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Year of the Earth Pig 2019 – Completing a Cycle

February 4, 2019

Feb 5 2019 through through Jan 24 2020 is the year of the earth pig

Welcome to the year of the Earth Pig! Conventional interpretations of pig years within Eastern astrological systems are mostly very positive – pig years are considered to be times of abundance and good fortune (which we could all use.) Individuals born in the year of the pig are generally considered responsible, fortunate, and friendly. Of course, there are subtler messages to be gleaned within this general reading, so here is my annual intuitive exploration, using the pig as it is represented across many different cultures as a guide. Enjoy!

Tibetan astrology cycle – although the animal symbols are not all the same as the Chinese system, the pig/boar is the last of the 12 year cycle in both

The pig is the last of the 12 signs in the Eastern astrological systems that adhere to a lunar new year calendar. As such pig years represent the completion of a 12 year cycle, as well as a time to plant seeds for the next cycle. This is a good time to look back at what was going on 12 years ago, the end of the last cycle, as well as 11 years ago, the first year in this current new cycle. If we do this in U.S. politics for example, we see that in this exact week in the last year of the pig (February 10th, 2007), Barack Obama announced his candidacy for the presidency. He was considered a long shot at the time, but one year later, also during this week (the first in the 12-year cycle ending now) he gave front runner Hillary Clinton a run for her money in the Super Tuesday primaries, assuring a long and hard-fought primary battle. It’s not hard to see the karmic momentums generated during that time, and how they have driven political events directly and indirectly over the last 12 years.

So look back to February 2007 and 2008 for yourself. What seeds were you planting in 2007 that have continued to play out for you since that time? (I started writing!) What did you initiate in 2008 along those lines (I started this blog!), and what themes in your life have dominated since then in this 12 year cycle? Is there anything coming to completion for you now, or that has completed recently? What do you want to initiate this year/cycle?

Child’s drawing of the Three Little Pigs from the World Stories project.

While in Western culture pigs are often depicted as stubborn, lazy or unclean, there are a few pig stories that more closely align with the Eastern take. One is the classic fairy tale the Three Little Pigs, in which two pigs are eaten by the big, bad wolf when they unwisely make their homes out of straw and wood, despite warnings. The third pig takes the extra time to make his house out of bricks, and survives. The moral that hard work pays off, and that shortcuts don’t, is very apropos for pig years. Good fortune will be realized by those who plan and spend responsibly, and pay attention to detail. Hard work, rather than risk or impulse, are rewarded in pig years. So think carefully about your goals, consider what could go wrong, plan diligently, and proceed responsibly.

Charlotte’s Web- from the classic book cover

Another positive, and delightful, Western depiction of pigs is found in the story of Charlotte’s Web. The pig Wilbur within this tale of loyalty and friendship more closely aligns with the view of pigs in Eastern interpretations – those born in pig years are considered social and loyal, and these qualities are said to be rewarded during pig years. Collaborating with others will bear fruit, and generosity to others – financially or in terms of praise and time – will generate positive momentums. Consider who in your life you might partner with, or how you might strengthen current partnerships. Consider what organizations you wish to donate your time or money too, and what causes. Acting with good intentions is particularly empowered right now, so think about what you value and how you can contribute to people and organizations that reflect those values.

Sow and piglets in English countryside

Although in Western culture pigs have sometimes been denigrated, they have often also been associated with fertility and abundance, just as in Eastern culture. Their rotundity and ability to bear many piglets was viewed in both Celtic and Nordic culture as symbolic of nature’s bounty. Pigs were often sacrificed to the gods as part of ritual feasts, especially those in which blessings for good harvests were sought. This connection to bounty is another theme to draw upon this year – what do you consider abundance to be in your life? On both the material and immaterial levels, what are you grateful for and what would you like to multiply? Think in terms of what you already have that you would like to increase, as opposed to focusing on lack.

Egytian goddess Nut is shown with stars on her body arched over the world, representing her as mother of all

The sow was sacred to Nut and in some areas she was depicted as a sow with piglets – in the same protective position

Pigs were associated with both Isis and Nut in ancient Egypt – both feminine archetypes, and this pig year is considered a feminine/yin one. Nut was sometimes depicted as a sow with piglets, echoing arched depictions of her encircling earthly existence as the night sky. Although we often think of Isis as the Egyptian archetype of the great feminine, in fact Nut was her mother, and represents certain feminine themes even more than Isis. As goddess of the sky, Nut ruled the cycles of day and night and all the planetary movements that define earthly existence. Fertility is linked to these cycles in Egyptian lore – as it is linked to both seasonal and feminine bodily cycles here on earth. While you are contemplating your life from the standpoint of the 12-year Eastern astrological calendar, also consider your more personal cycles of growth, particularly in terms of what you have created or are seeking to create. Perhaps you have multiple cycles in process – some in the idea stage, others in stages of execution, and still others nearing completion. Consider each consciously, and evaluate if each process is in alignment with spirit, your deepest self, and what you hope to achieve in the world. Contemplate the meaning of the feminine in your life, and what yin energies you can draw upon in your creative and manifesting efforts.

