Totem Animals

Page 80

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Horse Medicine is sacred not only as one of our creature-teachers, but as healers and
representatives of movement and power. They, along with their rider, represent the Seven Sacred
Directions. Their legs are the four elemental forces and races of humanity: rear legs are the East
and South, front are West and North. Their head and ears point upward to the Sky Nation or
Above World, their tail points down to the Ancestors or Below World. Together horse and rider
form the 7th direction as when mounted there is a union that takes place and within that a
prayerful state of Oneness they move with Creator’s Will. Keep this in mind as you explore the
teachings below.

*Ted Andrews/Animal-Speak:
Keynote: Travel, Power and Freedom
Cycle of Power: Year-round
The horse is rich in lore and mythology. An entire book could be written on the significance of
the horse alone, for no one single animal has contributed more to the spread of civilization than
the horse. It has been associated with both burial rites and birth--with individuals riding into and
out of the world upon it. The Norse god Odin rode upon an eight-legged steed. In the Hindu
tradition, the chariot of Surya, the sun god, is pulled by stallions, as is the chariot of Apollo in
Greek Mythology.

In Chinese astrology the horse is associated with appeal and persuasiveness. Horses are symbols
of freedom--oftentimes without proper restraints. Horse people in Chinese astrology are friendly
and adventurous, and they can be very emotional.

Before the horse's domestication the distances between peoples and societies was great, and there
was little interaction. It served humanity in travel, war, in agriculture, and in most other major
areas of life. Today the horse is limited mostly to recreation and agriculture, but its energy is
expansive. Because of it, the world has been brought closer together.

The horse enabled people to explore and find freedom from the constraints of their own
communities. This enabled them to travel and thus discover the multiplicity of life and all of its
powers. Horses have great appeal to most people. We are fascinated by them, and riding one
raises us above the mundane, and renews our sense of power. Riding horses has been likened to
flying by more than one poet through the ages. They signify the wind and even the foam of the sea.

Horses were given powers of divination. More than one legend speaks of the clairvoyance of
horses and their ability to recognize those involved in magic. They are symbols that can express
the magical side of humans. The symbolism of the horse is complex. It can represent movement
and travel, or maybe it showed up to help you with movement. It has been a symbol of desires--
especially sexual. The stallion was often used as a symbol of sexuality. The taming of a stallion
would then be the taming of sexuality and dangerous emotions. As with many domesticated
animals, there are a wide variety of horses--each with its own unique abilities. Riding, plowing,
pulling--the horse still serves a variety of functions. To understand your own particular horse
totem, try to determine which kind it is. Horses, like dogs, are bred today for specific purposes
and determining that can help you define the purpose of it within your own life. Take your totem
and examine it in regard to yourself. What is its color? Its kind? How does it appear to you?
Does it run? Is it always perceived standing? Do you see yourself riding it or watching it?

If a horse has shown up in your life, it may be time to examine aspects of travel and freedom
within your life. Are you feeling constricted? Do you need to move on or allow others to move
on? Is it time to assert your freedom and your power in new areas? Are you doing your part to
assist civilization within your own environment? Are others? Are you honoring what this
civilization has given you? Horse brings with it new journeys. It will teach you how to ride into
new directions to awaken and discover your own freedom and power.

*Brad Steiger/Totems:
In ancient Babylon, the horse was identified with the god Zu. The Greek word for horse is ikkos,
the "great light", and they placed their god of wisdom in a chariot drawn by four fiery horses.
The Hebrew word for horse means "to explain," thus equating the animal with the human
intellect. The Latin equus resolves into the light of the great mind or soul.

To the ancient Vikings, the god Odin rode a swift horse across the sky and down into the realm
of death. Many of the old Germanic tribes used horses for purposes of divination, believing the
sacred beasts to be more in contact with the gods than were the priests.

Charlemagne presented his four sons with the magical talking horse Bayard, whose back could
stretch from single saddle to accommodate all four of its masters.

