a big part of you, you keep trying to hide from it. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/brain-levels-and-dreams/#mammalbrain

    The elephant wants you to use that strength you have, rather like a human mahout/rider guiding the enormous energy of the elephant.

-amir 2017-08-28 11:18:59

i saw dream that i was above the shelters of elephant , after sometimes elephant tilted shelter and i falled down , then i was not moving my body by fear and i was not even taking breath . so elephant could ignore me . then , elephant was smelling me by his mouth . then i woke up .

-Karen 2017-07-21 13:34:53

I had a dream where a herd of elephants of all different ages where being rescued and I was part of the team receiving them at their new home. All of the team were going to concentrate on one animal. There was one tiny baby, that was offered I pushed myself forward as this one was going to be mine. When I woke it was so vivid but the size of my baby elephant was the size of a God that I could carry in my arms. As I nursed and looked after this one, all the other quickly settled and were all making their calming elephant noises. It felt so wonderful and natural to be amongst them, I think I ended up being the carer for a few.

    -Tony Crisp 2017-07-24 9:03:08

    Hi – It would help you to understand your dreams, if you would read – http://dreamhawk.com/news/summing-up/ and also http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/features-found-on-site/ which has so much information in.

    Nothing can replace your own ability to understand your dream. With a little effort you can do this by practising what is described in – http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson or http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/getting-at-your-dreams-meaning/


    Karen – A wonderful dream. So good you should dive into the deeper levels of it. Dream images are like icons on a computer screen – You have to ‘click’ on your dream images to make them come alive. Thinking about them doesn’t work. You need to open yourself to the magic of them. To make them into the wonderful gateways they are you may have to learn certain skills. See http://dreamhawk.com/inner-life/extending-your-awareness/#Extend

    In dreams, the images you dreamt about, the elephants are simply symbols of something alive in your deeper experience of yourself. The elephants, if you think about them are ancient, wise and beautiful living mammals, mammals that have tremendous strength. They care for their young and work as a community caring for other elephants child. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/brain-levels-and-dreams/#mammalbrain

    If you read the above, you can begin to realise that your body is not simply something of today, but carries a very ancient past, which is usually only realised in dreams, unless you learn to dip below the surface of yourself, and meet your own primordial self. Consider the levels of our everyday awareness and how this links with our physical brain, we can look at what anatomy, physiology and psychology have defined. For example it is now known that in the womb we start off at the very primitive level of cellular production. Then our forming body goes through a fish stage and has gills. Slowly it moves toward an air breathing body. And all these evolutionary changes leave their mark, for we have at least five levels of brain – the celullar, the spinal – the reptilian – the mammalian and then the human.

    The baby you care for represent that you are new to meeting this ancient past you carry within you. But your care will help it to develop into a huge and powerful force. A dream is something that comes from a deep part of you; it is something that is working upwards toward being conscious. As such it often, like a seed, takes time to break through to the surface, and then it has to grow. So often dreams are not recognised for their full meaning until later – sometimes months or even longer. The dream images are attempts to communicate something that has probably never been thought about or even been consciously thought about, so has never been put into common conscious thinking before. It is a communication from the depths, from beyond thought, and so any interpretations that are given by thinking may completely miss the point.

    They felt natural to be amongst them, a sure sign you are capable of learning more from them. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/exploring-a-dream-2/

-Mandeep Sahota 2017-05-08 19:23:44

Hi I dreamed last night I saw I was stand in green forest and suddenly blue earth and one other beautiful planet come down in forest and suddenly a cute baby elephant run behind me I was scared running and enter in room and baby elephant saw me with one eye into the shut door and I’m trying to hide from him and then i suddenly woke up…..

    -Tony Crisp 2017-05-09 8:21:03

    Hi – I am stopping from answering your posts fully – but will try to give hints; sometimes long ones because I quote from masses I have already put online. Also, I need to take time to update the site – dreamhawk.

    It would help you to understand your dreams, if you would read – http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/questions-2/#Summing and also http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/features-found-on-site/ which has so much information in.

    Nothing can replace your own ability to understand your dream. With a little effort you can do this by practising what is described in – http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson or http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/getting-at-your-dreams-meaning/


    Mandeep – The green forest, blue earth, baby elephant and beautiful planet are all wonderful signs on your dream.

    But your fear led you to run away from such wonder, yet it was a promise of good things to come.

    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. So there is no need to run away. In fact it would be good to meditate and explore being with the elephant and walking in the forest and becoming acquainted with the new world.

-gwendolyn harris 2017-05-02 13:09:49

this is an excellent resource for dream interpretation

    -Tony Crisp 2017-05-03 8:35:14

    Thanks Gwendolyn.


-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.

-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

-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?

-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!

-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

-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?

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved