I have loved animals as far back as I can remember. I played with my "imaginary" animal friend as a child, not knowing at the time what a power animal was. I had vivid dreams and visions throughout my life. I also felt drawn to different animals at different times in my life and when I found out about power or spirit animals, I finally understood why. Reading up on those animals and then going on shamanic journeys and meditations afforded me the entry point into the world of animals on a spiritual level. The reason I prefer the term power animal to spirit animal is simply because it feels more grounded and manifested to me. You are, of course, welcome to use whatever term you like; power animal, spirit animal, animal guide...You choose. The important thing is to have a strong, loving connection and to trust and ask your animal to teach you and share its wisdom with you.
The best-known personification of the spirit of Elephant is the Hindu God Ganesha. He is exemplary for strength, loyalty, trust and protection. His name means remover of obstacles and symbolises your innate strength and power, to which not only physical attributes are counted but most of all, your spiritual power, your intellect and wisdom.
When I had my first Usui Reiki Master/Teacher initiation, I had a vision of walking through a forest beside Ganesha in elephant form. The trees had smooth trunks and stood close together. He just walked over them, bending them so they’d graze past his underbelly lightly, but I had a hard time keeping up and trying to squeeze through stems too closely grown together to allow me to pass easily.
Finally, we reached a clearing and after I stroked and hugged the God’s trunk, the elephant was suddenly hollow inside and I crouched inside him on hands and knees, trying to make myself larger to fill up his form. I only managed about halfway, then gave up and said I was sorry but I could not manage more than that. I felt small and weak in comparison to this almighty God of strength and power. Ganesha only smiled lovingly at me and said, “Don’t you understand? The strength lies in you!”
At the time, I had no idea what he meant, but later I understood that he was merely the personification of my own innate divine power. I will never forget this beautiful experience and I have collected some Ganesha and elephant statues afterwards. I still have a very loving relationship with this beautiful gigantic animal and when I saw them in the wild in South Africa on Safari, I was impressed with their ability to camouflage so perfectly, to move so quietly and gracefully, and yet, exuding so much power in their gentleness.
According to scripture, in one of Buddha’s many incarnations, he was a white elephant, and thus, the rare occasion of a white elephant being born is always celebrated with great joy and associated with auspiciousness. Elephant also stands for new beginnings and represents a new, deeper connection with your Divine Feminine aspect. A deeper understanding of the Maiden, Mother and Crone helps us to reconnect with our own sacred feminine attributes.
Elephant also protects the weak and helpless in the family and herd (family/society) but also symbolises the amazing qualities of family connection, love, trust and loyalty, when shared in a healthy, functional manner. However, note that “family” does not always have to come by blood connection. There are people outside the mundane family unit that hold this sacred role in our lives and may be our companions throughout or at least a larger portion of this lifetime or even through several lifetimes. Likewise, your birth family members, whether it is family through blood, adoption or marriage, may not always be the ones that are meant to be your companions in this life. The spiritual connection that you have or don’t have is the deciding factor here.
Elephant loves people who study and seek new insights. He typically comes often to those who are in these phases in their lives to support them in their endeavours. He will help you with the sciences and also evolving sexually. When appearing in your reality, in the physical, as well as other realms and dimensions, Elephant asks you to examine your connectedness and commitment to your family, your higher self and your goals and asks whether you are taking your responsibilities seriously.
Some additional qualities to look at when Elephant appears in your life are confidence, patience, using education opportunities, commitment, gentleness, communicating in relationships, discernment, intelligence and compassion. Elephants communicate telepathically which teaches us to truly listen to others.