Horses in the Tarot (Rider Waite)

Inspired by the Knight of Wands exploration, I went through the entire Rider Waite deck and pulled out the cards featuring horses that are in addition to the four Knights.

I found three. Interestingly, all the horses have riders and all the pairs are traveling in the same direction, to the right (and future?). Two are Major Arcana, one is Minor. The Minor Arcana card was of the Wands suit.  ALL the horses are WHITE. There is an object in the shape of an orb and in similar placement in all three cards: the sun in the Sun card, the laurel wreath in the Six of Wands, and … what is apparently the White Rose of the House of York, in the Death card.

Also interesting, is the fact that these three could easily symbolize the three major phases of our biological life span: Childhood, Adulthood, and Older Age. 

Lined up numerically, they would be:

Since the originators of the Tarot cards didn’t do anything by accident, this is interesting to explore as well. The numbers are 6, 13, and 19. If looked at still as the three major phases of biological lifespans, the Sun would be in the Older Age and Endings placement. If we think about it, our infancy and childhood really is the beginning of our biological decay – our spirits are eternal but the bodies we incarnate into are not, and they begin dying the minute the leave the womb.

I suppose Death could be feasible in the Adulthood placement too, as it is possible it is meant to remind us that our entire lives are illusions of life, and that as adults, we are in full blown Death phase? Could be.

And the Six of Wands in the Childhood placement. When a child is born, it is generally celebrated and heralded with joy and adulation. That is true. So even though the figure in this card is an adult, the adulation he receives could be said to be reminiscent of the birth of a new baby. So I guess that could make sense.

Horses generally symbolize Freedom, so freedom is a theme that will be found somewhere, somehow in each of these cards, as well as in the cards of the Knights:

Www.pure-spirit.com says that “Although the horse was present in many different cultures, they represent the same concepts of freedom and power.  In some cultures, white horses stand for the balance of wisdom and power.  In others, like Christianity, the white horse is a symbol of death.  The horse is a universal symbol of freedom without restraint, because riding a horse made people feel they could free themselves from their own bindings.  Also linked with riding horses, they are symbols of travel, movement, and desire.”

All seven of these cards do indeed do mark a transition from one sate of being into another. The Six of Wands takes a person from obscurity to acclaim. Death, from one plane of existence to another; the Sun, from darkness to light. And the Knights are all about movement and change within their respective elements and suits.

And finally, its interesting that there are seven of these cards. Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, by Rachel Pollack separates the Major Arcana into sets of seven with each set representing a phase of enlightenment while on earth.

Could this set of seven cards as a whole also be representative of something important in the experience of a soul?

***

Knight of Swords traditional meanings

Knight of Pentacles traditional meanings

Knight of Cups traditional meanings

Knight of Wands traditional meanings

The Sun traditional meanings

Death traditional meanings

Six of Wands traditional meanings

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