Walking through a city scape. I come across a man who has animal stables right downtown. We talk for a moment and he tells me he has something for me, to wait right where I was. He goes inside and comes out through a giant garage door type opening in a side of a building. He walks toward me with such intent in his gaze... He beckons back behind him... an animal call of sorts. Then from the darkness of this building emerges a gigantic elephant. The elephant and eye make I contact. The man walks the elephant right up to me. He gestures at me and the next thing I know I have mounted the elephant flawlessly. Grabbing on to its ear and whirling myself up on top. I am riding bareback. We walk for miles and miles through city streets. I am in love with this elephant. I keep lying forwards on it, belly to back, petting its ears and kissing its head. I am so free, I am so wild, I am wanting to walk with this elephant everywhere... from life to life. We are so linked in with each other. I tap on its ears to tell it which way to turn, which direction to go... We rode on and on all through the night's dreamscapes. Finally, we returned to the man. I dismount and the elephant returns to where it had came.
Elephant-symbolism is somewhat complex for it embraces certain
secondary implications of a mythic character. In the broadest and universal sense,
it is a symbol of strength and of the power of the libido (42). Indian tradition has
it that elephants are the caryatids of the universe. In processions, they are the
bearers of kings and queens. It is interesting to note that, because of their rounded
shape and grey colour, they are regarded as symbols of clouds. By a twist of
magic thought, there arose first the belief that the elephant can create clouds and
then the mythic postulate of winged elephants. A mountain-top or a cloud, elephant-like in outline, could represent an axis of the universe (60), and this idea—
clearly primitive in origin—is probably what lies behind the use of the elephant
in the Middle Ages as an emblem of wisdom (49), of moderation, of eternity, and
also of pity (8).
To see an elephant in your dream, indicates that you need to be more patient or more understanding of others. Or perhaps there is a memory that you are holding on to for too long. You need to let go of the past. The elephant is also a symbol of power, strength, faithfulness and intellect. Alternatively, the elephant's introverted personality may be a reflection of your own personality. In particular, if you see a white elephant, then it symbolizes royalty.
To dream that you are riding an elephant, indicates that you are in control of your unconscious and aspects that you were once afraid of.
To dream that you are afraid of the elephant, suggests that there is an enormous problem that you are afraid to confront.
To dream that you are an elephant, suggests that you need to make your opinions and views known. You need to be more vocal and voice your ideas. Express yourself. Alternatively, dreaming that you are an elephant may be reflective of your conservative views. The elephant is the symbol of the United States Republican party. Perhaps you are sharing the same views as the Republican party.
To dream of riding an elephant, denotes that you will possess wealth of the most solid character, and honors which you will wear with dignity. You will rule absolutely in all lines of your business affairs and your word will be law in the home.
To see many elephants, denotes tremendous prosperity. One lone elephant, signifies you will live in a small but solid way.
To dream of feeding one, denotes that you will elevate yourself in your community by your kindness to those occupying places below you.
Good health, success, strength, prosperity, intelligence.
Seeing an elephant in your dream, suggests that you either need to be more patient and understanding of others. The elephant is also a symbol of power, strength, and intellect. Alternatively, as a creature with an introverted nature, the elephant may thus be depicting your own personality. Dreaming that you are riding an elephant indicates that you are in control of your unconscious and aspects that you once were afraid of.
Elephant Meanings and Symbolic Thoughts about the Elephant
Symbolic elephant meaning deals primarily with strength, honor, stability and patience, among other attributes.
To the Hindu way of thought, the elephant is found in the form of Ganesha who is the god of luck, fortune, protection and is a blessing upon all new projects. Ganesha in all his magnificently vibrant elephant glory, is intent on bulldozing obstacles on your behalf (funnily, male elephants are termed "bulls").
In many western cultures, the elephant meaning pertains to:
In Christian symbolism the elephant is an icon of temperance, patience, and chastity.
As a Chinese symbol, the elephant is considered a symbol of:
Some Asian cultures also believe the elephant is a cosmic creature, and carries the world upon it?s back (much like the tortoise does in some tribal Native American myths).
