More on the Horseman (Pagan Blog Project, Week 16)


Last week, I posted a poem about the Horseman. Previously, I have written about Sabazios, one of the versions of the Thracian Horseman, and linked to others’ excellent writings about Him.

What’s so special about a guy on a horse?


The image of a Hero (yes, another one of the Thracian Horseman’s names) riding on a horse, either into battle or off to save some innocent in distress, has been with us longer than writing. Even prehistoric cave paintings have horses and riders in them.

There is something epic about the horse: a living, breathing vehicle, that we’ve lost in our modern world of automobiles. We realize this, even unconsciously. Have you noticed that we name our cars, describe them in terms of horsepower, feed them and wash them, give them technology that lets us call them smart…. The horse makes the man on a certain level. Can you imagine Alexander without Bucephalus?


The horseman image is with us in all cultures that have horses, throughout all time periods we can recognize. There is something important about this concept, of a sentient vehicle working in symbiosis with its operator, of two beings becoming a whole, of the wild merging with the civilized. Horsemen can be heroes or villains, weapons or defenses. They appear around us with such frequency that half the time, we don’t even notice them.

Show me your Horsemen, and what they mean, and I will show you a basic mystery of humanity.

Dele Mezenai!

3 thoughts on “More on the Horseman (Pagan Blog Project, Week 16)

  1. Alexander had Bukephalos, and Hadrian had Borysthenes–he wrote him a poem on his death, actually! Cú Chulainn had the Liath Macha and Dub Sainglenn; Conall Cernach had Conchenn; Achilleus had Xanthos and Balios; and the list goes on…

    Something that Sabazios said to me in late March of 2013, when I was having an oracular session, and that he kept coming back to, was “You don’t have a horse.” I don’t drive (and thus, no car), but I also don’t really have any affinity with horses, despite my legal name meaning “lover of horses” in Greek, which must be very strange from that context…!?! But anyway, there’s much to be contemplated in all of this.

    Incidentally, Happy Megala Antinoeia, and the feast of Renenutet in Medinet Madi, and of Montu today!

    • Yes, there are a huge number of important horses. I was just starting on the subject but realized that I could probably write an entire book about the connection between humans and horses in a religious sense. (Maybe that’s a hint?)

      I had horses as a child, and have missed them for a long time, now living in an urban space where I can’t have them. There is nothing like riding. Driving my car (which is a very fine car) comes close, but it’s never quite the same, even if it’s faster. A car simply doesn’t have the same sense of grandeur or life, and even at top speed one never feels quite as “one” with a hunk of performance engine as one does with a living, breathing being.

      You could, maybe should, install a votive horse in your shrine?

      Thank you for the holiday wishes! One of these days I need to get together a good list of the non-Egyptian holidays. Any suggestions? Admittedly my uptake on the non-Egyptian side of things is slow. I’m preparing for St. George’s Day tomorrow…of course yet another Horseman day, the patron saint of England and Egypt, and the modern image of Sabazios in all the Eastern European countries. Dele Mezenai!

      • There are a few relatively decent horse books out there; but, none are truly comprehensive or typological studies, to my knowledge…

        I have only really been on horses at the zoo and things like that. I have a friend (a work colleague, actually, but he’s also a friend and spiritual colleague) who not only has a full-on wolf that I have not seen yet, but also horses. Perhaps that can be something that can be experienced further when I finally get out to his farm…

        But yes, a votive horse meanwhile would be a great idea. Now to find one I like that isn’t a child’s toy…

        As for non-Egyptian holy days: eek! How many do you want to cover? I’ve got a lot on my own personal/Ekklesía Antínoou calendar, if you’d like to see that:

        Lots (but not all) of the Roman ones are discussed at some point in Adkins and Adkins’ Dictionary of Roman Religion (1996), but not in a handy table or anything of that nature, just entry-by-entry, and not necessarily comprehensively. That might actually be something worth putting feelers and requests out for, though: online calendars for various groups and cultures, as I know Nova Roma and some of the Hellenic groups have relatively comprehensive ones, and Neos Alexandria’s is pretty good as well.

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