Speaking from Spirit
Horses seem to tap into our deepest psyche. In their silent but dynamic presence, they have a timelessness about them that invites self inquiry. We all have the potential to receive their wisdom, because it is also our own.
This work of art was inspired by a horse named Noche. Linda Kohanov has shared many stories of Noche in her books “Tao of Equus” and “Riding Between the Worlds”. Noche assisted Linda in her equine assisted therapy practice and one of his special gifts was in allowing people to heal their unresolved grief. In the The Way of the Horse book and card set Linda and I co-created, Noche represents “The Master of Sadness” – and stands for Sadness and Grief, The Power of Tears, and Release and Rejuvenation.
Noche passed away before I met Linda, so I never had the chance to meet him in person, but I feel as if I know him, for he taught me that intuition isn’t limited to direct experience, and that even a photograph can allow one to tap into spiritual awareness.
In Linda’s books, she refers to intuitive messages she has received from the equine collective mind she calls “The Horse Ancestors”. For many of us who have enjoyed her books, the concept of these ancestors was very powerful.
In the blink of an eye
Over the years I’d had a few experiences in meditation where I felt I had connected with horse guides in different forms, but usually these experiences were sourced from what I would consider spiritual beings in horse form, and received during a deep meditative state. Then one day I had an experience that made me realize that intuition can happen in the blink of an eye in any normal, day to day circumstance.
Before we had conceived of the Way of the Horse cards, Linda and I were at an event together where she was presenting a lecture and a slide presentation that included her horses. Upon seeing Noche’s photograph I felt compelled to close my eyes. I asked if he had a message for me. I had done this in meditation, and also for my own guidance in the presence of horses, but I had not considered seeking guidance from a specific horse, whether embodied or in spirit, by looking at a photograph. Instantly, I had a vision of a shape of curved lines — like the familiar entwined ribbon pin people wear in support of a cause.
When I later mentioned it to Linda, she raised her eyebrows and said, “That is similar to the image I have seen in my own meditations with the horse ancestors. It appears to be a symbol of two rivers flowing together, then meeting and mingling. It represents the energy of Equus (horse) and Anthropos (human) entwining. It seems to speak to the ancient connection we have with horses.” She had written about the symbol in her book “The Tao of Equus” but I didn’t remember the reference.
Her confirmation that the symbol I had envisioned had such a profound meaning to her, gave me a thrill of excitement and a deep confirmation of my life’s path of learning and growth through my kinship with horses. I had been discovering that horses were a catalyst for these kinds of experiences.
When I later created this painting for the Way of the Horse card deck. I chose to portray the flowing shape in Noche’s portrait. I trust that the symbol conveys its energetic message to the viewer even if they don't know what the shape means.
In Linda's story she shares that when Noche passed away, she saw the light of the setting sun reflecting in his eye, and a single tear sparkled there as he crossed over into spirit. I drew a tear in Noche's eye in honor of this revelation - for he is The Master of Sadness.
In my own self development and healing with the “Way of the Horse” card deck, I often draw the “Master of Sadness” card. Thus, through the art, Noche, continues his work from spirit to assist me, and countless others, to release and heal our grief.
I hope you will think about and share your own intuitive experiences you have had with horses, and the next time you look at a photograph of a horse, perhaps instead of just admiring their beauty, you'll ask to tap into their messages.