RhiannonRhiannon is a goddess from Welsh mythology that has come to represent the relationship aspects of Horse.  Her story in the first branch of the Mabinogion is about her as a beautiful and powerful woman and her relationships.  She marries, she has a child, and she loses that child for a time through no fault of her own.  The story leads us through the tapestry of interconnection that is horse as well as the depth of passion, the grace, beauty and love of being connected.  It also shows that connection itself is not a remedy for the difficulties of life.  No one promised Rhiannon a rose garden and that’s not what she got.

The tale also speaks to the fact that people act and react out of fear and self interest which can cause harm to others.  These themes are going to play a large part in this year of the horse.  Rhiannon doesn’t point to ideals any more than horse is all about perfection.  Horse is about the beauty of action, the joy and grace in the doing of things, in the beingness of life.  Rhiannon gives us a road map, not for how to do things, but in how being things, living fully, can be the best option even if the outcome isn’t perfect.

Rhiannon also exemplifies an aspect of Horse that many might not be aware of.  There is a lot of information out there about how horses group in herds or bands and that there is always a lead or band stallion who is at the head of the group.  He’s the husband to all the wives and he drives off any male foal that reaches his teen years, as it were, because he becomes a potential rival.  And that is true.  There are bachelor bands, or all guy bands of horses, because all those guy have gotta go somewhere and horses are social to their core.  However, there is also a hierarchy within each band and therefore a lead mare as well.  While the stallion is making sure everyone is safe and seeming to make decisions on how things will be run, the lead mare is keeping everyone happy, healthy, and more often than not working within a democracy to implement choices such as changes of feeding ground, when to goto water, etc. She is sovereign and equal and a force in her own right. The stallion and the mare work together as a team to keep the family healthy and happy.

This is something to ponder as we move into this Horse year.  Is sovereignty something you need to encourage in your life along with passion?  Or is it something you have been wanting to give in to and roll in?  Now might be a good time to start.