As a dream animal, elephants come into our dreams it is a message that we are able to deal with any obstacle we are faced with at this time. Dream elephants represent power, sovereignty, stability, and stead-fastness. If you dream that you are riding an elephant this suggests you have a tendancy to be the leader of the family, and others are heavily depending on you. If you dream of elephants in a circus this suggests you have a cavalier attitude about a situation in your life and you may want to invest more attention to it.
We gather more symbolic meaning of elephant by observing it in nature. Specifically, the elephant is considered a symbol of responsibility because it takes great care and responsibility of its offspring as well as their elders.
The elephant also has immense determination and loyalty - always standing up for others and always defending members of the group in its natural habitat.
Elephants also express advanced sensitivity and social connection, particularly during time of death - they travel to a specific place upon their death - fulfilling personal responsibility - even at the end of their days.
The sense of smell is very important and is a symbol for the importance of learning discernment. Also, elephants show great affection and loyalty. Those with this power animal will be given the opportunity to establish powerful family ties by caring for the young, the elderly and the sick.
Wisdom and power, strength, warrior, excellent memory, poor eyesight, relies on smell (higher form of discrimination), aroma therapy may help clear of ills and ease tensions, reclaim family ideals and strengthen the connection with family members and shows how to care for the young and the elderly. Are you applying your wisdom to help others at this time? Are you discerning and aware? Maybe it is time for a family outing to ease the tensions and stresses of everyday life? Elephant can teach this balance of family and occupation.
Man comes to see himself as a symbol in so far as he is conscious of his
being. Hallstatt art, in Austria, shows fine examples of animal-heads with human
figures appearing above them. In India, in New Guinea, in the West as well, the
bull’s or ox’s head with a human form drawn between the horns is a very common
motif. Since the bull is a symbol for the father-heaven, man comes to be seen as
both his and the earth’s son (22), also, as a third possibility, the son of the sun and
the moon (49). The implications of Origen’s remark: ‘Understand that you are
another world in miniature and that in you are the sun, the moon and also the
stars’, are to be found in all symbolic traditions. In Moslem esoteric thought, man
is the symbol of universal existence (29), an idea which has found its way into
contemporary philosophy in the definition of man as ‘the messenger of being’;
however, in symbolic theory, man is not defined by function alone (that of
appropriating the consciousness of the cosmos), but rather by analogy, whereby
he is seen as an image of the universe. This analogical relationship is sometimes
expressed explicitly, as in some of the more ancient sections of the Upanishads—
the Brihadaranyaka and the Chandogya for instance—where the analogy between the human organism and the macrocosmos is drawn step by step by means
of correspondences with the organs of the body and the senses (7). So, for
example, the components of the nervous system are derived from fiery substance, and blood from watery substance (26). These oriental concepts first
appear in the West during the Romanesque period: Honorius of Autun, in his Elucidarium (12th century) states that the flesh (and the bones) of man are
derived from the earth, blood from water, his breath from air, and body-heat from
fire. Each part of the body relates to a corresponding part of the universe: the
head corresponds to the heavens, the breath to air, the belly to the sea, the lower
extremities to earth. The five senses were given analogies in accordance with a
system which came to Europe, perhaps, from the Hebrews and the Greeks (14).
