From Hindu to Islamic to multiple other cultures, religions, and mythologies around the world, elephants have been historically held in high regard. Their enormous size symbolizes gigantic strength and power. Negatively, they do represent uncalled-for liabilities or obligations in life.
Elephant Dream Meaning Across Different Cultures and Mythologies
The interpretation of dream symbols, including elephants, varies across different cultures and mythologies. Different societies may ascribe unique meanings and symbolism to elephants in dreams, reflecting their cultural beliefs, values, and traditions.
Exploring these interpretations can provide insight into how diverse cultures perceive and understand the significance of elephants in the realm of dreams.
Elephants symbolize wholesome life, good health, and prosperity. They are highly revered in Hindu mythology. Lord Ganesha, the son of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, who represents wisdom, is depicted as one of the forms of the elephant and has a unique look with the head of the elephant and body of a human being. An elephant named Airavat was Lord Indra’s flying animal of burden or vehicle that was produced by the vigorous churning of the ancient seas. Airavat was also the king of all elephants, who also symbolized immense power and divine intelligence.
In India, there is a multitude of temples built with carvings and sculptures of elephants. For example, the temples at Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu, South India. Several other temples spread across India are dedicated to the elephant-headed Lord Ganesh upon who the foundation of the universe is laid. A figurine or idol of Lord Ganesh in Indian homes is believed to bring loads of positivity and abundance.
The year of birth of Prophet Muhammad in Islamic mythology is called the year of the elephant. It is believed that Yemen’s king Abraha with his forty thousand soldiers, was spearheaded by elephants in an attempt to take control over Mecca by destroying Kaaba. However, one of his elephants named Mahmud denied crossing Mecca, and no force could overpower or convince the mighty Mahmud.
According to the bible, an elephant holds special significance and indicates the prowess of divine prayers. The legend of the three blind men represents the enormity of god through an elephant’s ginormous body based on the different body parts of the creature touched by the blind men who had completely different ideas about how an elephant looked. So, the elephants signified the greatness of God.
Noah’s Ark, the great ship, was constructed under god’s command to rescue Noah, his family, and several other animals from the deadly global flood that struck 4300 years back and relentlessly wreaked havoc for about a year. Elephants saved from the massive floods were also a part of the ship. They took complete control over the food supply at the Ark and consumed great amounts of food, causing them to grow enormously fat to the point that induced complete imbalance and a dangerous possibility of the ship toppling over due to the massive weight of the elephants aboard.
To resolve the situation, Noah requests god to provoke the hyena, which leads to a continuous chain of events. Eventually, the mouse ends up hiding under a cabbage and scaring the elephants away after they come closer to eat all the cabbage available on the ship. The frightened elephants run back to the other end of the Ark, bringing back the balance and thus preventing the ship from knocking over and sinking.
Native American Mythology
Elephant-like creatures called Mammoths were revered by the Native American tribes wherein the raising of his trunk signified a blessing. They symbolized good luck, fertility, power, and extreme fearlessness.
Some tribes even used the tusks and bones to create artifacts and beautiful pieces of jewelry and artwork to symbolize peace and gift them to their friends and family. Since it was also used as an integral part of medicines for healing and treating a wide range of ailments, elephants represented therapy and restoration to good health.
Chinese and Japanese Mythology
Makatsugyo was a popular creature in several Japanese myths, who is a combination of an elephant, a dolphin, and a crocodile.
The road leading to the palaces of Ming Emperors in the present-day Chinese capital city, Beijing, is adorned with huge statues of elephants in both sitting and standing postures.
It’s believed that barren or infertile women wishing or longing for a son worship these statues by placing stones on the elephants’ backs.
Note – Legends in some cultures believe that the Achtequedjams – a cluster of eight elephants, are responsible for providing complete sustenance to the entire Universe.
