The Meaning of Elephants in a Dream

What does it mean to dream of elephants?  These amazing creatures have lived with humans for centuries, and have a complex relationship with us.  On the one hand, they are revered as deities such as Ganesh, on the other they have been used to carry humans into war, they are used as work animals to move logs and plow fields, and they are hunted ruthlessly for their ivory tusks.

Elephants can have equally complex symbolic meaning in dreams.

The first and most noticable aspect of elephants is their physical size.  Elephants can symbolise something important and vast, or even obvious.  The phrase “the elephant in the room” can lead us to consider if there something really significant and obvious going on our lives that we haven’t addressed.  Is there something everyone else is aware of but you are trying to ignore?

Traditionally in Western language, a “white elephant” was a burden, one that is expensive to keep but even harder to get rid of.  Yet in other cultures, white elephants are symbols of good luck, and in some cases even considered holy.

More than simply being large, elephants are of course strong: they are capable of moving trees, logs and many other types of large objects.  In Hindu belief, the god Ganesh, depicted with the head of an elephant, is known as (amongst other things) “the remover of obstacles,” while four elephants are believed to hold up the world.  Elephants then can appear in dreams when we are drawing on great inner reserves of strength.  It may be that we feel there are significant challenges to overcome, or a heavy burden to bear.  Ganesh, however, with his strange elephant head, forces us to look beyond the mere physical, and realise the spiritual nature of things.  This is a more profound approach to the removal of obstacles that our dreams may be indicating we should consider.

Elephants, though strong, are also inherently social creatures, and usually not given to violent outbursts unless provoked or protecting their family.  They are often attributed with great wisdom due to their combination of strength with gentle natures, their long lives and complex social structures.  Dreaming of elephants may be a reflection of strong family bonds, a need to protect and nurture those close to us.  Elephants may arise in dreams when we are challenged, but they may also make an appearance when are going through family changes, when children are born, or when we feel a growth in our responsibility, and even in our wisdom.   These can be stabilising, reassuring and inherently positive dreams.  Elephants in dreams can symbolise commitment, personal growth and the attainment of a certain wisdom that comes with maturity.  They can also reflect learning to lead by inclusion, of balancing strength with gentleness, of understanding the importance of communication and patience.

The memory of elephants is also legendary.  They live a long time and are able to remember other elephants and even humans from their earliest years.  In dreams, this could be a sign that there are some significant memories worth revisiting, a reminder that there are valuable things we should not forget.

Ultimately, our perception of elephant dreams will reflect our other perceptions of life.  Like the Buddhist parable of the three blind monks who felt a different part of the elephant’s body – one felt the leg and assumed he was touching a tree, another his trunk and thought he held a snake and the third felt the elephants side and believed it be a wall – to really understand the dream we need to look at it in it’s entirety, and not judge it simply by one part.

You may also be interested in:

The meaning of Wild Animals in dreams

Animals in Dreams: Shamans, Spirit Guides and Shapeshifters

Image above: Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) , Eléphant du triomphe

What aspect of the elephant most resonates with you?
What aspect of the elephant most resonates with you?

43 thoughts on “The Meaning of Elephants in a Dream

    1. Wow it’s good to see someone who dreamt just like me
      last night i dreamt with an elephant that lived in my home and i was really afraid of it

      1. I’ve yet to read any other replies as I’ve only a moment to comment, & yes i know you’ve commented long ago but just as I’ve come here looking for insight perhaps some may find insight in my own answers…) but elephants generally mean more personally to the person having the dream (of course, yes ?) but i truly mean this: as in, you may be hiding “elephant size” feelings,(tho afraid to share them: think, what am i hiding ? is it something that will “trample the feelings of others” if I tell ? (to the point it would take years to regro / understand ? ) it does not matter if you are in the right or wrong, what matters is how you feel. Always remember our subconscious mind is there to help you figure out your place; not just in this world, but the cosmos….) tho the is the proverbial elephant in the room (it’s a saying for a reason, ladies (oh, dare i not presume…? or rather I o presume not, as I am of a different gender identity myself… ^_^ ) while showing a casual “happy/normal” face & the elephant in your dreams is there to enlighten you ~ i believe all dream symbolism is significant, so please do not ignore it:
        I dare not urge you to take severe actions based on dream(s) as literal interpretation as tho all your mind may want is consideration, (i.e. consideration, pondering on said subject; usually alone so the mind may speak when others unknowingly shush it )…
        which to access during our conscious waking hours is: meditation.
        The elephant may symbolize: large, unyielding feeling that seems calm (*elephants seem like gentle giants; yet they have their tantrums as well*), but it is ready to charge with an inflexible agenda once provoked.
        It could be a symbol of a dormant aggression waiting to be provoked, one which you must take care to tend to, as in, not ignore, but give proper amounts of attention to so it is satiated, (in a positive manner, not giving into its negative needs, but understanding its direct symbolism that it provokes you to bring to light), as best be, as it is most likely a problem wich persists til it is too big to ignore, hence the symbolism of the “elephant in the room”.
        Best of luck,

