Tag: White Horse



While singing during the morning session of the Celtic spirituality retreat I went into meditation and saw myself wearing a dark blue cloak with a triple goddess spiral clasp at the throat. I was wearing tall boots and splashing in huge puddles that created rain when I stomped. I was near the bee hive hut where I first met Fiona, the white horse.

Fiona was the name I ‘heard’ while our group was with her the day before and it wasn’t until I was researching the origin of it that my jaw dropped: it is a Latinized form of the Gaelic word meaning ‘white’ or ‘fair.’ Maybe I remember Gaelic after all.

Back to the vision…

When I met Fiona I jumped on her back with no reins or saddle because no self-respecting free spirit would ever allow herself to be controlled. With her mane and my long hair flying we flew through the star-filled sky. Freedom and power!

The stomping in the vision was a proclamation of power. This is who I am! This is the leaping-off place! 

After the gathering, each of us went off on our own for a Threshold walk. In Celtic Spirituality, Thresholds are important markers. They are inner doorways, places between two worlds, transitions from one place to another, but there are physical expressions of them: mists, doorways, gateways.

On my walk I was greeted by a sweet black and white dog and so turned in the direction he led. Immediately after turning I saw a beautiful dapple horse on the hill near the cafe. Down the lane and past the Irish Cob and her filly….my feet carried me to see Fiona.

After walking down the steep hill and through the stile in the rock wall, through small rock-enclosed pastures I came to the bog just before the bee hive hut. Water was standing almost knee-deep in places due to heavy rains. I was just one pasture away from the hut so the only choice was to move forward.

Rain gear keeps rain off. Gore-tex boots are waterproof….unless water is over the ankles. As I splashed through the water, lifting my feet high for efficiency, I remembered the vision and the powerful stomping. This is who I am! This is the leaping off point!

Photograph of Fiona taken on a sunny day….

After sloshing and stomping through the bog I crested the small hill to find Fiona waiting for me. I fed her sweet grass and then ducked into the stone hut, where a monk from perhaps the 8th century had lived and others after him, and squatted out of the rain.

Fiona stuck her head inside and whinnied. She wanted so badly to be out of the rain. I fed her large handfuls of lush grass from another pasture before leaving her–consolation for her lack of shelter. And I thanked her for being a guide to the Otherworld for me and assisting in my moving through the Threshold to freedom.



An Capall Bán

An Capall Bán

“My soul was an old horse

Offered for sale in twenty fairs…..

But this evening, halter off,

Never again will it go on.

On the south side of ditches

There is a grazing of the sun.

No more haggling with the world…

As I said these words he grew

Wings upon his back. Now I may ride him

Every land my imagination knew.”

Patrick Kavanagh

 After breakfast I went for a ramble. Surrendered to the direction that called, I let it guide my feet.

Up the lane, around the high road, past an Irish Cob and her filly, around the bend, down the hill and to an intersection. One of many historic markers was posted so I followed it down a rocky path.

Clochán na Carraige, the sign said. So I followed it and several smaller arrows through fields, over stone walls through stiles, across a bog and finally to a beehive hut.

As I reached the hut, far up on the hill behind a maze of stone walls, was a beautiful white horse. Her mane was streaming in the wind and I said to her, “I want to meet you!” But the reality was there was no way to figure out how to navigate the network of walls.

I explored the stone hut, a remnant of green martyrdom of Celtic monks who tried to prove their love of Christ by living a life of extreme penance. It was in great condition considering it was built in perhaps the 8th century and is regularly visited by farm animals as well as humans.

By the time I finished walking around it and climbed through the stile in the stone fence, the white horse disappeared.

After lunch our small group gathered and met with Dara Ó Maoildhia, a Celtic priest who lived as a modern-day hermit in 1985 on Árainn. He now works as a guide to the historic and sacred sites of the island.

Our first stop? The Beehive Hut–Clochán na Carraige.

After we wandered down the hill and through the stiles and across mucky pastures and the bog, we climbed up to the hut and there, waiting for us, was the white horse.

I stopped and stared in disbelief and then said the words…”I don’t believe this!”

Fiona, my name for her, stole the show from Dara. She greeted everyone in our group, some with great gusto. She made faces at us, frisked a few, nibbled a few ears and nuzzled necks and then rolled in cow poo, jumped up and went through her comedy routine once more.

When I first saw her on the hill I was taken with her beauty and thought she was symbolic of the evolving Divine Feminine within me. It made no small impression on me that she was waiting, reminding me of the strength and beauty growing within my life.

An Capall Bán…the White Horse.