GIFTS: Quiet. Power of community. Commitment to the herd and to the greater good. Deep emotions. Moving forward. Regal presence. Deep listening. Matriarchy (or any power structure other than the traditional, oppressive patriarchy).
CHALLENGES: Losing yourself in the herd. Getting stuck in emotions. Being destructive. Forming a new, equally oppressive power structure, different only in name.
Spirit Animal Elephant teaches fear-less-ness through commitment to the herd, deep listening, graceful presence and the power of community. Elephants naturally fear very little. Their size makes them almost impervious to the threats of predators. (Except, of course, human predators.) Young elephants are vulnerable to predators such as lions and hyenas. But the power of the herd usually protects the vulnerable members. The lesson for you is to find the right herd and commit to it. Give it your full trust—and equally commit to defending each member of the herd with your life. You will have little to fear with this power behind you.
Elephant’s ears are a metaphor for deep listening. This means listening to other people—both the words they speak and the words they don’t speak. This also means listening to your own intuition and to the messages of your spirit guides, including Elephant. Elephant is an excellent listener and expects the same from you.
Elephant is a powerful presence. Its sheer size makes it awe-inspiring. But its size is not all. Elephant radiates a grace that is accentuated by the juxtaposition of its massive size. In spite of Elephant’s size, it moves quietly through the savannah. Elephant is not the proverbial “bull in the china shop.” Elephant is in control of itself, including when fear manifests. Elephant does not freak out and lose control when fear emerges; it quickly finds its equilibrium.
In the physical realm, elephants are deeply compassionate and emotional creatures. They grieve profoundly when a member of the herd dies violently or too soon. (See this story and photo for a heartbreaking example.) Mother elephants have been observed falling behind as they stay with their deceased baby, trying to revive it. The herd lingers as long as possible to bring the mother along. But, as compassionate as the herd is, it is not willing to sacrifice itself for one member. (“The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one.”) Elephant herds migrate with the rains, going where food and water is plenty. The lesson for you is to listen to move on when it is time. Lingering too long on the past, on what was and what might have been can be fatal. Do not blindly follow the herd. Rather, recognize the wisdom of the herd in your own heart.
The lesson for you is to make time to express your emotions and your compassion, and then move on. Lingering too long on the past, on what was and what might have been, can be fatal. Just as physical elephants are constantly on the move following the food and water, so you must keep moving to nourish your own spirit.