  1. This nite I dream of a Elephant Eating grass after that I see lion going to the eĺephant when The lion is Closer It sitting ďown myself I was inside The room Closing door and Windows

  2. I had a dream I was standing in front of an Elephant preventing a group of people trying to kill it, & that someone was trying to dart it kill it, so I stood in the front of it & was willing to prevent the elephants death then I awoke, what does this mean?

  3. I had a dream of an Elephant was being submerged in water. but the people that were doing that were trying to teach it something. it wasn’t bad, but I was upset for the elephant. (the elephant seemed happy) Then they tried to walk the elephant outside but it had to go up a stair case. as the elephant walked passed me I was a bit afraid of it, but it looked at me and it was friendly. but i was still afraid that it may fall backwards and crush me. In my dream I thought that seeing this elephant was going to bring me good luck.

  4. I had a dream, A Most advance Equipped house with a High Security in an island surrounded by a Thick arc shaped forest it. Where two people came for a business deal over there one after the other, First deal was finished and he left happy in a yacht , Now the turn for the second person coming for a deal, As we are in a discussion from Nowhere a group of elephants walking on the river and coming towards House so, a guy (second one who got scared and running here and there) . Even Security guys are in a huge confusion after seeing elephants from all sides.

    I ordered to fall back all the people to strong room inside the house, in between a two guys slipped into river , i went to save them and saved and brought them back to house. All the elephants entered the house in a row and wandering around the room .
    As i have said , House strong room is fully advanced one and strongest, nothing gonna happen even all elephants attack at a time. Nearly 20+ members were inside the room. All the elephants were silent and sat at the every side in a circle none of them were making a move.

    One of the guy whom i have saved was the second guy who came for business, he asking me and the people all inside the room scared and wanted to shoot the elephants, for which i was totally reluctant and stood on behalf of them as moral support nothing gonna happen to them.
    I found a elephant looking at me , only me and listening keenly to my words. i felt that something it wants to talk to me after i watched its eyes.
    I felt inside, if it really listen to me, does it read my eyes and come towards me? In a surprise it stood and came towards close to the breach limit of protection and whispering something. I feel some happiness when it came towards me, and same happiness i have seen in its eyes. but people around me holding me and restricting me fighting among them in discussions, that i should stay with them only and shouldn’t go to the elephant.

    What i felt at that moment was , i just desperately want to go to that elephant to touch/hug its trunk and give a kiss on its forehead.but, I got bonded by 20+ scared lives inside room ,so didn’t risked to go out for them and i and elephant stood there like dumb and watching each others like that.

    The last thing i remembered was, a heart warming/ loving smile on it’s face saying something like we will be meeting again. and i saw myself will be the rider of that elephant for next time as a flash.

    I never had such a beautiful dream in my entire life ………………………………….

  5. i dream i was protecting the elephant at first, when i was resting in the dream, the elephant alert me. so in the dream, the elephant was my pet, the both of us protect each other.

  6. I had a dream of flying some sort of plane or helicopter and looking down into a field of elephants and there were many of them filing out of this wooden shack and it looked as if their legs had been hacked off but not all the way through and they would stumble out of the shack pass a precipice as their legs fell off…. It was very unuasle and a bit disturbing I’m not sure what it really means

  7. Hi on Friday night I dream I was renting an old ladies house and behind her house was a hugh tree and a Ganesha’s head was growing on the side of the tree bark and another lady comes too me that I have never seen in my life and says to me I should bath the Ganesh cause if I don’t his head will turn into a flower. This dream is troubling me what does it mean. Please help.

  8. The Elephant in my dream last night was running in circles through my apartment saying that he loved to lie and wanted to lie. The Elephant to me symbolized memories (my first thought when I thought of the Elephant, an elephant never forgets). It chased me. Wanted to hurt me. I tried to hide from it. Wasn’t the most pleasant experience.

  9. In my dream, I was carried into a Park, on a colorful Elephant, the color that was obvious was blue polka dots, I slide down it’s trunk, then all of a sudden, all these sores appeared on my skin everywhere, then, when I pinched them, tiny, mini elephants came out?!

  10. Yesterday night in my dream i have seen 5-6 elephants with two legs with big penis. The elephants are in a temple in working condition. seen very nearly they are moving one after the other infront of me. one big elephant carrying gods idol.

