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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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6. Horse Mythologies in Monotheistic Cultures


← 46 | 47 →

Chapter 6


Horse Mythologies in Monotheistic Cultures

Playing special roles in the mythologies of many cultures since ancient times, horses have been widely displayed in artwork and iconography. From the mythical white-winged horse Pegasus, widely regarded as a symbol of celestial ascent, to the centaurs and horse-headed, fish-tailed hippocampus and beyond, horses are central to Greek culture and populate their myths. Horses are also plentiful in Celtic mythology with its goddess and protector of horses Epona. In many Asian cultures, horses have played important roles for thousands of years not only in transportation and military services and as companions and pets, but as symbols of transformation and sources of inspiration for the arts, mythology, and folklore. In some Asian cultures, the horse is regarded as sacred in association with particular deities. Yet, while symbolic horses might be less widespread in cultures with monotheistic religions, they are significant as a look at their place in Arab, Jewish, and Christian traditions and mythologies reveal. ← 47 | 48 →

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