The symbolism of a Pig involves base actions, whether they be hygiene-related or sexually orientated, the little hog lets loose. In this sense, we must observe the sloppy, muddy appearance of the swine first and lastly examine it as a possible food source. Regarding the slop, our friend the pig may represent a fusion with earth and nature from which it came and returns daily.
Contemplating the naturalistic and thus, erotic aspects of this animal's behavior, we observe a parallel with uninhibited sexual conduct in human beings.
Lastly, as a food source, we interpret pork as a rich, thick and flavorful sustenance, symbolically based on the animal’s free-spirited temperament. Hence, in the dream sense, we may be fully embodying our desires and earthy fervor. Alternatively, in the Chinese zodiac, the pig personality is linked with chivalry and honesty. Perhaps it is the straight forward manner of the animal, which provides us with the necessary courage to reveal truth and stand by our deepest convictions.
The pig is almost worldwide the symbol of gluttony and greed, gobbling up whatever is set before it. In many myths insatiability is attributed to it.
In the broadest terms, the pig is the symbol of those obscurantist tendencies to ignorance, gluttony, lust and selfishness, since, as St Clement of Alexandria points out, quoting Heraclitus in his Stromata, ‘the pig delights in filth and dung.’ This is the spiritual basis for the ban on eating pig-meat, and especially in Islam. St Clement goes on to observe that those who eat such meats are generally those who live for the lusts of the flesh. Pigs are depicted in the middle of Tibetan Wheels of Life and bear the same significance, especially that of ignorance. In this context the Gospel parable of ‘casting pearls before swine’ should not be forgotten, an image of spiritual truths thoughtlessly revealed to those who are neither worthy to receive them nor able to understand them.
In Greek legend, the witch Circe turned into swine the men who pressed their suit upon her. On other occasions, she would touch the guests at her table with her magic wand and turn them into such unclean beasts as pigs, dogs and so on, ‘each in accordance with their underlying character and their nature’.
The pig is the ancestral animal which founded one of the four classes into which Melanesian society is divided.
The Kirghiz regard pigs not only as symbols of depravity and uncleanness, but of wickedness as well.
There is, however, one notable exception to this general rule. Because of its sleek looks, which they keenly appreciate, the Sino-Vietnamese make the pig a symbol of plenty, which the sow and her litter reinforce with the ideal large families. Despite the taboos laid upon pigs and swineherds, the Ancient Egyptians depicted on their amulets Nut, ‘the sky-goddess and eternal mother of the stars’ as a sow suckling her litter.