Animals as metaphors: The way
of the Ram (action)
power and strength of rams are often depicted in nature films where
they are seen butting heads in duels of strength. The horns of the
ram are weapons, a form of defense and a status symbol. They grow
throughout the life of the animal, eventually forming a full curl
or spiral. Young rams often play a form of king of the mountain, testing
strength and new positions. This is most evident in the autumn, when
challenges for the right to mate with the ewes become more likely.
A ram can live to about 14 years of age, but life expectancy decreases
with the size of horns because duels are more frequent.
|The ram by it fire, masculinity,
strength and instinctive reactions symbolizes the procreative forces
which arouse mankind and the world at large in the springtime of life
and ensures that the cycle of life continues on its way again. Christ
is known as a Good Shepherd; Christian artists depict shepherds carrying
a lamb or a ram on their shoulders. From Gaul to Black Africa, from
India to China there was the same joyful worship of the symbolic chain
which linked creative fire to fertility and even, by the mediation
of the principle of life itself, to immortality. In the Vedas, rams
are related to Agni, lord of fire, and especially to sacrificial fire.
The fleece (e.g., the Golden Fleece) and the horn (e.g., the Horn
of Plenty) of the ram are considered symbolic properties. The Golden
Fleece symbolizes attainment of what reason regards as the impossible.
It brings two symbols together: innocence portrayed by the ram's fleece
and that of glory, represented by the gold. It is a symbol of great
force and power. "Battering rams" were used in many societies
to knock down the gates of enemies.
The ram is associated with creative and decisive force. The spiral
of the horn is a symbol of great creativity, a relationship given
more emphasis because it is associated with the head in the case
of the ram. So the ram signifies new stimulation of mental faculties,
imagination, and inspiration--along with the energy to act upon
it. The ram represents the power to penetrate, overcome, and achieve.
It reflects the assertion of strength in creative ways to achieve
a breakthrough. It is also associated with sacrifice.
The ram serves as the icon for action,
the fifth element of heroism.
June 15, 2005
Copyright © 1996-2005
Charles A. Smith. All rights