Animal Spirits: The Horse

HorseSince my visit to the Sundog Drift Ranch, where I met a couple of powerful horses (click here to see Jo’s amazing horse photography) I have come across pictures, articles, etc. of horses regularly. The horse’s main symbolism is freedom, endurance, stamina, power, and strength, which is quite fitting for what I have been experiencing in my life. This is also the Chinese Lunar Year of the Wood Horse (beginning on last January 30/31), which indicates a very active and fast paced year. Being a Wood Tiger, this should be a busy, freeing, and auspicious year for me.

Horses have been long respected creatures, and their symbolism is very ancient. Their images can be found across the globe: In southern France horses are depicted in the Lascaux Caves; on a hill in England there is the chalk Uffington Horse; in California a horse is etched into the earth.

220px-British_Airborne_UnitsHorses have long worked together with man and have greatly contributed to the growth of human civilization. They represent controlling the environment, such as through their assistance with farming and agriculture, but also through their use in war. Ancient cultures, from the Celts to the Greeks to the Mongolians, greatly utilized horses to control their empires, conquer other lands, and expand their domains. Even up to the last century, the Pegasus, a winged horse, was used as an emblem for the British Airborne Forces. (see above)

Odin and Sleipnir

Odin and Sleipnir

In spite of their association with war, horses have more profound symbolism. In Native American cultures, they are considered messengers of spiritual knowledge. In Norse mythology, the god Odin rode an eight-legged horse called Sleipnir. Though he did ride him into battle, Odin was a shaman, and horses are a common animal spirit guide for a shaman’s journey between realms.

Black horses and white horses also have their own layers of symbolism. The black horse equates to yin and feminine aspects: darkness, occult knowledge, the night, and death. The white horse equates to yang and masculine aspects: light, enlightenment, the sun, birth, and resurrection.

5.21.3suryaHorses in general also symbolize nobility, travel, and the passing of time. They are associated with the wealthy and powerful, and the gods. In Hindu mythology, the Sun god Surya rides a seven-horsed chariot across the heavens. The seven horses are thought to symbolize the seven colors of the rainbow (of visible light) and the seven chakras. This chariot of Surya, and all that the light of the Sun represents to us, is venerated in the Gayatri Mantra (click for meaning of the mantra):

The Horse symbolizes:

  • Power, Stamina, Endurance, and Strength
  • Grace, Beauty, Nobility
  • Freedom and Expansion
  • Faithfulness
  • Travel, Swiftness, and Astral Travel
  • Messengers of Sacred Knowledge and Guides & Guardians for Shamans
  • Interspecies Cooperation and Communication
  • Control of Environment
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About Julianne Victoria

I am a writer, healer, spiritual life coach, astrologer & tarot reader in Santa Barbara, CA. I hope to help heal, teach, and inspire others on their journeys and in this life. © Julianne Victoria and Through the Peacock's Eyes Press under the Common Law Copyright; My main Blog: www.peacockseyes.com
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14 Responses to Animal Spirits: The Horse

  1. Paula says:

    Reblogged this on the art of life and commented:
    In Chinese astrology the horse is associated with appeal and persuasiveness. Horses are symbols of freedom. If a horse has showed up in your life, it may be time to examine aspects of travel and freedom within your life. 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. -Animal Speak by Ted Andrews

  2. Paula says:

    horse is my daughter’s animal totem. her favorite animal. i was aware of Nazca lines, but didn’t know of US lines. cool, and in CA, too. love the video, very peaceful…calming.

  3. Horses are so deep. You can see it in them. I have always wanted to have a relationship with a horse but I haven’t had the opportunity.

  4. I am a horse (1966) on the Chinese calendar and I have always been drawn to horses my entire life. I have always felt a strong kinship with them and calmness of spirit when I am with them.

  5. speedyrabbit says:

    We have wild pony’s living on the mooland right where we live,and there are a lot of foals around at the moment,they just looks so free frolicing around,xx Rachel

  6. BloomLisa says:

    What an interesting post Julie. My youngest daughter is fascinated with horses and always has been so this one has extra interest for me. Be well sunshine.

  7. seeker says:

    Ride your winged horse, Julianne. Ride.

  8. love this post Julie and hope you really “take off” this year with gusto and joy. One of my blogger pals was visited by some of my animal guides 2 white horses. Shortly after, on my birthday I took a walk in the woods and very soon behind me was a white horse! I relate to many of the qualities, especially

    Freedom and Expansion
    Faithfulness
    Travel, Swifteness, and Astral Travel
    Messengers of Sacred Knowledge and Guides & Guardians for Shamans
    Interspecies Cooperation and Communication

    keep in touch, let me know how you are doing!

    xxx Linda

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