Elephant – Spirit Animal, Totem, Symbolism and Meaning

Elephant symbolism is one of the strongest symbolisms in the world. Even though these large mammals only live in one part of the world, somehow the entire planet took over their symbolism and incorporated it in their culture.

Elephants have been used as symbols in mythology, culture and art. Their symbolic meaning was partially based on their lovable nature and partially on their strength and powerful appearance.

In the symbolic world every animal has its own place no matter how big or small it is. Each and every animal is special, and our ancestors knew that. They knew how much animals mean to nature and for our existence, and that is what we often forget. Symbols help us to express ourselves and our thoughts by not saying a word. When people didn’t know how to write or speak, they used images and symbols of things and beings they saw around them.

Their size was something that always left us speechless, but also the fact that they never came after us to hurt us. It is always interesting to see how ancient cultures saw animals and how the first contact with them actually looked like.

Every animal had its own symbolism and meaning that represented something special to our ancestors. Their presence and behavior mesmerized people back then, just like it does today. There are many petroglyphs, hieroglyphs that speak about the importance of elephant symbolism to ancient cultures. Images of elephants in caves and on other materials can be found all around the world.

Elephants were never a threat to human kind and the help they provided us is something we highly appreciate. If you ever wondered what do elephants symbolize, this is a perfect opportunity to find out more about this magnificent animal.

Spirit Animal and Totem

Difference between spirit animals and totems might be small, but there are some essential things we need to know before we sail off to this journey of spiritual knowledge. Spirit animals are something we are born with and something that represents the base of our character.

To determine your spirit animal you need to go back in time and think about your childhood. There is certainly one animal you felt close to, towards which you felt that strange connection. This animal will continue to follow you through life and somehow, this is the first animal you think of when someone asks you about your favorite animal.

Totem animals are also animals we are born under, but they can give us strength and guidance when we call upon them. Totem animals had a very big importance in cultures around the world, especially in Native American culture. Totem animals transfer strengths but also weaknesses that we carry within us our entire life.

Totem animals guide us through life and we can call upon them when we feel lost and without guidance. Totems and spirit animals are a part of our life and they slightly influence our lives no matter what we do. A simple way to notice this influence is to take a closer look to your character and notice similarities between you and a beloved animal.

Spirit animal

Elephants, as spirit animals, are best described with these words:

  • Authority
  • Awareness
  • Family love
  • Pride
  • Strength
  • Will and intent
  • Stamina
  • Patience

Elephant as a spirit animal is a symbol of authority. Even though elephants aren’t aggressive by nature, their size allows them to be more dominant than other animals. Just like elephants, people guided by this spirit animal are dominant even though they are not the biggest or the smartest ones in the room.

Their ability to influence other people is mesmerizing, and they always do it without anyone even noticing. It is simply in their nature to be an authority figure no matter who else is in the room.

Elephant spirit animal is also a symbol of awareness. People born under the influence of this spirit animal tend to be very aware of their surroundings. They understand what is going on around them and how to use every situation in their advantage. They are aware of the fact what kind of people are around them and what can they expect from them. Even when you think they are not aware of certain things, they will be one step ahead of you and you definitely can’t trick them.

This spirit animal symbolizes family love. Elephants always stick together and they enjoy spending time with their kind. Just like elephants, people born under this spirit animal love their family time and wouldn’t change for anything in the world. People born under this totem highly value their parents and respect them. They know how important it is to keep those family bonds tight. They usually have a lot of children and spend a lot of time with them. They will never sacrifice family time for work, and that is one of their best qualities.

Elephant spirit animal symbolizes pride. People guided by this spirit animal are extremely proud and they invest very much in their reputation. If you insult them or disrespect them, after they have been your friends, that will be the last time you hear from them. They won’t accept something if it sounds suspicious or like it might insult them. They take great pride in everything they accomplish and they care about what they leave behind them for others to remember.

This spirit animal symbolizes strength both mental and physical. People born under this spirit animal can handle a lot in life and persevere through some hard moments. Their ability to fight against all problems can’t be compared to any other quality they have. You can always seek for help or advice from these people, because they will be the most stable ones in hard moments in life. Psychological strength is not the only thing they possess.

They enjoy playing all kinds of sports and training their bodies to success. Their stamina is extremely big and they can put through a lot of things.

Another great quality, if you are born under the elephant spirit animal, is your ability to wait patiently for better times. You can sit back and watch how the situation is rolling out in front of you, without drawing any moves. You are going to wait patiently for a better opportunity and for something amazing to pop up. This is one of your best qualities and you know how to use it in your advantage. While others jump for the first opportunity they see, you are going to wait for that perfect one to appear no matter how long it takes.

You have the confidence to rule the world and others are aware of that. There is nothing forced or fake about you, and people appreciate you because of that. You never lose your confidence and you don’t care what others think of you. Even though you like to hear other people’s opinions, you care more about yourself and your own decision. People usually envy you, because you rarely show insecurity or fear. Even though you are more emotional than they think, your strong outside makes you look invincible and powerful.

As a negative characteristic, you tend to be too attached to your family. This is perfectly fine, but you need to draw the line between loving your family and doing everything they say. You need to learn how to be an individual, but still keep a close bond to your family.

