Merry we meet  -  Merry we meet  -  Merry we meet

 

Welcome to

Controverscial.Com

 

                   

 

Animals and Witchcraft

(The Witches Familiar)

Goat

Totem Spirit & Medicine

By Patricia J. Martin

Highly visible in ancient mythology and highly regarded in Pagan culture to this day, for Beltane, let us visit the Goat - that wild and woolly, horned and bearded mammal of the genus Capra.

Goats, along with Sheep, were one of the earliest domesticated animals, (earliest finds of this fact date back to between 6000 and 7000 BCE), so it is not surprising to often find the goat shrouded in myth and seen as magickal.  This agile and inquisitive creature has a long list of associations throughout history, but one of his most notable ties is with Pan, the mischievous, musical and virile nature god associated with sexual energy, fertility and the season of Spring.  Pan is a god that rules over shepherds and their flocks, fields and mountain wilds, wooded glens and forest groves.  As a satyr, he has the hindquarters, legs and horns of a goat.

In other mythology, the nurturing goddess, Amalthea, is often depicted as a she-goat or a goat-tending nymph.  As a goat (all of whom have hollow horns), the cornucopia or "horn of plenty" that we know today and which holds the bounty of fruits and grains symbolizing fruitful abundance, was symbolically derived from her broken horn; the same horn from which the infant Zeus drank.  The Greek goddess Aphrodite and the Hindu fire god, Agni the Vedic, both rode goats.  In Egypt, the goat was a symbol of nobility.  And Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is said to have had a flying chariot drawn by a pair of magickal goats named Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr.   Later, in the all-too-often realm of religious scapegoats (pardon the pun), the goat became associated with Satan - a horned "devil" depicted as having the face of a goat and sporting a small beard, which we now call a "goatee".  In certain occult traditions today, the inverted pentagram is likened to the head of a goat, which is, at times, called Baphomet or Baphomet of Mendes, a "Sabbatical Goat" first drawn by Eliphas Levi.

    

Pan  -  Baphomet

So how is it that Goat transformed through the ages from a mischievous, sexual and highly energized god, to a nurturing and uplifting goddess, then alternately to an alluring satanic demon, and then back again?  Well, domestic goats, unlike sheep, are known to be able to rapidly revert back to the wild if given the chance.  Wild is in Goat's nature.  And wild at heart he shall remain.  Those with Goat Totem will find their own sexual and lustful behaviour increase dramatically.  There was an old superstition from the Middle Ages that said goat’s whispered lewd and lascivious comments into the ears of the saints.  So yes, lust is Goat's middle name.  But along with their sexual nature, (or maybe because of it <grin>), goats are also very inquisitive and will climb upon almost anything, survey their surroundings, and then poke their nose into anything that looks interesting.  In this, we too will find a greater curiosity and independence driving us to explore new horizons, opening our awareness and having our newly gained knowledge lending us the ability to use to our benefit all that we learn there.  Goat reminds us to release any lingering binds of Winter, to frolic through Spring, and to unleash our wild side as we begin to engage Summer.  For those in the Southern Hemisphere, take Goat's wisdom within to sustain you throughout the Winter, and remember to keep your curiosity and your wild side alive even if indoors. 

While the adult male goat is called a Billy or buck and while the adult female is called a nanny or doe, a baby goat up to one year old is called a kid - the same slang we use today for our own playful and mischievous children.  But beyond the precocious and inquisitive temperament of a kid lies an able sage, for even baby goats are agile and alert right from birth.  In appearance, all goats look capable and wise beyond their years...and they are.  As all goats, both male and female, sport horns (some curved, some spiralled), and as all animals with horns on their heads indicate psychic awareness, clairvoyance and the ability to see into the future, Goat can aim us toward the best pathway to our desires and can help us see how best to manoeuvre or, if need be, butt our way through any obstacles which may lie in our path.  A goat's horns are also used to help fight off predators or in squabbles amongst themselves, teaching us a good deal about protective measures and defending our right to go after what we desire.  Life is, after all, about finding our truest self and heading toward what and where we know we want to be. 

