The Beast begins colored as a shade of red which is symbolic of the fiery reddish hues of the lower Chakras (or energy centers). Relating to earthly desires & relations, the Base/Root & Sacral Chakras have to do with survival needs, desires, & relationships. Their colors are reddish to orange hues, and their instincts for creation & aggression appear very human-animalistic.
With the Beast's evolution in consciousness & form, the development of empathy, altruism, communication, and thoughtfulness more characteristic of a human-being than a human-animal comes through. Signifying more energies of the Heart & Throat Chakras, the Beast's color changes to shades of the green ray – ranging in hues from yellowish-lime-green to deep emerald and brighter turquoise shades. This evolution of character & behavior shows the developmental progress from mere survival needs to the sharing of resources, empathy, & compassion within our relations.
The significance of the Golden Beast shows the highest of this tertiary hierarchical evolution of consciousness wherein we grown spiritually, connecting to the Life-force in all things and participating harmoniously therein. Long prized for its powerful and delicate qualities, the gold-metal is considered precious, protective, & enlightened like golden-sunlight. The idea of the Golden Beast suggests an awakened and/or enlightened consciousness with a wide-open Crown Chakra.
The forms of the Beast also have significance. The purely alimentary basis of the Serpent or Snake suggests through transmutation & transformation one can develop from base survival to intuitive healing. The symbolism of the Dragon developing beyond the fear-based aggression that would hoard treasures & resources to the generous spirit of grace & protection that would share deep wisdom. And, the Lion evolving from predatory hubris & possessiveness to a more regal stature of courage & stewardship.
And we see plainly in the traditional imagery of the Rider-Waite Tarot, for example, the ideas laid out here in the context of Key VIII, Strength, in the Major Arcana. This kind of inner strength & poise is described by what is generally thought of as a woman, or effeminate figure, holding the muzzle of a Golden Beast - though, depending on artwork, still possessing some of the bronze shading of its former red-orange hues.
The question of whether She holds the creature's mouth open or closed seems to be merely a matter of intuitive discernment in a reading context without a practical discrimination one way or the other. She is possessed of a power to evolve the creature-nature within as a part of Consciousness development, not separate from. And, the Numerological association of the number 8 (VIII) shows that achievement comes from blending the spiritual & material facets of reality with the recognition that the material is comprised of the “spiritual", Universal-etheric energy or Life-force.
This Autumn & this Winter, as your meditations go within and your courage to face-up & hold the Beast's head gently in your hands is called out, remember compassion & self-care... Then, engage with all you hold dear & share generously your authentic self.
Cheers to your divine Dynamic Alchemy! Enjoy your evolution every day, and may peace & blessings be with you.