What Do Elephants Symbolize?



Elephants are the largest terrestrial animals. These royal animals are famous for their large size and massive weight, but elephants also have hidden meanings to their symbols and play a significant role in history. So, what do elephants symbolize?

Elephant symbolism plays a significant role in some religions and cultures and has powerful spiritual meanings. For some, elephants symbolize power and strength, chastity and purity, wisdom and intelligence, unity and peace, and success and patience. In many cultures, they represent good luck; in some religions, elephants are incarnations of God.

Do elephants have spiritual meanings? What does it mean when you dream about elephants? What do the elephants symbolize? Let’s dig into the details.

Elephant in field

What Do Elephants Symbolize Spiritually? 

Elephants are intelligent animals. You might have heard of the phrase ‘an elephant never forgets,’ which signifies the sharp memory of these animals

Universally, elephants are known for their vast size and weight, reminding us of these animals’ great strength and power.

Moreover, elephants are very sincere and loyal to their family. Elephants are also quite protective of the herd, which speaks for their leadership qualities. 

These giant mammals love peace and quiet. So, you would often find elephant glyphs in yoga or meditation rooms.

On the contrary, elephants can be fierce and harsh if you provoke them to the point that they lose their patience. 

In short, elephants symbolize love, peace, unity, strength, sincerity, intelligence, and good luck – spiritually

Elephant Symbolism In Different Religions

Let’s now highlight the variable symbolic meanings of elephants concerning religions, cultures, and traditions.

1. What Do Elephants Symbolize In Hinduism?

A human body with an elephant head, the God Ganesha is one the most precious gods for Hindus.

It is a Goodluck symbol for Hindus and a remover of all obstacles

Indra – the God of rain, storm, and thunder is depicted riding a white elephant named Airavata. In Hindu mythology, Indra is considered the king of gods and is a symbol of bravery.

Hindus worship elephants as Gods, which shows elephants are a powerful and Holy symbol in Hindu culture.

Hindus God Ganesha

2. What Do Elephants Symbolize In Buddhism?

The white elephant or Albino elephant is a sign of purity, peace, and holiness in Buddhism. In Buddhist iconography, elephants depict power, wisdom, and intelligence. 

It stems from one of the legendary stories of Buddha. In her dream, Queen Maya (Buddha’s mother) saw a white elephant gifting her a lotus flower.

And soon after that, the conception of Buddha was announced. So, Buddhists see the elephant as a royal animal.

3. What Do Elephants Symbolize In Christianity?

In Christianity, elephants symbolize chastity and purity. Elephants gain importance in Christianity due to their thick skin and self-restraint behavior. 

The Bible also mentions elephants that symbolize the power of prayers.

Moreover, in some ancient artworks, elephants represent Adam and Eve.

Some experts also believe that elephants symbolize the vastness of God (all-inclusive), considering every faith has its description of God.

elephant pendants on bracelet

Elephant Symbolism In Different Cultures

1. Meaning of Elephants Symbol In Thailand

The white elephant (or Chang in Thai) is the national animal of Thailand.

Given the history of elephants fighting in Wars, the people of Thailand consider elephants iconic figures in the country’s development. 

However, nowadays, elephants are solely reserved for tourism, religious, and cultural events. So, elephants symbolize progress, prosperity, justice, power, and peace in Thailand. 

Similarly, elephants also hold a great historical, agricultural, and traditional value among Vietnamese people. 

Indian decorated elephant with tourist entering through entrance

2. Meaning of Elephants Symbol In Africa

In African mythology, elephants are wise chiefs with great wisdom and strength to settle disputes.

Moreover, some Africans believe that elephants carry the soul of their late ancestors. 

In short, Africans idolize elephants as royal animals with great power, wisdom, longevity, spirituality, and moderation. 

3. Meaning of Elephants Symbol In China

In feng shui (Chinese Geomancy), elephants symbolize royalty, protection, fertility, positivity, good luck, and happiness. 

Elephants have incredible spiritual and physical value in China. Chinese believe that putting two elephants at the entrance protects you from evil. 

Similarly, decorating your house with elephant upturned trunk figures brings good fortune, happiness, and prosperity. 

Chinese also view the elephant as a cosmic animal depicting the structure of the whole universe. 

Elephant with upturned trunk on the roof of building

What Does it Mean to See An Elephant In A Dream?

Some people believe in the prophetic significance of elephants. For instance, seeing a white elephant in your dreams has a positive interpretation as opposed to black elephants symbolizing difficulties.

Moreover, seeing baby elephants can have both positive and negative meanings. 

Seeing a dying elephant could mean you need to let go of specific memories. Riding on an elephant means you have good leadership qualities.

On the contrary, if you see an elephant chasing you in your dreams, it might mean you need to stand up against the bullies.  

Similarly, seeing elephants as scary creatures means you should address and face serious problems in your life.

Sometimes, elephants can reflect your personality as an introverted person. 

All in all, there are tons of interpretations of dreaming about elephants. In some religions, it might be nothing more than a myth.

But for some people, seeing elephants in dreams has the utmost importance. 

Final Thoughts On What Do Elephants Symbolize

Elephants are more than just huge animals with giant ears, trunks, and tusks. Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and many faiths have different meanings of elephant symbolism. 

In summary, elephants symbolize bravery, wisdom, loyalty, power, leadership, luck, and Majesty.


Do Elephants Symbolize Good Luck?

Yes! Elephants symbolize good luck and wealth in many cultures or religions, like among Chinese and Hindus, to name a few. Many consider elephants their “lucky charms” owing to the animal’s power to protect from danger and attract prosperity, good health, and wealth.

What Does Elephant With Trunk Up Symbolize?

Some people, especially the Chinese, believe that elephants with trunks up symbolize love, good fortune, positive energy, joy, and happiness. Similarly, a trunk-down elephant symbolizes an ability to tackle complex challenges. 

What Do Tribal Elephants Symbolize?

In the world of art, Tribal elephant tattoos symbolize prosperity, longevity, power, good luck, wisdom, and strength. However, the meaning may vary with each design.

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