Virile, lustful and cunning, the goat has stirred the human imagination for millennia. Strong sexual connotations surround the goat - horns and erect members - turning it into a symbol of male potency, but also female fecundity and nurturing. As an animal totem, the goat's sharp horns symbolize perception. It represents practicality and stability, encouraging balanced perspective. Patience, honest ambition and determination are also symbols of the goat.
In the Chinese Zodiac, the goat and ram are interchangeable. Under this sign, the goat/ram is the symbol of perseverance and sensitivity. Those born under this sign are said to be stoics, keeping their feelings to themselves. Except for the knack of always getting off on the wrong foot with people, the goat can be charming company. They are elegant and artistic but the first to complain about things. Goats are advised to put aside their pessimism and try to be less dependent on material comforts. Goats make good actors, gardeners, and beachcombers.
The goat has also come to represent a destructive nature. It was one of the three creatures – lion, serpent, goat – that together constituted the fire-breathing entity, Chimera, in ancient Greek mythology.