For centuries the Feast of Epona has been celebrated today, to honor the Celtic Goddess of the Horse, a powerful and significant presence in ancient European mythology. Epona is most often depicted as a white mare, sometimes with a lady upon her back, who is surrounded by foals, branches of ripe apples, and garlands of roses. Epona symbolized fertility and abundance, and around her silken neck she carried the keys to a happy afterlife for her mortal subjects. The horse and human happiness were forever wedded in the psyche of our ancestors, and those who revered Epona were given the keys to the kingdom.
In Great Britain, the birthplace of the Thoroughbred, there are fourteen hill carvings of white mares like the Great White Horse of Uffington. These enormous landscape features date from 1,000 BC or earlier, and they pre-date the worship in the British Isles of the European Goddess Epona. Clearly, the love and lore of horses has been with us from the earliest times.
Today there are those who love the Thoroughbred even though they may have never flown across the earth with a grace unknown to any who have only felt the cold insentient speed of steel. And yet they understand, here is a beauty worth protecting, and a taproot that returns us to the very threshold of our culture. We celebrate the horse today, the wild and the purebred, and remember that they have all been passed down to us for safekeeping from every generation since the dawn of time.
My Girl Siyah, adopted from Tranquility Farm in 2005.