Thus, Hildegard of Bingen, living in the same period, states that man is disposed
according to the number five: he is of five equal parts in height and five in girth; he
has five senses, and five members, echoed in the hand as five fingers. Hence the
pentagram is a sign of the microcosmos. Agrippa of Nettesheim represented this graphically, after Valeriano, who drew the analogy between the five-pointed star
and the five wounds of Christ. There is a relationship, too, between the organic
laws of Man and the Cistercian temple (14). Fabre d’Olivet, following the Cabala,
maintains that another number closely associated with the human being is nine—
the triple ternary. He divides human potentialities into three planes: those of the
body, of the soul or life and of the spirit. Each of these planes is characterized by
three modes: the active, the passive and the neutral (43). In the Far East, also,
speculation about the symbolism of man began very early. The same kind of
triple ternary organization is to be seen in the ancient teachings of the Taoists
(13). It is also interesting to note that there is a relationship between the human
being and the essential or archetypal animals (the turtle, the phoenix, the dragon
and the unicorn) who appear to bear the same relation to man—who is central—
as the tetramorphs do to the Pantokrator. Now, between man as a concrete
individual and the universe there is a medial term—a mesocosmos. And this
mesocosmos is the ‘Universal Man’, the King (Wang) in Far Eastern tradition,
and the Adam Kadmon of the Cabala. He symbolizes the whole pattern of the
world of manifestation, that is, the complete range of possibilities open to mankind. In a way, the concept corresponds to Jung’s ‘collective unconscious’. According to Guénon, Leibniz—perhaps influenced by Raymond Lull—conceded
that every ‘individual substance’ must contain within itself an integral reproduction of the universe, even if only as an image, just as the seed contains the totality
of the being into which it will develop (25). In Indian symbolism, Vaishvânara, or
the ‘Universal Man’, is divided into seven principal sections: (1) The superior,
luminous spheres as a whole, or the supreme states of being; (2) the sun and the
moon—or rather, the principles to which they pertain—as expressed in the right
and the left eye respectively; (3) the fire-principle—the mouth; (4) the directions
of space—the ears; (5) the atmosphere—the lungs; (6) the intermediary zone
between earth and heaven—the stomach; (7) the earth—the natural functions or
the lower part of the body. The heart is not mentioned, because, being the ‘centre’
or dwelling-place of Brahma, it is regarded as being beyond the ‘wheel’ of things
(26). Now, this concept of the ‘Universal Man’ implies hermaphroditism, though
never specifically. For the concrete, existential human being, in so far as he is
either a man or a woman, represents the dissected ‘human’ whole, not only in the
physical sense but also spiritually. Thus, to quote the Upanishads: ‘He was, in
truth, as big as a man and a woman embracing. He divided this atman into two
parts; from them sprang husband and wife.’ In Western iconography one sometimes finds images which would seem to be echoes of this concept (32). A human
couple, by their very nature, must always symbolize the urge to unite what is in
fact discrete. Figures which are shown embracing one another, or joining hands, or growing out of roots which bind them together, and so on, symbolize ‘conjunction’, that is, coincidentia oppositorum. There is a Hindu image representing the
‘joining of the unjoinable’ (analogous to the marriage of fire and water) by the
interlinking of Man and Woman, which may be taken to symbolize the joining of
all opposites: good and bad, high and low, cold and hot, wet and dry, and so on
(32). In alchemy, Man and Woman symbolize sulphur and mercury (the metal).
In psychology, level-symbolism is often brought to bear upon the members of the
body, so that the right side corresponds to the conscious level and the left to the
unconscious. The shapes of the parts of the body, depending upon whether they
are positive or negative—whether they are protuberances or cavities—should be
seen not only as sex-symbols but also in the light of the symbolism of levels. The
head is almost universally regarded as a symbol of virility (56). The attitudes
which the body may take up are of great symbolic importance, because they are
both the instrument and the expression of the human tendency towards ascendence
and evolution. A position with the arms wide open pertains to the symbolism of
the cross. And a posture in the form of the letter ‘X’ refers to the union of the two
worlds, a symbol which is related to the hour-glass, the ‘X’ and all other symbols
of intersection (50). Another important posture is that of Buddha in the traditional iconography of the Orient, a posture characteristic also of some Celtic gods
such as the so-called ‘Bouray god’ or the famous Roquepertuse figure. This
squatting position expresses the renunciation of the ‘baser part’ and of ambulatory movement and symbolizes identification with the mystic centre.
To see a man in your dream, denotes the aspect of yourself that is assertive, rational, aggressive, and/or competitive. Perhaps you need to incorporate these aspects into your own character. If the man is known to you, then the dream may reflect you feelings and concerns you have about him.
If you are a woman and dream that you are in the arms of a man, then it suggests that you are accepting and welcoming your stronger assertive personality. It may also highlight your desires to be in a relationship and your image of the ideal man.
