Suddenly I remember, unbidden, that I had a dream the other day of hanging out with my Mom at an Episcopal/Anglican church complex (it was a larger property with a small farm attached, but not a commune or anything). After various back-and-forth dreamstuff not relevant here, I ran across a group of parents and children being introduced to some animals. I think mostly traditional livestock. I stopped to get to know the boar, explaining to the priest I was with that it was a sacred animal in my tradition, and thus I felt an obligation to stop and pay my respects, given the chance.
The boar was young, and very happy to see me. I remember thinking “You’re so sweet and adorable, how have I not spent time with you before?”
Of course! I can’t belong to the Vanir and not consider Boar amongst the animal spirits to whom I pay specific respects.
I should perhaps have realized this sooner, but frankly the dream menagerie gets a bit crowded at times, and I try not to add every animal I happen to encounter to the long-term list just because they passed through.
Taking a moment to do some cursory research, I find the map on Wikipedia of the native territory for the wild boar doesn’t even cover most of Scandinavia, although they are naturalized to my own home in California. This reinforces some of my impressions of the Vanir being perceived as Southwestern relative to Sweden and Norway.
Granted, I doubt wild boars were revered historically for being sweet and adorable, and the ones I’ve seen roaming wild in my area haven’t looked liked they’d welcome a cuddle. I’ve never thought of them as particularly hospitable. On the contrary, they’ve come across as fierce prey – food for the brave and skilled.
Domestic swine are also sacred to the Vanir, of course, and are rather easier to get close to, but even so I’ve heard that they’re dangerous, and have even been known to attack and eat farmers if something goes awry. Pigs are rather strange creatures. I should have researched them much sooner.
And one for the “Muppetru” file:
Miss Piggy as a pop-culture representation of Freyja in Her epithet of Syr?