The Boar – A Sacred Animal

The Boar was once considered a sacred animal, as well as his domestic descendant the Pig, not just in to the Norse/Germanic peoples, but to many other European peoples, such as the Celts, the Lusitanians ( which in fact in todays Portugal is still an animal much honored by the neo-pagans ), the Gauls and so on. The Boar is a very intelligent animal and was the sacred animal of the Gods from many pantheons, but speaking of the Norse/Germanic Deities, they hold this animal in a very high esteem, a noble animal renowned for his intelligence, fighting spirit and its delicious flesh. For example, the God Frey rode the golden boar called Gullinbursti and his sister, the goddess Freyja rode a similarmount called Hildisvini.

In many old pagan religions throughout Europe the boar was a symbol of courage and strength to the warrior class, and also the symbol of ultimate sacrifice, giving himself to death so others could eat and survive, the same way as a warrior gives himself to death to protect those he loves to protect his home, the sense of duty, but he doens’t give himself so willingly, he will fight fearlessly, testing his enemies and take some of those with him. The Boars blood was often used to purify and sanctify temples and sacred places and even the body.

In other places and cultures, the Boar was the symbol of Death, not just the Boar but all the other animals from the swine family, for Boars and Pigs devoured the crops, livestock animals, children and some times even adult humans, the Boar is so strong so feared, that the devouring demons from many mythologies were seen with huge boar’s tusks.

The Boar is an animal who likes to live in the deep forest, near swamps and pools, places seen by ancient folk as the very entrances to the Underworld, the border between civilization and the cosy places of the human communities, with the untamed wild, mystical, mysterious, the place of the Gods and the spirits and the Boar was its fearsome protector.

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