Anelle Kloski wrote:
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> Date: Thu, 12 May 1994 12:12:13 GMT
> From:[log in to unmask]
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: The Celtic Horse?
> Otherwise, the only legends I've heard on Celtic horses were the demon
> "water-horses" that appear to be regular and desirable animals, and then
> fix a rider to their backs, run into a lake and drown them. That's Scottish,
> I'm pretty sure. There is the Irish goddess Epona, the horse goddess. There
> is also the story about the cause of "the pangs of Ulster", where a woman
> ran a race against a horse and I believe, won, and punished the onlookers
> with birth-pangs. The onlookers and jeerers were men.
The water horses are called 'kelpies' and are indeed Scottish.
Epona is a Gaulish horse goddess, not Irish, and is one of the three chief
deities of ancient Gaul: Epona, Taranis, and Teutates. The Irish horse
goddess is Macha, and it was she who caused the Ulstermen their pangs (see
Kinsella's Tain for the full story). The Dagda was also a horse god, under
his name Eochaid Ollathair (Horsey All-Father literally). In the Welsh
tradition, Rhiannon was a horse goddess, and Pryderi was originally
presented as a foal (see the first Branch of the Mabinogi for that one).
For more information on horse deities in the Indo-European panthea in
general, see Malloy's *In Search of the Indo-Europeans*.
[log in to unmask]