Although the creature had been predicted by many Native American prophets, few tribespeople
were prepared for their first encounter with the awesome animal that Coronado and the Spanish
conquistadors brought to the plains in 1541. The eastern tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy did
not have their visions of the strange beast realized until the early 1600s. Because the Blackfeet
had no words to describe such animals and because they thought that the weird four-leggeds the
armored and bearded strangers sat astride looked more like elk than anything else they called
them Medicine Elk. The horse soon became a sacred and prized possession of the Native
American people, just as it had been to the tribes of Europe and Asia. For many Native American
tribes, to see a vision of a great, white horse is to have seen the symbol of Death coming to take
you to the land of the Grandparents. The association of a white horse with such an ethereal and
holy task seems to have assumed the status of a universal image.

The Mohammedans have their Al Borak, a milk-white steed whose single stride can propel him
as far as the farthest range of human vision. Slavic legends tell of Prince Slugobyl, who enlists
the aid of the Invisible Knight and his horse Magu (magus, wizard), a magical, white horse with
a golden mane.

Kwan-yin in China and Kuannan in Japan materialize as white horses. The Hindu god Vishu's
final manifestation will occur when he reappears on a white horse with a drawn sword to restore
the order of rigtheousnes. The Book of Revelation says that Christ shall return riding upon a
white horse and leading armies of righteousness seated upon white horses.

In the Chinese zodiac, those born in the year of the horse are regarded as popular and attractive
to the opposite sex, but inclined to be impatient.

If you have cherished the horse as your totem animal for many years, you have learned to
appreciate your spirit helper's strength and intense desire to accomplish more things at a time
than may seem possible. In addition to being able to infuse your physical body with energy and
endurance, this animal guide also has the ability to transport you to ever-higher levels of

Don't be reluctant to ride your winged steed to explore worlds and dimensions beyond the
ordinary. You need not fear becoming lost in other realities when you have such a trustworthy
spiritual ally at your side.

*Patricia Telesco/The Language of Dreams:
In earlier times, horses equated to movement and transition much as modern vehicles. Burdens
that come from labors. Horses were often work animals on farms and were highly valued. In
what condition does the horse appear? If run-down and abused, this represents feeling
unappreciated no matter how much you do. On the other hand, if the horse is well fed and
groomed, it symbolizes a kind of "task master" who really values your efforts. Ancient Greeks
revered the horse as a sacred creature to Artemis, the goddess of the moon and forests.

Consequently, this may also be an alternative earth or tree dream. Spiritual sojourns. Mohammed
rode a horse on his mystical journey from Mecca to Jerusalem and then on to heaven. Galloping:
Ecstasy, ambition, and the emotional self. Conversely, a tethered horse reveals one of these
things being restrained. A stallion: Male virility. Look to see who's got the reins in this dream--
the creature or its rider. If the creature, it's time to reclaim your control! Finding a horseshoe: A
nearly universal emblem of good luck. White horse: In German and English traditions, this is a
harbinger of death. If the horse is happily cavorting, this may be a visual pun for horseplay. Take
care that no one accidentally gets hurt by your current jovial outlook. Psychic powers emerging.

Folklorically, horses are said to sense or see spirits and have foreknowledge, similar to dogs.
Seahorses represent being transported into the waters of intuition or the subconscious with
significant insight resulting. Winged horses symbolize fame, eloquence, poetry, and the muse.
Let your imagination fly on its wings.

*Timothy Roderick/The Once Unknown Familiar:
Key Words: Wild, expressive, stately
Magical Influences: Ability to gain the help of individuals or communities, regain of one's lost
spirit, soul recovery. Ability to return to a natural, wild state.
Personality: The horse personality cannot bear to be tied down to any person, place, or situation.
If they are tied down, they cannot help but rise to the top and be placed in command. They are
leaders, but they really don't care if anyone follows. They have the ability to rouse the general
public into action, as they naturally have their fingers on the pulse of the populace.

