Friday, December 11, 2009


In this new era of electronic mail, it’s not often that I receive greeting cards; however, two months ago, I received a heartfelt condolence card from an out of town friend, offering support, when my good friend Mary Anne passed on. The card chosen had on its cover, a photo of a little girl pushing a Ginormous elephant onto a cart, which symbolized the small level of support my friend felt she was offering, since she was unable to be here in person.

A month later, I received another card in the mail. This one was a thank you for helping another friend move some large furniture around her house and featured an elephant on the cover. This friend included the notation: “No kidding, you’re my biggest friend.” I set the second card atop the refrigerator, by the other elephant card, thought it was a nice coincidence, and pointed it out to a few friends that came by.

Then a few days ago, my Aunt Jane sent me a classic care package for my birthday.[i] Aunt Jane is a nature lover and vibrant cloud-watcher and for years, has sent out hand-painted cards as seasonal gifts. Well, lo & behold, among the thoughtful items she included was a personalized water coloring of an elephant grazing!

This third friendly-looking elephant left me a little stunned, and soon the wild synchronicity prompted me to tread softly over to the world of animal totems:

Here the twelfth totem says:

The Elephant

“Throughout history elephants have been prized for their power and strength. They are extremely intelligence and honored by many cultures. Elephants are the largest land animals and among the longest lived, with life spans of 60 years or more. According to Buddhist tradition, the Buddha chose the form of a white elephant as one of his many incarnations and the rare appearance of a white elephant is still heralded as a manifestation of the gods. The Hindu god Ganesh, the remover of obstacles, is depicted with the head of an elephant.

Despite their great weight, elephants walk almost noiselessly. Their stride is exceptionally graceful and rhythmic. Their hearing, smell, taste and touch is acute. This compensates for their poor eyesight. Their eyes are small in relation to the enormous head, which can only turn slightly from side to side. This limited movement results in restricted side vision. Those with this medicine feel things deeply and respond to those feelings from a place of inner knowing. Because their peripheral vision is limited, they have a tendency to look straight ahead and not always see what is around them. Learning to shift ones focus to encompass the whole is helpful.

Loyal and affectionate elephants are willing to risk their life for the sake of others in a family group. Wild elephants have been known to grieve and even shed tears over the death of a family member. They have excellent memories and when mistreated they often seek revenge.

Elephants have four teeth, all molars. The first pair of molars is located toward the front of the mouth. When they wear down, they drop out and the two molars in the back shift forward. Two new molars emerge in the back of the mouth to replace those that have moved forward. Elephants replace back molars six times throughout their life. When the last set wears out, they are unable to chew and die of starvation.

Teeth have great symbolism. They are considered receivers and transmitters of energy linked by connecting paths throughout the astral body. Because the elephant is highly intelligent, those with this totem make excellent researchers and alternative scientists. The complex study of numbers, energy meridians and the tie in between the physical brain, the teeth locations, and the major and minor head chakras is fascinating as well as beneficial.

Elephant tusks point backwards, are used as weapons and for digging edible roots. From a spiritual point of view, this suggests an ability to uncover the secrets left behind you and bring them to the consciousness for evaluation and healing.

These beautiful creatures hold the teachings of compassion, loyalty, strength, intelligence, discernment and power to name a few. If this is your medicine, these virtues are a part of your natural character. By applying these gifts in your life soul evolution is achieved.”

As I began identifying with this elephant talk, it resonated within; that the best part of my 50th birthday (12/12) is that close friends have sent me this synchronicity - practically on a silver platter - and the fact that I could recognize their big gifts so readily.

[i] Aunt Jane must have presumed that her care package would arrive late, way out here in Idaho, but it actually came a few days early, back when I was telling friends, “Yes, I’m still in my mid-to-late forties.”

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