Inspiring the Hero’s Journey
What is it about a white horse that inspires our collective imagination so?
As an animist and eco-mystic, I’ve related to and “whispered” with animals my whole life. Even though I wasn’t what you’d call ‘horse crazy’ growing up, white horses have shown up in my life often and always at important times. In dreams, in gas stations, on dates when I was young. They just showed up. Finally, while raising my children in East Texas I was blessed to live with and breed some of the most beautiful white horses in the world. And when I decided to leave my farm sanctuary for greener pastures in Austin, my Egyptian Arabian mares were sold to breeders around the country, as well as in Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
For millennia, when support for disharmony is needed indigenous cultures the world over turn to nature and to animals for inspiration and strength – for medicine. They are a part of our living histories. White horses have inspired warriors and poets, kings and artists for centuries.
From the horse we gain power, stamina, endurance, and faithfulness. Horses also inspire us to run free, living the life we were meant to live. And they remind us of the fact that we are most powerful when our actions are grounded in true cooperation with others – with our herd.
For thousands of years horses have helped us to carry our burdens, travel our roads – even fight our wars. And today the horse’s role with man is shifting to one of simple joy and inspiration. The horse’s message for us is that no matter what we have borne in the past, there always exists in us the waiting seed of our true selves.
The first Anglo-Saxons to conquer England, are said to have ruled under a white horse banner. In Westbury, one of several ancient horse pictographs in the country can be found carved into a hillside (shown above). Although it’s origins are unclear, it’s ancient enough to have been mentioned in the Doomesday Book of 1086.
In Welsh legend, Morfran, son of the goddess, Ceridwin had a horse named Guelwgan Gohoewgein meaning Silver-White, Proud and Fair. Famous as one of the Three Lover’s Horses of the Island of Britain, other legends place this horse as belonging to Tristan, the Cornish knight of the Round Table and hero of the Arthurian Tristan and Iseult story.
Warrior Queen Boudica of the Iceni tribes in modern day Britain united and led her people in the last massive revolt against the invading Romans who occupied her lands. Most modern depictions and many legends depict her chariot drawn by white horses.
Later, English hero, Sir Thomas Fairfax was known as the ‘Rider of the White Horse.’
What better inspiration for leadership and personal empowerment than the legendary white horse?
Real change begins at the personal level. Developing a high level of personal integrity, resilience, and empathy helps us to create opportunities from our challenges. Empowered and initiated individuals carry this energy of change into their communities and create synergy. Transformation occurs in our relationships and communities system-wide in shifting paradigms on our planet.
Through the cultivation of heart-centered authentic power and the hero-like qualities inspired by the white horse of legends, I believe that as stakeholders in our healthcare system, as well as the leaders of our families and communities, we can become our own heroes and catalysts for change.
I am honored to work with heroes like this every day.