Horses have always been a source of greatness. They are strong, lean and fast; humans rely on them for many tasks and responsibilities. But what about legends and symbolism? What does the horse signify in different cultures?
Generally, the horse symbolises success, freedom, travel, courage, strength, power, nobility, wisdom and loyalty. It also refers to life, death, grace and beauty.
The horse trusts its rider and thus signifies loyalty and devotion. The opposite is true as well – the rider believes his horse will take him home safely, and therefore the horse is a warrior spirit.
The celts use the horse to mean war and fertility – the triumph of a battle being, quite often, followed by abundance.
Greco-Romans believe the horse to be a symbol of power, victory, honour, domination and virility. It is associated with the Gods Hades (Pluto) and Ares (Mars).
In Chinese astrology, the horse is the sign that shows power, strength, vanity, war, chivalry, practicality, love, endurance, devotion and stability.
Native-American Shamans are often depicted as flying on mythical horses since they represent coping through adversity.
White horses depict spirituality and sacred spirits. In the Middle Ages, Christ, virgins, heroes and saints were drawn with white horses. For Buddhists, white horses are accompanied by the Book of Law.
Hindu lore says the horse is linked to Varuna, which is the cosmos.
In the dream world, white horses mean death.
As for black horses, they symbolise death, destruction, Satan, and anything evil. Traitors, magicians and the devil are always seen on black horses.
When both are together, they show life and death. Greeks use this team to show the contrasting aspects of one’s personality, the contrary, and similar to the Chinese Yin Yang.
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