While the elephant is an enormous animal with immense strength, it has a very quiet and even temper unless provoked. This in itself is symbolic of its powerful and dominating force that prefers to keep peace. Elephants are more often than not very calm unless they sense danger.
2. Success, Good Luck, Wisdom and Communication
The elephant is also a symbol of success in the Hindu religion. Lord Ganesha is a well known Hindu god that has the head of an elephant. He is the god of Success. The Hindu believe that Ganesha brings good luck and moves obstacles out of the way if you are pure of heart and intent. Ganesha is also a patron deity of sciences and arts. He is considered to have great wisdom and discernment. In alchemy, the elephant is also considered to represent commerce, communication and shrewd discernment which is among the most common elephant tattoo meaning.
3. Family, Community and Maternal
Elephants are very loyal and protective of the members of their herd. While they may seem somewhat unassuming, they live a very ordered life with a unique social structure and hierarchy. Female elephants usually band together in herds of up to 400 elephants to raise their offspring. Male elephants often roam alone.
In some cultures, the elephant is considered as a symbol of fertility. The strength and sheer size of this creature is said to give a boon to the male libido. When in a rut, male elephants usually become angry and vicious very easily. These strong emotions are associated with the raw sexual tension between a female and a male.
5. Chastity, Patience, Consideration and Devotion
An elephant is the perfect symbol of chastity according to Aristotle. He wrote that the elephant abstains from sex for the two years that the mate is pregnant. This not only highlights its chaste but also its consideration, patience and thoughtful devotion to relationships.
In India and Tibet, the elephant is considered to have played a role in creation. In fact, ancient writings claim that an elephant holds up the entire universe. In ancient architecture, an elephant is depicted holding up huge structures in foundation stonework and pillars. This is symbolic of the stabilizing characteristic of the elephant and its role in keeping the world in place.
Elephants tend to live a very long life. For this reason, the Romans thought that the elephant was a legendary creature. They believed that the elephant was a symbol of longevity, immortality and harmony with nature.
8. Symbols of Clouds
Elephants have also been associated with clouds. Though the connection is somewhat farfetched, there are cultures that believed elephants to have symbolized clouds. Some even believed that elephants created the clouds. Maybe the reason is their large, grey and slow nature.
9. Elephant and Buddhism
Elephants are strongly linked to Buddhism. Buddha used the rare white elephant for his incarnations. The white elephant is considered the most sacred among the elephant species. A story is told of Buddha’s mother that she dreamt that a white elephant had entered her womb. Thus white elephant makes a great choice for maternal tattoo as it symbolizes wisdom and fertility.
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