These are items from our “Altar Reality”, tools for sacred and ceremonial use. These are implements present as a part of the living shrine where we look inwardly each day for guidance, to give praise, and remind us of the center so that we might have a clearer vision upon the limitless horizon.
How are we to understand the positive action of this tool, this weapon of the Goddess, especially in light of its common association with repulsion or jabbing? Historically the goad is used literally to prod the working animal.
Symbolically, this tool urges forward the lazy ox (or mind) that we may be spurred onward to continue our pursuit of wisdom, understanding and attainment.
If there is a deeper root to this archaic symbol, it is rarely referenced. The emblem has been acknowledged perhaps even before domestication of oxen and cattle; so surely there is a deeper significance in its symbolism. Early use of this implement may have been quite different from common usage of the ox-goad or elephant-goad. Pre-dating modern history, varied versions of this tool were used to lash the branches of certain trees and shrubs during the seasonal gathering of incense. As the sharp goad scores the flesh of the tree, the sap will run from the point of striking, and a heavenly perfume appears.
We are ever prodded onward and upward and may we be reminded that even if the goad does leave scars, they are surely the divine markings where this nectar is allowed to flow. For we can nurture that flesh-wound, gather from it the sweet ambrosia then offer it back as we give thanks for the constant process of insight and understanding that may arise with the sharp and insistent prompting of the goad.
It is but one of the tools, the weapons; gifts from the Goddess for individual realization and mastery of the three realms.
To clear the clouds of illusion : Body, Mind and Spirit. Jai Maa
The tools of the Goddess are plentiful and as she embodies the many forms incarnate, she gifts her tools according to our needs.
As the goad is representative of the masculine, fiery driving force of the Sun, the noose, held in her opposite hand is emblem of the feminine energy of our Moon. Power of attraction, the magnetism in her fullness, the absolute strength in her blackness; we feel her most in her extremes though she be always loosely coiled about the arm.
Drawing in with the potential of the feminine and form, we fill the cup. The beckoning on our cyclic path from night to day, ebb and flow, the eternal play of darkness and light. We may long for the darkness as she tempts us in the heat of day.
She is the dusk, the pre-hours of dawn, the sorrow at first notice of the sky’s transition from blackness to deep and lightening blue. That same sorrow is in the joy of budding flower, only to whither in time. Darkness calls us in, she coaxes the seed into her moist chamber where the fertile, shadowy grounds lie in wait for the moment when a spark excites and inspires growth and the seedling reaches again for the light of the Sun.
Union of Sun and Moon, here is the birth of potential, the Fire is kindled.