Why we're here

We are taking a stand against horse slaughter returning to the US and are striving to stop the transportation of horses to other countries for slaughter. Some of us are working in those other countries as well.

We are taking this stance as Pagans and Heathens, at a time when it seems some have decided that eating slaughtered horse meat in ritual is somehow cool, edgy and "ancestral." Therefore we want to show that that minority does not represent all of the Pagan and Heathen communities. Many of us worship Horse Deities, many of us are horse people who may see our horses as sacred charges who we care for to honor these Deities. Not by killing but by striving to give them good lives.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Warriors for the Horse Goddess

This article isn't here, as it's rather long for a blog post and I wanted a permanent home for it. It was originally written to submit to an anthology, but the anthology is not being published so I decided to go ahead.  I think that the message of how important defending horses from slaughter and abuse is needs to get out there as much as possible. It is also a sort of experimental piece for me, intersecting my own journey back to horses through Macha with information both on historical/literary Horse Goddesses and the political reality.

Warriors for the Horse Goddess 


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Horse racing at Lughnasadh

 Seriously, stop spamming this with race wagering sites! This is an anti-racing post, so that's just insane! Stop!

As we approach the Gaelic holiday of Lughnasadh or Lùnasdal, one of the things that comes up is the association of the holiday with horse races.  The key event at this time was the assembly known as "óenach" which is glossed as "a contention of horses" and included swimming and racing the horses (Patterson pg 144, O'Donovan, pg. 127-128). These events probably were centered around people proving their horse stock, for sale or prestige, and in Ireland fairs held at this time, such as The Puck Fair, still involve horses. One famous horse race in Ireland was during Conchobar's assembly where Macha was forced to prove her husband's boast that his wife could outrun the king's horses.(The Metrical Dindshenchas (English) Irish). Horses were an important part of the culture, so horses as an important part of such events is not surprising.

Through the past couple of decades I have seen several Celtic Polytheists of various types suggest that this connection means that attending modern, professional horse races is a way to relive those old assemblies. I have even seen it suggested that this in some way honors the Horse Goddess. This concept troubles me deeply, for while it may not be on the same level as those who suggest eating horse meat the reality is there that, if nothing else, going to races supports an industry that routinely slaughters horses and use nurse mares whose own foals are killed at birth for "pony skins."

Explain to me how that is honoring a Horse Goddess? I suppose it replicates the horror that Macha and her twins suffered but do you want to be on that side of it? There are other ways.

Never mind that the atmosphere at these events is far from that of an ancient gathering.  

Saorsa has been practicing for
Obviously, not many Pagans have their own horses to race for fun or to "unrace" (we have long joked that we have unraces, we just make sure to take time to just hang out and watch our horses be horses...however, we may be doing some run racing soon, including water races although Saorsa may be the only one willing to go in). To replicate these horse races what can one who doesn't have their own horses do?

Personally, I favor taking time to volunteer at a horse rescue. Lughnasadh is often a time when hay is coming in, but help is needed in all situations by most rescues. If you can't volunteer, consider taking up a collection for a local rescue. Many Pagan groups today collect food or other items for charity when they gather, why not do so for horses. Perhaps even towards an ex-racer and/or nurse mare foal focused group?  Perhaps also take time to write to your congress people and try to end horse slaughter.

Consider attending county fairs. While I'm not crazy about either showing or racing at all, the level at fairs is far different from professional race tracks especially at the smaller fairs. Please consider still making that donation and writing those letters, as some of the horses in the show ring will end up in rescue or on the road to slaughter too.

Of course, for your own games I know many groups who do hobby horse races.  Often there are kid races where most of the kids old enough to walk think it's totally uncool and adult races where the adults have a blast proving to their kids how uncool they are. It brings "the horses" home. And make those donations and write those letters just because it needs doing.

If you want to honor the Horse Goddesses, save the horses. If you want to have a feel of ancient times by being around horses be around horses that need you. Do not think for a moment that there is anything but corruption at the race track or that it's somehow holy. The horses deserve better, the Horse Goddesses certainly do.

Nerys Patterson. Cattle Lords & Clansmen: The Social Structure of Early Ireland, Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame, 1994
 John O'Donovan, ed. and trans. (with notes and translations from Whitley Stokes) Sanas Cormaic Calcutta: O. T. Cutter for the Irish Archeological and Celtic Society, 1868,

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A small step back to where we were before....

But at least it's a step in the right direction. House Appropriations Committee votes to defund horse slaughter inspections.

While it's important that the defunding be reestablished and we need to encourage our Representatives to vote for this and our Senators to get it in their version, we absolutely must continue to work to get  The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act H.R. 2966, S.1176 through at last! We need to cover all angles to get horse slaughter finished in our country.  

Picking things up

A couple of Pagan horses enjoying the summer

We have changed our blog title again. We had initially intended to keep this "religion neutral" but have decided to fully approach this as the Heathens we are.  We think this is important in light of several things some of which were addressed in Heathen Against Horse Slaughter. Lysippe didn't address all of the issues, however, that relate between Pagan and Heathen ways and horse issue. She only just touched upon the accusations made that recent spats of horse attacks which range from merely cutting the manes to horrible physical mutilations and killings which are inexplicably blamed on Pagans, Witches or Satanists (which are jumbled together, of course).   Well, maybe it's not so inexplicable, it's really just a new face of old Satanic Panic.

So we may be covering more about these issues too. Which may be a mistake as we often feel overwhelmed by how much is going on that endangers horses already that we barely post at all.

