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What Do Horses Symbolize Spiritually in Dreams and the Bible?

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Horse symbols are prevalent in our culture. Prehistoric cave paintings depict horses, the Bible references them, and they visit our dreams. I think it’s important to understand what horses symbolize, so I researched the subject.

Horses symbolize freedom, power, courage, and wisdom in most cultures. A horse is often interpreted as a sign of liberty in dreams but can have gloomier meanings. In some Christian artwork, a white horse symbolizes death, and a pale horse represents famine in the Bible’s book of Revelations.

People typically know horses symbolize freedom and power, but few are aware of all the other passions they represent? Their spiritual meaning in art, the Bible, or dreams encompass a broad scope, primarily based on their color.

Picture of a horse in front of an ominous cloud.

What do horses symbolize spiritually?

Horses are used as symbols across the globe and have been for a very long time. Their likeness has various meanings based on the animal’s color, posture, and depiction as wild or captive.

For example, wild horses symbolize freedom and adventure; Ford captured this feeling in people’s minds and hearts when they named their popular sports car “Mustang.”

Horses with white coats typically represent power and courage. Religious icons depicted riding white horses signals the beginning of a new age or the courage to spread the word.

Horses generally embody power, courage, and personal drive that motivates individuals to move forward through life’s obstacles. Horses transported humans to new destinations for thousands of years, and their spirit continues to reveal unchartered territories.

But let’s move from general uses to specifics.

Black and white picture of a girl on a white horse.

What do horses represent in dreams?

Over a hundred years ago, Sigmund Freud expounded that “dreams express the unfulfilled wishes of the dreamers’ daily life.” This proclamation began the study of dreams.

“dreams express the unfulfilled wishes of the dreamers daily life.” 

Sigmund Freud

Freud believed dreams contain two kinds of information, manifest content and latent content. The manifest content is the actual objects or information that is in your dreams.

Latent content is the hidden meaning of your dreams based on symbolic representations. Psychoanalysts believe the latent content is represented with symbols to suppress upsetting or traumatic events. One of their goals is to analyze these symbols so the dreamers can cope with them.

Interpretations of dreams are subjective and often take intensive therapy with a psychoanalyst to fully understand. Therefore it’s essential to realize that not all objects in a dream have the same meaning for everyone.

Context and life experiences are key to the symbolic meaning of dreams. Freud finds a link between horses, a father, and the Oedipus complex in studying a boy who feared horses. It seems Freud consistently found a sexual component to any situation.

Carl Jung believed a horse featured in a dream connected our “natural force” of life and represented the courage and power that resides within us. Interpreting dreams is not an exact science, but there are some overriding general principles.

It is on the basis of theory, for instance, that I expect dreams to have a meaning.

I cannot prove in every case that this is so, for there are dreams which the doctor and the patient simply do not understand.

Carl Jung Collected Words 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy
The Practical use of Dream Analysis (1936)

Dreaming about horses typically suggests you either should establish a goal or that you’re moving towards a goal. The horse is the vehicle that moves you forward to freedom.

The color of the horse, its circumstances, and your interaction with the animal affect its meaning.

Picture of horses on a colorful mountain top.

What does it mean to dream of petting a horse?

Suppose you see yourself comforting a horse in your dream. In that case, it may indicate that you’re having difficulty with another individual. The best approach to deal with the situation is to be gentle and calm the situation with patience.

Petting horses may also mean it’s time for you to give yourself to someone or some causes. However, if you see yourself petting and grooming the animal, this may signify renewed energy and vigor.

What does it mean when a horse bites you in a dream?

When you dream a horse bites you, it may indicate you’re agonizing over a decision and are being prompted to action. The bite represents a stern warning to move or get run over. The decision is weighing on your unconsciousness, and without effort, you don’t progress.

What does it mean when you dream of a horse giving birth?

Dreaming of a horse giving birth has many meanings based on your circumstances and the events surrounding the birth. The horse’s color, the birthplace, and the people and animals present all play roles.

A healthy foal’s joyful birth typically represents a new beginning and a message that it’s time for you to move forward. Dreaming of a pregnant horse often is a sign of problems within your social group.

What does a brown horse in dreams symbolize?

Horses symbolize freedom, power, and endurance, does this change when the horse is brown? No, it enhances them; a brown horse symbolizes humility, hard work, and success.

Dreams of a healthy brown horse eating from your hand symbolize the bond you make with friends and family. You develop deep roots and are a loving person. Dreaming of riding a brown horse signifies change.

What does it mean to dream of a grey horse?

