Even though the elephant is the biggest land animal in the world, it seldom makes an appearance in homes that have been feng shuied.
This is partly attributed with the practice that feng shui items are best used by homeowners when they can find affinity with them. And few people have elephants as one of the favorite animals.
Then there are also those who don’t find affinity with certain animals but find them cute enough to have them as symbolic items at home to enhance feng shui. Some of which are the 3 legged frog, dragon tortoise, piyao, etc.
However, it is not surprising that the elefant has an influential place in Chinese culture. It is after all, the largest land mammal on the planet.
How can feng shui possibly ignore that fact?
The elephant symbolism is the epitome of calmness, the presence of wisdom, honor, and the enforcer of peace. This also makes it a powerful symbol of wealth.
The elephant trunk is also a controller of water like a faucet. And as such, this is seen in some circles as a controller of wealth luck.
I’ve even heard feng shui masters describe the elephant trunk as like a vacuum cleaner sucking up sheng chi when called upon.
Elephants in Chinese culture
While the elongated nose of the elephant brings wealth, it’s ears represent blessings.
The more interesting part is it’s front legs. When in a kneeling position, an elephant’s fore legs actually represent prosperity and good fortune luck.
This is the story behind it.
When kneeling, the front legs of an elephant resembles that of a person squatting to take a dump in the toilet. The word “prostate” is written as 匐 and pronounced as Fu. This sound the same as 福. The word “kneel” is written as 跪 and pronounced as Gui. This is a homonym for 贵 which means valuable. Together, 福贵 means wealth and social status.
As odd as that sounds, it is the true story.
The four legs of elephants together represents stability. And can help people find smoother routes and journeys in careers and life in general.
Elephants also often make their way into auspicious Chinese paintings. Partly because it’s mandarin word xiang (象) is a pun for 祥 which means auspiciousness and good luck.
When depicted to carrying a large lily on it’s back, it is an artwork that means a call for renewal for the new year.
When it has a huge vase on it’s back, it is assumed that the vase belongs to the Goddess of Mercy which contains water of purity. This design signifies peace and harmony.
When there is a man sitting on an elephant, it is ploughing and usually a representation of the mythical Emperor Shun who was a symbol of filial piety.
It can also sometimes de depicted with precious objects on it’s back which signifies the arrival of wealth. While a boy on it’s back is seen as a good omen.
There is also a legend about a man who slayed a monster which fed on elephants. A wise elephant than led the man to a cave filled with elephant tusks. Those were the days when the big animal was often poached for ivory as it was invaluable.
Elephants in feng shui
The placement of elephants in feng shui is always in pairs.
They are social animals and should not be subjected to loneliness. This can cause one to go into depression!
A pair of elephants exudes considerable strength and presence, and can be used as a protector of the house from internal and external sha chi.
For example, if there is a cross road junction in front of the window and it is determined as bad energy for feng shui, then a couple of elephants can be positioned to face the junction to subdue that sha chi.
Just be mindful that in such circumstances, there must be backing and support behind the elephants.
There is also a saying that a pair of them in the bedroom depicted in a relaxed posture with their trunks down (get your head out of the gutter) can attract fertility luck.
This gives them a constant source of water (which represents wealth) to draw from and bestow on the house.
If the gender of the elephants can be clearly identified, then follow the rule of male on the left and female on the right.
Otherwise, the male elephant is often sculpted to have it’s trunk facing down or out. Whereas the female elephant will always be curled inwards.