2 – Superstitions
Elephant Superstitions, Gods, and Charms
By Charles L Harmon
Here’s a few elephant superstitions gathered from various sources. Some may still be believed or followed today. Whether you believe any of these or not there are definitely many that do. Possibly those that live in countries where there are still elephants roaming around in their natural habitat have stronger beliefs in some of these superstitions. Here in the United States the only time we generally see elephants are when we go to a zoo or a wild animal park. So elephants are not part of our way of life.
That may not be the case of elephants in some other countries. I’ve seen on TV where in some places in India there have been some destruction and even deaths from elephants coming into cities. From what they said the elephants may have been retaliating. Seems like people may be encroaching into the elephants territory. That along with poachers is a good reason for elephants to be very upset.
- Seeing an elephant is good luck.
- In ancient times it was believed that elephants connect the heaven and the earth.
- Of all the different types of elephants, the white elephant is considered the most sacred.
- Elephant figurines or pictures of an elephant with its trunk raised will bring good luck, however it must face a door. Placing it that way also brings happiness and prosperity.
- According to superstitions, if you wear an ornament using elephant’s hair such as an elephant hair ring, elephant hair bracelet, necklace, etc., you will be blessed with love, happiness, good health, prosperous and rich.
- It is said that elephants’ hair is gathered from areas where these animals rub their tails up against trees.
- Elephant’s trunk curling up is good luck and down is bad.
- A raised elephant trunk stores good luck and if dropped down passes good luck to others.
- If you buy a statue, picture or anything of an elephant for you, you don’t expect good luck. Presenting such a thing to others brings good luck for them. Receiving such an elephant gift from others will bring you good luck.
Elephant gods and charms
Throughout history the elephant has had a place in the hearts of man. That was especially true in areas where the elephant was one of the wild animals. From ancient times the elephant has been revered. It was a work animal, once tamed, and had its place in royalty in some countries. There have been gods that had some features of elephants. During the centuries likenesses of elephants have also become good luck charms.
Below is an excerpt of what is said about elephant gods and elephant symbols or charms.
The elephant is considered to be a symbol of good luck in many cultures, even modern Western ones. This veneration originated in India and south-east Asia, where the Hindu religion is particularly responsible for much of the honor assigned to these animals.
The Hindu god, Ganesha, is their god of wisdom and success, The Remover of Obstacles. He is, in fact, worshiped by all Hindu sects as well as some Jains and further parts of India. This god is represented by an elephant-headed human with two pairs of arms, and originates from between the 4th and 5th Centuries of our Common Era.
These same cultures also consider the elephant to be a symbol of fertility. The sheer vastness and strength of the beast is said to boost the male libido. Male elephants also tend to become angered and enraged when in a rut. This strong sense of emotion has also been linked to raw sexual power between a man and a woman.
Indra was another god that was linked to elephants. He was the king of the gods, and used an elephant as his royal mount. In addition, Indra was god of the warriors. As such, he used elephants as his weapons in several ways. He also used his status as god of rain by using the elephant to cause a much-needed monsoon for his people.
Elephants have also been connected with clouds – an unexpected connection, perhaps. Elephants were believed to have been symbols of the clouds and people even believed that the elephants created the clouds. Their physical appearance of being large and grey and their slow, careful nature is likely to have played a major part in this connection.
The elephant has long been held as a totem, or charm. Because of the strong family bonds that exist among the family members within the elephant species, totems are said to improve the love and respect among members of the family of anyone possessing the elephant totem. …
Regardless of where in the world you may go, you will find natives of the area entertaining certain beliefs and superstitions. One country where superstitions are aplenty is India. Although Indian society is rapidly progressing, many people are still superstitious and have a strong faith in local beliefs. Sometimes aspects of life are linked to such superstitions. Elephants can bring good luck and this superstition below denotes that:
If you see an elephant as you leave your home or on your way while going somewhere, your purpose of going will be fruitful. It is believed that Lord Ganesh, the elephant god of Indian mythology, removes all the obstacles on the way.
Non-living White Elephants
Although White Elephants are considered sacred and are rare there is another quality that seems to be the opposite of that. The term derives from the sacred white elephants kept by Southeast Asian monarchs in Burma, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. To own a white elephant was regarded as a sign that the monarch was ruling with justice and the kingdom was blessed with peace and prosperity. The tradition concerning white elephants derives from tales in the scriptures which associate a white elephant with the birth of Buddha, as his mother was reputed to have dreamed of a white elephant presenting her with a lotus flower, a symbol of wisdom and purity, on the eve of giving birth.
Because those animals were considered sacred and laws protected them from labor, anyone that received a gift of a white elephant from a monarch considered it both a blessing and a curse; a blessing because the animal was sacred and a sign of the monarch’s favor, but a curse because the animal had to be kept and could not be put to practical use to offset the cost of maintaining it.
Often we keep old items or things around the house that we have no use for. They don’t contribute anything to the house but could be a collectible or just something we like but it doesn’t add anything to the house. We just don’t get rid of them for whatever reason. They are often called white elephants. A White Elephant is an item that is an expense, meaning it cost more to maintain it than it’s worth. Often items kept as memorabilia could be considered White Elephants.
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Questions about Elephant Gifts
Elephant as a gift should face which way in the home?
They say it is good luck to face an elephant given as a gift toward the door or away from the door? I’m not sure which one it is please help
Suzi Q answers:
Yes it’s superstition but the tusks and head should face the door.. That is supposed to bring good luck….
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