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Instinctive Aspect Essay

2023 words - 8 pages

In most myths there is some form of afterlife or land of the dead; however, Celtic culture is unique in its concept of the Otherworld. The most important part of this is the absence of sin and guilt in the Celtic world view. As I have read, this is why the Celts version of the Otherworld is not divided into heaven or hell. It is something like the Christian heaven; however, it is not restricted to the heroic or virtuous. It is also unique in that the human occupants eventually reincarnate into this world. The threshold between the Otherworld and ours is what seems to be the most important threshold that can be crossed. It seems that one feature that the Otherworld has in common with other mythical spirit worlds is the idea of being led into the world by an animal.The horse is a symbolic figure of great significance to many cultures. This symbolism is of greater importance to those whom are kings and lords. The crossings of thresholds of many kinds are also significant to kings and lords. Such crossings include the transition from boyhood to adolescents, adolescence to manhood and from manhood into the leadership role of lord or king. The crossing into the spirit world is one of the most important and celebrated of all. Although it is a mournful time, it holds great significance and is very symbolic. The word symbolism can stand for many things depending on how it is used. Victor Turner writes that symbols are multi-vocalic, that is, “a single symbol may stand for many things” (qtd. in Chadbourne 316). The white horse symbolizes a more instinctive aspect of oneself when carried or led by it across a threshold.The mythical background of the white horse has intrigued many people for many years throughout the world of cultures. Whether it is the Celts, English or Romans, the white horse has been identified in myths and legends throughout history. To this day, there are still drawings and carvings of the white horse being created to uphold the mythical manifestations of this horse. The symbolic power that the white horse holds among the race of men is great. What better animal to lead you across a threshold than a white horse?The first horse made its appearance between 45 and 55 million years ago. The remains of the first known horse, Hyracotherium (eohippus), have been found in such places as Utah, Wyoming and in Europe. It fed on leaves in swampy like areas of the hot jungle that it occupied. The International Museum of the Horse explains mans first experience with the horse through archeological evidence.Our first insight into man's relationship with the horse comes from Stone Age cave paintings. Located in such places as Lascaux and Pech-Merle in France and Altamira in Spain, these cave paintings frequently show the horse as an object of prey… Early cave painters depicted man's great regard for the horse. The importance of the horse to hunters in this early period is evidenced by the many drawings that have been found in caves. The...

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