Another negative characteristic might be your stubbornness and inability to take other people’s advice. Somehow you always know better than others, and this can be frustrating at times.


People born under the elephant totem tend to become very grown-up at young age. They take on serious responsibilities and others trust them, even though they should be doing far more childish things at their age. They are very caring people, even though they might seem rough on the outside. You will recognize the desire to take care of older people, at a very young age. This might draw you to career options such as a doctor or a social worker.

You have a very strong connection to your community and you are prepared to do anything to protect your friends and family. They mean everything to you and their closeness means your happiness. Speaking with others and sharing thought is very important for you, so being social is something you can’t live without. You enjoy spending time with other people and the times you spend with other people are something you truly love.

Your elephant totem allows you to be strong and powerful, and to persevere through some hard life situations. You use your mind and body to overcome problems and end up as a winner. People see you as their rock and someone they can always call to ask for advice.

Symbolism and Meaning

Elephants have been very important symbols throughout history. Objects painted with their images can be found in all parts of the world, but elephant symbolism is particularly strong in areas they naturally inhabit. In Asia, elephants appear on various objects and works of art. African elephant was considered to be wise and the high chief of all elements. Ashanti tradition in Africa, consider them to be the rulers of the human kind from the past.

Earth is supposedly guarded by World Elephants. In Sanskrit literature the entire Earth shakes from the elephant’s wisdom and walk. To Europeans, elephants were symbols of military and fighting. After Alexander the Great won the war against the King Porus of India, elephants that were captured became a symbol of military and victory. They were used as emblems of the Seleucid Diadoch Empire. Napoleon Bonaparte even wanted that his tomb have an elephant bronze fountain next to it as a symbol of imperial power.

In Denmark, Order of the Elephant is the highest order there is. This is a very secluded religious organization that was established by King Christian I in the year 1478. For them, elephant was the symbol of sobriety, docility and piety. In the year 1870 after the Siege of Paris, rebels killed and ate an elephant as an act of rebellion against imperials. White elephant meaning is interesting because the white elephant represents a useless and troublesome possession.

Elephant is the symbol of the Republican Party in United States (GOP elephant). Elephant was first introduced as the symbol of the Republican Party in 1874 in a cartoon drawn by Thomas Nast in Harper’s Weekly. In Africa, African Elephant is the symbol of power and strength. Elephants symbolize power, cooperative spirit, longevity and stamina.

Elephants are still very important symbols for the entire world. Elephant statues are very important for Feng Shui and it is considered to be lucky to place them all around your house. Lucky elephant tattoos are a symbol of community, family, power, strength and longevity. People use them to represent their own love for family and everything that this symbol represents. In Naturalis Historia elephant was represented as an animal closest to human sensibilities. In Ivo Andrić’s novel “The Vizier’s elephant”, he was represented in a much different light. Overall, elephant symbolism was mostly seen as positive and praise-worthy.

Dreams about elephants

Elephants in dreams usually have positive meanings and symbolize positive feelings. It is very important to notice as much things in your dreams as possible, because even the smallest details can have great significance. So what do elephants represent in our dreams? here are few examples of dreams about elephants.

If you saw an elephant in your dream, this means you might be faced with difficult problems in your life. You feel like you don’t have a solution for your problem and you don’t know how to find the solution. Elephant can also symbolize your desire to see your family or maybe you are missing someone else important in your life. Elephants symbolize community, so there is definitely someone who you would like to see after a long time.

If you saw several elephants, this means you have a problem with communication. People around you keep misunderstanding your words and you don’t know how to express yourself. Perhaps you are overthinking things and you don’t know how to simplify your thoughts. Be honest with other people and don’t hide anything, because people can see through your intentions.

If you tried to ride an elephant in your dream, this means you have problem in your life you need to deal with. Perhaps there is an easy solution to this problem, you just need to look deeper into this subject. Someone from your surroundings can help you or give you a good advice that will save you a lot of trouble.

If you saw an elephant giving birth in your dream, this means you are not in a very good mood. People irritate you with their words and actions and you are barely controlling yourself. Perhaps it is time to take a vacation and go somewhere you always wanted to go. Book a trip you always wanted to go on and enjoy it without thinking about anyone.

Elephant attacking you in your dream means you are about to receive a big reward. Perhaps you are going to win the lottery or have extreme luck with money. This is a very favorable period to invest in something and to join in on a project that can bring you a lot of money.


Elephants have a very significant symbolic meaning all around the world. Their symbolism grew over the years and became more and more important. Even though their natural habitat was in Asia and Africa, elephants quickly became important symbols in Europe as well. Their size but kind nature is what won our ancestors over and made them into such lovable symbols. Elephants had a very important symbolic meaning  in art and literature, where they represented family, size, nobility and power.

People guided by an elephant spirit animal or totem are very proud and strong people, who enjoy spending time with their family members and friends. They are simply kind giants who can endure almost everything in life without giving up. Having this person in your life means you will always have a great friend and support, someone who is always going to be there when you need him the most. Elephant symbolism continues to grow and take even larger proportions in the symbolic sense.