Fellowship of Isis History Archive - Celebrating Epona
Uffington White Horse, Oxfordshire, UK
Celebrating Epona 18th December 2010
Fellowship of Isis and Goddess Group London
Notes for Attunement Rite by Caroline Wise
Some reliable sources for further studies:
Epona is the Gaulish goddess associated with the Horse, the Donkey and the Mule. Her presence is not found outside of the Roman Empire. The Calvary, of which a large part was made up of Germanic men, carried her as far north as Cumbria and as far south as the North African coast. Her presence in Continental Europe is known from many inscriptions, statues or temple sites. It is probable that the Germanic Gaulish horsemen brought an older cult into the Roman army. Stylised Horse figures had appeared on Gaulish and British coins. Chalk effigies of horses are found in the Southern British landscape, such as The White Horse of Uffington.
Epona is depicted in several ways, but mainly a woman riding a horse, often side-saddle, or a woman feeding two foals from a Patera, a sacred feeding dish on her lap. She may also carry a cornucopia, an apple, or bread. Roses are sacred to her.
Her aspects are fertility and plenty, healing and Sovereignty. This last aspect is important for those of us in Britain at the moment, as sovereignty is being squandered. Worth meditating on!
Her presence has been found in Roman stables, and she has been found by healing Thermal Springs in several places.
If you wish to, and have the facilities, set up a shrine. If this is not possible or you don’t want to do this, it can be visualized. Shrines can be set up on a table, a windowsill, or a shelf. Suggestions include, a statue or picture of a horse, donkey, or Epona. A green, gold, red or silver cloth, or whatever you have that is suitable. (Her aspects in the modern world are Lunar, but the horse is usually a solar and earthy beast in myth – what ever you feel comfortable with.
Items for shrine could include – some silver or ‘gold’ coins, an apple and/or some bread in a nice dish, water, wine, a white, silver or gold candle, horse shoes (real or wedding cake type decorations!) real horse brasses, roses. Bells or chimes. MAKE SURE THE CANDLE IS IN A SAFE PLACE.
Have incense and music if they help you attune.
Switch off your phones:
Relax, breath deeply, and create your circle in which to work in the way that suits you. This too can be visualised, but sometimes actually walking it, acknowledging the four directions and making a circle of salt water can help focus.
Be seated by your shrine. See yourself in a white robe that opens at the front like a coat and tied with a white cord. See yourself surrounded by gentle golden light which expands to fill your sacred space. Breath in the golden light, and see it filling you, so that you are body of light with in the protective sphere of light. If there is any other way you wish to create your sacred space, feel free. Feel safe and calm.
Light Your Candle to Epona and Say:
“I offer this light to Epona, Protectress of the Horses and Mules, the Donkeys and the foals. May your creatures be blessed. I offer this light to the horses, donkeys and mules that have gone before right back to pre-history, so important to the human race, may their souls be blessed in the name of Epona. Epona, I invoke thee. Hail Epona, Hail Epona, Hail Epona.”
Now see in your mind’s eye horses galloping through time and place – for instance, from the East the wild Mongolian Przewalski Horses and the Arab stallions. From the south the Paleolithic horses you know from the cave paintings, from the West see the white horses of the Camargue galloping from the sea, and from the North, the hardy ponies and stocky draught horses of Britain. They now gallop around your circle, running free. The donkeys and mules join them.
As we listen to the roaring sound of their hooves, we remember all the horses of the past, running free now in spirit, those who worked hard for humans, in the pits, and the fields, in the wars and the mills and on the roads; those who were cruelly treated those who were neglected, the beasts of burden, those who need to run free – see their free spirits, and send them love, and see then moving on, gamboling, running, whiney-ing, happy and free. In the spirit world, no longer toiling on earth. See their track ways across the lands - in Britain and Europe see Epona’s horses tracks as light paths along the Roman roads, see the light paths of the bridal paths and along the Ridgeway. See the white horses etched in the chalk Hills. In the United States, see the old Indian horse ways as light paths on the land. See what else is shown to you regarding the horse and the land.
Now one horse winds in from the circle towards you, and lowers its head to your hand. Is it a mare or a stallion? Feel the warmth of it. Feel the trust. Stroke its face, feel the velvet of its muzzle. It communicates its name. It sits to let you mount. And your journey starts. First a gentle trot, see the landscape around you, notice any trees, or hills, rivers, or sea. Notice any landmarks. It will be different for all of us. Now she is gathering speed – a canter – you are feeling safe, happy, exhilarated, even. Feel the wind on your face as you gather speed, now galloping across the land. You are aware of the other horses following. Hear the thunder of their hooves.
After a while, your horse slows to a canter, a trot, and you see up ahead a circular grove of trees, and you hear the bubbling of water. You enter the grove and see a steam coming from an old stone enclosure. You dismount, pat your horse, say its name, and enter the enclosure, and see a thermal pool. In a niche in the stonework is a carving of the goddess Epona, feeding two foals from a dish on her lap. Disrobe and enter the pool, and delight in the soft warm water. Feel it healing aching muscles, soothing the skin, drawing out impurities. Relax.
And as your eyes adjust to the light, you see Her. The goddess Epona in what ever form she appears to you. She speaks. Listen to what she says. Notice any symbols, what does she wear?
And when her oracle for you is over, she hands you a garland of red roses and an object for you. See what it is she has handed you.
Emerge from the pool, the air dries you and you put on your white robe.
Give thanks to Epona for her oracle and leave the enclosure.
It is dark. Mount your horse and ride back. The moon is now rising in the sky.
As you ride back, contemplate your personal oracle and the gift she has given you.
When you are ‘back’, dismount your horse, stroke it, thank it, and remember its name. For you can call it again if you wish.
Stand, and give thanks to Epona, hear the sound of sleigh bells,
Drink some water, eat some bread.
Call “Hail Epona” 3 times.
Send excess energy out to all the horses needing love and care.
Blow out candle and send blessings with the smoke.
Clap hands or ring chimes/bells.
Some food and drink is advised. A cup of tea is good!
Give bread and fruit from shrine to the birds, and make sure they have some water, especially in the UK in this blizzard.
Give the coins from the shrine to a horse charity, or send a donation to one.
Make note of anything that has been revealed to you, any imagery you had, and any thoughts on the oracle and gift you received.