The goat has always been associated with positivity throughout Chinese history.
This is in part, attributed with it Mandarin name yang (羊) which sounds and looks like the word xiang (祥) which means auspicious.
This is why sometimes the tern ji xiang (吉祥) which means auspiciousness is sometimes intentionally written as ji yang (吉羊) to mean an auspicious goat.
It also phonetically sounds exactly like yang (阳) as in yin yang.
It’s worth mentioning that the word 羊 can be used to refer to sheep as well. And sometimes in Chinese symbolism, they can both be used as substitutes for each other to mean the same thing.
For more specificity, a ram is called gong yang (公羊) while a goat is called shan yang (山羊).
It has it’s own zodiac animal sign and has been one of the domesticated animals that have served mankind well since ancient times.
In western astrology, the goat is associated with the Capricorn star sign.
Goats in Chinese culture
The Chinese word for beautiful (美) is said to originate from lines marking out a person wearing horns that belonged to a goat as headgear.
This was why in the past, many cultural festivals have documented people wearing the same types of headgear when dancing in celebration. Because they want to be beautiful.
Goats have also been often used as sacrificial animals when praying to figures of worship across various cultures.
But above all else, the goat is more recognizes an icon of filial piety. This is because the animal is often observed to get on it’s knees when being groomed by it’s mother.
When 3 goats are depicted together, it is a reference to the hexagram 11 (pervading) representing the start of spring as the hexagram has 3 yang lines below and 3 yin lines above. This symbolizes the arrival of good luck from now onwards as bad luck has passed.
In some circles of metaphysics, it is believed that when a goat appears in your dreams, it is a sign of sexuality. It can also mean that one is about to be blamed for something. Thus, the word scapegoat.
In feng shui, the goat is seldom suggested by master practitioners as it is an animal that does not have a unique strong point.
So the most common way it is referred to is in the application of feng shui when bazi is directly involved. This is because of the goat zodiac.
For example, the goat zodiac is associated with the earth element. This can be used as guidance for color schemes of rooms of specific individuals.
In this case, earth, metal and fire colors such as yellow, white and red are in harmony with a person’s zodiac sign. But wood and water colors such as green and blue can be detrimental of this person’s luck.
It can also be used to enhance symbolic stars when the symbolic star in question is the direction E8 according to the 24 mountains.
Just be mindful that when working with bazi, one has to be absolutely sure of what he is doing as making mistakes can have dire consequences.