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Wild Boar in Celtic Mythology

Ridge of long hairThe ridge of long hair down a boars' back is illustrated in these two juveniles seen in Somerset.

In Celtic Mythology The Wild Boar and The Sow are sacred to Earth Godess. The Boar relates to courage and bravery, and the Sow relates to generosity and fertility.

The Boar symbolised warrior spirit, courage, leadership and direction. He is strong, dangerous, intrepid and difficult to kill. The Boar meets enemies with nobility and courage, signifying bravery and perserverance. He is a fierce fighter, refusing to yield.

To The Celts the Boar is a sacred , supernatural and magickal creature. The Boars head represents health, protection from danger, power of the life force and vitality. The Boar is ritually eaten in Celtic ritual feasts and the food for the Gods and Heroes.

The Boar is linked in Celtic Mythology to the forests and clearings, Celtic Wheels, Ravens, and wild plants wild asparagus, mugwort and dandelion.

Young piglets feedingYoung piglets feeding.

The Sow , Muc, is linked in Celtic Mythology to abundance, nourishment, generosity, fertility, wealth and discovery, and dipicted with her piglets, thistles, beechnuts, the food from 'The Sacred Beech Tree' to 'The Druids', and to deadly nightshade, poisonous to humans, but non toxic to the Sow.

In Celtic Lore, both the Boar and the Sow are Sacred to Earth Goddess, the Sow represents 'Giving', and the Boar representing 'Taking Away'.

la déesse Arduina © Les-Ardennes.Net : le site portail 100% Ardennes. Reproduction interdite.According to legend , the Boar is Sacred to the Goddess Arduinna, the patroness of the Ardennes Forests, who is represented as a huntress riding a Boar in the present day Belgium and Luxembourg. Her cult originated in what is today known as Ardennes, a region of Belgium, Luxembourg and France. She was later assimilated into the Gallo-Roman mythology of goddess Diana.

The Boar was sacrificed as 'The Yule Pig', and was served with an apple in it's mouth, and eating the Boar's meat is believed to restore one's health and happiness.

There are many Celtic Sagas telling of a 'Great Boar' being hunted by heroes. Irish Lore tells of 'Divine', 'Magical' and 'Prophetic' Boars and 'Supernatural' and 'Otherworldly' swine  who usher in 'Death and Disaster.'

In one Celtic Saga, Finn McCool, a mythical hunter-warrior of Irish mythology, and elderly leader of 'The Fianna', the ancient Irish Army, arranged for Diarmuid, his formerly trusted lietenant, to be killed when Finn's wife ran away with his betrayer, and boar hunting figures were mounted on alters. Fionn invites Diarmuid on a boar hunt, and Diarmuid is badly gored by their quarry. Water drunk from Fionn's hands has the power of healing, but when Fionn gathers water he deliberately lets it run through his fingers before he gets back to Diarmuid. His grandson Oscar threatens him if does not bring water for Diarmuid, but when Fionn finally returns it is too late; Diarmuid has died.

Twrch Trywth in Welsh Celtic Mythology, appearing in the Mabinogion, a collection of Welsh Legends in the Red Book of Hetgest. In the legend , he's portrayed as a devastating enemy to Arthur and his realm. Twrch Trywth is a boar who had once been a king, but had been transformed by God as a punishment. The comb and shears which he carried between his ears were needed so the giant Ysbaddaden could prepare himself for the wedding of his daughter Olwen to the hero Culhwch. Arthur, accompanied by his warriors and Mabon mab Modron and Gwyn ap Nudd, chased it across Ireland, Wales and Cornwall. It finally disappeared into the sea off the Cornish coast, but the comb and shears had already been stolen from it.

In Celtic Mythology Ceridwen is a great earth Goddess associated with the eternal cycle of life, death, and rebirth. worshipped at harvest time. She tends her cauldron of wisdom and inspiration. Her totem animal is the 'White Sow'. and she is a shapeshifter, able to be seen as a greyhound, an otter, a hawk, and a black hen. She was mother to the great Celtic bard Taliesin (often thought to be Merlin) according to a favorite Celtic regeneration myth. He attributed his magic talents to her.

Her herbal potions bring forth initiation and transformation, just as tiny grains become vast fields of wheat that then transform into the bread of sustenance.

Kerridwen is the Welsh Triple Goddess. Her cauldron was the Celtic symbol for prosperity and rebirth. The Mother Goddess is famous for nurturing her children.

Her totem animal, the corpse-connected white sow, also represents the moon as well as Kerridwin's crone/transformatrix aspect.

She can be equated with Greek Demeter, Diana and Kali, all goddesses who both give and take away.

The Sow is considered a very powerful being in the 'Otherworlds'.



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This article was published on Friday 04 April, 2008.

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