What To Know About The Spiritual Meaning Of Elephants + What To Do If You're Seeing Them
Are elephant images or figurines appearing in your waking or dream life? These strong mammals are known to represent happiness, good luck, loyalty, power, or stability. Read on to find out more about elephant symbolism and what elephants may signify—whether they're in your dreams or waking life.
What do elephants symbolize?
Elephants often symbolize power, royalty, and wisdom, but numerous meanings are associated with this majestic creature. "Elephants represent many positive influences, ranging from strength and good fortune to health, happiness, and spiritual well-being," says Johanna Aúgusta, a numerologist and owner of the Ministry of Numerology.
"They are loyal companions that remain determinedly protective over their families, never forgetting the bond which ties them together," she adds.
And as animal communicator, psychic medium, and clairvoyant Nancy Mello tells mindbodygreen, when elephants come up in sessions, "They tend to symbolize the best in all of us; they are strength and weakness," adding, "By understanding that they truly feel everything and everything, when we see them—we can often relate it to the ups and downs of life."
Keywords associated with elephants:
- Good Fortune
4 spiritual meanings behind the elephant.
If elephant symbolism is coming into your life, the following spiritual meanings could relate to what this animal may be communicating to you:
Messages from the spirit realm
"Elephants have a long history of being revered as messengers from the spiritual realms," says Aúgusta, adding, "In many cultures, they symbolize strength, power, and fertility."
Transformation & growth
Elephants can represent new beginnings or powerful changes. "It's not unusual to have a human client go through something transformative and start seeing elephants all over the place (for instance on TV, on fabric, on the subway, etc.)," shares Mello, noting that they signify "true growth."
Fertility & sex drive
"Elephants have relatively poor eyesight, so they rely mainly on their sense of smell," explains Maggie Wilson, author of The Metaphysical Cannabis Oracle Deck. "This is important because smell is often associated with sexual drive and the elephant is a 'sex symbol,'" she adds.
Stability, connection & acceptance
According to Aúgusta, "Elephants are known to have tight family bonds and are often seen as symbols of loyalty, stability, and security." These peaceful creatures can also represent connection and acceptance with family. "They can be seen as a reminder to stay connected with family and friends even when apart," she explains, with Mello adding that elephants can symbolize acceptance, usually relating to being accepting of family members.
Elephant symbolism in Africa
"Within certain African societies, elephants represent wealth and position in the social order," says Aúgusta. Lianne Jones, owner of Spirit of Sapphire, adds, "In many African cultures, the elephant is held in high esteem as a symbol of royalty, [and in others], the elephant is the epitome of strength."
Elephant symbolism in Asia
Considering there are two types of elephants, the Asian and the African elephant, it's no surprise elephants are an important aspect of many cultures in Asia. "In Chinese culture, elephants have been associated with wisdom and good luck," explains Aúgusta, adding that they're also said to symbolize fertility and strength in relationships.
Meanwhile, Wilson tells mindbodygreen, elephants signify good luck and prosperity in Korea. "In Cambodia," she adds, "you will see elephant statues everywhere for protection and good fortune."
Elephant symbolism in India
"In India, elephants are seen as divine figures; Lord Ganesh—an elephant-headed divinity—is honored for his wisdom, fortune, triumphs, and abundance," according to Aúgusta. Jones adds that Ganesha is believed to help with eliminating obstacles and brings good fortune.
What to do if you keep seeing them.
The spiritual community believes animals appear in our lives to communicate information. "When someone keeps seeing elephants, it could signify that they must take time for themselves," says Aúgusta. "The elephant's presence is a reminder to nurture your personal growth and work on achieving balance in life," she adds.
Elephant symbolism may also be giving you the courage to persevere. According to Jones, "It can be an encouraging nudge from the spirit world that it's time to find a solution to your problems and overcome those obstacles."
An elephant can be a sign about family or taking care of others, as well, but while maintaining a strong connection with yourself. "See this as an opportunity to reestablish power in a family dynamic or societal need," says Wilson.
If you're wondering how you'll know if you've received or understood the message, the animal will also give you a sign. As Aúgusta explains, the animal will stop appearing when you've understood the message.
If an elephant appears in your dream.
The dream world is filled with information and messages and can be another way to receive signs. Writing down your dream can be helpful to pick up on clues and what the dream may be communicating with you. "I recommend keeping a personal journal to document your thoughts on your dreams," says Aúgusta, adding, "You can track any patterns you see and how they affect your everyday life."
Writing details with keywords, as well as how you felt in the dream, will also provide deeper insight into what the dream may be communicating. "It's important to try to remember what feelings you remember from the dream, what is happening, what the elephant is doing and how the dream ends," Wilson explains.
And in case you're wondering, elephant symbolism in dreams can have various meanings just like in real life. According to Aúgusta, "Dreaming of elephants is a sign of what lies ahead in your future, and the short-term outlook seems promising."
Dreaming of an elephant could also represent having confidence in yourself. "When you dream of an elephant, it reminds you to have faith in yourself and your decisions," she tells mindbodygreen, adding, "The elephant's presence indicates that you should take control of your life and gain inner strength to conquer all obstacles."
Another meaning could be that prosperity is coming. "An elephant appearing in your dreams can also be a sign that good fortune is on the way—this is particularly favorable if you've been through hardship," says Jones.
Are elephants a symbol of peace?
Yes, elephants are a symbol of peace. Many cultures regard the elephant as a symbol for protection, harmony, and love.
What do elephants symbolize in African culture?
In some African cultures, elephants symbolize nobility and royalty. Sometimes elephants represent wealth or social status, and in some tribal groups, elephants mean strength and power.
Are elephants a good omen?
Yes, elephants are considered a good omen. Many cultures consider elephants to be a positive symbol.
Lauren David is a Chilean-American freelance writer. She writes about gardening, food, health and wellness, and sustainability. She has been published in Allrecipes, Greatist, The Healthy, The Kitchn and more.
When she's not writing, she enjoys spending time in her garden, experimenting with ingredients in the kitchen, or spending time by the ocean. See her portfolio on her website.