Linda Kohanvo, one of the originators of the Epona Program in Tucson, Arizona, and author of two previous books, The Tao of Equus and Riding Between the Worlds, has authored a lovely set of cards with an accompanying book: Way of the Horse: Equine Archetypes for Self-Discovery. The deck itself is forty cards with stunningly beautiful illustrations of horses (Kim McElroy is the illustrator; her artwork, including many of the images in this deck can be seen at her website: www.spiritofhorse.com). These are not divinatory cards in a traditional sense (like tarot cards, for example) but a way to explore one’s self through the mythology of the horse-human relationship and the energies that horses represents to our human psyche. The equine-based archetypes cover a variety of issues within the general topics of experience, leadership, creativity, and transformation.
Creating community is a difficult process as most of us wonder what “other people” think about us and the effort to find the ‘perfect’ mask to wear in order to fit in. Way of the Horse was developed to help us awaken and learn to apply our intuitive capabilities (usually sacrificed on the altar of logic). The cards allow those of us who do not have physical access to nonetheless partake of their energies.
For example, I just drew three cards: 29 (Black Horse Wisdom); 24 (Kairos); and 14 (Eye of the Storm). The Black Horse reminds me that “. . . dancing with my uncertainty raises my confidence and artistry in collaboration with the greater mysteries of life.” Kairos tells me that “When you’re sensitive to timing, great strides are made without effort.” Finally, Storm Eye informs me that when I learn to use emotion as information I will no longer panic in response to strong feelings. Not bad for randomly choosing three cards, and yes, I did need this wisdom and reminders at this time.
Linda Kohanov thinks it is no mistake that many who feel alienated from modern society, especially women, find themselves drawn to these magnificent animals. Horses do not think at all like humans, in a binary all-or-nothing, good vs. bad way. Instead, she believes that horses see each experience as an opportunity to learn about themselves and to grow in their creativity, authenticity, and leadership skills. This perspective is what led her to devote her life to understanding the spiritual processes behind the magical connection between horse and rider and exploring the subtle behavioral nuances horses detect and reflect.
My only criticism of Way of the Horse is that, unlike traditional divination decks you must read the accompanying text to understand the message being conveyed. Otherwise, as beautiful as they are, the cards just illustrations of horses in poses and environments. The set comes in a specially designed case and the book is printed using soy-based ink on 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper. It is a very high-quality set.
I think almost every child grew up wanting a pony and many of us fell in love with horses when we were young. The beautiful illustrations alone are enough to want to pick up this set. These cards are unique and very well suited to those wishing to work on themselves and grow as strong, creative, genuine beings.
~review by Lisa Mc Sherry
Author: Linda Kohanvo
New World Library, 2007