"Never try to teach a pig to sing; it wastes your time and it annoys the pig." -- Attributed to Robert Heinlein
In waking life, pigs have a number of connotations. Some people think of pigs as stupid animals, while others, like Samuel L. Jackson's character in Pulp Fiction, think of pigs as filthy animals. Some religions share this view and adherents to those religions forswear the eating of pork. Other people find the pig charming, intelligent and loving and keep varieties of small, potbellied pigs as indoor pets.
Our culture is filled with references to pigs--pork might refer to meat, or it might refer to excessive, useless government spending. Police officers are sometimes pejoratively referred to as pigs, as are people who are overweight, greedy, or viewed as unattractive. Christ admonished his followers to never cast their pearls before swine, a phrase that is now commonly used to refer to gifting some undeserving person with something valuable and precious.
Our ideas, cultural references, and personal connotations are always important when attempting to decipher a dream symbol. Pigs are no exception. Below are some ways in which you might think of your dream pig.
While many of our modern day slang associations with pigs are less than flattering, a pig in a dream is not necessarily a negative symbol. A fat hog is a great thing for a farmer. If you see a fat pig in your dream, consider if it might symbolize prosperity or satiety.
Pigs get part of their reputation from being filthy due to their sloppy eating habits and their propensity to roll about in mud. However, part of the reason the pig eats in the manner it does is because of the manner in which it is fed. It's pretty difficult engaged in refined eating when one is being fed a substance literally called "slop." As for the mud, rolling about in the mud is one way in which pigs keep themselves cool.
Look closely at your pig dream and see if the animal itself is filthy or if there is someone forcing the pig to eat their slop. Remember, animals often stand in as symbols of ourselves, often our emotions. Is there some someone involving you in a situation that makes you feel as though you are being fed something distasteful?
Is your pig a happy pig? Is its wallowing in the mud a symbol of glee or is the pig rolling in mud because there is something going on in your life that makes you feel as if you need to cool down? Or, do you literally feel like you are rolling in mud for no reason? Do you actually, personally, feel dirty?
In film and literature pigs are often used to symbolize helpless people or situations. The ever-popular tale of "The Three Little Pigs" is an example. The terrifying "squeal like a pig" sequence from Deliverance is another. How are your pigs acting in your dream? Are they unable to defend themselves? Are they being led to slaughter? Is there any situation or person in your dreams who makes you feel weak, powerless, or as though they are leading you into a place where you have absolutely no control?
One cannot ever overlook the word play in dreams nor should one ever overlook the obvious. If pigs are in your dream, always consider that they might be playing upon the negative connotations that some cultures have foisted upon them. Consider if the pig is a stand-in for someone who is greedy or "hoggish"--and always consider if those negative traits might actually be shadow sides of your own psyche.
Pigs may also have positive dream attributes. In the Chinese zodiac, the pig is seen as a giving, honest, honorable, hard-working, devoted, protective symbol. Pigs are viewed as animals who will give their lives to assist others as they are just that self-sacrificing. If your dream pig is appearing as a positively symbol, make sure that that for which you are sacrificing yourself won't trample the pearl you are surrendering.
Until next time, sleep well and dream out loud!
*~Aisling Ireland~* is an ordained Interfaith Minister, available for weddings and commitment ceremonies and a Spiritual Counselor providing dream interpretation and Tarot readings. To make an appointment check out her website at: Sang-Realta Spiritual Counseling