Way of the Horse: Equine Archetypes for Self-Discovery - Linda Kohanov and Kim McElroy
“[Horses] mirror, and help us recover, the beauty, power, and nobility of our own spirit hat elusive Presence so easily lost in the frenzy and disconnection of civilized life. Now that horses are now longer obliged to work in our fields and carry us to war, they’re free to do something arguably more important: work on us.” – From the book

Three years in the works, the Way of the Horse oracle deck and companion book are a masterful combination of the “archetypal realistic” art of Kim McElroy and profound essays of Linda Kohanov. Ms. Kohanov, a writer and riding instruction specializing in equine-facilitated human development, conveys the exquisite sensitivity of horses—especially in terms of intuition, present-moment awareness and the detection of human emotion—with the oracular messages from the Way of the Horse deck.

A 40-card deck graced with lavish matte illustrations by Ms. McElroy, the Way of the Horse cards captures the spirit of these majestic animals, as well as mythological equines such as Chiron, Pegasus and the Hippomorphic goddess Demeter.

For each of the cards in this deck, the author provides three themes, as well as the Gift and Challenge. Weaving archetypal ideas, Jungian psychology, moving anecdotes and equine wisdom, Ms. Kohanov reminds us to use the Way of the Horse cards for inspiration, insight and healing in the present moment—rather than as fortunetelling devices aimed at giving pat answers or detailing the future.

Because of my lack of familiarity with horses, I was surprised at the extent I resonated with the author’s introduction—let alone the cards themselves and the accompanying essays!

Published by New World Library, the deck and 255-page clothbound hardcover companion book comes in a sturdy box—almost too sturdy, in fact! (I had a hard time removing the cloth-bound companion book from its niche, and was wary of tugging the chocolate-hued satin ribbon for fear that I would tear something. Happily, the ribbon intended to ease extraction wasn’t too damaged after my tug of war session!)

The cards measure approximately 5 x 3 ½ inches and have their own box for ease of portability.

Although I’ve never been especially attracted to horses, the Way of the Horse box set sparkled with possibility from the time I laid eyes on the cards. After reading the introduction in the companion book, I realized this was, indeed, a special oracle.

I then felt to place the deck face down, fanning out the cards. I kept “hearing” the number 2, and was guided to select card #2 (I hadn’t shuffled the deck).

I smiled when I saw that the them was “Believe”, encouraging faith in the unknown and unformed, especially in light of the Authentic Self freed from the defensive scaffolding of the ego.

As I began to read the essay on Card 2, the commentary reminded me of a book I happen to be reading right now—A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. Imagine my surprise when Ms. Kohanov mentions this EXACT book within Card #2’s essay!

Needless to say, the synchronistic spiritual truths offered by the author (and the equines!) ministered to my spirit and uplifted my soul.

Whether you raise horses, love to ride them, or adore equine art, you’ll no doubt fall in love with the Way of the Horse book and deck. However, even if you’re not familiar with horses or don’t feel particularly attracted to them (but care about and honor animals), there is a wealth of practical guidance, heart-warming stories and pathways to healing found in both the companion book and the stunning art of Ms. McElroy.

Below are 13 cards from this deck:

Way of the Horse illustrations by Kim McElroy © 2007. Published by New World Library. All rights reserved.

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