Symbolic Horse jewellery
Horse combines the symbolic qualities of several animals: the courage of a lion, the vision of an eagle, the strength of an ox, a deer quickness, fox agility. Oriental khans, owners of thoroughbred horses, did not sell their horses, but only gave to the distinguished guests and friends. Thoroughbred horse is now a very valuable gift. The cost of outstanding thoroughbred horses can exceed millions and tens of millions of dollars. Horse has a lucky number 7 in Chinese Horoscope.
Each animal of eastern zodiac circle has a positive, neutral, and negative element. According to the Oriental horoscope, all beings and things on earth are composed of five basic elements – earth, wood, fire, metal and water. Whatever animal rules this year, initially it is characterized by its own element (quality) that will remind of itself, creating a successful, or a combination of conflicting events. In other words, according to astrologers, taking into account the impact of the elements, it is not necessarily the most lucky year for a person will be exactly the year, dominated by the “his” animal (the year which he was born).
In ancient times, no marriage could be concluded as long as the parents of the bride and groom do not exchange their “eight characters”: information about the year, month, day, hour, and so on of birth of the young.
Rat (January 25, 2020) Metal
Bull (February 12, 2021) Metal
Tiger (February 1, 2022) Water
Rabbit (January 22, 2023) Water
Dragon (February 10, 2024) Wood
Snake (29 January 2025) Wood
Horse (February 17, 2026) Fire
Goat or sheep (February 19, 2015) Wood
Monkey (February 8, 2016), Fire
Rooster (January 28, 2017) Fire
Dog (February 16, 2018) Earth
Boar (February 5, 2019) Earth
A whimsical horse in costume, the body composed of mother-of-pearl, with freshwater pearl ears and a cabochon amethyst eye, the bridle gear accented by a cabochon opal and the harness set with faceted colored stones of red, yellow, blue and green hues, further decorated with a polished gold feather headdress and a rope-twist mane, gross weight approximately 21 dwts, with French assay marks and maker’s marks for Daviere; circa 1955.
Vintage Brooch “Chariot”, Damascus, Spain. Damascene – the art of jewelry of non-precious metals with gold. Damascene origins in Damascus (Syria) in the Middle Ages. This craft has been borrowed by the Arabs, and was brought to Spain, where, thanks to the successful development, has reached our days. Manufacturing process of Damascene is the art of inlaying of various metals into each other, mostly gold or silver in a matrix of copper, steel or alloys. The basis is a copper or steel plate, on which is then applied patterns.
Horse is a symbolic animal. One of the most important animals to the Celts was the horse, not only for religious and symbolic reasons but also for practical ones. The Celts were known throughout ancient Europe for their horsemanship, especially in warfare. Horses were central to the Celtic way of life as a means of transportation and as an indication of nobility. Celtic nobles rode in chariots instead of on horse back, while less honored warriors formed the mounted cavalry. Nobles were often buried with their horses and gear, indicating a connection in life that was not ended by death.
The funerary use of horses in Celtic lands may derive from their association with the solar power; the sun is seen in many cultures as bearing the dead away at sunset and into rebirth at dawn. Celtic coins with solar and equine emblems suggest a connection between horses and the sun, the spoked wheel, a double image of sun and horse-drawn chariot, was especially linked to the goddess Epona, champion of the Celtic cavalry under Roman occupation, whose cult spread into Rome itself. Some have found in the nursery rhyme “Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross, to see a fine lady upon a white horse” a faint folkloric echo of Epona; similar connections have been drawn to the quasi- historical figure of Lady Godiva, who rode naked on horseback to protest her husband’s oppressive taxation policies.
On the Continent the widespread cult of the goddess Epona (whose name means “horse” or, because it is feminine in gender, “mare”), passed from the Celts to the Roman legionnaires, for whom she became the cavalry goddess. Many Romano-Celtic sculptures and reliefs show Epona seated on a horse, surrounded by horses or foals, or offering feed to horses. Because of the reverence due the horse and to Epona, the Celts did not eat horseflesh, a taboo that has passed into contemporary European cuisine. The taboo was lifted on sacramental occasions when horses were sacrificed, as at the midsummer festival.