The goat's main ancestral line begins with the Bezoar goat, which originated in the mountainous regions of Asia and the Middle East.  Today's domesticated goats are found worldwide in a variety of colours and sizes and are used for the same reasons the ancients used them - for their milk, meat, hides and hair.  A goat's milk is more easily digested than cow's milk and is used for the same purpose, along with producing several cheeses.  Their meat and hides are used for edible sustenance and leather goods respectively.  And their hair, a usually coarse overcoat atop a soft undercoat, the latter of which is used in the manufacture of clothing - the Angora's mohair and the Kashmir's cashmere (aka "pashmina) being the softest blends and being the most highly prized.  Within these physical characteristics of the goat we find the metaphysical aspects of nurturing and life-giving nourishment (milk and meat), protective and rugged endurance (hides and horns), and yet fanciful appearance to enhance our ability to attract new mates (hair/soft "wool")... all of which aspects we will use when working with Goat medicine.

The Angora goat is adorned with mohair, which can be six inches or more in length.

In the Zodiac, we see Goat as an integral part of the sign of Capricorn - a figure that is usually depicted as half goat and half fish, meaning half ambitious climber and half the intuitive nurturer.  A popular ancient myth attached to the origin of this image is the following story:  Determined to help retrieve Zeus' stolen tendons and in order to avoid the monstrous Typhon who'd originally stolen them, the goat-god Pan dove into the Nile and attempted to turn himself into a fish.  But his magickal thought was only able to be half-contrived and, thus, only half of his body shape-shifted.  Soon after, Pan succeeded in recapturing and returning Zeus' tendons, and in honour of his loyal deed, Zeus placed his image of the Sea-Goat in the sky.  Anyone working with Goat should also study the traits of Capricorn, for their characteristics are, for the most part, one and the same.  They are disciplined, determined, ambitious, opportunistic, cunning, amorous, practical, stable, steadfast, sure, protective, truthful and honourable; these being just a few of their strongest qualities.  And although the Goat can also be seen as being reserved, cautious and conservative at times, it is in these traits he makes his way, steady and sure.  But always along the way he will take time to play.

Goat as the sign of Capricorn

There are over 600 different breeds of goat, the most commonly known being the Alpine, the Nubian, the Nigerian, the Angora, the Cashmere, the Pygmy and the Mountain Goat.  All are vegetarians subsisting on leaves and grasses, and all are cloven-hoofed making them able to traverse and climb rough mountainous terrain with ease, especially the Mountain Goat.  His thick coat and flexible legs make it easy for him to jump up to 30 feet or more to ledges that are barely wide enough for any footing at all!  Goats can go where other animals do not dare to venture.  Some goats will even climb into trees to feed or on top of roofs to take in the view.  In this, the spirit of Goat promotes flexibility and ease of movement as we enjoy the open spaces and newfound mobility of Spring.  He helps us reach for the stars, nudging us to go after the things we most desire but that we may have once perceived as unobtainable.  As a Totem, Goat is sure to bring his own surefootedness and steady steps to our most lofty ambitions.  And if we happen to stumble, he will pick us up and help us regain our balance and perspective.  Diligent movement and greater strength and coordination will enter our realm as Goat nudges us toward our goals at this more active time of year.  But, of course, we will always be asked to intermittently stop and enjoy life along the way!  Wild fun and pleasure are a prerequisite to understanding Goat and his teachings. 

With Goat to guide us, it is a time to begin new endeavours with foresight, agility, renewed strength and ever-present protection as we climb to new heights.  A time to be playful, lustful and active as we revel in the gaiety of Spring and prepare to leap into Summer.

A Blessed and fun Beltaine to all!

©Patricia J. Martin, March 29, 2009

Sources: 

Animal-Speak, Ted Andrews

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Goat

http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/goats/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amalthea_(mythology)

Goat, himself.

 

Pari lives on the East Coast, USA, and is a shamanic witch.

Best wishes and Blessed Be

 

Site Contents - Links to all Pages

 

Home Page

 

A Universal Message:

 

Let there be peace in the world  -   Where have all the flowers gone?

