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Riding on Horses’ Wings

Reimagining Today’s Horse for Tomorrow’s World

Janet Bubar Rich

The bond between humans and horses is deep. For humans, horses provide freedom. Riding on horses and horse-drawn chariots or carts has allowed humans to go farther and faster than they could on their own. Horses (now high-horsepower cars) are our wings. As a result, their images show up in our dreams and our personal and cultural stories as symbols not only of freedom, but of power, swiftness, nobility, and beauty. Equine images empower us to ride on inner journeys, explore the mysteries of the soul, and carry the human spirit forward. In bringing to life the horse tales of many cultures throughout the ages, Riding on Horses’ Wings is as whimsical and magical as it is inspiring. From the white-winged Pegasus and part-human Centaurs in ancient Greek myths, Epona in ancient Celtic lore, the eight-legged Sleipnir in Nordic tales, and Kanthaka in Buddhist lore, to the many horses in Native American mythologies and today’s literary and fine arts, movies, YouTube videos, and beyond, horses touch our hearts and elevate our imaginations. In this book, Janet Bubar Rich taps into our love of horses and horse tales, inspiring us all to take life by the reins, make the changes needed to improve our lives, and create sustainable futures for horses, humans, and other species on earth, our home.


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Preface xiii Acknowledgments xv 1. Introduction 1 Book’s Roadmap 4 2. Mythological Horses 7 Myths Nourish Imaginations 8 Emergence: New Self-Concept 8 Archetypes: C. G. Jung 9 Introducing Horse Archetypes 9 Personal Horse Archetypes 12 Collective Horse Archetypes 12 3. Horses in Ancient Greek and Celtic Mythologies 13 Ancient Greek Mythological Horses 13 Pegasus 14 Demeter 15 viii riding on horses’ wings Trojan Horse 16 Centaurs 16 Hippogriff 17 Ancient Celtic Mythological Horses 18 White Horses 18 Riderless Horses 19 Epona 19 Rhiannon 20 Inaugurations in Ulster 20 Macha 21 Horseman’s Word 21 Mythological Sun and Water Horses 22 Sun Horses 22 Helios 22 Apollo 22 Water Horses 23 The Death of Ferghus 23 Skyphios 23 Poseidon 24 Hippocampus 24 Splendid Mane 25 4. Horses of Norse Mythology 27 Valkyries Take Deceased Warriors to Valhalla 28 Wondrous Horses 29 Why Sleipnir Is Gifted to Odin 29 Why Sleipnir Is Eight-Legged 30 Odin Rides Sleipnir on Yggrasil, the Ash Tree 30 Why Thor Does Not Ride a Horse 31 5. Mythological Horse Tales from Asia 33 Hindu Mythological Horses 33 Terra-Cotta Horse 34 Horses in Hindu Mythology 35 Uchaishravas 35 contents ix Buddhist Mythological Horses 36 Full Awakening: Bodhi and Bodhisattvas 36 Kanthaka 37 White Horse Monastery 38 Cloud, or Valahaka 38 Hayagriva 39 Windhorse 39 Buddhism: Promotes Reverence for Life 40 Horse Tale from Japan 40 Chinese Horse Tale 41 Korean Horse Tale 42 Horse Tale from the Philippines 43 Vietnamese Horse Tale 44 Horses in Ancient Persia 44 Qeytas,...

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