In Indian culture, the elephant is a revered animal that is treated with honor and respect. For traditional weddings and other celebrations, Indian artists use colorful pigments to paint intricate patterns on elephants before they parade in ceremonial processions. The elephant's sacred status is augmented by its association with Ganesh, a Hindu deity with an elephant's head. Beyond its native region, the mighty and majestic elephant represents strength and good fortune in the home both inside and out.
Elephants in Feng Shui
In the practice of feng shui, the elephant is a symbol of luck, power and fertility. Certified feng shui practitioner Gabriele Amersbach of Lucky Path Feng Shui in North Carolina recommends using elephant statues at a home's entrance to welcome in good luck. When placed in other areas of the living space, elephant decor invites specific types of good fortune into the lives of the people who dwell there. According to Amersbach, many practitioners of feng shui prefer using elephant representations with upward-facing trunks as good-luck symbols.
Let Luck In
Your home's front door serves as a portal from the outside world to your private living space. To welcome good luck into your home, place elephant figures -- facing inward -- inside the front door. If your decor has an Eastern flavor, a pair of large, ornate elephant statues look right at home in the foyer. In a contemporary space, choose sleek statues made from ceramic or metal. A more rustic stone or wood elephant complements traditional or eclectic decor. If your entryway can't accommodate a large piece of statuary, place a small elephant figure on a shelf or table near the front door.
An Elephant in the Room
To encourage luck in different areas of your life, incorporate elephant decor throughout your home. Feng shui practitioners place elephants in bedrooms to encourage love and commitment. When positioned beside the bed, elephant statues with trunks facing down are believed to promote fertility. In a home office or study room, elephant decor symbolizes wisdom. When decorating your living space with elephants, think beyond statuary. Look for wall art, textiles and unique furniture pieces, such as a pedestal table with a carved elephant base, that promote good luck without overwhelming your home.
Elephants on Parade
Elephants are everywhere -- in boutiques, home-goods stores and flea markets. If you find yourself an accidental collector of elephants, display your finds in groups unified by size, style or color. Arrange a collection of small elephant figures head to tail across a shelf or mantel. March a line of elephant statues across a deep windowsill. Like your home's front door, windows are entry points through which good luck can enter. Seek out unexpected homes for other elephants in your collection; nestle a statue at the base of a potted plant and place another in the powder room to extend good luck to guests.