    Please tell me what this indicate ???

  11. I had this dream that I was inside a barn and somehow I opened the window and there was this elephant that was trying to get inside, I remember first when I opened the window I hurt the elephant by shooting him because I didn’t know what creature was due the fact that outside was a dense tropical forest, the elephant run towards me and I back off a little, I saw his eyes and I felt very guilty for what I have done to him, yet I felt that he can understand my emotions towards him, in a matter of seconds he become calm and relaxed, after this the elephan gentle put his head over my head leting me to pet him for a few seconds before I woke up..

  12. In my dream I was sitting on a huge elephant hugging it’s neck, close to it’s ears. Sort wrapped to the body. Then my mind was opened like a window and the elephant spoke to me with a volume in my mind that was unmistakable, ‘Shall we run?’ I replied , ‘Yes!’ and we began charging through the landscape with such power it was exhilarating feeling the elephant’s body and mine united and moving with an un expected grace at speed. Then the dream shifted and I was still exhilarated speaking to a man saying, ‘ The elephant actually spoke to me in my mind…I could hear it clearly, in my mind. Then we charged through nature effortlessly. It felt amazing!’ The man listened saying ‘ The elephant talked?’ I said again, ‘ It spoke to me in my mind.’

  13. I had a VERY bizarre dream & the elephants were prevalent. First part of my dream – Michael Stranhan (who I know nothing about and rarely ever watch) was murdered and I kept finding it unbelievable. Questioning it. Worried his killer was near and would find us and kill us too. We were at a large hotel in a big ballroom – although it was not crowded. We stepped outside and there were “stables” with animals. Suddenly, I was with my best friend from college (haven’t seen her in 6 + years, spoke to her about 6 months ago – and it’s like we never miss a beat every time we talk). We are looking at the animals, discussing our disbelief over the “murder” and questioning its “authenticity” when we see an adorable baby elephant running towards us – so sweet, happy and playful. We are thrilled to hug on it etc. But then it’s mother rounded the corner and she was very angry at us for touching and being near her baby. We ran – the baby chased us thinking we were playing and we were telling it not to follow us. The mother was mad – ears forward, loudly vocalizing her intent to charge. We barely escaped her wrath, to find ourselves at an amusement park preparing to ride a rollercoaster that would take us underwater! No oxygen, no enclosure – just an open car that would plunge into the depths of the water. I’m not sure who I was with on the ride, but it was a male that was reassuring me the whole time. We ended up getting some award/recognition for being the best at riding the ride. I go to tell my best friend from college – and she is hugging the baby elephant. I immediately warn her to get away – the mother is near and she’s mad. The baby comes playfully running towards me and suddenly the pissed off mother elephant appears and comes after me. There are gaps and things I can’t remember, but as I am breathing a sigh of relief to be away from the mother elephant (and bummed that I cannot love and hug on the baby elephant) – I notice a large, dark brown, hairy spider just sitting on my index finger. (I am petrified of spiders) – I want to knock him off my finger but am afraid he will bite if I make a sudden move. I wonder if I should “fling” him off by just shaking my hand….the pissed off mother elephant shows up with her happy baby in tow – he wants to play – she wants to kill me. I THINK I flung the spider (not sure) and ran. Still in disbelief over the Micael Strahan murder & its authenticity – I am running from the elephant – yelling for my friend to run and thinking “how in the hell did I not get bit by that spider”……remember – I said it was VERY bizarre – but so vivid that I wanted to see if anyone could interpret it for me?

  14. I saw a dream in which elephants which are very beautifully colored and wearing garland and jewellery were in a line there were 4-5 elephants going from a valley to a up ground green field and I was watching them and saying wow please tell me what does it mean

  15. The elephant appeared with its trunk stuck in
    A vase typically used for water carrying it around following me until I extracted it. The
    Tools uses were a hammer and chizzle and once extracted the dream was over.

  16. I had 2 dreams separate nights but not far in between. 1 night a man was making an elephant do a one legged stand on a telephone pole and it crashed to the ground. the second dream The same man made the Elephant climb into an extremely small stall. The stall then started swinging like a farris wheel.

  17. Hello
    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?

  18. I saw a elephant in my dream I was sitting back and riding this elephant was running fast as I was sitting back i was afraid but when he stop I enjoy actually a unknown man was riding I was sitting back and in this dream I also saw my love and his son he told me to hold the elephant tight.

  19. I dream off two elephants I was holding them buy their trunk and they both got away from me and ran one even blew up. I was like what is this I am dreaming about.

  20. I dream about elephants walking in a line including little ones,
    not charging but in calm situation. please tell me what does it mean.

