Gifts: Independence. Perseverance in overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Sure-footedness. Letting go of guilt. Spiritual ambition. Masculine energy.
Challenges: Stubbornness. Fear of change. Martyrdom. Lacking a solid foundation. Being a “butthead.”
Goat refers to Wild Goat, such as Ibex, not domesticated goats (see chapter 3 for information on domesticated and caged animals). Goat is a powerful symbol of independence and perseverance. Unlike Ram (a male sheep), Goat does not live in a tight herd. Rather it lives in a loose group, having a closer bond to the herd in youth and becoming more independent with age. The lesson for you is not to allow yourself to be herded or forced into a group that doesn’t suit you. Choose your group on your own. Form strong bonds early on, then evolve your community relationship over time.
This falls in line with Goat’s gift of spiritual ambition. You see Goat’s material ambition symbolized in its living in mountainous habitats, climbing easily, scaling seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Many people with Goat as a spirit animal reject materialambition all together and focus instead on spiritual ambition. The goal is to evolve spiritually, to overcome seemingly insurmountable obstacles that facilitate spiritual growth.
Goat’s perseverance makes it a helpful ally when approaching any goal or project—long-term or short, spiritual or material—that involves growth and moving up. Goat is sure-footed even on loose rocks and uneven terrain. Picture those mountain goats hopping effortlessly up a mountain of falling rocks! Use Goat energy when you are walking an uncertain path, especially if there is an uphill component—a new skill to learn, personal growth to explore.
Goat offers the gift of letting go of guilt. Guilt is a huge challenge for Goat people. You can feel pressure—real or imagined—to follow the herd. But your independent streak won’t let you, not without giving up an essential part of yourself. Society, of course, has a way of guilt-tripping you into compliance. When your Goat energy is in balance, the guilt-tripping has no effect on you. You know who you are, what you want, and how to get there. You know that guilt-tripping is a reflection of other people’s issues, not yours.
Stubbornness and fear of change are paradoxical challenges for people with spirit animal Goat. Blind perseverance can turn into inflexibility, rigidly believing that your way is the only way. Goat’s confidence and perseverance are awesome gifts, but they are best tempered with occasional openness and humility.
When your spirit animal Goat has some maturing to do, you are especially susceptible to getting trapped in a herd. You may doubt yourself and your ability to handle change, sacrificing your independence and your instinct for the comfort of the herd. When discomfort and restlessness start to stir within you, let your Goat guide you to the independence you’re longing for.