What Do Horses Symbolize?

Thứ sáu - 26/04/2024 23:11
An in-depth guide to the spiritual, psychological, and cultural meaning of horsesHorses are majestic, beautiful creatures, but there's more to this beloved animal than meets the eye. Across mythology, literature, and various cultures,...
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Horses are majestic, beautiful creatures, but there’s more to this beloved animal than meets the eye. Across mythology, literature, and various cultures, horses are believed to hold particular spiritual or psychological significance. If you see or dream about horses, or if you just feel spiritually connected to them, continue reading. We’ll explore the symbolism behind this glorious, independent animal below.

Things You Should Know

  • Horses traditionally symbolize freedom, power, confidence, and grace. They are often considered positive omens.
  • As a spirit guide, the horse symbolizes the balance between independence and duty: they are self-actualized, powerful creatures who are brave and reliable friends.
  • If you dream of a running horse, it may indicate you are on the right path to success, but an unmoving horse may be a sign you need to stop and consider next steps.
Section 1 of 6:

What do horses represent spiritually?

  1. Step 1 Horses symbolize freedom, power, and independence.
    Horses are often perceived as some of the most liberated and glorious of all animals. Whether you’re riding a horse at full-speed, the wind in your hair, or simply watching free-spirited mustangs gallop on a grassy plane from a distance, it’s hard not to feel exhilarated and inspired by their grace, power, and self-actualization.
    • A wild horse may symbolize liberation and independence, while a tame horse may symbolize trust and friendship.
    • In some instances, a tethered horse may symbolize the parts of you that have been repressed or areas of your life where you feel held back or confined.
  2. Step 2 As a spirit guide, the horse encourages self-actualization.
    Horses are unique and admirable creatures because they occupy the middle ground between power and independence, and responsibility and duty to their friends; this middle ground may be considered true self-actualization. If you identify the horse as your spiritual guide, you’re likely an independent, free-spirited person with a love of adventure and the open air—who still maintains a strong sense of duty and love for your friends and family.
    • You value time to explore and grow, but you don’t shy from hard work and are always on hand to help when you’re needed. You benefit from equal amounts of solitude and time spent with others.
    • If you’re not feeling in tune with your inner horse lately, ask yourself if you’re feeling particularly disconnected from either yourself or those around you.
      • If you’ve been on your own a lot lately, try reaching out to the people around you for companionship.
      • If all your time lately has been spent in the service of others, you’ll likely benefit from some solo time to adventure and reflect.
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Section 2 of 6:

What does it mean if you see a horse?

  1. It could be a sign to stay the course and be strong.
    Horses are symbols of courage, power, and independence, so if you see a horse running free while you’re suffering a period of self-doubt, it’s a sign to trust your instincts and stick to the path you’re on. Practice embodying the power and certainty of this majestic creature, and things will turn out right in the end.
    • The horse stands for freedom of expression and belief in oneself, so if you’re experiencing uncertainty or fear in your life, it could be because you’re holding back parts of yourself that need to be expressed.
    • Every day, do something that makes you feel more courageous and more like yourself. Over time, you’ll achieve the self-actualization of one of nature’s most confident and graceful beasts.
Section 3 of 6:

What does it mean if you dream about a horse?

  1. Step 1 If you’re riding the horse, it may symbolize success.
    A horse you’ve tamed and are riding into victory may suggest you will meet success soon in your real life. You’ve mastered something difficult, or made a connection with a friend that will benefit you in the future.
    • The horse in your dream may stand for a relationship with a friend, romantic partner, or someone else who is trustworthy and supportive.
    • The horse may also represent your own abilities or another tool you need to succeed in the world: perhaps a college degree, a recent promotion, or faith in your own skills.
  2. Step 2 An unmoving horse may symbolize reflection or consideration.
    If you dream of a horse who is standing still, this may be a sign you need to pause and consider your next steps. Horses are confident, powerful animals, but that doesn’t mean they always need to be on the move: if you’re uncertain about your direction in life, it may be wise to stop and think about where you want to go.
    • If you find yourself at a crossroads in real life, an unmoving horse may be a sign to stop and think ahead before randomly picking a path. What are the pros and cons of each decision? Where is your heart really telling you to go?
    • An unmoving horse may also just be a sign you need to rest. Horses are often depicted as free-spirited running creatures enjoying the open air, but like any other animal, they need plenty of solitude, peace, and rest—and so do you.
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Section 4 of 6:

