In First Nations the horse is a symbol of power and freedom.
The young warriors and braves of the central plains had the traditions of trying to steal horses from neighbouring tribes in order to prove that they would be good husbands for the woman they wanted to wed. By doing this near ritual act they demonstrated their courage and power. For the hunter-gatherer tribes of the plains of America, whose life was centred on the buffalo, the horse was an extraordinary asset for hunting and migrating to follow the herds.
Before the discovery of the domesticated horse, the First Nations of the plains were very close to the ground; their movements were weighed down by their possessions, and thus slow. As soon as they could ride on the back of horses, they became free like the wind. This discovery was as important to them as that of fire. The horse had such an impact on all nations of the world that civilization still measures power of automotive vehicles in horsepower. It’s the enduring memory of a time when the horse was an honoured partner and of great value to all men.
Here is the story of DreamWalker a medicine man and his visions on the power of the horse.
DreamWalker was travelling the plains to visit the Arapaho nation. He carried his sacred pipe and on his braid a feather which pointed towards the ground, designating him as a man of peace.
From the top of a hill, he saw a herd of wild mustangs coming towards him. A black stallion approached. DreamWalker asked him what he wanted. The horse said: “I am the emptiness from which all arises. Climb on my back and learn how to enter the emptiness, the total darkness which gives rise to form.” DreamWalker thanked the stallion for his gift and told him he would come visiting in the dreamtime when in need of his medicine.
Then a golden stallion came from the East where illumination resides. “You will be able to come to me to find the teachings which will make it possible to illuminate your wisdom and your knowledge.” DreamWalker thanked it and answered that he would use these gifts during his journey.
Then a ochre stallion came from the South. Bucking joyfully and impetuously, he spoke to him about the joys of balancing work and medicine with play and fun. “You will be better able to hold others’ attention if you use humour,” it explained. DreamWalker thanked it, saying that he would use this medicine during his journey.
DreamWalker was approaching his destination, the Arapaho nation.
Then came a white stallion from the North. DreamWalker climbed on its back. The white stallion was the spokesperson for the other horses and represented wisdom. He was the incarnation of the peace shield of balanced medicine. It had these words: “No abuse of power leads to wisdom. You made this journey to heal a brother in need, to share the sacred pipe and commune with Mother Earth. You are aware of Great Spirit. I carry you on my back. Wisdom is not granted easily, but it is to those who carry it harmoniously to help others.” DreamWalker was healed by the wild horses, and knew that his goal while visiting the Arapahos was to share this wisdom with them.
This story reminds us that our medicine should be balanced. It teaches the importance of integrating all aspects of our being when walking the earth. There are many dimensions in our existence, represented in this story by the physical (South), emotional (West), mental (East) and spiritual (North) aspects. Each direction or cardinal points, also called “grandfathers of the four winds”, represent aspects of our innate wisdom. Our potential is enclosed in the four dimensions of our being: physique, emotional, mental and spiritual. These aspects must be in balance so that our power can be effective and true, powerful and beneficial. For example, too much of the spiritual and not sufficient physical exercise or work can lead to illusions and arrogance. Compassion, being open to life’s lessons, a loving attitude, a balanced life, remaining centred and sharing our gifts and abilities with the community are the pathways to true, real power.
This story illustrates the importance of power in our personal lives. Power cannot grow in a balanced way if it does not come jointly with humility and a sense of one’s responsibilities. With every power comes responsibility. This is why any quest for spiritual power in First Nations’ communities is always moderated by an important reflection and testing period by the elders before being authorized and celebrated.
It is good and well to acquire power, but it’s important to understand that it must be used with wisdom, understanding and compassion, for the good of all. If not, if used for personal gain to the detriment of others it will lead to ruin and loneliness.
Of all the animals, the horse holds a very special place in the history of Men. It is constantly celebrated in all nations for its beauty, its strength, its nobility, its tenderness and its will to help. It was domesticated and yet remains a symbol of freedom. This is why many of old were so sad when the car supplanted the horse as the normal mode of locomotion. It was a great loss for all men.
Recently, in a Scandinavian country, a city chose the horse to collect the garbage that could be recycled. In a few months, the number of recyclables doubled. Citizens made sure to have enough recyclables to be able to say hi to the large horse which drew the carriage. The cost for collecting the recyclables decreased, as maintenance for a horse is a lot less expensive than a truck. It doesn’t produce any pollution. What it does produce is manure for the gardens. The horse repairs itself which is not the case for the motor vehicle. All it needs is a little loving care. It is a lot less dangerous than a vehicle, as it will automatically stop if a child gets in its way. You can see for yourself all the advantages there is between a living being and dead technology.
A rich man, who worked fast and a lot, meets his brother who was driving his carriage drawn by his faithful horse. He stops and says to his brother: “Looks at my beautiful car, I get a lot faster where I’m going. Why are you being so stubborn to use such antiquated transportation?” His brother answered: “Your engine makes an infernal noise which prevents thoughtful reflection. It smells awful, its vapours are toxic and they poison the air. Your car is dangerous and creates stress, as you must constantly survey the road as to not harm others. Despite this constant vigilance you still kill innocent animals on the road. You need tarred and asphalted stone-hard roads that are like a wound on Mother Earth. Sometimes, it breaks and you must spend money and time to have it repaired. It’s very expensive, which has you working long hours to pay for it. Your car thus shortens the duration of your life, it lessens your longevity. … My horse is a friend. While on my way, I can tell him my problems and it listens to me. I arrive at a destination with more wisdom than when I left. My horse heals by himself and can reproduce, therefore it lasts a lot longer and is a lot less expensive than your car. Its’ dejections I use as manure. It’s slow and regular steps help me relax and I can then appreciate my environment. And it knows where I’m going! If I’m tired, I can fall asleep on my carriage. When I awake, I’ve arrived! Thus, the horse prolongs my days, gives me joy, supports the beauty and health of my environment and that of my family and community!”
Truth power is in life. The illusions of technological progress poison the structure of our DNA which is more and more deficient. These stories around the horse give us a perspective on the many benefits lost to the profit of blind machines and deaf people who are leading men to dependencies, disease and death.
The mission, “raison d’être” of Man, is to create a paradise of marvellous gardens filled with beauty, peace and happy healthy families.
Call on horse medicine to find your power and the freedom to be a cocreator of paradise on earth!