Symbolic Meaning of Pigs

Written by avenefica on November 3rd, 2007



Symbolic meaning of pigs varies according to region & culture.

In earlier cultures such as ancient Egyptian the pig (sow, specifically) was considered a Great Mother and were symbols of fertility and abundance.  Here the pig was sacred to Isis, who embodied fertility.

To the ancient Celts, the (sow) pig was also honored as a mother provider figure.  Celtic lore tells of Manannan, who owned a heard of pigs that never dwindled – they were forever replinishing their numbers. As such, in Celtic symbolism pigs remained icons of abundance.

Also in ancient Celtic beliefs, the pig was associated with Ceridwen (or Keridwin) and Phaea who were both fertility moon goddesses.

The pig was also a symbol of virility, strength, and ferility in ancient Chinese cultures.   The boar is even among the animals in the Chinese zodiac where it is considered a symbol of sincerity, honesty, and determination.

In Hindu symbolism,  the pig is linked to Vajravarahi, the female consort of Vishnu.

The Greeks would sacrifice pigs to deities who pertained to farming and agriculture (Demeter, Ares, Gaia) this was to bring about bumper crops and insure favorable growing seasons.

Native American cultures (plains tribes) associated the pig as a harbinger of rains and as such, the symbolic meaning of pigs here is also linked to abudance, fertility and agriculture.

On the other hand, the pig is a symbol of ignorance in Buddhism.  Indeed, a black pig is illustrated on the Buddhist wheel of existence where it represents one of the three illusions of man in the Buddhist philosophy:

  • illusions of thought & desires
  • illusions innumerable as particles of dust and sand
  • illusions about the true nature of life

All of these are said to prevent man from attaining Nirvana in the Buddhist tradition.

The pig is a symbol of sloth (laziness) and/or greed in ancient Christian symbolism.

Jewish, Moslums and Islamic cultures view the pig as unclean and they are forbidden to eat pork.

In dream symbolism the domestic pig indicates fertility, yet a wild pig is a symbol of lust & overindulgence.  If in your dream you are feeding a pig, this is supposed to be a symbol of good luck.  If you are being attacked by a pig, it may be a message you are being materialistic or greedy about something.

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12 Comments so far ↓

  1. sunnymarian says:

    very helpful to my thesis ,thanks so much ,Madam, wish you good luck !

  2. avenefica says:

    @SunnyMarian, Great!

  3. Thanthida says:

    This is very interesting! I find myself also interested in symbolism.
    Thank for your blog.

  4. Renee says:

    Thank you for this. Most interpretations of Pigs are negative but I had a positive feeling from my dreaming of a very happy, loving pig. Your information is much more suited to my dream.

    I’ve been reading much of your Tarot site too…thanks!

  5. Inday says:

    Thank you very much for your free website, I am just a student and now I am facinated with Astrology and Horoscope to learn. The CREATOR give you this gifts and again thank you for sharing your gift for free. God Bless you always and also the reader. Keep up the good work.

  6. matampusa says:

    thank you! this will be of great help to my thesis

  7. KEVIN says:

    thanks :-) this was helpful 4 me on my worksheet

  8. chris says:

    KERIDWIN don’t know where you found this spelling the Welsh word is Ceridwen and found in the “Mabinogion”, could be worth further research, it’s a great site and your work here is much appreciated.

  9. CIndy says:

    Love your site!

  10. Peregrine1013 says:

    Thanks for the various interpretations. I just had a pig dream last night. It was a domestic pink pig who was acting very loud, very “vocal.” I was “hearing a lecture” from… somewhere in my head… about the vocal nature of pigs and how their voices can travel. Trying to explain the nature of the situation…. it started of a happy pig but got upset, then got vocal (thus the lecture). I picked it up, wanting to catch it and comfort it in the process but was afraid it would bite me. I don’t recall it trying to bite me but it was sure being loud. I recall years ago as a veterinary technician trying to assist the veterinarian with an occasional pig checkup and I can say, they can get loud to the point of deafening. :D

  11. Jessica says:

    Thank you for the history of pig symbolism. I dreamt of a sleeping, black, baby pig that was so cute, I didn’t want to wake it. hmm…
    God Bless.

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