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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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3. Horses in Ancient Greek and Celtic Mythologies


Chapter 3 Horses in Ancient Greek and Celtic Mythologies As long as horses have carried humans on their backs, humans have carried forth inspirational stories of horses. The steeds’ beauty, strength, and elegance are part of the human narrative, making the horse an intrinsic part of our history. Accordingly, horses are central to ancient Greek and Celtic cultures and populate their myths. Among the magical horses in Greek mythology is the mythical white-winged horse Pegasus. In Celtic mythology, with its goddess Epona, protector of horses, horses carry off the dead to the Otherworld. This chapter presents these transformative tales from ancient Greek mythologies and Celtic lore. Ancient Greek Mythological Horses In ancient Greek mythology, winged horses like mighty birds draw chariots of the gods who raise the sun into the skies, watch over the earth, and sail across the heavens. They become comrades of their be- loved charioteers, championing their causes, and mourning their inju- ries and deaths. Myths about a few of these magical steeds follow. 14 riding on horses’ wings Pegasus The mythical white-winged horse Pegasus represents the passage from one plane to another. With his ascent from blood and sea foam to the realm of the immortals, the dashing white-winged horse symbolizes transformation and spiritual energy as he soars across the skies towards the heavens. According to ancient Greek mythology, he is born of the sea god Poseidon and the Gorgon Medusa. When the majestic Pegasus is born, thunder and lightning pierce the skies giving him heavenly...

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