Elephant Symbolism: Meaning of the Elephant as an Animal Totem

Aug 29, 2022

Elephant Symbolism

 These gigantic majestic beings are traditionally considered symbols of good luck, nobility, wisdom, fertility, and protection. All across the world, the elephant has long been considered a sacred animal, although the spiritual symbolism of elephants changes slightly from culture to culture.

 Some Asian cultures believe that the elephant is a cosmic creature that, much like the turtle in Native American lore, carries the world on its back. Other cultures see it as an earthly animal, but one with a connection to divinity and ancient knowledge. Honoring the elephant in meditation or waking life can help you to access your inner wisdom, own your power, and overcome obstacles with a steady force of strength that you possibly didn’t even realize you had. 


The Elephant Symbolism of the World

 In India, an elephant is a symbol of royalty, divinity, and vitality, as well an auspicious agrarian symbol for rainfall. The Hindu God, Ganesh, is depicted as a six armed being with an elephant head and is known as the lord of new beginnings as well as the remover of obstacles. Learn more about Ganesh Here. 

In Africa, elephants symbolize royalty, sovereignty, tribal wisdom, and victory. Accounts of African mythology hold that elephants are reincarnations of deceased tribal chiefs, and as such elephants are respected and properly buried when they die.

The predominant “elephant symbol of” Japan is the depiction of the Buddhist deity Kangiten, or “Deva of Bliss” which is depicted as a woman and a man with elephant heads locked in an embrace.

In China elephant symbolism means the ability to understand the difference between good and bad, as well as wisdom, nobility, and fertility.


Elephants As Spirit Animals

Elephants are powerful, wise, and protective presences that can help you better understand the world around you on a deeper, more intellectual and spiritual level. If you encounter elephants in your life, whether in pop culture, at a zoo, or in your dreams, pay attention. It is thought that an “elephant spirit animal” introducing itself to you is a sign that you need to overcome an obstacle in your life. The astrological sign of the elephant is a Taurus, and the elephant is associated with the root chakra, charging through blockages and offering energies of protection, love, loyalty, and quiet courage.



Elephant as an Animal Totem

Wearing or placing an image of an elephant with its trunk raised in your home is thought to attract good fortune, as it showers its positive energy out of the trunk and into all surrounding beings and spaces. Elephants with their trunks down are thought to be accumulating positive energy and pushing through obstacles and are particularly potent totems for those seeking fertility, wisdom, or strength. 


When we wear or decorate our homes with images of Ganesh, his powerful energy attracts abundance and helps us to be wise and discerning in our decision-making.  He helps us to overcome obstacles through calm determination, and to think big while also recognizing the importance of tending to details.  Overall, he is an auspicious symbol and a powerfully positive deity, and it is no wonder he is one of the most revered in all of Hinduism!


If you are seeking protection, positivity, wisdom, or strength for yourself, your family, or your life it is a good idea to adorn your space with symbolic elephant totems. Where will you put yours?

Check out our selection of elephant symbolism from around the world here 🐘


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Elephant Symbolism Collection

From hand blocked elephant tapestries from Jaipur to auspicious sterling silver elephant jewelry, shop our collection of elephant symbolism from around the world and harness the energy 🐘