Totem Animals

Page 168

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By 2CrowWoman

Epona, the Celtic patroness of horses.
"The Celtic horse goddess whose authority extended even beyond death, accompanying the soul
on its final journey. She was worshipped throughout entire Gaul, and as far as
the Danube and Rome. Her cult was eventually adopted by the Roman army and they spread her
worship wherever they went. She was the only Celtic Goddess to be honored by the Romans
with a temple in their capital city. Among the Gaulish Celts themselves, she was worshipped as
goddess of horses, asses, mules, oxen, and, to an extent, springs and rivers.

Epona is depicted sitting side saddle or lying on a horse, or standing with multiple horses around
her. Her symbol is the Cornucopia ("horn of plenty") which suggests that she could (originally)
have been a fertility goddess. She is also identified with the Celtic goddess Edain."
(Copyright (c) 2000 Encyclopedia Mythica. All rights reserved.)

Her name derives from the Celtic word for horse. She's the only Celtic goddess to be adopted by
the Romans.

In Welsh mythology, she's Rhiannon. She rides a mare and rules over horses and riders.
from www.marthascottage.com/Ga.../epona.htm

More about Epona…The maiden goddess Epona is usually portrayed as riding a white mare sidesaddle,
sometimes with a foal, or standing surrounded by horses. Her symbol is the Cornucopia
("horn of plenty") which suggests that she may have been honored as a fertility goddess,
although she is most commonly known as a goddess of horses and travel. She fed her beloved
horses from her cornucopia filled with corn and apples, symbolic of
mother-love and abundance.

From the iron age, the Celtic goddess' faith spread across the whole of ancient Europe,
eventually being embraced by the Romans and to a certain extent, Christianity. Epona had a
shrine in almost every stable of the Roman empire - in fact, she was the only Celtic goddess to be
honored by the Romans with a temple in their capital city. Her annual festival in Roman times
was around the 18th December (in Mantua/Italy), when her images in shrines and stables were
draped in rose garlands.

Epona and her white mare accompanies the soul on its final journey to the other world, and in
life she is associated with the white mare that brings dreams.
from www.goddess.com.au/goddess/epona.htm.

Rhiannon is a Welsh underworld Goddess form. Her story is told in the Mabinogion ( 1 ,
translation by Lady Charlotte Guest). Her origin goes back further still according to Jean
Markale who believes that she might have been the original Mother Goddess of the Celtic
people. She brings sleep, dreams, and sometimes nightmares. She is found in several ancient
cultures, called by several names.

Through history Rhiannon has survived and influenced many cultures and legends. Her name
translates as "divine" or "Great Queen." She may have been sun Goddess. She is
Goddess of change, movement, and magic. She comforts in times of crisis, loss, and illness. She
gives us gifts of tears, forgetfulness (to promote healing), and humor to ease our sufferings in
this life and guides us to the next. She is also accompanied by golden birds whose singing can
call the dead or grant peaceful sleep to the living.

Ride A Cockhorse
Ride a cockhorse to Banbury Cross
to see a fine lady upon a white horse,
With rings on her fingers and bells on her toes
she shall have music wherever she goes.
~ Anglo-Celtic Nursery Rhyme
from http://pages.preferred.com/~toxsloth/rhiannon/

Other Names for Epona/Rhiannon
Bubona - Scottish
Eponae - Roman (especially called upon by Roman cavalry)
Lady Godiva - English legend
Mare - Irish (source of the term nightmare)
Rigatona/Rigantona - Gaul/Italic
Vivienne - Breton (escorted Arthur to Avalon)

And the most famous white horse symbol…The Uffington white horse
The Uffington white horse is undoubtedly Britain's oldest and most famous hill figure, which has
recently been dated at 3000 years old by the Oxford Archeological Unit. 1000 years older than
previously thought. This the oldest hill figure and inspired the creation of many of the other
white horses although and particularly its closeness to Uffington castle may have inspired the
creation of the first Westbury horse by Bratton camp, which also faced right. The earliest
reference to it was in in the 1070's when white horse hill was mentioned, the first actual
reference to the horse itself was in 1190.

The horse is unique in its features, the horse being a very long sleek disjointed figure and this
leads some to believe it represents the mythical dragon that St. George slain on the adjacent
Dragon hill or even his horse. However others believe it represents a Celtic horse goddess
Epona, known to represent fertility, healing and death. It may have been
created to be worshipped in religious ceremonies. Similar horses feature in Celtic jewelry and
there is also evidence for horse worship in the Iron Age. The scouring of the horse is
believed to have been a religious festival in later times, giving more creditability to the figure
being of religious origin. Others believe that it commemorates Alfred's victory over the Danes in
861 AD or that it was created in the seventh century by Hengist in the image of a horse on his
standard, however the recent scientific data upon its age seem to discount these more modern
theories. Several Iron age coins bearing representations of horses very similar to the Uffington
horse have been found and would support the theory of the horse being from an earlier period
than the seventh or eighth centuries.

Also unusual is the fact that the horse faces to the right while all other horses and other animal
hill figures face left, with three exceptions, the very first Westbury horse, the Osmington horse
and the more modern Bulford Kiwi. The earliest record of the white horse is from Abingdon
Abbey in the late 12th century, although white horse hill was mentioned a century earlier.


A Celtic God linked to the white horse.: Gwydion, Wales. Druid of the mainland gods; son of
Don; brother of Govannon, Arianrhod, Amaethon (god of agriculture). Wizard and Bard of North
Wales. a many-skilled deity like Lugh. Prince of the Powers of Air; a shape-shifter. His symbol
was a white horse. Greatest of the enchanters; warrior-magician. Illusion, changes. magic, the
sky, healing.

On flying white horses… Pegasus is only one of the many horses that fly, others being the Celtic
Epona, the Cretan Leukippe, the White Horse that founded Prague, Wotan's horse Sleipnir, as
well as the horses that traditionally draw the sun through the skies. From Asia to England, the
hobby horse was the traditional vehicle of the shaman through the night sky, evolving in the
Middle Ages into the witches' broomstick.


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INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
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INDEX Page 5
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