In Ireland the horse was connected with the goddess of Sovereignity through the banais righe, the sacred marriage of king and land goddess that the early geographer Geraldus Cambrensis claims included the sacramental mating of the king with a white mare; the mare was then killed and cooked into a broth that the king drank. This curious ritual, recorded in no other text, has corollaries in other parts of the Indo-European world, most notably in India, but there is scholarly debate over whether the horse sacrifice was indeed part of Irish royal Inauguration.
An Irish corollary to Epona is found in MACHA, who proved herself faster than the king’s team in a horse race that ended in her death. Also in Ireland, connection between horses and humans appears in the post-Christian folktale that Noah brought animals two by two into the ark, except for the horse; he accidentally brought only a mare, which was impregnated by one of Noah’s sons, so that all horses today have a distant human ancestor. This peculiar tale seems to dimly reflect the same alleged kingship ritual mentioned above.
Irish folklore credited horses with second sight, especially with the ability to see ghosts of the dead—possibly a connection to the animal’s ancient funerary symbolism. According to legend, a rider who looked between the ears of a mount shared the horse’s ability to see ghosts. Horses were sometimes stolen and ridden by fairies; in the early morning the animals were lathered with sweat as though they had spent the night galloping despite being confined to their stalls. Only one horse could not be stolen by the fairies, and that was the fiorlair or true mare, the seventh consecutive filly born of a mare.
In Wales the horse is associated with the figure of RHIANNON, a goddess who appears in the first branch of the Mabinogion riding an impressively speedy white horse and surrounded by endlessly singing birds. After she married king Pwyll, Rhiannon gave birth to a son who was kidnapped under mysterious circumstances; she bore the blame, and until her name was cleared, she had to carry all visitors to the palace on her back, thus reinforcing her connection to the horse.
In England horse figures are found carved into the turf of chalky lands such as Berkshire and Wiltshire. Eleven white horses are cut into the sides of hills, dated according to their style to the late 18th or early 19th century and interpreted as regimental emblems. However, some of these horses may have been carved over earlier, possibly Celtic, horse figures. Apparently unchanged for many centuries is the renowned White Horse of Uffington, whose slender, graceful body stylistically resembles horses from Celtic coins. Archaeologists are hesitant to provide a date for the Uffington horse, although excavations measuring the rate of slippage down the hillside have calculated its age as consistent with Celtic occupation of the region.
The Silver Roan Horse is a magical horse in Russian folklore that has eyes that spark and nostrils that breathe fire. Shortly before an old man dies, he tells his three sons to guard his grave for three nights. When he dies, the two older sons ignore his request and send the youngest, Ivan the Fool, to take their place. At midnight on the third night, the old man appears and rewards his foolish son with a silver roan horse. The czar announces that he will marry his daughter to anyone who can snatch her veil from a great height.
Ivan the Fool whispers a spell to the roan horse, climbs into his ear, and soon appears as a handsome young man. The horse leaps high, and on the third try Ivan is able to catch hold of the veil. He returns home but soon realizes that he has changed back into his old normal and foolish self. The czar looks for the youth but cannot find him. Then a great banquet is held, and Ivan remains unnoticed until he takes out the veil and uses it to wipe the rim of his glass. The czar recognizes him, welcomes him like a lost son, and soon thereafter marries him to his daughter. Needless to say, his two older brothers remain unhappy.
In the Year of the Horse were born:
Rembrandt, Isaac Newton, Robert Schumann, Frederic Chopin, Edgar Degas, Theodore Roosevelt, Vladimir Lenin, Dmitri Shostakovitch, Leonard Bernstein, Neil Armstrong, Hafez al-Assad, Sean Connery, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Harrison Ford, Angela Merkel, Jackie Chan, John Travolta, Hugo Chavez, Patricia Kaas, Sophie Marceau.
The Encyclopedia of Celtic Mythology and Folklore, 2004