A statue of Ganesha. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Second dream first
I’ll begin by telling you the second dream, in which my yoga teacher was showing me a picture of an elephant. Within the dream I thought, that’s my second dream about an elephant in two nights.
When I woke from the dream I thought it was significant because in my own personal dream handbook, when I am looking at a picture in a dream it is usually a sign that the dream is worth noticing, and that there is some psi element at play (i.e. either the dream is precognitive, clairvoyant, or telepathic in nature).
I reflected on the fact that within the dream I thought I’d dreamed of elephants two nights in a row. Well, that’s not true, I thought now that I was awake and recording the dream.
But just to make sure, I turned back to the previous night’s dream report in my notebook. Turns out I’d dreamed it was my birthday and was walking along a beach where seals played in the surf and … elephants roamed free on the shore!
So, now I was even more interested in the dream. I’ve heard it said that if you dream of the same animal three times in close proximity then it’s your spirit animal or totem. Now I was two for two. I looked up the significance of the elephant in my copy of Ted Andrews’ Animal Speak book, my go-to for significant animal dreams.
I found a lot of interesting information about the elephant’s spiritual gifts. I read that elephants signify ancient power, strength and royalty. Also, that elephants are associated with clouds, because of their color shape, and form, and they are seen as symbols of the mists separating the worlds of form and formlessness.
But the fact that struck me just then, as I was propped up on my pillows in bed, was that Ganesha is the elephant-headed Hindu deity who revered as the remover of obstacles.
A birthday elephant
As it turns out, my friend Claudia had been making me a birthday present (now seven months belated, but when someone’s hand-sewing your gift you don’t complain) and had recently called to tell me it was almost ready. The gift I knew was a “Ganesha yantra.” I didn’t know what that meant except that it had something to do with the Hindu deity. What little I knew about Ganesha came from years of practicing yoga in various studios over the years, some of which were adorned with pictures and statuettes of various deities including Ganesha.
As for what a yantra was, I hadn’t a clue, except that Claudia said that the one she was making me was quilted and was a little larger than a placemat.
Most important to me at the moment was that the yantra featured Ganesha, and so I concluded that the yantra was now part of the elephant theme that had started in my dreams! Also, the elephant in the first dream appeared on my birthday, even though in waking reality my birthday was either 7 months ago, or 5 months hence, depending on which way your are looking at it.
I immediately texted Claudia to tell her about my dreams and how excited I was that the yantra, whatever exactly a yantra was, had already seeped into my dream world, even before I’d laid eyes on it.
Elephants and the mists
For the next several days elephants – and clouds – kept coming into my consciousness. For example, on the morning after I had the second elephant dream, I noticed a billboard I had never seen before. On it was a huge image of an elephant’s head, and a slogan about elephants not being trinkets, but creatures to be respected and treated humanely.
In honor of my dream my sister painted a blue cloud on my thumbnail!
As for clouds, this dream came just before Yom Kippur, the Jewish holy day of atonement. I spent only an hour in synagogue, but during that brief period the Rabbi read a passage about our sins being removed from us as easily as the passing of the clouds and the mist.
I took a break from composing this post to go out for ice cream with a friend. I looked up and saw this elephant painting above our table!
Finally, the day came when I was to meet Claudia and pick up my long awaited birthday gift. That morning I woke from a string of powerful dreams, including one about a mouse who attacked me. Dreams of animals attacking get my attention because that is a sign in the shamanistic tradition that the animal is claiming you to give you some of its spirit medicine.
I am always grateful to receive a strong dream, but I must admit I was also a little disappointed that the animal was a mouse, not an elephant. A third dream elephant appearing on the morning that I was to receive my Ganesha yantra would have been incredibly special, I thought.
Nonetheless I contemplated the symbolism of the mouse a bit before I had to rush out of bed and prepare for work.
That evening I met Claudia, and happily took possession of my long-awaited birthday yantra. The yantra, it turned out, was a beautifully and intricately quilted square of colorful fabrics that contained a complex geometric pattern of triangular shapes radiating out from a central triangle, and what looked like a Jewish Star of David, but which is also an ancient Hindu symbol uniting heaven and earth.
As Claudia explained that the yantra is a pattern that represents and calls forth Ganesha’s energy, and other yantras symbolize other deities, I couldn’t help but note that there was actually no elephant in the design of my new yantra.
“So, what does Ganesha actually look like?” I asked.
Claudia pointed toward a tiny statuette perched atop the doorframe in her room. “That one’s too high up for you to get a good look, but it’s an elephant’s head on a boy’s body with a mouse at his feet.”
“A what?” I asked excitedly.
“A mouse,” Claudia repeated patiently.
Surely I’d heard this fact before: that Ganesha’s rides on the back of a mouse, who is often pictured at the elephant-boy’s feet. But to my conscious mind this was brand new information. Somehow my dreams knew and were pointing me to the significance of this gift from my dear friend.
My Ganesha yantra hangs now above my meditation cushion, so I can contemplate it while I sit. Though there is no image of an elephant in its rich design, I see two elephants and a mouse spinning in a cloud of dreams each time I look at it.
If you are planning to undertake your own business or if you are stepping into a new phase of life, Ganesha Yantra will be the best solution to curb all the impediments that could block your way to accomplishments.
What do the animals in your dreams mean? Let’s find out together:
If you’d like to learn more about your dreams, schedule an appointment for dreamwork, purchase a dream journal, or buy a dreamwork gift certificate, visit me at Third House Moon.
- The Elephant as an Animal Totem (healing.answers.com)
- Ganesha… (darsh14.wordpress.com)
- Significance of Ganesha (artoflivingsblog.com)