*D.J. Conway/Animal Magick:
The horse is from the species Equus caballus, which distinguishes it from the ass and zebra, who are from
the same genus family. There is a great number of breeds of horses, each possessing distinctive
characteristics not common to the others. The modern horse has descended from three basic stocks: the
Libyan horse of northern Africa; the common horse of Upper Asia and Europe; and the Celtic pony.
This animal was known to the Babylonians as far bac as 2300 B.C.E. and was used by them to draw war
chariots beginning in about 1700 B.C.E. The horse was used for riding by the Greeks, Alaric, Attilla, and
Genghis Kahn among others. It was brought to the New World by Cortez.

Because the horse was such a valuable animal, only the rich could afford to sacrifice it. This creature
symbolized the Sun and the Moon, the sky and the Underworld, according to its color and the deity with
which it appeared. The white horse was connected with the Moon; red, white, or golden ones with the
Sun. Black horses, such as the one ridden by the Wild Huntsman, accompanied deities of death and the
Underworld. The horse in general symbolized power, swiftness, wisdom, prophetic abilities, magickal powers.

In Persia, Greece, Rome, and Scandinavia the white horse was especially sacred. The Chinese Cosmic
Cloud Horse, an aatar of Kuan Yin, was white, as was the horse of the Japanese deity Kwannon. The
Celestial Charger, the Horse King Ma-wang of China, was considered to be the ancestor of all horses. The
Chinese Ancestral Horse was always accompanied by a dragon, a phoenix, and a crane. The Middle
Eastern goddess Anahita drove a chariot pulled by four white horses that represented wind, rain, cloud,
and sleet. In India, the horse signifies the cosmos, wind, sea foam, fire, and light itself.

The Romans had an annual horse sacrifice called the October Horse, or Cut Horse. The severed bleeding
tail was taken to the Temple of Vesta where the blood was allowed to drip on the altar (the closest the
Vestals ever came to blood sacrifice). The chariots of Apollo and Mithras were drawn by white horses.
The Muslims called the horse a "god-sent" animal, believing it can prophesy, foresee danger, and see the
dead. The Atharva Veda of the Zoroastrians tells of a snake-killing horse, Pedu, who was the enemy of
Ahriman and the protector of the pure animals. In India, the Sun god Surya had seven red mares to pull
his chariot.

Among the Norse and northern Germans, the horse was sacred to Odhinn; he had an eight-legged gray
horse called Sleipnir that could run on land, sea, or in the air. The Skalds used the kenning "high-chested
rope-Sleipnir" to mean the gallows on which sacrifices to Odhinn were hung; the Old Norse word drasil
meant borht horse and gallows, while Yggr was one of Odhinn's names. The Eddas mention special
horses with golden manes, such as Freyfaxi.

Gray cloud-horses were said to be an alternative method of travel for the Valkyries. In the ancient festival
called May Riding, a woman representeing Freyja rode on a white horse, while a man representing Freyr
rode on a black one. Very ancient Sweedish kings were sacrificed by being ritually torn apart by horsemasked
preistesses of Freyja; these priestesses were called Valkyries in the texts. The volva, a priestess of
Freyja, was said by medieval writers to be able to transform herself into a mare. They believed the volva
took on the personification of the death-goddess who rode the Valraven, a winged black horse.

Sacred to the goddesses Epona and Rhiannon, the horse was thought by the Celts to be a guide to the
Otherworlds. This animal was an emblem of war and solar deities. Epona was a version of the Cretan
Leukippe (White Mare), an Amazon horse goddess. The ancient Welsh horse god was called Waelsi or
Waels, who the Slavic cultures knew as Volos.

Superstitions: Some of the older houses in Jutland still bear a double-headed horse carved into the rafters
for luck. Horseshoes are widely believed to avert evil and bring good fortune; this belief is also held by
the Jews, the Turks, and many others around the world. Ornaments woven from horsehair are said to
protect the wearer.

In Wales, a gray horse is considered to be a death omen, as is dreaming of a white horse in England and
Germany. If you meet a white horse, you can break the spell if you spit on the ground. Gray horses and
horses with four white feet are considered unlucky in racing. Non-racing horses that have spots or patches
of color are said to have magickal talents.

