Thursday, June 24, 2010
I found this elephant which appeared to have been abandoned, rescuing it from a tangle of shopping trolleys outside a supermarket. It looked set to perish but then again, it seems to have survived doesn't it? That's elephants for you. I like the Italian for good luck charm, which is portafortuna. The elephant, Portafortuna, has taken up a new residence for a while. Elephants are very well regarded in the East and one was a companion of the Boddhisattva Akshobya, the Changeless One. Ganesha is the symbol of knowledge - the beginning and the end - and elephants are generally regarded as cosmological and depicted with their four strong legs holding up the world. They are also seen as symbols of chastity and modesty due to the long gestation of pregnant elephants, a period when the bull elephant is reluctant to mate with her or any other elephant. So observed Aristotle. Sometimes, it helps to ground oneself and avoid airy thoughts so think of yourself as with sturdy legs of the elephant planted firmly on the earth, rooted and stable. Because of its solidity and mass, the elephant represents the avoidance of foolish and rash action that can accompany airiness, so you can also imagine your own stability and increasing awareness.