One of my favorite animals is the horse. I truly admire and respect this animal for all of the significant attributes this amazing creature represents. I see the horse as a symbol of power and strength. Yet there is an incredible wisdom, gentleness and calm as well. Look into a horses eyes and you will see a reflection of your true self. You cannot hide who you are or what you are feeling from a horse. Fortunately, I have been able to work with horses for much of my adult life and every day has been a learning experience for me. When life gets hectic and I am feeling it’s pressures nipping at my heels, I saddle my horse and go for a ride in the mountains near my home. It’s there that I find balance again, astride his back as he transports me into the timeless landscape. All I hear are his hooves and the rustle of brush as we make our way over the rocky trails moving farther and farther away from routine and the pressures of life. I feel free to roam the land and explore to my heart’s content, my horse and I.
From this writer’s point of view, the horse represents immense freedom and balance.
Celtic Symbolism of the Horse
power, stamina, balance, endurance, faithfulness
A popular totem animal of the Celts, the horse was considered to be a faithful guide to the Otherworld and was associated with victory in war. The Horse was sacred to the Goddess Epona (from epos, the Gaulish word for ‘horse’) who was worshipped by the Gauls and was so popular that the Romans adopted her cult and built a temple to her. The horse goddess Epona was believed to accompany the soul of the dying on its final journey.
The Uffington White Horse (above), Britain’s oldest and most famous hill figure, is widely believed to be a Celtic symbol representing Epona.
In Scotland, kelpies would transform themselves into horses in order to lure the traveler into their realm. Although predominantly connected with Goddess figures, the horse is also a solar creature which suggests the finding of balance between the male and female. Even today, the White Horse is regarded as sacred and protected by gleaming brasses which ward off the “evil eye.”