Thursday, March 30, 2017

Ceridwen, Fylgja, and the Golden Horse

Last weekend I had one of those dreams that feels more like a visitation than a true dream:

I was standing in what appeared to be the back yard area of my parents' house (though it was nothing like their home in real life), and I was alone. The back edge of the yard was lined with forest, and suddenly out of the trees came a golden horse. He walked down into the yard, right up to me. I stood there (probably gawking a bit) and thought, "How did you get here?" And the horse said (our communication was entirely telepathic, so these were thought-forms as opposed to actual words): 

"You summoned me." 

He seemed to ask me to climb onto his back which made me feel slightly awkward - the idea of riding a talking horse felt wrong somehow. But he encouraged me, and so I did. Once I was there I felt a bit self-conscious, and worried that I was too heavy for him, but he "told" me that he was perfectly able to carry me. We rode around a bit, and I recall that at one point we went into the house. I remember thinking that my parents would be quite shocked to see me riding a horse inside! We departed again. And that was it. 

Throughout the rest of that night, throughout all of the other dreamscapes, I kept repeating to myself, "The golden horse." And when I woke up, I was still feeling deeply moved by the experience. As with dreams of other messengers that I've had - particularly ravens - I felt like the golden horse was a palpable consciousness dwelling within me. I looked up horse symbolism online but nothing felt quite right. The rune Ehwaz came to my mind, as it literally translates to "horse," and represents a harmonious bond between two beings (horse and rider, married couple, etc.) as well as movement and progress. A resource I consulted also mentioned the connection that Ehwaz has to the fylgja, a Norse concept of the fetch, or a sort of animal manifestation/aspect of the soul. This immediately resonated in that though the horse in my dream was obviously separate from me physically, I "felt" him within me. I was mesmerized by his telling me that I had called him. 
This morning's draw from the Celtic Shaman's deck (John Matthews and Chesca Potter)
Later that afternoon we packed our things and headed to the coast to spend the afternoon at the beach. As I was searching for a sack to put my relatively new Celtic Shaman's Oracle in, I saw my Magical Menagerie deck that I rarely work with. Since it is full of animals I decided to bring it along. Later, while lounging by the ocean waves, I took the Magical Menagerie deck out and began to shuffle it, while thinking about the identity of the golden horse. A card flipped out and landed face down in the sand. I picked it up and blew the sand off, and when I saw what it was I laughed aloud: Fetch. Hmm! 

In the week or so leading up to my dream I had done a few readings with the Celtic Shaman's oracle, and the Lady of the Cauldron (Ceridwen) had appeared for me numerous times. I knew she carried an important message for me, but I was struggling to dig into what it meant beyond themes of "inspiration, wisdom, transformation, magic." I haven't studied Celtic or Welsh mythology much, and don't have a firm or profound grasp on this powerful goddess. The morning after my dream I pulled some cards about it and there was Ceridwen again. 

I've done a couple of Tarot readings on this topic as well, but I still feel like I'm groping around in the dark for the answer. The cards made some sense, and yet I can't shake the sensation of skirting around the heart of the matter. And so I've been "sitting in it" for days. 

This morning I chose to pull a couple of "cards of the day" from the Celtic Shaman's deck, and nearly choked when I flipped over Ceridwen and the Horse. "The golden horse!" I practically shouted out in surprise. My daughter looked at me questioningly, and I explained my little saga. 

I'm clearly not "done" with Ceridwen or my golden horse just yet. I wish I could end this post with a dose of deep and insightful wisdom about the significance of my experience, but I don't have the answer. What I can say is that I have a lot more work to do!

Do you have any thoughts about it? If so, please feel free to share them in the comments!


  1. When I was a teenager I had a dream that a horse galloped into our yard, over to the metal swing set. What was amazing about this horse was not its color (black) but that it opened up from mid spine back, like a box, and inside it was all the food we could ever need.