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Friday, February 21, 2014

Listen to the Animals: Sow

For this Tarot Notes feature, I pull one card from an animal-themed deck to represent an important message from that animal.

If you are interested in finding out who your Animal Guides are, you can get an Animal Guides Reading through my _Etsy shop_ or my _Web Site_.

Today I am using The Druid Animal Oracle by Philip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm, illustrated by Will Worthington (Simon & Schuster).

My card is the SOW.
The Druid Animal Oracle
In this oracle deck, the Sow (Gaelic name muc, pronounced mooc) is seen as having the gifts or abilities of fertility and creativity. She is linked with the element Earth, and she represents generosity, nourishment, and discovery.

In his book Dictionary of Symbols (Chronicle Books), Jack Tressider tells us that pigs were venerated in earlier cultures (such as in the Celtic world depicted in the Druid Animal Oracle). However, Greek mythology along with Jewish and Islamic dietary taboos turned pigs into symbols of gluttony, lust, and sloth. In Buddhist tradition, the pig symbolizes ignorance.

The Carr-Gomms acknowledge these negative interpretations in their discussion of the reversed Sow card. They quote a Gaelic saying: “As a golden jewel in a pig’s snout, is a fair woman without sufficiency of understanding.” In other words, “without wisdom even beauty can be unattractive.”

One of my favorite tales from Welsh mythology is the story of Ceridwen, the goddess of pigs and barley, who sometimes manifested as a pig. According to legend, she was responsible for the initiation and transformation of Gwion Bach into the magical bard Taliesin. Ceridwen’s neophytes were addressed as piglets and her worshippers as swine.

With the Sow card, we are encouraged to open ourselves to nature’s abundance and then share that abundance with others, giving freely even as we receive nourishment and nurture ourselves.

Meanwhile, here is a picture of a sow named Betty Sue who lives on a goat farm not far from me. She is a Vietnamese Pot Bellied Pig.

Betty Sue


  1. I always adore the striped little piglets :)
    It seems pigs are much more intelligent then most people assume.

    1. Hi Ellen! The little striped ones are adorable, aren't they? Poor Betty Sue is much less attractive, but I suspect she is a pretty smart lady, all things considered. :)

  2. Hello! Do you know what it means to get with the water dragon!? I keep pulling the same cards

    1. Hello, the cards we pull are usually deeply connected to our own subconscious mind and situation, so it's difficult for me to interpret what a particular card means for you personally, when you draw it. In the Druid Animal Oracle, the Water Dragon is said to represent "Passion, Depth, Connection." This card is about things that might be hidden (such as memories or wishes) that are emerging, perhaps in an uncomfortable way. Could that be the case?


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~ Zanna