Deity, Elephants, Paganism

Of Elephants and Deities

Some of you may be wondering why I’ve chosen the theme I have for this blog. It looks a bit more like a blog about raising babies than it does a Pagan blog.

I like elephants.

I wouldn’t say they’re my favorite animal, but that’s only because I can’t have one to take care of and love, and I wouldn’t want one. For one, an elephant is too large to be a practical pet, and for another, an elephant isn’t a pet. It’s a wild creature, and I wouldn’t want to deprive such a lovely being of its freedom. I am, however, grateful to those places and people who take in and care for elephants from circuses or that have been work animals, and give them somewhere to live happier, freer lives than they’ve known before.

My love for elephants came about because of something quite silly: an RPG. The game was set partially in a circus, and one of my characters fell in love the first time he saw an elephant.

In describing the beauty and majesty of the elephant from his point of view, I fell in love with them myself.

I mean, look at this gorgeous elephant.

While there are scientists and other people who would disagree that elephants (or any animal) express emotion, I have to wonder how anyone can doubt if they’ve read about Shirley and Jenny, reunited after more than 20 years, or seeing this video about how elephants mourn on finding the bones of another elephant.

Months after first teaching myself about the beauty of elephants, I decided I wanted a patron or matron deity, something I had been avoiding for a while for reasons that are still fuzzy to me. I went into the search for a patron/matron without any thought to who might answer. For three nights, before bed, I asked if there were a deity out there who was interested in working with me, and if there were, that they please reach out to me. On the third night, I received an answer that probably shouldn’t have surprised me.


Ganesha, Hindu god of obstacles (both the removing of them, and the placing of them), He of the beautiful eyes and magnificent trunk, answered. It wasn’t so much of a choosing as it was “Okay, sure, let’s do this thing.” Because I was seeking, and because He didn’t mind, He answered. In my experience, Ganesha has been a very laid-back, go-with-the-flow kind of deity, though I also get the impression of steel beneath. He could be harsh with me if He wanted, if He thought it necessary, but what we have isn’t that kind of relationship. At least not so far. His myths also show how he can be a harsh god, because as well as being the Opener of Ways, He is also a fierce warrior.

What I find most fascinating is how I came to a love of elephants for themselves before I ever considered Ganesha as a patron. How Ganesha answered, months later, and seemed to tie parts of my life together. As a polytheistic, devotional Pagan, I don’t believe in coincidence.

Now you know why my blog looks like an infant’s nursery. Because elephants, and Ganesha.

(I’m not on Pinterest much anymore, but if you’re interested, I do have an Elephants board.)


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