The twelve Animal Signs
His physical background
Of all the Chinese duodecimal zodiac, the Goat male is indubitably the least manly of all. He seems even more effeminate than his Snake brother. His whole physique bears witness to the absolute predominance of Yin over Yang in him, contrary to what his animal symbol may suggest with its beard.
This man always shows concern about his appearance and the impression it may produce in others. Even his occasional untidiness is not a matter of carelessness, but of deliberate design. More often than not he is elegantly dressed, but generally with such refinement as verges on foppery.
Even a casual, inexperienced observer could not mistake the typical Goat man for an aggressive person. With his pallid complexion, amorphous muscles, his obvious lack of energy, and indisposition to physical exertion, the native conspicuously belongs to the lymphatic category. He never inspires hostility or fear due to his apparent helplessness.
To those who do not know him well, the Goat man may seem to be bored to death with this world. In fact, he has an intense passion for life and living; but he has a secretive universe of his own to which no one has access and into which he withdraws frequently in order to feel secure and dream. It is his tendency to flee to his interior realm which accounts for the faraway and mysterious air about him.
There is always something childlike in this man's face, with his full cheeks, small mouth, slightly pointed chin, and thin nose. He is particularly recognized by his big, somewhat protruding eyes which give him a surprised yet dreamy look. His gaze, which is intent, suggests a distant, undefinable attitude; he seems not to see what is immediately before him, but what is well beyond it. He is also noted for his oblique smile and his incisors wide apart from each other. Goat males are all predisposed to baldness, and in any case their sparse hair increases the size of their already broad foreheads.
As a rule the Goat man is of medium size, but with unusually long legs and arms, which gives him an air of immaturity. He moves quickly, silently, almost stealthily, as if always afraid to disturb someone nearby.
The male native of the Goat does not enjoy a particularly strong constitution. This does not mean that he is afflicted with more or worse pathological predispositions than the next fellow: While his general health is rather precarious, he can display surprising endurance in case of necessity. Often out of sorts, he frequently needs to stay in a horizontal position. The symptoms of his ills are so vague, diffuse, fleeting, and changeable that generally he is unable to describe them and his doctor could feel mystified - his physical condition is exactly as elusive as his psyche!
Unless he ranks among the few privileged members of his astrological family, the Goat man's health usually gives rise to much concern during his infancy and adolescence. He is likely to be affected by all childhood diseases - ear infections, bronchitis, pneumonia, croup, swollen glands, skin disorders, measles, rubella, roseola, chicken pox, whooping cough, mumps, convulsions, and so on. His puberty development always proves a painful process, both psychologically and physically. There is no doubt his sickliness in his early years contributes to give him a feeling of inadequacy in life - by dint of being tended and receiving a special treatment, he gradually learns laziness and dependence, believing that the world naturally owes him a living.
It is almost unavoidable that he suffers from a hormonal imbalance. His endocrine and neurovegetative systems present minor, but varied, liabilities. Whether or not as a direct consequence of this, he easily produces ganglia in many parts of his body and shows extreme sensitiveness to insects' stings and bites.
Digestive disorders are not infrequent in him, with periods of constipation succeeding periods of overrapid evacuation in a most unpredictable manner. Arthritis, which is especially painful in his wrists and ankles, constitutes one of his habitual miseries.
This type is liable to some illnesses that clearly have their roots in his psychological makeup - autism, paranoia, schizophrenia, and mental blanks. His tendency to evade reality may be all the stronger as he is naturally attracted to alcoholism and drug addiction.
It is difficult to make the Goat man to follow some bit of advice because of his lack of willpower. But he must submit himself to a wholesome life discipline if he does not want his existence to be poisoned by preventable troubles.
Diet plays an all-important role in the maintenance of his well-being. Instead of following whimsical patterns as he is prone to, he must take his meals at regular hours. He can eat everything, but had better give his preference to lean fish, seafood, red meats, popped cereals, green or dried vegetables, and avoid starchy foods and sweet things. Mineral waters, fruit juices, and vegetable broths suit him better than beer or sodas. Tea, coffee, or wine, taken with moderation, are apt to help him shake off his lethargy. It would be beneficial to him if he could go completely without food one day per week.
He must carefully stay away from people carrying contagious maladies and get himself immunized against as many diseases as possible, for his organism is actually a microbe and virus catcher!
While he should be forbidden to do violent sports, all water sports can do him much good, probably because of his Yin-dominated temperament. Mountain air may cause him some uneasiness, but a strongly iodized climate is a real boon to him.