Horses of the Four Directions and the Grasslands
To the Native American and others throughout the world, the horse is the symbol of power. To connect with the horse is to take your own power. And the power of the horse goes beyond the physical world. Since early times shamans have ridden the horse to the sun to connect with powers beyond the earthly realms.
The horse of each direction has a special message for us. To each direction, the horse brings special healing power: relating to the North, the power of wisdom; to the East, illumination; to the South, laughter and the joy of life; and to the West, the power of the Great Void from which the inner light unfolds.
Pictured with the horses on this drum is Oatgrass, a common grass in grasslands and meadows, and a staple in the horse’s diet. The horse has always been in close connection with the earth, as it passes the seeds rather than digesting them, which gives back to the grasslands what it takes. This was an extremely successful means of spreading the grasslands when horses ran in wild herds throughout the West. The other grass pictured on this drum is the Common Sweetgrass. It is widely used to this day, by Native tribes and others connected to earth religions, for smudges, and in ceremony.