Coinneach Shanks: A Psychotherapist in Dublin, Ireland
Friday, November 8, 2013
I spotted this abandoned toy near my apartment in Turin. Passersby were laughing and I couldn't help being amused by the artful arrangement. But pigs always get a bad press in sayings and in symbolism it's no different - so I snapped a quick shot, then went on my way and forgot about it. Later I was reviewing my shots for that day and there it was. so I smiled for the second time. Universally, pigs are always about gluttony, greed and insatiability. Above all, the pig is seen as ignorant. We frequently cast pearls before swine - creatures who are not worthy of understanding or receiving our offerings. Yet there are two places where the pig is worthy. In Sino-Vietnam the pig is a symbol of plenty and in Egypt, the Sky Goddess Nut is depicted as a sow suckling her litter. But what about my neighbour here? Perhaps the person who gave him that symbolic food felt he looked like a pig out of water. He needed nurturing. Or perhaps Cerce the Greek witch was upset with an unlucky suitor. She may have touched the hapless fellow with her magic wand, transforming him into something that suited his character. Snorkeling as a pastime is for observation in the shallow waters - so maybe that got him into bother!