It is a general superstition that horses will tremble and refuse to go on if they come near a dead body,
even though they can't see it.

The herb moonwart is supposed to cause horseshoes to fall off the horse's feet. However, if the rider
happened to be at the stones of Wayland Smithy in Berkshire, England (near the famous White Horse), he
could place a coin on one fo the stones. Leaving the horse there, and withdrawing out of sight, he could
then expect the horse to be magickally shod.

A holed stone (known as a hagstone in England) was hung over the stable door to protect horses against
witches and faeries riding them to exhaustion at night.

Originally, the tail was plaited with ribbons to keep the horse safe from witches.

Horse brasses were considered to be magickal in such far-apart places as China and Scandinavia. They
were used to protect horses from witches and the evil eye.

A deeper a horse dips his nostrils while drinking, the better sire he will be.

When its master dies, a horse will shed tears.

At one time there were groups of horsemen who passed along secret words. It was believed that if these
words were whispered in a horse's ear it gave the person immediate command over the animal.
Magickal attributes: Stamina, endurance, faithfulness. It symbolizes freedom when it runs free; when it
works with humans, it represents friendship and cooperation. Travel, journey, swiftness, friends, loyalty.
Astral traveling. Companion and guardian when taking a trip. Guide to overcoming obstacles. checking a
situation for possible dangers.

*Jamie Sams & David Carson/Medicine Cards:
Power. "Stealing horses is stealing power" was a statement made frequently in historical native America
and a reference to the esteemed role which HOrse played in the native cultures.
Horse is physical power and unearthly power. In shamanic practices throughout the world, Horse enables
shamans to fly through the air and reach heaven.

Humanity made a great leap forward when Horse was domesticated, a discovery akin to that of fire.
Before Horse, humans were earthbound, heavy-laden, and slow creatures indeed. Once humans climbed
on Horse's back, they were as free and fleet as the wind. They could carry burdens for great distances with
ease. Through their special relationship with Horse, humans altered their self-concept beyond measure.
Horse was the first animal medicine of civilization. Humanity owes an incalculable debt to Horse and to
the new medicine it brought. It would be a long walk to see one's brother or sister if Horse had not
welcomed the two-legged rider upon its back. Today we measure the capacity of engines with the term
"horsepower," a reminder of the days when Horse was an honored and highly-prized partner with

Dreamwalker, a medicine man, was walking across the plains to visit the Arapaho Nation. He carried with
him his pipe. The feather tied into his long black hair pointed to the ground, marking him as a man of
peace. Over the rise of a hill, Dreamwalker saw a herd of wild mustangs running toward him.
Black Stallion approached him and asked if he was seeking an answer on his journey. Black Stallion said,
"I am from the Void where Answer lives. Ride on my back and know the power of entering the Darkness
and finding the Light." Dreamwalker thanked Black Stallion and agreed to visit him when his medicine
was needed in the Dreamtime.

Yellow Stallion approached Dreamwalker next and offered to take him to the East, where illumination
lives. Dreamwalker could share the answers he found there to teach and illuminate others. Once again,
Dreamwalker thanked Yellow Stallion and said he would use the gifts of power on his journey.
Red Stallion approached, rearing playfully. He told Dreamwalker of the joys of balancing work and heavy
medicine with the joyful experiences of play. He reminded Dreamwalker that he could better hold the
attention of those he taught when humor was integrated with the lesson. Dreamwalker thanked him and
promised to remember the gift of joy.

