Instinctive Aspect

Essay by cfawcett22College, UndergraduateA+, March 2007

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In most myths there is some form of afterlife or land of the dead; however, Celtic culture is unique in its concept of the Otherworld. The most important part of this is the absence of sin and guilt in the Celtic world view. As I have read, this is why the Celts version of the Otherworld is not divided into heaven or hell. It is something like the Christian heaven; however, it is not restricted to the heroic or virtuous. It is also unique in that the human occupants eventually reincarnate into this world. The threshold between the Otherworld and ours is what seems to be the most important threshold that can be crossed. It seems that one feature that the Otherworld has in common with other mythical spirit worlds is the idea of being led into the world by an animal.

The horse is a symbolic figure of great significance to many cultures.

This symbolism is of greater importance to those whom are kings and lords. The crossings of thresholds of many kinds are also significant to kings and lords. Such crossings include the transition from boyhood to adolescents, adolescence to manhood and from manhood into the leadership role of lord or king. The crossing into the spirit world is one of the most important and celebrated of all. Although it is a mournful time, it holds great significance and is very symbolic. The word symbolism can stand for many things depending on how it is used. Victor Turner writes that symbols are multi-vocalic, that is, “a single symbol may stand for many things” (qtd. in Chadbourne 316). The white horse symbolizes a more instinctive aspect of oneself when carried or led by it across a threshold.

The mythical background of the white horse has intrigued many people for...