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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 Creators Will.
Keep this in mind as you explore the
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
*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
A bucking horse is an augury of unexpected resistance to some
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
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
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
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
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 ones
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
Copyright: Cinnamon Moon & River WildFire Moon (Founders.)
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