 

About me:

My Personal PageMy Place in England / My Family Tree (Ancestry)

 

Wicca & Witchcraft

 

Wicca/Witchcraft /  What is Wicca What is Magick

 

Traditional Writings:

 

The Wiccan Rede Charge of the Goddess Charge of the God  /  The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) /  The Witches Chant The Witches Creed Descent of the Goddess Drawing Down the Moon The Great Rite Invocation Invocation of the Horned GodThe 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief /  The Witches Rede of Chivalry A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality

 

Correspondence Tables:

 

IncenseCandlesColours Magickal Days Stones and Gems Elements and Elementals

 

Traditions:

 

Traditions Part 1  -  Alexandrian Wicca /  Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) /  Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) /  Blue Star Wicca /  British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) /  Celtic Wicca /  Ceremonial Magic /  Chaos Magic /  Church and School of Wicca /  Circle Sanctuary /  Covenant of the Goddess (COG) /  Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) /  Cyber Wicca /  Dianic Wicca /  Eclectic Wicca /  Feri Wicca /

 

Traditions Part 2 Gardnerian Wicca /  Georgian Tradition /  Henge of Keltria /  Hereditary Witchcraft /  Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) /  Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) /  Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition /  Nordic Paganism /  Pagan Federation /  Pectic-Wita /  Seax-Wica /  Shamanism /  Solitary /  Strega /  Sylvan Tradition /  Vodoun or Voodoo /  Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /

 

Other things of interest:

 

Gods and Goddesses (Greek Mythology) /  Esbats & Full Moons Links to Personal Friends & Resources Wicca/Witchcraft Resources What's a spell? Circle Casting and Sacred Space  Pentagram - Pentacle Marks of a Witch The Witches Power The Witches Hat An esoteric guide to visiting London SatanismPow-wowThe Unitarian Universalist Association /  Numerology:  Part 1  Part 2  /  Part 3A history of the Malleus Maleficarum:  includes:  Pope Innocent VIII  /  The papal Bull  /   The Malleus Maleficarum  /  An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum  /  The letter of approbation  /  Johann Nider’s Formicarius  /  Jacob Sprenger  /  Heinrich Kramer  /  Stefano Infessura  /  Montague Summers  /  The Waldenses  /  The Albigenses  /  The Hussites /  The Native American Sun DanceShielding (Occult and Psychic Protection)  The History of ThanksgivingAuras  - Part 1 and Part 2 /

 

Sabbats and Festivals:

 

The Sabbats in History and Mythology /  Samhain (October 31st)  /  Yule (December 21st)  /  Imbolc (February 2nd)  /  Ostara (March 21st)  /  Beltane (April 30th)  /  Litha (June 21st)  /  Lammas/Lughnasadh (August 1st)  /  Mabon (September 21st)

 

Rituals contributed by Crone:

 

Samhain / Yule Imbolc Ostara /  Beltane Litha Lammas Mabon

 

Tools:

 

Tools of a Witch  /  The Besom (Broom) /  Poppets and DollsPendulums / Cauldron Magick Mirror Gazing

 

Animals:

 

Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) /  AntelopeBatsCrow Fox Frog and Toads Goat / HoneybeeKangarooLion OwlPhoenix Rabbits and HaresRaven Robin RedbreastSheep Spider SquirrelSwansWild Boar Wolf /  Serpent /  Pig /  Stag /  Horse /  Mouse /  Cat

 

Trees:

 

In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar.  For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following:  Birch /  Rowan / Ash /  Alder /  Willow Hawthorn /  Oak /  Holly /  Hazel /  Vine /  Ivy /  Reed /  Elder

 

Sacred Sites:

 

Mystical Sacred Sites  -  Stonehenge /  Glastonbury Tor /  Malta - The Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni /  Avebury /  Cerne Abbas - The Chalk Giant /  Ireland - Newgrange /

 

Rocks and Stones:

 

Stones - History, Myths and Lore

 

Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:

 

Apophyllite  / Amber Amethyst Aquamarine Aragonite Aventurine Black Tourmaline Bloodstone Calcite Carnelian Celestite Citrine Chrysanthemum StoneDiamond  /  Emerald / Fluorite Garnet /  Hematite Herkimer Diamond Labradorite Lapis Lazuli Malachite Moonstone Obsidian Opal Pyrite Quartz (Rock Crystal) Rose Quartz Ruby Selenite Seraphinite  /  Silver and GoldSmoky QuartzSodalite Sunstone ThundereggTree AgateZebra Marble

 

Wisdom and Inspiration:

 

Knowledge vs Wisdom by Ardriana Cahill I Talk to the TreesAwakening The Witch in YouA Tale of the Woods I have a Dream by Martin Luther King /

 

Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:

 

Murdered by Witchcraft The Fairy Witch of Clonmel A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) /  Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife /  The Story of Jack-O-Lantern The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) /  The Two Brothers - Light and Dark

 

Old Masters of Academia:

 

Pliny the ElderHesiodPythagoras

 

