Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What's With the White Horses?

A Camargue horseImage via WikipediaThe white horse is a divine cliché. (See that pun...hehe.)

Because white horses are less common than other colors, they make for exceptional mythology, all over the world. Creatures like the Celtic white unicorn, Greek winged Pegasus, Norse eight legged Sleipnir, or even Donkey of Far, Far Away play the part of whatever desireable trait a myth requires. Purity or fertility are popular themes.

Sometimes though, being a white horse isn't such a good thing. People like the Magyars might think you're a perfect sacrifice to the god they're trying to bribe. Or you might be stuck with eternal service to some hero/saint, without any vacation days.

Tishtrya got a pretty good deal. As the Zoroastrian representation of the Dog Star, he only works on the 13th day of each month and the fourth month of the year. Of course, he had to battle the evil black horse demon Apoasha first. Tishtrya brings rain to drought stricken lands and lends a literary trope to my MS via the Camargue horse

Before you roll your eyes, know that the Camargue horse was right there staring at me, daring me to look away. After that, a regular horse just wouldn't do. On the other hand, the white knight wasn't so...ah...fortunate.

Announcement of the week:

My new post schedule for the summer is Turkish Miscellanea on Monday - Lore and Symbolism on Wednesday. I find I can't respond to my Friday commentors and the kids are home and I'm trying to re-vision an ms and you know the drill!

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Sarah said...

As always, very interesting! And--how are those revisions going? I hope you're feeling good about them!

Old Kitty said...

Beautiful post about these amazing creatures! I love all equines - I think they are stunning wonderful creatures. I have to admit to being a little scared of them - but that's just me and nothing to do with how noble they are!! Yay for equines of whatever colour!!!

Yay for your blogging schedule!! Take care

Matthew MacNish said...

Uh oh. I have a white horse in my book, playing a very small part. I hadn't considered how cliche that might seem.

Maybe I'll change it to a white elk.

Creepy Query Girl said...

So fascinating how a white horse creeps up in all different cultural mythologies. Me? I just think they're magic. lol.

Carolyn V said...

Aw the summer drill. I have to reschedule mine too. *sigh*

White horses are so beautiful, I never knew about the whole sacrificing. Yikes.

Jules said...

I want Tishtrya's job the hours sound fabulous. And it seems everyone is cutting back this summer.
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

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