What It Really Means When You Dream About Elephants

While our dreams can often provide an interesting or strange story to talk about upon waking, many people feel dreams also hold the key to understanding things happening to us and within us during our waking lives. Multiple experts on psychology, philosophy, and dreams over the past couple of centuries have all had differing opinions on just how much dreams reflect our own inner worlds and how seriously we should take them when considering our daily decisions and actions, but everyone from Freud to Jung to Hall has agreed that dreams do mean something worth our consideration (via Healthline). 

And while interpretation of our own individual dreams and the imagery that we see in them can and should vary depending on our unique personalities, lives, and associations, there are some symbols in dreams that are considered to have at least some universal meaning. For instance: elephants. Now, in American culture, a common phrase used to describe a large issue that is being ignored is "the elephant in the room." At the same time, elephants are, across multiple cultures, commonly associated with good luck, stability, destiny, wisdom, and family (via Liquids and Solids). 

So if you are dreaming about an elephant, what does it mean for you in your waking life? That will depend greatly upon what the elephant in your dream is doing, how it is presented, what you are doing in relation to the elephant in your dream, and how you feel about it.

If you dream of an elephant charging you

While an elephant in a dream is often associated with positive things, if you dream of an elephant or a stampede of elephants charging you, it is likely there is something big and overwhelming that you are running away from and not actively facing or dealing with (via Crystal Clear Intuition). A charging elephant is a nearly unstoppable, powerful force, and it is unlikely you would be able to outrun it. 

A dream like this might be asking you to take a hard look at something you have been avoiding because it feels too monstrous, too insurmountable, too overwhelming to overcome. If it is a group of elephants chasing you, this could also represent social pressure you are feeling, whether from family, friends, work colleagues, or another group (or all of these combined). This could be a sign that you need to take a step back and evaluate whether there are expectations others have of you that are not serving you right now. You are allowed to take time to prioritize your own wellbeing, rather than feeling literally run-down.   

If you dream of a heard of elephants

Conversely, if you dream of a heard of elephants that are not charging you, but are instead peacefully going about their lives, this is a highly auspicious sign (via Millers Guild). Because elephants are naturally heard animals and travel as a family unit, seeing them all together this way indicates that things are coming together for you in your life. Perhaps you feel surrounded and supported by a loving and protective family, community, or circle of friends. 

Perhaps you have been working hard on a goal that is finally coming to fruition. Dreaming of a heard of elephants can also be a sign of financial, professional stability and a positive, shining reputation amongst those around you. Whether in your personal or professional life (or both), things are looking up. One thing is for certain about the message this dream is sending you: you are not alone.  

If you dream about a caged elephant

If you dream about an elephant that is in a cage, trapped behind an enclosure, or secured with a chain or rope, you are likely being held back, either by an outside force or by your own fears (via Millers Guild). An elephant is naturally a powerful creature, and to see one subdued and restrained feels deeply sad, backwards, and wrong. The same can be said of you and your own spirit. You are naturally a powerful, free creature, and if you are dreaming of a caged elephant, it is likely that someone has made you feel inferior, less than, trapped, or cut off from your own innate power. 

Remember that it is within your means to break free of whatever is caging or restraining you. As Elenor Roosevelt is said to have once pointed out, "no on can make you feel inferior without your consent" (via Quote Investigator). Whatever or whoever has made you feel stuck is not running your life. You are. Your spirit cannot be caged or tamed, and you have the ability to free yourself from constraints put upon you by others or by your own fears. After all, a trained elephant can be held in place by a simple string, thinking it is trapped. If only it knew its own power, it could snap that thread in an instant and be free.   

If you dream of a baby elephant

If you dream of a baby elephant, this is often a sign that something you are currently working on, dreaming about, or building towards has wonderful potential to grow into full fruition, perhaps even more wonderfully than you have imagined (via Crystal Clear Intuition). Just as a baby elephant will someday grow into a majestic, powerful, wise creature, whatever idea you are currently thinking of pursuing is likely to grow and manifest into something quite incredible. 

Dreaming of a baby elephant could be the sign you have been looking for that the path you are taking in hopes of building something positive in your life, whether a career, a relationship, a family, a project, etc. is the right path for you to be on and will likely lead to success. Interestingly, some believe that if you dream of a baby elephant in water specifically, this is an even more auspicious sign that success is on the way. 

If the baby elephant in your dream is injured or lost, it's possible that the plans you are making need to be reevaluated to ensure that there is not something you're missing that could lead to an outcome different than the one you are hoping for. In this case, don't panic; it isn't necessarily a sign of impending defeat, it simply means you need to reconsider the details of the path you are taking.  

If you dream about riding an elephant

If you dream of riding an elephant, how you are feeling about the experience in your dream makes all the difference as to understanding the meaning (via Millers Guild). If you are struggling to stay atop the elephant, if you are feeling afraid and anxious, or if the elephant is fighting your efforts to ride and direct it, it could mean that there is a conflict in your life that is simply not worth your energy. "Choose your battles" is the phrase that applies in this case; there are some people not worth arguing with and some fights simply not worth having. 

If, however, riding the elephant in your dream feels exhilarating, joyful, and fun, then the dream is likely a positive sign that you are feeling in-control and in-charge of your life and the direction it is taking. You are on your way to success in your professional or personal life (or both), and you have quite the view from up there!