Monkey with his gudgel

Weapons are symbols for spiritual wisdom.

Superior people prepare weapons to guard against the unexpected. Weapons means the tools of wisdom, the work of silent operation of spiritual awareness. If one can prepare the weapons of wisdom to avoid being caught unaware, one will always have autonomous presence of mind, and the jewel of life will not be damaged. -- Liu Yiming, Taoist I Ching Hexagram #45 Gathering
The cudgel is made of nine-cycled wrought iron
Tempered by Lord Lao Zi himself in his furnace.
King Yu called it a divine treasure when he obtained it
To hold the eight rivers and four oceans in place.
With this cudgel alone I protect the Tang Priest
And kill all the evil monsters in the world.
-- Journey to the West, chapter 75
The number nine associated with heaven is called pure yang. -- Liu Yiming, The Inner teachings of Taoism
The study of the Tao requires fierceness, an unsentimental mind firm as iron. -- Zhang Boduan, Understanding Reality

To reach pure yang, one needs to ward off false yin energy; acquired conditioning, compulsive habits, the six senses causing trouble, wandering thoughts and the seven emotions. This requires self-awareness and a mind as firm as iron. Pure yang refers to the energy of a prolonged state of self-awareness.

It may happen that while you are reading books or reciting poetry, personal desires suddenly vanish and a unified awareness is alone present ‑ this is one aspect of the arising of yang. -- Huang Yuan-ch'i (Annals of the Hall of Blissful Development) as quoted in The Taoist I Ching
The quality of strength in people is original innate awareness, the sane primal energy. This is called true yang, or the truly unified vitality, or the truly unified energy. Confucianism speaks of singleness of mind, Taoism speaks of embracing the one, Buddhism speaks of returning to the one – all of them simply teach people to cultivate this strong, sound, sane energy. -- Liu Yiming, The Taoist I Ching, Hexagram #1 Heaven
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