The Elephant Charm
The Hindu god, Ganesha, is their god of wisdom and success, The Remover of Obstacles. He is, in fact, worshipped 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. This should be manifest in the care for the young, elderly and sick of the herd or family, as well as the sense of strength within one’s self. They are, therefore, honoured as key players in reestablishing family ideals and thereby improving those of the entire society.
The trunk plays a major role in superstitions regarding elephants as well. Most avid collectors, and even those with only vague superstitions, know that the trunk of an ornamental elephant should always be facing upwards in Western cultures and downwards in Eastern cultures for it to bring good fortune on the house in which it resides. In Western cultures, it is believed that an upward trunk ensures that good luck and prosperity do not run out, while a downward trunk signifies mourning.
The elephant has become a religious and cultural symbol for many reasons. Its ethereal presence has haunted men through the ages and forced a sense of awe and respect by its quiet mastery of the animal kingdom and undeniable connection to the human being.
Of all elephants, the white elephant is considered the most sacred. It is said that mothers of great teachers and masters will dream of white elephants. One story of Buddha's mother tells how she dreamt a white elephant had entered her womb.