Dreamwalker was nearing his destination. The Arapaho Nation was close at hand. White Stallion came to
the front of the herd. Dreamwalker mounted White Stallion's back. White Stallion was the message carrier
for all the other horses, and represented wisdom in power. This magnificent horse was the embodiment of
the balanced medicine shield. "No abuse of power will ever lead to wisdom," said White Stallion. "You,
Dreamwalker, have made this journey to heal a brother in need, you share the sacred pipe, and to heal the
Mother Earth. You have the knowledge through humility that you are an instrument of Great Spirit. As I
carry you upon my back, you carry the needs of the people on yours. IN wisdom, you understand that
power is not given lightly but awarded to those who are willing to csrry responsibility in a balanced

Dreamwalker, the shaman, had been healed by the visit of the wild horses, and knew that his purpose in
coming to the Arapaho was to share these gifts with them.

In understanding the power of Horse, you may see how to strive for a balanced medicine shield. True
power is wisdom found in remembering your total journey. Wisdom comes from remembering pathways
you have walked in another person's moccasins. Compassion, caring, teaching, loving, and sharing your
gifts, talents, and abilities are the gateways to power.

Contrary: If your ego has gotten in the way, you may have failed to notice the lack of respect you hae
been receiving from others. You may, on the other hand, be struggling with others who are abusing their
power. "Should I say something? Should I fight my desire to put them in their place?" you may be asking.
Remember the times in your own life when you have fallen out of grace with Great Spirit, and then have
compassion for the brothers or sisters who are now doing the same. If you are overpowering another or
feeling overwhelmed, Horse medicine in both the dignified and contrary positions is a simple reminder of
how to balance your shields.

In allowing all pathways to have equal validity, you will see the power and glory of the unified family of
humanity. This is the gift of the Rainbow Warrior and Warrioress. The "I" has no place in this Whirling
Rainbow that comes from the Great Mystery and is replaced by the universal "we." All colors of the
rainbow and all pathways are honored as one.

Apply this knowledge and reclaim the power you have given away by forgetting to come from
compassion. Untangle yourself from the present situation and understand that every human being must
follow this pathway to power before galloping upon the winds of destiny.

*Denise Linn/The Secret Language of Signs:
A stallion can symbolize power and male sexuality. A galloping horse can represent ecstasy, wild
freedom, and movement. You can go where you want to go. You are free. Express yourself freely. If the
horse is tethered, are you feeling that something is tying you down, restricting your freedom? A horse can
be a sign of gentle grace and beauty. Accept the gifts that come your way. "Don't look a gift horse in the
mouth." The Native American shamans said that the spirit of the horse enabled them to travel to the inner
realms. You, too, are free to travel to the inner realms to find and express your power and wisdom. In the
Americas, travel was burdensome prior to the arrival of horses. With that advent came greater freedom to
the people, and travel was much easier.

*Mary Summer Rain/On Dreams:
Horse emphasizes a "wild" nature.
*Lady Stearn Robinson & Tom Gorbett/The Dreamer's Dictionary:
The meaning of a dream featuring a horse or horses varies greatly with the details and the action so all the
elements should be looked up, but as a general guide:
A dream of seeing horses predicts a period of all-around ease.
If your dream involved fear of the animal, it signifies worry over the loss or misplacement of an important
document or article of value.
To dream of riding (or sitting on) a horse indicates a coming rise in status, but if you were thrown (or fell
off) you will have to cope with a rival who is out to thwart you.
A bucking horse is an augury of unexpected resistance to some curretn plan.
To be kicked by a horse is a warning against complacency.
A dream of horses fighting is a forerunner to disturbing news concerning a friend.
To dream of a horse being shod is an omen of unexpected money.
Trading horses is a warning of deceit by someone you trust.
Cleaning or grooming a horse foretells a lucky speculation.
Advantageous news is forecast in a dream of seeing a foal, especially auspicious if seen with the mare.
Galloping or racing horses predict swift success.
Seeing a horseshoe in your dream is an omen of general good luck; finding one predicts wealth and/or
success beyond your wildest expectations.


http://www.khandro.net/animal_horse.htm link to cosmic horse stories


Horse represents endurance, speed, freedom, and stamina; stateliness, expression, power, and travel into

Horse matches its hoof-falls to the beat of the drum and becomes the heartbeat of the Medicine Person
that carries its rider into the shamanic journey. He will teach you ways of astral projection, take you over
and around obstacles, and demonstrate the need for cooperation with others and Spirit. Just as horse can
gather others of its kind to stampede it can teach you to take action when necessary to your spiritual
growth. Tapping into its strength and stamina you will discover ways to pace yourself and keep moving in
a positive direction. Horse will raise your consciousness to new levels of awareness and carry you into
other dimensions that will enlighten and illuminate your path.

