THE SYMBOLISM OF EQUESTRIAN JEWELRY
— Our close connection with horses is bred from many thousands of years of domestication. Reliable companions, and diligent workers, the horse made humanity’s expansion across the globe possible. It should come as no surprise then to learn that horses, and their magical and mythical cousins, lend an important symbolism to the jewelry we wear every day. Read on to learn more about the meaning of horse jewelry.
Horses in Popular Lore
Horse Traits: Freedom, Expression, and Strength
Humanity has a long and important relationship with horses. As a valuable domestic animal, it probably comes as no surprise to learn that horses were worshipped by many ancient cultures, each emphasizing particular qualities. European and Asian cultures valued the nobility and freedom the horse represents. Horse jewelry is used to celebrate the connection we feel to these majestic animals, as we hope to emulate and share their traits.
- Chinese: Prominent in the Chinese Zodiac, those born in Horse years are associated the element of fire, marking those born this year enthusiastic, dynamic, and expressive, but also prone to impulsiveness. Those born under Horse are viewed as friendly, popular, and fashionable, but not great at keeping secrets.
- Indian: Personified in the Hindu deity Hayagriva, he is depicted as a horse-headed man with four arms, or as a magnificent white horse, pulling the sun into the sky each day. As an avatar of Lord Vishnu, Hayagriva is seen as the god of knowledge and wisdom. His blessing is most often sought after before periods of study begin.
- Native American: Introduced in the early 18th century during European expansion, horses provided Native Americans the same cultural transformation that cars did for Americans. Beyond a symbol of wealth, owning horses raised one’s social standing, demonstrating discipline, strength, and the respect for other living creatures. Especially valued among many tribes were Spirit, or Medicine, horses. Born with unusual patterns, or blue eyes, these animals were thought to be especially auspicious.
Pegasus in Popular Lore
Pegasus Traits: Bravery, Popularity, and Wisdom
A winged horse, the Pegasus secures it places in modern pop culture through its Grecian roots. Born from the monster Medusa, and sired by the sea god Poseidon, Pegasus forged an incredible legacy in service to the gods and humanity. Undertaking many dangerous tasks for Zeus, Pegasus achieved immortality as the constellation that bears his name for his sacrifices. Pegasus jewelry captures this indomitable spirit.
- Ancient Greeks: Long admirable among the Greeks, Pegasus was a symbol of bravery, boldness, and daring. He is strongly represented in artifacts from this ancient civilization, even including jewelry!
- Middle Ages: The Europeans of the Medieval Period considered Pegasus to represent fame and wisdom. Through to the Renaissance, Pegasus inspired poets to greater and greater works of art.
Unicorns in Popular Lore
Unicorn Traits: Purity, Fidelity, and Innocence
A fictional creature of mythology, or was it? Many modern experts suggest that what we think of as the unicorn may have been a more mundane beast, like the rhino. Despite this, the unicorn continues to stir the imagination, being found in heraldry all the way to posters in children’s bedrooms. Unicorn jewelry conjures images of fancy, magic, and purity.
Almost all popular unicorn lore has its roots in Medieval Europe. Unicorns were considered magical, and their horns were thought to have special properties. A unicorn’s horn, known as an alicorn, supposedly protected its bearer from poison and fever. Unicorns were beloved for their nobility, fidelity, loyalty, and regal bearing.
What do you call a Winged Unicorn?
When the features of Pegasus and a unicorn are combined, what do you call the result? Pop culture has been trying to tackle this question for many years. Today, the most popular name for the mix is alicorn, which was originally Odell Shepard’s name for the horn of the animal from his seminal book, “The Lore of the Unicorn.”
The first instance of the word alicorn describing a winged unicorn is a 1980’s science fiction novel. However, in recent years, a popular children’s program about magical ponies, pegasi, and unicorns has adopted the term alicorn to refer to winged unicorns.
Find beautiful horse jewelry at Shop LC
Now that you’ve learned about horse jewelry and its meaning, Shop LC is here to provide affordable, beautiful pieces to choose from. Whether you prefer necklaces, pendants, earrings or rings, Shop LC carries a wide range of stunning jewelry in a variety of metals and fabulous gemstones.