Celtic Mythology and the Horse

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Beautiful mustangs roaming free in Nevada

Horses are an integral part of human mythology in many cultures, including the American West. Visit our main page to learn about the real world of America’s wild horses HERE.

On St.Patricks Day many people enjoy strolling through Celtic lore, a place filled with the spirit of the warrior poet. Celtic lore includes a number of geographical areas that we define today predominantly as Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Britain and parts of modern Germany. Any look at ancient myth can be a fragmented puzzle with multiple interpretations.

Any stroll through Irish myth or history must include the Tuatha Dé Danann. The figures worshipped as Gods (pre Christianity) the stories are woven into both myth and history (post Christianity).

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Enbarr is a horse in Irish mythology, her name means imagination. Ownership of the white (or grey) mare get a bit difficult to determine. Some say she belonged to Niamh, the Queen of Tir na nOg (Land of Youth). Many say the mare was a gift to her by her father Manannan (God of the Sea). Enbarr could run across sea and land without touching water or ground. She could not be killed by man or god. It is believed that JRR Tolkein based the horse named Shadowfax in the Lord of the Rings books on Enbarr.

A white horse is said to rise from the lake at Kylemore Abbey every 7 years. In 2011 staff at the abbey said on a windy day they saw the white horse rise from the lake. 2018 is said to mark her return.

Epona, Rhiannon, Macha, are Celtic goddesses rich in horse lore. There are many books and stories online to stroll through this day. Myths from a time when both women and horses were sacred. A time when a Queen was as likely to ride into battle as a King. (more legends HERE)

St. Patricks Day is the celebration that references the driving out of snakes from Ireland. The snakes represent the religion worshipped before the arrival of the Roman armies. Today there are still those that resent the naming of this holiday, much like many indigenous Americans resent Columbus Day.

Yet in truly Irish fashion, most people todays culture have seemed to find a way to honor all of their spiritual history. Combining all beliefs into a cultural celebration of the island herself.

The legends are alive.

Today, may we all celebrate the magic of Celtic lore and the spirit of the horse.