 

Biographies

 

Witches, Pagans and other associated People

(Ancient, Past and Present)

 

Remembered at Samhain

(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)

 

Abramelin the Mage /  Agrippa Aidan A KellyAlbertus Magnus - “Albert the Great” Aleister Crowley - “The Great Beast” /  Alex Sanders - “King of the Witches” /  Alison Harlow /  Amber KAnna FranklinAnodea JudithAnton Szandor LaVey /  Arnold CrowtherArthur Edward Waite /  Austin Osman Spare /  Biddy Early /  Bridget Cleary - The Fairy Witch of Clonmel /  Carl " Llewellyn" Weschcke Cecil Hugh WilliamsonCharles Godfrey Leland /   Charles WaltonChristina Oakley Harrington Damh the Bard - "Dave Smith" /  Dion Fortune /  Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki Doreen ValienteDorothy MorrisonDr. John Dee & Edward Kelly /  Dr. Leo Louis Martello /  Edward FitchEleanor Ray Bone - “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” Eliphas Levi /  Ernest Thompson Seton /  Ernest Westlake /  Fiona Horne Friedrich von Spee /  Francis Barrett /  Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca /  Gerald B. Gardner - The father of contemporary Witchcraft /  Gwydion Pendderwen Hans HolzerHelen Duncan /   Herman Slater - Horrible Herman /  Isaac Bonewits Israel RegardieJames "Cunning" Murrell - The Master of Witches /  Janet Farrar and Gavin BoneJessie Wicker Bell - “Lady Sheba” /  Johannes Junius - "The Burgomaster of Bamberg" /  John Belham-Payne John George Hohman - "Pow-wow" /  John Gerard /  John Gordon Hargrave and the Kibbo Kith Kindred /  John Michael Greer /  John ScoreJoseph John Campbell /  Karl von Eckartshausen /  Laurie Cabot  - "the Official Witch of Salem" /  Lewis SpenceMargaret Alice MurrayMargot AdlerMarie Laveau - " the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" /  Marion WeinsteinMatthew Hopkins - “The Witch-Finder General” /   Max Ehrmann and the "Desiderata" /  Monique WilsonMontague Summers /  Nicholas CulpeperNicholas RemyM. R. SellarsMrs. Maud Grieve - "A Modern Herbal" /  Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning GloryOld Dorothy Clutterbuck /  Old George PickingillPaddy SladePamela Colman-SmithParacelsus /  Patricia CrowtherPatricia Monaghan /  Patricia “Trish” TelescoPhilip HeseltonRaymond Buckland /  Reginald Scot /  Robert CochraneRobert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and the "The White Goddess" /  Rosaleen Norton - “The Witch of Kings Cross” /  Ross Nichols and the " Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids" (OBOD) /  Rudolf SteinerSabrina Underwood - "The Ink Witch" /  Scott CunninghamSelena Fox - founder of "Circle Sanctuary" /  Silver RavenwolfSir Francis Dashwood /  Sir James George Frazer and the " The Golden Bough"S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” /  Starhawk /  Stewart Farrar /  Sybil LeekTed Andrews The Mather Family - (includes:  Richard Mather, Increase Mather and Cotton Mather ) /   Thomas AdyT. Thorn CoyleVera ChapmanVictor & Cora Anderson and the " Feri Tradition" /  Vivianne CrowleyWalter Brown GibsonWilliam Butler YeatsZsuzsanna Budapest /  

 

 

Many of the above biographies are briefs and far from complete.  If you know about any of these individuals and can help with additional information, please contact me privately at my email address below.  Many thanks for reading  :-)

 

"FAIR USE NOTICE"

While I have taken due care and diligence to credit all sources where possible, this website may contain copyrighted material which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner.  My use of making such material available here is done so in my efforts to advance our understanding of religious discrimination, the environmental and social justice issues etc.   If you wish to use copyrighted material from this website for purposes of your own then you must obtain permission from the relevant copyright owner yourself.

Email_Witches

My online email discussion group:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Email_Witches

 

Dove of Peace

Help send a message of peace around the world!  The Dove of Peace flies from site to site, through as many countries as possible.  It does not belong to ANY belief system.  Please help make a line around the globe by taking it with you to your site, by giving it to someone for their site, by passing it on to another continent or to the conflict areas of the world.  May trouble and strife be vanquished in it's path.

 

 

mailto:George@controverscial.com