To see an old man in your dream, represents wisdom or forgiveness. The old man may be a archetypal figure who is offering guidance to some daily problem.
To dream of a man, if handsome, well formed and supple, denotes that you will enjoy life vastly and come into rich possessions. If he is misshapen and sour-visaged, you will meet disappointments and many perplexities will involve you.
For a woman to dream of a handsome man, she is likely to have distinction offered her. If he is ugly, she will experience trouble through some one whom she considers a friend.
Seeing a man in your dream indicates the masculine aspect of yourself - the side that is assertive, rational, aggressive, and/or competitive. If the man is known to you, then the dream may reflect you feelings and concerns you have about him. If you are a woman and dream that you are in the arms of a man, suggests that you are accepting and welcoming your stronger assertive personality . It may also highlight your desires to be in a relationship and your image of the ideal man. Seeing an old man in your dream, represents wisdom or forgiveness.
All different kinds of people clutter our dream landscape. The men in your dream may include family members or total strangers. You may dream about your father, son, husband, or friend and should interpret the dream according to its details. A man, particularly the father figure, may represent collective consciousness and the traditional human spirit. He is the Yang and his energy, when mobilised, creates the earthly realities. Depending on the details of the dream, the masculine figure could be interpreted as the Creator or Destroyer. At times, women dream about men that are strangers to them. These men may represent the women's unconscious psychic energy. At times, a strange and ominous man in men's dreams could represent their "shadow" or their negativity and darker sides of personality.
To see a building in your dream, represents the self and the body. How high you are in the building indicates a rising level of understanding, awareness or success. If you are in the lower levels of the building, then it refers to more primal attitudes and/or sexuality.
To see a building in ruins or damaged, indicates that your approach toward a situation or relationship is all wrong. You need to change. Your own self-image may have suffered and taken some blow.
To dream that a building collapses, indicates that you are losing sight of your ambitions and goals. Your pursuit for material gains is failing.
To dream that you or someone fall off a building, suggests that you are descending into the realm of unconscious. You are learning about and acknowledging aspects of your unconscious. Alternatively, it symbolizes your fear of not being able to complete or succeeding in a task.
To dream that you are scaling or climbing a building, indicates that you are getting carried away by your ambitions.
Dreaming of a building, represents the self and the body. How high you are in the building indicates a rising level of understanding or awareness. If you are in the lower levels of the building, then it refers to more primal attitudes and/or sexuality. Dreaming of a building in ruins or damaged indicates that your approach toward a situation or relationship is all wrong. You need to change. Your own self-image may have suffered and taken some blow. Dreaming that you or someone fall off a building, suggests that you are descending into the realm of unconscious. You are learning about and acknowledging aspects of your unconscious. Alternatively, it symbolizes your fear of not being able to complete or succeeding in a task. See also Falling in our Common Dream Themes section.
Dreaming of animals is a indication that you should be listening more carefully to your instincts. Try to think of the characteristics and particularities of each animal: what do you think it refers to? You may need to identify your instincts, as primitive as they can be, and try to find how they can help you in your life. Each animal has also his own significance: an owl could indicate bad news, death or sickness, a friendly dog can represent a good friend, a snake can be a mean enemy, a bird will herald some good news, a horse means victory, an agressive threatening black dog can present itself as the guardian of the dead...Generally speaking, talking animals represent superior forms of intelligence and are spiritually more important.
The interpretation of the animal in your dream depends on your relationship with it in daily life. Animals represent the qualities in our character or specific aspects of our personalities. They could symbolise our more intuitive and instinctive parts, or they could serve as messengers for the unconscious.
There are various interpretations, for the animals you see in your dreams. Some dream researchers feel that animals appear to take on activities (in your dream) of which you are subconsciously ashamed. For example a woman who had cheated while dieting saw a farm animal eating too much of cattle feed repeatedly, in her dreams!
