From the species Equus cabauus, which distinguishes it from the ass and zebra, he same genus family. There is a great number of breeds of horses, each possessing distinctive characteristics not common to the others. The modem horse has descended from three basic stocks: the Libyan horse of northern Africa; the common horse of Upper Asia and Europe; and the Celtic pony.

This animal was known to the Babylonians as far back as 2300 B.C.E. and was used by them to draw war chariots beginning in about 1700 B.C.E. The horse was used for riding by the Greeks, Alaric, Attila, and Genghis Khan among others. It was brought to the New World by Cortez.

Because the horse was such a valuable animal, only the rich could afford to sacrifice it. This creature symbolized the Sun and the Moon, the sky and the Underworld, according to its color and the deity with which it appeared. The white horse was connected with the Moon; red, white, or golden ones with the Sun. Black horses, such as the one ridden by the Wild Huntsman, accompanied deities of death and the Underworld. The horse in general symbolized power, swiftness, wisdom, prophetic abilities, magickal powers.

In Persia, Greece, Rome, and Scandinavia the white horse was especially sacred. The Chinese Cosmic Cloud Horse, an avatar of Kuan Yin, was white, as was the horse of the Japanese deity Kwannon. The Celestial

Charger, the Horse King Ma-wang of China, was considered to be the ancestor of all horses. The Chinese Ancestral Horse was always accompanied by a dragon, a phoenix, and a crane. The Middle Eastern goddess Anahita drove a chariot pulled by four white horses that represented wind, rain, cloud, and sleet. In India, the horse signifies the cosmos, wind, sea foam, fire, and light itself.

The Romans had an annual horse sacrifice called the October Horse, or Cut Horse (Equus curtius). The severed bleeding tail was taken to the Temple of Vesta where the blood was allowed to drip on the attar (the closest the Vestals ever came to blood sacrifice). The chariots of Apollo and Mithras were drawn by white horses.

The Muslims call the horse a "god-sent" animal, believing it can prophesy, foresee danger, and see the dead. The Atharva Veda of the Zoroastrians tells of a snake-killing horse, Pedu, who was the enemy of Ahriman and the protector of the pure animals. In India, the Sun god Surya had seven red mares to pull his chariot.

Among the Norse and northern Germans, the horse was sacred to Odhinn; he had an eight-legged gray horse called Steipnir that could run on land, sea, or in the air. The Skalds used the kenning "high-chested rope-Steipnir" to mean the gallows on which sacrifices to Odhinn were hung; the Old Norse word drasil meant both horse and gallows, while Yggr was one of Odhinn's names. The Eddas mention special horses with golden manes, such as Freyfaxi.

Gray cloud-horses were said to be an alternative method of travel for the Valkyries. In the ancient festival called May Riding, a woman representing Freyja rode on a white horse, while a man representing Freyr rode on a black one. Very ancient Swedish kings were sacrificed by being ritually tom apart by horse- masked priestesses of Freyja; these priestesses were called Valkyries in the texts. The volva, a priestess of Freyja, was said by medieval writers to be able to transform herself into a mare. They believed the volva took on the personification of the death-goddess who rode the Valraven, a winged black horse.

Sacred to the goddesses Epona and Rhiannon, the horse was thought by the Celts to be a guide to the Otherworlds. This animal was an emblem of war and solar deities. Epona was a version of the Cretan Leukippe (White Mare), an Amazon horse goddess. The ancient Welsh horse god was called Waelsi or Waels, whom the Slavic cultures knew as Volos.

Superstitions-. Some of the older houses in Jutland still bear a double-headed horse carved into the rafters for luck. Horseshoes are widely believed to avert evil and bring good fortune; this belief is also held by the Jews, the Turks, and many others around the world. Ornaments woven from horsehair are said to protect the wearer.

Pales, a gray horse is considered to be a death omen, as is dreaming of a white horse in England and Germany. If you meet a white horse, you can break the spell if you spit on the ground. Gray horses and horses with four white feet are considered unlucky in racing. Non-racing horses that have spots or patches of color are said to have magickal talents. It is a general superstition that horses will tremble and refuse to go on if they come near a dead body, even though they can't see it.he herb moonwort is supposed to cause horseshoes to fall off the horse's feet. However, if the rider happened to be at the stones of Wayland Smithy in Berkshire, England (near the famous White Horse), he could place a coin on one of the stones. Leaving the horse there, and withdrawing out of sight, he could then expect the horse to be magickally shod.

 A holed stone (known as a hogstone in England) was hung over the stable door to protect horses against witches and faeries riding them to exhaustion at night.Originally, the tail was plaited with ribbons to keep the horse safe from witches. Horse brasses were considered to be magical in such far-apart places as China and Scandinavia. They were used to protect horses from witches and the evil eye.

The deeper a horse dips his nostrils while drinking, the better a sire he will be.

When n its master dies, a horse will shed tears .

At one time there were groups of horsemen who passed along secret words. It was believed that if these words were whispered in a horse's ear it gave the person immediate command over the animal.

Magickal Attributes: Stamina, endurance, faithfulness. It symbolizes freedom when it runs free; when it works with humans, it represents friendship and cooperation. Travel, journey, swiftness, friends, loyalty. Astral traveling. Companion and guardian when taking a trip. Guide to overcoming obstacles. Checking a situation for possible danger.



Pounding hooves, tossing mane,

Take me swiftly on my life's journey.

Loyal friend, carry me to a place of safety.

Lift me over the obstacles in my path.