Wrote this as a post in the Lunar Astro Facebook Group.
June 9th, 2022 today/tomorrow (depending on where you are in the world) is Vatuka Bhairava Jayanti. The tithi is ज्येष्ठ शुकल दशमी (Jyestha Shukla Dashami). A few thoughts on this rupa.
He is a saumya and bala rupa (a boy of 8 years) of the more ferocious kAla Bhairava, hence less intense. The tithi for kAla Bhairava jayanti is मार्गशिरा कृष्ण अष्टमि (mArgashira krushna ashtami). So here surya is in Mrigashira nakshatra entering Mithun rashi for vatuka and for kAla he is in Jyeshta nakshatra entering Dhanu rashi. The rupas are being formed by the illumination of Surya entering the rashis as a balak in Mithun and learned adult man in Dhanu. But the rupas are drawing their energies from the mAsa (month) and the tithi (angle between Surya and Chandra).
Vatuka is drawing his bala energy from Jyeshta ruled by Budh (balak) and dashami tithi ruled by the Chandra, hence the more saumya qualities. kAla on the other hand draws energy from Mrigshira nakshatra ruled by Mangal and Ashtami tithi ruled by Rahu, hence the ferocity.
Now a bit on the iconography. vatuka is shown with a fan showing the airy rashi of Mithun for communication. There are several meanings of damaru, but here I think we can take it as the bhavat bhavam of the 8th and 3rd rashis which are the two sides of the damaru which look like the number 8 laterally or the symbol of infinity and transformation. Like other ugra devtas he is holding a severed head, showing us that he will cut off our ego, preconceived notions and limited identity. It also represents the sub conscious mind in Mithun.
He is carrying a small sword which says that one has to control the sharp tongue or communication in Mithun. There is a puppy following him. In sanskrit a dog is called श्वान (shvAna).
The root word is श्वा (shva) which means tomorrow and is conjoined with न (na) which means without, i.e. without a tomorrow/future. This can be extended to past as well, hence the puppy is representing kAla or time, i.e. time follows him as he is the lord of time.
More info on this deity can be found here. Another awesome resource on Kala Bhairava is this playlist from KYG Yoga.