Horse Meanings in Different Cultures

  1. Step 1 Some Native American tribes view the horse as a spiritual brother.
    Plains tribes considered the horse to be a spiritual friend, believing the creature to be a link to the supernatural realm. The horse was therefore incorporated into many sacred rituals and ceremonies.[1]
    • Some members of such tribes report having visions of horses who carry spiritual messages and signs; the visions are sometimes shared through art, performance, and song.
  2. Step 2 According to Celtic lore, the horse represents luck.
    Due to the horse’s association with the Celtic goddess Epona, protector of horses, horses are believed to be harbingers of good fortune.[2] If you see a horse, it is considered to be a positive omen.
  3. Step 3 In Chinese culture, the horse is a sign of power and luck.
    At one time, the horse was considered the most potent creature in Chinese culture, before being superseded by the dragon. The horse still remains a prominent figure in Chinese culture. It is the seventh animal in the Chinese zodiac, and the ancient Chinese worshipped the God of Horses, who was said to resemble an ogre and whose image brought good fortune and warded off evil spirits.[3]
  4. Step 4 In Sub-Saharan Africa, horses were signs of power and wealth.
    In late medieval and early modern kingdoms of Sub-Saharan Africa, rulers bought horses from the north of the desert and kept them as status symbols. Horses began to be used in battle in the 13th and 14th centuries and were therefore associated with strength, power, and war.[4]
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Section 5 of 6:

Horses in Mythology

  1. Step 1 Centaur
    The centaur is described as a half-man, half-horse creature. The centaur is a product of Greek mythology and is traditionally believed to represent the eternal struggle between the “human” self and the “beast” within. Centaurs are often depicted as monsters; however, the most famous centaur, Chiron, was known for taming his bestial impulses in pursuit of education, including medicine.[5]
    • After Chiron’s death, he became the constellation Sagittarius, which is why the astrological sign Sagittarius is associated with education, wisdom, and truth-seeking.[6]
  2. Step 2 Epona
    In Celtic Gaul mythology, the goddess Epona is protector of horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules.[7] She and her horses may also have been believed to accompany souls into the afterlife. Though Epona is often described as looking like a woman, it’s believed she may have taken on the form of a horse at times.
  3. Step 3 The Horse (Chinese zodiac)
    There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, and the seventh is the horse. According to Chinese mythology, the Buddha called all animals to compete in a race, part of which involved crossing a busy river. The first 12 across the finish line would belong to the zodiac. Because the snake spooked the horse right before the finish line, the snake finished in sixth place, and the horse finished in seventh.[8]
    • There are a few different variations to this story (one common version says the race was ordained by the Jade Emperor, not the Buddha), though most of the details are the same across variations.
  4. Step 4 Pegasus
    Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek mythology, was the offspring of the god Poseidon and a Gorgon. A flying horse born of the god of the sea, Pegasus unites the elements air and water. This mythological creature is often used as a symbol of inspiration and imagination.
  5. Step 5 Unicorn
    The classic white horse with a spiral horn on its head—sometimes depicted as having a lion’s tail—is typically associated with purity and peace and is believed to have healing properties. The unicorn has figured in Asian and European mythology for millennia. The earliest depiction of the unicorn comes from Mesopotamian art, but it has also appeared in ancient Chinese and Indian mythology.[9]
    • Many descriptions of unicorns are believed to actually be mistaken accounts of other horned animals, like rhinoceroses or oxen.
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Section 6 of 6:

Horse Biblical Meaning

  1. Step 1 Horses are depicted as brave companions.
    In Job 35:19-25, God speaks to Job of horses as courageous friends in battle and in life. He describes the horse as a creature of grace, beauty, and strength, “[leaping] like a locust, striking terror with his proud snorting.” The horse is depicted as craving the thrill of battle: “He laughs at fear, afraid of nothing; he does not shy away from the sword.”[10]
  2. Step 2 Horses represent the End Times.
    Perhaps the most famous depiction of horses in the Bible comes in the book of Revelation with the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Each horseman represents a different facet of the apocalypse:[11]
    • The first horseman wears a crown and holds a bow and arrow and rides a white horse. This rider is often believed to represent either Christ or the antichrist.
      • Some scholars believe this rider is Christ, as Christ is later shown in Revelations as riding a white horse; the color white is also frequently used to symbolize purity and godliness.
      • Others believe this rider is only a parody of Christ and is therefore the antichrist, ushering in the apocalypse with the other horsemen.
    • The second horseman holds a sword and rides a red horse, and is said to represent war.
    • The third horseman carries a scale and rides a black horse, and represents famine.
    • The final horseman rides a pale horse and represents death.
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