The adventures of exploring spiritual realms are strengthened by the friendship and loyalty of this
creature-teacher. He will heighten your senses and psychic abilities as he teaches you lessons about
precognitive skills, shamanic journeys, and discovering your talents. Horse is also a messenger that will
address the issues of finding answers, using the wild joy of its nature to discover life, of serving Spirit
honorably without a need for glory, and the responsibility of gifts received from Spirit. Horse does not see
lines of delineation between people and teaches that all paths are valid thus demonstrating compassion
and tolerance for everyone.




One of the most famous of present day draft horses has to be the Percheron. Known to have an
elegance that most heavy horses lack, this French horse owes much of its grace to its oriental
background. The horse has excellent action and has been used in a variety of working situations
including farm, coach, and even under saddle. Partially due to its grace, partially to its excellent
character, the Percheron has been distributed all over the world.


The Percheron stands between 15 and 17.2 hands high. Gray or black in color, the Percheron
has a fine head with straight face and intelligent eyes. The neck is strong and crested. It has
prominent withers and sloped shoulder, dissimilar to most draft breeds. Deep in the chest and in
the girth with round, immensely strong hind quarters. Medium to short legs that are massive and
hard with almost no feather. For such a massive horse, the Percheron is known for its grace and
great poise.


Ancestors of the Percheron have existed and have been documented in the Le Perche region of
Normandy since before the Muslim invasion. It was, in fact, on these great war horses that the
knights of Charles Martel stopped the invasion in 732 AD. Eastern blood entered into the line in
the 11th century and Arab blood entered in 1760. Even with the cross of Arabians, they lost none
of their size and gained the obvious refined oriental character seen today.


The Percheron has always created enthusiastic breeding practices. In France, its native country,
to be included in the Percheron stud book it must be bred in one of the four Departments of the
region of Perche: Sarthe, Eure-et-Cher, Loire-et-Cher, and L'Orne. Other Percheron types are
bred in other regions of France and throughout the world, but they are listed in separate stud


The Druid Animal Oracle by Phillip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm
Horse: The Goddess, The Land, Travel
The spirit of Horse calls us to journey, to travel. This may manifest itself as a desire to travel in
the physical world, or we may be drawn to voyaging in the inner realms. She brings us energy
and speed and connects us to the power of both the land and the sun. The horse-goddess is
patroness of the complete life-cycle of birth, death, the afterlife and rebirth. By working with the
spirit of Horse, we will grow to feel comfortable with every aspect of the life-cycle, knowing that
the goddess protects and guides us through each of its stages. Contrary may be asking us to look
at the roots of our restlessness. If we have difficulty settling down, staying in one place or
completing tasks, it may be that we have not fully accepted the flow of the life-cycle and our part
within it. Attuning to the spirit of the horse may help us to connect with our sense of place in the
world--with the spirit of the land beneath us and the sky above us.

Of Spirit Horses
By Bear MedicineWalker
Horses are strong Medicine and represent many things...Power, Stamina, Endurance, Faithfulness,
Freedom to run free, Control of ones’ space and how it affects us, Awareness of power achieved through
truly working in cooperation with others, Expanding one’s own potential abilities, Friendship,
partnerships and working with them instead of running from them, Travel and Astral travel, and serve as
a Guide to overcoming obstacles in ones’ life. When we spoke this morning it was wonderful to reconnect.
Many things were validated for we have both been shown the same. So remember, Patience, Love for
self and others...We Are Returning to what once was and will be again. So if the Horse has fallen onto
your path...stop and listen to its messages...for it is there with reason...

Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

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