In the Buddhist depiction of the three poisons, the pig represents desire

Now we come to some of the obstacles that can derail us in pig years. Pigs represent one of the three ‘poisons’, or internal forces that can keep us bound, in Buddhism – desire. Really desire in and of itself is not a problem, it is our relationship to desire that can get us into trouble. If our desires overtake us, morphing into greed that thwarts our integrity or into addictions that consume us, we can no longer manifest from a place of spiritual alignment. Holding our desires lightly, as sources of joy when they are satiated but not as blind drives that must be fulfilled, is the key – easier said than done, of course! What are your deepest desires?  Do you desire admiration, fame, respect, wealth, power? Do any of those threaten to overwhelm your judgement or ability to stay grounded? In pig years grounded, well-intentioned actions are rewarded, so it’s worth spending time to understand what forces in yourself might rise up and sully yours.

Vajravarahi is a wrathful form of Vajrayogini, often shown with a sow’s head coming out of the right side of her own

Within Tibetan Buddhism we find another, very different, depiction of the pig, connected to Vajravahari, the wrathful form of Vajrayogini, often shown with a sow’s head coming out of her own. In this form Vajravahari represents the cutting through of ignorance with insight, and as part of the Padma Buddha family, the transformation of craving and desire into the enlightened wisdom of discernment. This kind of discernment enables us to see when we are trapped by an internal force such as desire, and how to manifest it instead as a reflection of beauty and joy. Consider how you might transform your deepest desires into action that reflects these higher principles, rather than solely for your own gratification. Rather than sinking into self-gratification, or its opposites, self-denial and self-judgement, seek to change your relationship with your desires and consider how they might be put to use for the greater good. Do you seek fame or power? How can you use that in  a beneficial way? Do you seek pleasure? How can you manifest that as a reflection of light? This is a difficult path to walk, fraught with the potential for self-delusion, but it is one of the most powerful, and in alignment with the pig year energies.

Varaha, third avatar of Hindu god Vishnu, shown here slaying a demon and lifting the earth from the dark waters

The third avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu, Varaha, is depicted as a pig/boar, and exemplifies the uplifting of consciousness required for us to work with our own desires in this way. In the tale of Varaha, a demon torments the earth and all beings on it, eventually forcing earth down into a primordial sea. Vishnu takes the form of the pig/boar Varaha, plunges into the dark waters, slews the demon, and lifts earth back into her rightful place with his tusks. The water is seen to represent the darkest, often unacknowledged, parts of the human psyche, and Vishnu in this form represents the forces that raise our consciousness and help us act from our higher natures. So consider: what uplifts you? Bring more of this into your life. Consider also: how can you uplight others? And do more of that too this pig year.

Pigs are smart! Here’s one shown doing a puzzle. Google ‘smart pigs’ and you can find them doing some amazing things:-)

Coming back from mythic to real-world pigs, I find it fascinating that in recent decades pigs have been shown to share an immense amount of DNA with humans, so much so that they are one of the leading contenders for human organ donation. Pigs also consistently rank in the top 5 in terms of intelligence amongst animals – one recent study placed them second after only chimpanzees, ahead of dolphins, elephants, and dogs. Pigs are sensitive, smart, and social creatures, and these are the traits we can all seek to bring out in ourselves this year.

Drawing of Wilbur in an exuberant back somersault for the original 1952 version of Charlotte’s Web, by artist Garth Williams

I’ll end by returning to my favorite pig Wilbur, shown here in his leap for joy in the original Charlotte’s Web. Enjoyment is another traditional pig quality, found when we embrace what is in a grounded, present, and grateful way, without tipping into excess or greed. May you exemplify the best of pigs this year, and leap with your own joy. Please feel free to share your own predictions or advice for this pig year in the comments-

 

8 Comments leave one →
  1. carolynstuart permalink
    February 5, 2019 12:56 am

    thank you thank you. my fire pig self needed this boost!!

  2. February 5, 2019 10:25 am

    Such a well-rounded and interesting post, really enjoyed reading it! I especially liked your thoughts and input regarding the nature of desire and how to approach it! Thank you:)

  3. February 5, 2019 5:28 pm

    Reblogged this on Follow the Female Buddha and commented:
    I love Mommy Mystic’s yearly commentary on the lunar cycle. This year it is the Earth Pig. She references mythology from around the world as well as children’s stories!

  4. Eefje permalink
    February 5, 2019 6:45 pm

    Always lovely to read, Lisa, thank you!
    ✨🌸🐖⛩🐖🌸✨

  5. February 5, 2019 6:57 pm

    Thanks for a lovely and wide ranging article about the lunar New Year and its relationship to the qualities of the Pig. I’m especially happy to see Wilbur!

  6. Anonymous permalink
    February 5, 2019 8:48 pm

    Ah Wilbur, what a lovely joyful pig. So glad to read this, a lot of optimism and good advice. Happy year of the pig to you!

  7. Eileen Kay permalink
    February 6, 2019 8:48 pm

    Muy interesante, gracias… 🙂

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