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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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2. Mythological Horses

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Chapter 2 Mythological Horses Running free with their manes and tails flying, horses inspire the myth- ic imagination. Dashing across fields and prairies as well as through myths, fairy tales, and dreams, the spirited creatures galvanize those who behold them and lift the hearts of those who befriend them. Re- sponding to danger, reacting to changes in the terrain, and instinctively defending themselves and their foals, the steeds heighten our aware- ness of our surroundings and alert us to the characteristics needed to survive. Being with horses offers humans authentic experiences of being alive. Accordingly, horse images evoke these authentic experienc- es and connect humans with the rhythms of the natural world and the drive toward spiritual ascent. As live horses as well as today’s high-horsepower vehicles carry people farther and faster than they can walk, symbolic horses empower people to ride on inner journeys, traverse passages and pathways, and charge forth into spiritual skies to explore the mysteries of the soul and carry the human spirit for- ward. Exploring horse tales from a wide range of traditions allows us to appreciate the depth of the history and bond humans and horses share. Delving into horse myths across many cultures reveals humankind’s fascination with horses. Finally, looking at horse archetypes and their 8 riding on horses’ wings significance and meaning in many mythologies reveals how, as a uni- versal symbol of the imagination, the horse can help us understand our own place and meaning in today’s world. Myths Nourish Imaginations...

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