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The Taming of the Boar

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  • Temple Richmond
    Deborah has pointed out an interesting fact: The Celtic warrior totem animal was the boar. (Hence hogs and bacon!) Temple responds: This would mean that
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 5, 2006

      Deborah has pointed out an interesting fact:
       
      The Celtic warrior totem animal was the boar. (Hence hogs and bacon!)

      Temple responds:
       
      This would mean that Hogwarts, in that it is guarded by two winged boars at the entry gate and replete with other boar or hog-like symbolism, exists to perpetuate the Celtic tradition. 
       
      To this might be added the fact that a great mythic boar is part of the Arthurian Legendry.  Arthur is said to have slain a massive, dangerous wild boar.  This is part of his claim to fame, his ability to subdue threatening forces and restore Albion (or England) to order.  If the wild boar can be equated to magical force in its primal state, then it follows that what Arthur really did was to bring the magical force of nature to heel.  He brought it under control through right practice, then, one might say.  The same  happens every day at Hogwart's, where students learn the basic laws of the magical universe and how to "tame" them.
       
      It would seem that it's safe to conclude that JKR's choice of name for the school involves a great deal more than whimsy, though the adding of the "wart" suffix to the hog portion does most assuredly add a definite note of humor!
       
       
       
       

    • Hans Andréa
      Deborah has pointed out an interesting fact: The Celtic warrior totem animal was the boar. (Hence hogs and bacon!) Temple responds: This would mean that
      Message 2 of 3 , Jun 5, 2006
        Deborah has pointed out an interesting fact:
         
        The Celtic warrior totem animal was the boar. (Hence hogs and bacon!)

        Temple responds:
         
        This would mean that Hogwarts, in that it is guarded by two winged boars at the entry gate and replete with other boar or hog-like symbolism, exists to perpetuate the Celtic tradition. 
         
        Hans:
         
        Don't forget the Erymanthian Boar. We have occasionally discussed the Twelve Labours of Hercules in the past, and concluded that Hercules is a hero on the same quest as Harry. Intuitively I would think that the boar here symbolises Hercules' lower nature, his animal tendencies. According to the legend Hercules drove the boar into deep snow where he was able to tie it up. The snow I would think symbolises purity, just as it does in the Albedo phase. All very rich symbolism from which we can learn a great deal.


        "Rowling said she couldn't answer the questions about the book's religious content until the conclusion of book seven." CST 99
        "If I talk too freely about whether I believe in God I think the intelligent reader, whether 10 or 60, will be able to guess what's coming in the books." JKR
         

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      • Temple Richmond
        20th century metaphysical writer Alice Bailey wrote a partial treatment of the 12 labours of Hercules, and followers of hers completed the collection after her
        Message 3 of 3 , Jun 5, 2006

          20th century metaphysical writer Alice Bailey wrote a partial treatment of the 12 labours of Hercules, and followers of hers completed the collection after her death.  This telling of the Labors differs some from the version presented in the classics, as does the numerical ordering. 
           
          In this telling, each labor is associated with an astrological constellation and sign.  The Capture of the Erymanthian Boar, as this labor is called in the Bailey collection,  is associated with the constellation and sign of Libra. 
           
          Here is a summary of this Labor of Hercules as presented by the Alice Bailey perspective.
           

          The Capture of the Erymanthian Boar

          Hercules is once again dispatched to deliver a region from the threat posed by a wild animal. This time the beast is a wild boar. Hercules sets off to snare the animal, but on the way is befriended by a centaur. The centaur (not unlike certain Sagittarians) is talkative and entertaining. Soon, Hercules forgets all about the urgent quest at hand.

          The centaur suggests that the two of them break into liquor owned by a centaur group of which he is a member. This they do, and calling a third centaur to join them, soon are even more oblivious to the outer world. Then, along come the other centaurs. Realizing the fate of their sacred cask of wine, bestowed by the gods on the condition that it be used only in group formation, the centaurs rage and attack the three marauders. In the frenzy which ensues, the inebriated Hercules kills his two drinking buddies by mistake.

          Narrowly escaping death himself, Hercules staggers away. As he shakes himself into sobriety, he realizes what he�s done. After a time, he gains his mental balance and completes the labor by capturing the wild boar, an action symbolic of subduing yet again the animal nature.

          In this story, it is evident that Hercules� fatal flaw is his desire for agreeable companionship. It�s this which draws him into association with the playful and ultimately irreverent centaur. Further, Hercules is still vulnerable to invitations to indulgence. These are failings of the animal nature dramatized once again in terms appropriate to Libra, a social sign. Finally, Hercules locates the higher component of Libra, becomes rational, and completes the objective for which he was sent forth: control of the animal nature.

          *******       *******       *******
           
          In this recounting, snow does not figure.  However, there are many versions of these stories.
           
          In any case, the boar certainly does appear prominently in this context.  It is entirely possible that this and all the other previously identified layers and levels of boar symbolism are implied in the images associated with Hogwarts.
           

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