“Darma’s Reflection” Prints and Posters available at www.spiritofhorse.com
I spent my childhood wanting to be a horse, and then turned to drawing them as the best way to express who I thought horses were. I had limited contact with horses, so my imagination supplied the rest. I imagined that horses could think and feel as I did, and the mystery of their nature was often the focus of my thoughts and my art.
In 1995, when I acquired a horse of my own, the mystery deepened, because now I was not only looking at horses from afar and from within, but I had to attempt to engage with them physically. This was challenging, because the horse I fell in love with, was a racehorse named Darma. Our connection was unmistakable, but I didn’t realize that her presence in my life was going to be a catalyst for my own life changes and personal growth.
In 1999 I received a call from Linda Kohanov when she was writing her 1st book, “The Tao of Equus”. She had heard a story about Darma and I from an animal communicator. The story related to the concept of horse’s behavioral issues reflecting their person’s life issues. I was fascinated by the themes Linda was writing about. When Linda’s book was published, her insights resonated with me and I longed to know more. I had always been fascinated by the paranormal, and given my natural empathetic nature, my desire to communicate with horses was very strong. But as yet I had not been able to achieve the experience of feeling that I could send or receive communication with horses or other animals.
Opportunities for Growth
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend a workshop that Linda herself was teaching along with Sandra Wallin and several other gifted facilitators at Chiron’s Way in B.C. Canada. I thought I was attending this workshop to achieve a better understanding of horse nature and to tap into my intuition. What I didn’t realize was that the key to those doors of understanding, was only available if I began healing my own inner nature.
One of the first experiences Linda led us through was what she calls a Body Scan. in which a person close their eyes and becomes aware of their state of being. Any physical sensations, mental pictures, feelings, or thoughts are observed without judgment, and as sources of wisdom and information.
Ancestral Wisdom – Prints and Posters Available at www.spiritofhorse.com
In my Mind’s Eye
Our first exercise was to meet all the horses at the workshop, and do the body scan and record our impressions with each horse. Each horse was given a symbol marked on their enclosure, instead of a name to identify them, so we could be neutral in our impressions.
I approached a horse whose symbol was a swirl. He stood on the other side of the paddock fence and regarded me with mild curiosity. I closed my eyes and tried to let go of my critical mind. I began to feel the curious sensation of feeling that my body was weighted down, but my mind felt like it was floating. I became aware of sensations in my body. The horse began pacing, I could hear his footfalls. I focused on my body. My right side felt strong and tense, my left side felt heavy and weak. I could sense the split between the two halves of me as if they were out of alignment. Gradually dim pictures began to emerge from the darkness behind my closed eyes. As if seeing myself in a mirror — but simultaneously experiencing the actual tangible images in the reflection, I visualized myself split into two halves. These halves seemed to appear as two different people. My right side appeared as an armored male warrior standing strong and stoic. My left side was a diminutive female curled in a position of helplessness and apathy. If I focused on the mental pictures — I could switch my awareness from one figure to the other and could sense somehow — that they were a part of me, even though I had no idea what the pictures truly meant. What struck me most powerfully — was that I could see these mental pictures — and that they seemed to have a message for me. I also became acutely aware that being in the presence of this horse, was somehow going to help me understand more about these parts of me.
The two parts of me then appeared as if carved into a door. The door opened inward and I saw other partitions, layered like files. I got the impression I could as any question and get an answer. I asked what the warrior part of me represented? I felt rather than heard the word “Protection”.
Then there was a feeling of movement, and a feeling of distance, and then images started to appear of a mountain, and a distant path leading towards the mountain and some unknown destination. Would this horse lead me there? I felt ready to take the journey and as I realized this, the heaviness I had been feeling in my body lifted.
“The Quest” by Kim McElroy – Prints and Posters available at www.spiritofhorse.com
I opened my eyes. I was very excited, was I really receiving communication from this horse? Was I somehow tapping into some sort of memories? Or were these pictures symbolic of what I was here to learn?
Afterward we gathered in small groups and compared our experiences. I was astonished when my friend Connie reported that when she stood with the “swirl” horse, she had seen mountain, just as I had! Her messages were different than mine, but we’d had the same image with the same horse. This gave me some sense that there was meaning in what I had seen, that I really was somehow receiving imagery or messages from the horse.
These first experiences were profound and exciting, but also daunting. How was I going to understand what these mysterious images and feelings meant? And would it happen the next time I tried?
This was only the beginning…