Grey horses symbolize wisdom, patience, and clarity. Dreaming of a grey horse is typically a sign of caution. It’s a warning to take your next step carefully. If you intend to make a big decision, be patient and contemplative.

What does a red horse mean in a dream?

Dreaming of a red horse invokes passion, whether it be love, hate, or anger. Red horses symbolize fear of the unknown and the accompanying anxiety of a life-altering decision you have to make.

Picture of a white horse in the desert.

What is the meaning of seeing a white horse in dreams?

A solo white horse in a dream symbolizes peace and tranquility, and much like a white dove, it also represents your deep spirituality and consciousness. It’s a positive sign of love for the people of your inner circle, family, and friends.

White horses symbolize a balance of power and wisdom, but a white horse may symbolize death in a religious context. I cover this in more detail later.

What’s the meaning of dreaming of a horse in water?

If you dream of a horse struggling in deep water, it’s typically a symbol that you will encounter a situation that will test your ability to survive. A big test is coming, but you can overcome it and grow from the ordeal.

What is the biblical meaning of horses?

Biblical horses symbolize war, power, and glory. They are referenced as symbols of force, strength, and the status of a King or Country. When peace comes over a territory, the horses are put away.

For example, in Deuteronomy 17:16 it’s stated: The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, “You are not to go back that way again.”

By refusing the King to acquire great numbers of horses, God prevents him from suppressing Egypt’s people. In King’s, the Bible explains that horses were freely used in Isreal; in other words, battles were fought indiscriminately.

Today we likely would replace the symbol of a horse with a gun or arms. For example, by replacing horses with guns in Deuteronomy above, the meaning is clear, “The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of guns for himself or make the people return to Egypt for more of them.”

Although horses typically symbolize war in the Bible, it also represents determination and a new beginning. Isaiah 63:13, “Who led them through the depths? Like a horse in the desert, they did not stumble.”

In Job 39:19-22, horses represent the courage and steadfast faith in God, which provided strength Job relied on to persevere through his hardship. The horses in Job bring to mind overcoming obstacles.

What does the white horse represent in the Bible?

Typically a white horse is the symbol of victory in the Bible. See Revelation 6:2, “I looked, and there was a white horse. Its rider held a bow; a crown was given to him, and he went out as a conqueror in order to conquer.”

To many Bible scholars, Revelations’ white horse is a positive symbol of righteous but devastating war.

What does the pale horse in the bible symbolize?

The pale horse is in Revelations and carried Death with Hell following him. Some believe this is the coming of a plague that will destroy at least one-quarter of the world’s population before the devastation is stopped.

See Revelation 6:7-8; it states: And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

But what color is the pale horse? I think “pale” refers to sickness as a likeness to a sick person’s yellow color.

What do wild horses symbolize?

Wild horses symbolize freedom, romance, limitless opportunities, and unbroken spirits. Ford found naming their most famous sports car after the legendary wild horses that roam the American plains to be the perfect symbol of American freedom.

And the legendary fighter plane, the P-51 Mustang, which helped win World War II and establish America as a superpower, captured the essence of the romance and fierceness of these American icons.

Wild horses symbolize the future and motivate us to move forward, succeed, and be the best we can become.

Picture of a wild horse in a Native American territory.

What does the horse symbolize in Native American culture?

Native American horses were symbols of nobility, wealth, power, and spirituality. Horses originated in North America but went extinct over 10,000 years ago.

It wasn’t until Spanish explorers in the 1500s re-introduced horses that Native Americans began their relationship with these animals. Before this, Native Americans typically didn’t travel far from their birthplace, and horses brought mobility.

Relatively quickly, a deep bond developed between Native Americans and horses that symbolizes the western frontier. Because of the benefits horses provided, they were highly regarded and viewed as spiritual figures.

To Native Americans, horses embodied freedom and were a symbol of a tribe’s wealth. To read more about horses in North America, you may like this article I wrote: Are Horses Native to North America? The Fossils Tell a Story

What does a flying horse symbolize?

Flying horses symbolize liberty and free spirit, breaking the chains that bind and soaring to new heights. But because a winged horse is mythical, it envokes a connection between physical reality and spiritual reality.

With its feet planted firmly on Earth, the winged horse represents your reality and understanding of the task at hand. But when the horse has its wings open and flying, it signifies your spiritual state.

FAQ

What does riding a horse symbolize?

Horses are symbols of freedom and travel, while also representing power in Native American tribes.

Horse symbolism in art.

Horses are one of the earliest subjects of cave paintings and were thought to be a source of power with connections to the gods. In some sculptures and paintings, they symbolized fertility, omens, and freedom.