Goats

Having a long history of domestication, the goat has gained many attributes in ancient cultures. In Chinese culture the goat is one of the twelve animals of the zodiac, associated with introversion, creativity and perfectionism. Similarly in the western zodiac, Capricorn, a sea-goat is identified as Amalthea, the foster mother of Zeus who is often depicted as a goat, Amalthea’s broken horn formed the cornucopia of unlimited plenty. In contrast to these characterisations is the chimerism of the goat that is seen in classical mythology where the goat is associated with Pan and his Roman counterpart Faunus, with the upper body of a man and the horns and lower body of a goat. A rustic god, Pan is associated with nature and fertility and lechery, in some similarity with Dionysus, Pan’s fertile energy is such that he is said to inspire panic, the etymology of which derives from his name.

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