These apart, here are the animals, and their significance according to dream interpretation:
* Alligator - Dangerous emotions
* Ants- Dissatisfaction
* Bees- hard work and organization
* Butterfly - spiritual or emotional metamorphosis
* Camel - endurance/financial gain
* Dinosaurs - refers to the past
* Donkey- humility/honor
* Dragonfly- good news
* Eagle- prosperity
* Elephant- knowledge/ power/ strength
* Horse- Power and sexual energy
* Mice- disappointment
* Tiger- power and beauty
Up to a certain point it corresponds to landscape-symbolism in general,
of which it forms one representational aspect, embracing the important symbols
of level and space, that is, height and situation. With the dawning of history there
arose, according to René Guénon, a true, ‘sacred geography’ and the position,
shape, doors and gates, and general disposition of a city with its temples and
acropolis were never arbitrary or fortuitous, or merely utilitarian. In fact, cities
were planned in strict accord with the dictates of a particular doctrine; hence the
city became a symbol of that doctrine and of the society which upheld it (28).
The city walls had magic powers since they were the outward signs of dogma,
which explains and justifies Romulus’s fratricide. Ornamental reliefs on capitals,
lintels, and tympana of the Middle Ages often depict the outlines of a walled city,
although in a way which is more emblematic than symbolic. These ornaments are
a kind of prefiguration of the heavenly Jerusalem. An angel armed with a sword is
sometimes to be seen at the city gate (46). Jung sees the city as a mother-symbol
and as a symbol of the feminine principle in general: that is, he interprets the City
as a woman who shelters her inhabitants as if they were her children; that is why
the two mother-gods Rhea and Cybele—as well as other allegorical figures derived from them—wear a crown after the pattern of a wall. The Old Testament
speaks of cities as women (31).
To see a city in your dream, signifies your social environment and sense of community. If you dream of a big city, then it suggests that you need to develop closer ties and relationships. You are feeling alienated and alone. To dream that you are in a deserted city, indicates that you feel rejected by those around you.
To dream of a city in ruins, denotes that you are neglecting your social relationships and allowing them to deteriorate.
To dream of an underground or underwater city, represents your unconscious and how through deeper understanding of yourself, you find commonality and shared experiences with others.
To dream that you are in a strange city, denotes you will have sorrowful occasion to change your abode or mode of living.
Seeing a city in your dream means a sense of community and your social environment. Dreaming that you are in a deserted city or that you feel alienated from the activity of the city, then it suggests that you feel rejected by those around you. Seeing a city in ruins means that you are neglecting your social relationships and allowing them to deteriorate.
To see ears in your dreams, suggest that you need to be more responsive or receptive to guidance and assistance from others. You may be relying too much on your own judgment and intuition. You need to listen more closely to what you are being told. Alternatively, it signifies your immaturity and lack of experience. If you dream that your ears are weird or oddly shaped, then it indicates deception.
To dream that you are cleaning wax from your ears, suggests that you are not listening to those around you. There may be something that you are refusing to hear. Are you turning a deaf ear?
To dream of pain in your ear, indicates that you will be receive some bad or offensive news.
To dream that your ear is being pulled, indicates dissent and disagreements. If you are pulling someone else's ear, then it suggest that you have a tendency to force your opinions on others.
To dream that your ears are getting red, symbolizes shame or guilt.
To dream that someone is whispering in your ear, suggests that you need to pay closer attention to something or listen to someone more carefully. Alternatively, it represents your insecurities and anxieties that people are talking about your behind your back.
To dream that you are getting your ears pierced, represents some stinging remarks or insults.
To dream of seeing ears, an evil and designing person is keeping watch over your conversation to work you harm.
All things that flow and grow were regarded in early religions as a symbol
of life: fire represented the vital craving for nourishment, water was chosen for its
fertilizing powers, plants because of their verdure in spring-time. Now, all—or
very nearly all—symbols of life are also symbolic of death. Media vita in morte
sumus, observed the mediaeval monk, to which modern science has replied La vie
c’est la mort (Claude Bernard). Thus, fire is the destroyer, while water in its
various forms signifies dissolution, as suggested in the Psalms. In legend and
folklore, the Origin of life—or the source of the renewal of the life forces—takes
the form of caves and caverns where wondrous torrents and springs well up (38).
