Book Review by Deborah Hopkins
SPIRIT OF THE HORSE
The New Myths of Equus
By Carole Devereux
Published by Windhorse Press
One might expect a book, written by an Animal Communication Specialist, to be a whimsical light-hearted read, easily gobbled up in a weekend between episodes of the Dog Whisperer and a trip to the barn. This book however, is no easy read. Author Carole Devereux has crafted a volume of complex spiritual mythology that can only be digested a few bites at a time.
Spirit of the Horse starts off in a scholarly tone, reading much like a thesis with frequent references to Webster’s Dictionary, the etymology of words and even the Bible. This perhaps is the rationalization, designed to give credibility to spiritual premises that can only be contemplated and either accepted, or not accepted.
Much like being in a dream, reading through Spirit of the Horse is challenging to follow and comprehend, as the book explores an entire belief system revealed through the metaphor of mythology. Surprisingly, this is a story that is as much about humanity as it is about Equus, a book that lingers in the subconscious with glimmers of truth appearing in the most unexpected ways.
In the following excerpt, author Carole Devereux explores the myth of Horse Goddess, communicating telepathically with her mare, Ellie, whose response resonates with rider, trainer and coach alike.
“ ‘How can we work with you,’ I ask, hoping Ellie, now Goddess, is listening to me.” “Simple steps are what you seek, but there are many dimensions to explore. The Goddess of the Horse is in her motion, in her stride and how she moves. She has magnificent action, free flowing and soft. She glides with supple beauty. The small of the back is where the ride begins. This is where the Goddess lives in you. In horses too. How you sit on a horse determines what happens to you both. You must sit as though you are deeply in touch with the Goddess. The Goddess in me meets the God/Goddess in you, at the level of our spines.”
Later in the chapter, Ms. Devereux describes the vision she has on the back of this same mare.
“The wind blows through my hair and across my face as we begin soaring over the stream with wings of spirit that lifts us up and back down again. The Earth rises softly to meet us like a ribbon of silk. We take the next jump. Again, Ellie flies over each with grace and ease.
These feeling evoke a thrill of adventure that I love, but I cannot hold on any longer and I plummet back to Earth, into my body again, and open my eyes. At home, I remember the freedom and joy horseback riding brings, and how this ecstatic feeling feeds the soul.”
For those with a long lasting association with horses, who are motivated not by profit, competitiveness, or glory, Spirit of the Horse may very well provide some revelation as to why we are so irresistibly drawn to the species Equine.
Spirit of the Horse, The New Myths of Equus, by Carol Devereux, is published by Windhorse Press and sells for US$20, CAD$25.