  21. Someone pls help me analyze my dream. Dream details –
    I was about to take a ride for joy with my family members. Suddenly some carts with dark horses approached me but I rejected them to ride. Instead I saw 2 elephants standing nearby.

    The elephants’s master told me that it was a joyous but s strange ride and told me that after riding, the elephant would enter the sea. He would continue walking till I would completely got immersed in sea water and asked me not to ride-off even after immersing in sea water! I accepted his condition and did ride that elephant with confidence. As told, it entered into sea till I immersed completely and so did my other family members.

    Even after immersing, none of us got off the elephant but actually enjoyed this thrilling ride. We didn’t even take any oxygen cylinders with us for breathing under water but none of us was panicking. Unde the water, we got off from elephant and we were walking on the bottom as if on road. Water was crystal clear but I still insisted a goggle from my father to view with more clarity. To my surprise I could more clearly see many things in sea water. We all enjoyed that strange experience and returned safe. I was busy narrating the strange and thrilling experience to my friends with full of enthusiasm!!

  22. I had a dream where I was in my house with a cousin, and when I looked out the window I saw a tiny little elephant tied to the corner of the yard with the rest of the yard flooded. I immediately ran out to get the elephant, my cousin right behind me. The flood went away really fast, and I ran up to the elephant and untied it. My cousin and I watched as it ran around the previously flooded yard, trying to get me to play with it. My cousin explained that she bought it for me, and that she couldn’t give it back. I grew worried, we weren’t aloud pets in our house and an elephant sure was going to attract attention, but the elephant was just so cute. I decided to hide it in the house, picking the tiny elephant easily with one hand and running inside. I went inside a side room in my house that doesn’t exist in real life, but my cousin’s mom was in there along with another person I didn’t know. My cousin’s mom ran out, and the other guy just watched as I set the elephant down. We watched it play for a little while until I woke up.

    So basically, I was stuck with a pet elephant.

  23. I dreamt the house I used to live in that I looked out the window and there were two elephants walking in a circle eating the leaves off these huge trees I had but when I looked up in the trees it’s the first time I’d ever realized at the very tip off the trees looked like fossilized birds! Then my dream ended!

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  25. I dreamed of a herd of bigger than huge elephants were surrounding my home, they were quiet and just watching over… I look over in the other room and a baby elephant is sleeping on my sofa. I smiled but I was afraid the huge elephants would hurt me, they did not. I woke up.

  26. In my dream where I am accompanied with my family members I suppose and I am driving through a pitch dark night probably through a jungle , I saw a herd of elephants in front and so I suddenly turned back my car and as I drove back I saw another bunch of elephants approaching . I remember being scared at that moment as I parked in the corner but nothing happened as I tried staying there.
    Can you suggest what it means.

  27. In my dream, I saw a mother elephant with her four kids going along a farm path. I carried two of her babies & escaped with them, hoping to sell them & make money from them. The mother elephant was not even aware ,then I woke up. What does this dream mean?

  28. I have dreams of three elephants dying. They do die but one I tried to revive but it died anyway.
    What’s this mean? I have had this dream for three days in a row.

  29. The Female Elephant

    – [ ] Last night I had a dream with a female elephant And in in that dream I was also a male elephant. The elephant and I were both submerged in water, when suddenly The female elephant began to have sex with me. And in the dream I felt different but because I was also an elephant I allowed the female elephant to have sexual intercourse with me. In my dream I dreamt that I woke up and when I woke up I wanted to masturbate. But when in reality I did wake up I looked up in the Internet for the interpretations of the dream. I found none that corresponded to my sexual intercourse with a female elephant. So I interpret it myself, that I should release my desires through masturbation. Since four months ago I’ve chosen to practice abstinence, I do no drugs, drink alcohol and currently I am in no relationship so I also choose not to have any type of sex until I am in a formal relationship again. But I faithfully believe in the dream that the female elephant was giving me a message To release myself. And I have and I do feel better because I purposely was fighting the feeling to not release myself. I thank the female elephant that came to visit me in my spiritual dream.
    – [ ]

  30. last night i had a dream that I was travelling in a taxi in a forest with other people. All over a sudden elephants appeared and I left a taxi and was left alone in the forest along the road. I saw so many elephants coming to me but they didnt harm me but inside kept security of me. I left the dream as elephants were with me and not harming me though i was so much scared of them. What could be the meaning of this dream??? Kindly tell me the meaning.

    1. Allow me to give a translation to your dream. I invision you journeying to an unfamiliar territory. Your surrounding will be overwhelming from all hosts. But when you depart back to your home, a sense of gratitude will be forever be staple to your gesture.

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