Tarot Symbolism: The Horse

Tarot Symbolism: The Horse
The Symbolism of the Horse in Tarot Reading

There is nothing more magnificent than the power of the horse. Horses are truly the bridge between the world of heaven and the world of earth. Throughout time, horses have been associated with strength, victory, nobility, freedom, movement, wisdom and guidance. The horse is the faithful companion. His dedication and affection bring courage and valor. He represents the fire within you. He is your guide, constantly carrying you on your path.

It’s not hard to imagine why traditional Tarot decks include the symbol of the horse. Historically, the symbol of the horse has been incorporated in many myths, legends and fairy tales. The horse is archetypal in nature.  It is an image that has its roots in many different cultures and geographical regions. The horse is a symbol that embodies a collective experience. Regardless of one’s background, the image of the horse speaks to all of us.

In traditional Tarot decks, the horse is depicted in 8 separate Tarot cards: Death, The Chariot, the Sun, the Six of Wands and all four Knights. Each card has its own symbolic association to the horse, the most common being that of the Chariot.  Horses are also associated with the moon, the sun, and the earth. These are referred to as Lunar, Solar and Physical. In Tarot reading, these represent specific associations to different domains of influence: the unconscious, the spiritual, and all that is tangible in the physical realm. By understanding the use of horse imagery throughout the Tarot, one can discover an entirely new level of interpretation.

Horse Symbolism of the Death Tarot Card
Traditionally, Death is a card of transformation. It signifies the commencement of great change. In this respect, one part of the psyche is dying while another is being born. The significance of the horse is two-fold. The first references his ability to journey within the underworld. It is here, that the horse must travel between life and death. He is the carrier of not only death, but also the soul.  The other aspect of Death’s horse is his ability to serve as the trusted guide. It is he that chooses which path to embark upon. Symbolically, he represents our inner guide, the parts of us that inherently need to change or transform. Death’s horse is influenced by the moon. In this regard, the moon is our intuitive sense of knowing.

Horse Symbolism of the Chariot Tarot Card
The Chariot is most commonly associated to the symbolism of the horse. It is the only card in the Tarot deck that depicts two horses, one white and one black. Symbolically, the horses of the Chariot represent the conscious and the unconscious minds. They also depict duality, the concept that within every individual there is both light and dark.
Traditionally, The Chariot is the card of conquest and triumph. He represents the ability to control one’s energy rather than be ruled by it. The depiction of the two horses he drives represents this energy. Symbolically, this relates to the Chariot’s ability to harness his animal instincts.  By mastering both the unconscious and conscious parts of the psyche, one can truly find freedom.  The Chariot is associated to the sun. In this regard, the sun represents one’s level of consciousness and self-awareness.

Horse Symbolism of the Sun Tarot Card
The Sun card is the representation of psychic unity. The conscious and unconscious minds have reached a level of harmony. The horse of the Sun is the perfect representation of unity.  In this case, the horse and rider are one. They are both equal companions on a mutual journey.  At last the sun has risen, and there is light. They are on a road to freedom and spiritual enlightenment. Obviously, this is a horse associated to the Sun. In this regard, the sun represents healing and spiritual wholeness.

Horse Symbolism of the Knights Tarot Cards
The knights represent action and courage. They are catalysts to change and always reflect energy or the pursuit of knowledge. The horses that they ride are the embodiments of movement. They also represent the very nature of the knights themselves. They are noble, intelligent, courageous, swift, fearless and willing. They symbolize our every day battles and achievements. The horses of the Knights are associated to the physical realm. This is the realm of intention and action.

Horse Symbolism of the Six of Wands Tarot Card
The Six of Wands is a card of victory and triumph. Here, the horse represents the journey from past to present. More importantly, he can symbolize the future to come.  The symbolism of the horse in the Six of Wands also refers to our noble natures. This is the part of us that is willing to fight for what we believe in. On another level, the horse can represent our challenges, obstacles and rivals. In this regard, the horse represents the submission to the rider’s will.  The horse of the Six of Wands is also associated to the physical realm. In this regard, it symbolizes our diligence and determination to confront our challenges.

When a horse appears in a Tarot reading, it is always a reflection of energy and direction. Remember that horse and rider make up one whole. The horse lends it powers to help the rider and the rider gives the horse its intention and sense of purpose. Together they are companions embarking on a journey that belongs to them alone.

© 2010 Tarotreadingpsychic.com. All Rights Reserved. Images of individual tarot cards are from the Aquatic Tarot Deck created by Andreas Schröter and are used with his permission. They are for example purposes only.

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