To dream that you are running about wild, foretells that you will sustain a serious fall or accident.
To see others doing so, denotes unfavorable prospects will cause you worry and excitement.
To see something wild in your dream, represents the uninhibited and animalistic aspect of your personality. In dreams, you feel freer to behave in a way that you normally would not in your waking life.
In the Zohar, the ‘magic head’ stands for astral light (9); in mediaeval art
it is a symbol for the mind (46) and for the spiritual life, which explains the
frequency with which it appeared in decorative art. On the other hand, Plato in
Timaeus asserts that ‘the human head is the image of the world’. In corroboration
of this, Leblant points out that the skull, the semi-spherical crown of the human
body, signifies the heavens. Clearly, the head-symbol here coalesces with that of
the sphere as a symbol of Oneness. It had the same significance in Egyptian
hieroglyphics (19). The eagle’s head has been used as a solar symbol and an
emblem of the centre-point of emanation—that is, of the cosmic flame and the
spiritual fire of the universe (4). Two, three or four heads shown in juxtaposition
symbolize a corresponding intensification of a given aspect of head-symbolism.
Thus, the Gemini, a symbol of the duality of Nature, or of the integrating (but not
unifying) link between the two principles of creation, are represented by beings
with two heads or two faces, like the Roman Janus for example. Hecate is depicted with three heads—she is called triform for this reason—a symbolism
which may be related to the ‘three levels’ of heaven, earth and hell, as well as to
Diel’s three ‘urges of life’ (15). The juxtaposition of four heads or faces, as in the
image of Brahma the Supreme Lord, stems from the same symbolism as that of
the tetramorph (60). A factor of major importance bearing upon the symbolism of
the head is mentioned by Herbert Kühn, in his L’Ascension de l’humanité (Paris,
1958). He makes the point that the decapitation of corpses in prehistoric times
marked Man’s discovery of the independence of the spiritual principle, residing
in the head, as opposed to the vital principle represented by the body as a whole.
Kühn adds that Neolithic thought was very close to the mediaeval in its conviction that an eternal and invisible essence underlies all appearances (Plate XV).
To see a head in your dream, signifies wisdom, intellect, understanding and rationality. It may also represent your accomplishments, self-image, and perception of the world. The dream may also be metaphor to indicate that you are "ahead" in some situation or that you need to get ahead.
To dream that someone is trying to rip your head off, suggests that you are not seeing a situation or problem clearly. Perhaps you are refusing to see the truth. You have to confront the situation or the person despite the pain and discomfort you might feel in doing so.
To dream that you have two heads, indicate that you need to learn to ask for help and accept assistance. Consider the metaphor "two heads are better than one". Do not try to do everything yourself.
To see a person's head in your dream, and it is well-shaped and prominent, you will meet persons of power and vast influence who will lend you aid in enterprises of importance.
If you dream of your own head, you are threatened with nervous or brain trouble.
To see a head severed from its trunk, and bloody, you will meet sickening disappointments, and the overthrow of your dearest hopes and anticipations.
To see yourself with two or more heads, foretells phenomenal and rapid rise in life, but the probabilities are that the rise will not be stable.
To dream that your head aches, denotes that you will be oppressed with worry.
To dream of a swollen head, you will have more good than bad in your life.
To dream of a child's head, there will be much pleasure ill store for you and signal financial success.
To dream of the head of a beast, denotes that the nature of your desires will run on a low plane, and only material pleasures will concern you.
To wash your head, you will be sought after by prominent people for your judgment and good counsel.
Seeing a head in your dream means wisdom, intellect, understanding and rationality. It may also represent your accomplishments, self-image, and perception of the world. Dreaming that someone is trying to rip your head off, suggests that you are not see a situation or problem clearly. Perhaps you are refusing to see the truth. You have to confront the situation or the person despite the pain and discomfort you might feel in doing so.
A head symbolizes intelligence, logic, wisdom and making decisions. A dream of a head may mean that you are changing your mind about something or are unable to make up your mind. A dream of a headless body may be a warning that you aren't thinking clearly - you're "losing your head."