According to Chinese mythology, the elephant represents massive power, wisdom, and good judgment. And in Japanese mythology, it’s rightly believed that Shakyamuni’s reincarnation before he turns into Buddha takes the form of a white elephant that has six tusks, a radiant face, and fiercely dazzling red eyes.
Baku – the ferocious, elephant-headed, dream eaters with the body of a lion were also popular in both Chinese and Japanese myths.
Elephant Dream Meanings and Interpretations
Now, what conclusions can you draw if you see an elephant in your dreams? Let’s understand different dream scenarios.
There can be several different interpretations. For example, if you have been seeing elephants in your dreams almost every day or quite frequently, it could be a possibility that you are probably too fond of them and find them really adorable, making you emotionally attracted to them.
In a nutshell, dreaming about elephants signifies luck, wisdom, power, prudence, loyalty, emotional vulnerability, burden or pressure from certain life situations, hurdles in life, financial stability, or stability in general, leading to a well-balanced, healthy life, as well as inspiration.
Dreaming About a Baby Elephant
This means that a supremely joyful event or occasion is on its way to filling your life with immense happiness. However, it also represents challenges. This scenario is very similar to the birth of a baby that brings a rush of emotions and a multitude of changes in regular life, in the form of a temporary period of adjustment along with physically taxing labor pains.
Dreaming of an Elephant in the Water
Dreaming of elephants in water shows you a mirror that projects a clear reflection of your state of mind. It gives you a chance to introspect and look within yourself in order to get a deeper understanding of your own feelings and inner thoughts that you might have probably never encountered before. This can help you rediscover yourself, get a good sense of your inner conscious, make wiser decisions, behave better and eventually be a better version of your past self to be successful in life.
Dreaming About Riding an Elephant
This dream symbolizes new beginnings and experiences. It can also represent the start of a fresh phase of your life after a really long time. It signifies that you are the only claimant of your personal power using which you have the complete potential to be the in-charge and take absolute control of your life.
Dreaming About an Angry Elephant
An angry elephant in your dreams is a representation of your disoriented self who has lost touch with reality. It can be interpreted as bottled-up emotions and frustrations about multiple unsuccessful stints in life.
Dreams Where you are Being Chased by Elephants
This means that you are trying to escape difficult situations or serious problems in life that need to be solved or addressed on high priority. It also represents a higher-authority figure in your life who unreasonably controls you and makes you feel overwhelmed and victimized. It even indicates that you are struggling to make sense of your professional life and put things in perspective to build a good successful career. Being chased by elephants also means that you are constantly dominated and pressured by people. Hence, it is a message that tells you to maintain a safe distance from such people and have strict boundaries.
Dreaming About Falling off an Elephant
This dream, unfortunately, has a negative connotation but it definitely should not impact you negatively as it conveys a message saying that you need to be more careful at every step moving forward, most probably signifying or warning you about tough times ahead well in advance.
Dreaming of an Elephant Lifting you with its Trunk
A dream where you visualize an elephant lifting you off the ground with its trunk is a good omen representing positivity, a massive victory, or an achievement worth cherishing.
Dreaming of Elephants Trapped in a Cage
Dreaming of elephants locked up in a cage symbolizes emotions and feelings in complete captivity. It signifies that your confidence is affected, giving a chance for your insecurities to resurface and take you down even further. It could also mean that someone in your life is constantly making you feel inferior and demotivated at all times.
It’s a message to shun suppression of emotions and captivity, unleash all your inner thoughts and feelings that have been entrapped so far in order to realize and rediscover your worth as well as your confidence. This is the only way to excel in life.
Dreaming of an Elephant in Your Room
This dream also represents an old saying of “the elephant inside a room,” indicating a grave issue or problem that is quite evident, yet nobody wants to address it or openly talk about it. Such a dream tells you to focus on the obvious issue and deal with it on time to avoid snowballing problems into larger, more serious difficulties.
However, seeing an elephant in your room in your dreams might also mean that a surprise is on its way.