And there is a lot. Look to the side bar, others are doing a better job of keeping up (even though they may be rather ill informed about how the American political system works, they are keeping up on the events of horrific BLM round-ups, attempts to start horse slaughter plants and some, sometimes confused, information the status of various bills). I am hoping we'll be posting more here now. Some tension has been alleviated by cutting back on the number of bloggers (what with one never blogging but probably having a different perspective on things which made us a bit worried about alienating that person).

But right now I want to take a stance that I we are Heathens who love horses, who are against horse slaughter and also the various other atrocities (some which are socially acceptable) perpetuated against horses. We're against treating horses as commodities rather than the complex sentient beings that we owe a great deal too (only the dog, and we're dog lovers too, compares when we think of how much our society has depended on partnership with animals).

Sunday, June 17, 2012

An admittedly scathing rant

I'd rather be putting up actual information here about how things work, but honestly, I have a lot on my plate, including my own horses. And I shouldn't have to,  you went through junior high and high school, right? Then you should have some clue. Stop watching FauxNews and maybe you'd know how the government worked and not need it explained. But as I know that the comment I made will not be published and if it is it will just get overrun with FauxNews inspired twisting, I need to get this off my chest.

I am horrified that there are horse advocates who think Romney, who put his own dog on the roof of the car and drove to Canada, will be a better horse president because his wife is into horses as a therapy tool and for prestige of having a Olympic level competitor. Oh, never mind that it was Republicans who snuck the inspection ban out of that bill....the President signed it so "he's got an agenda to kill horses!!11eleventyone"

Never mind that the majority of those politicians who want to stop horse slaughter are Democrats while all of the politicians who want it back are republican. Our President isn't making horses the ONLY issue so we're going to put a known horse abuser into the office! Let's elect more Republicans that'll show Obama....never mind that it will bring horse slaughter full throttle into the US again.

This twisted, sick thinking has become so prevalent in this movement that I have really been having trouble working with anyone in it. There's so much misplaced anger and useless and totally ignorant political ranting instead of any real efforts being made to work with the mostly Democratic Congress members who are working on stopping horse slaughter. It's all about replacing Obama with a Republican while ignoring that it's Republican Congress members who are fighting to get slaughter happening here and to stop the transportation for slaughter bans.

As I said above, I suppose it would be more appropriate to put up the voting stats and such shit but I have chores to do. And I shouldn't have to, it's all pretty obvious if these people weren't so stuck on their "we want things done now for us and no one but us or we're going to go vote for the people who will make things worse!!!! That'll show you! WAAAAAHHHHHH!!!!"

Of course, this isn't the only issue that people are acting like that. If the President doesn't act as a fucking dictator for what we want then we will replace him with someone who will act as a dictator against us. What the fuck is wrong with people?

I know this is no accident. The Republicans have been playing game all along. They pull this shit, then the people blindly blame the President. It's the same with economy (which is killing horses too, BTW). At the moment I'm very dismayed at my fellow country people. If the Republicans win this one, we're fucked...and so are the horses.

So this is why I feel hopeless, why I feel I can't work with the people who rather than fighting for horses are just spouting pointless hate. Yeah, this too is probably pointless. Until people in general get with a fucking program to actually do something it really is all just pointless.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Can you just take a moment for the horses?

Over the past few months, with the USDA ban on horse slaughter inspection lifted, we have seen several attempts in the US to start slaughtering horses. So far all have failed....but this fight can not keep up location by location. Because we can't let a single one slip through, we cannot take that chance.

But more than that, all along horses have been shipped, in miserable conditions to Canada and Mexico to be slaughtered. This has been going on. It's way passed time to stop it.

Please just take a moment to go to theASPCA Advocacy Center where you can find out if your Senators ares cosponsors or not and easily send a note, with some personal additions thanking them or urging them. It's simple, it only take a moment.

Let's make this the end of horse slaughter in America, once and for all. The crazies who want to kill horses are fighting hard, we need to fight back harder. It's time this war ended. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Heathen Against Horse Slaughter

This is what I am, a Pagan against horse slaughter, a SARMATIAN focused one at that. That means that, yes, I actually am reconstructing, as best I can, from a culture which sacrificed and ate horses.

I use "Heathen" in the title for a specific reason even  though I seldom use it instead of Pagan, for it's among Norse practitioners where we seem to see people talking about "reclaiming old ways" by eating horse meat. This is NOT to say that all Heathens feel this way, but I have seen this more from Heathens than other Pagans. There are a few PIE (Proto-Indo-European) types who do as well, although from that corner there seems to be more symbolic "horse sacrifice."

And a friend recently noticed a Heathen publication, Hex Magazine issue 4, ran a horse meat article, calling again for "returning to old ways" by eating horses.  And they still have readers. It's so disgusting to me. So while many Heathens might never want to eat horse meat themselves, it seems enough are able to turn a blind eye and keep supporting a magazine which promotes horse slaughter.

Here's where I'm at. The people of the Steppes were the first horse people, they did first herd horses for food, milk, and meat. There was a true sacrament in this, a true sacrifice in the "making sacred" meaning. They traveled the Steppes with the herds, which lived as horses should, nearly wild and free-roaming. This isn't, actually, all in the past tense, there are many horse people still on the Steppes for all that other cultures have over taken those ways quite a bit. The horses and people are still as free-roaming as those other cultures give them space for. Many still eat horses. They're not Pagan any longer, but their horse probably don't know the difference. They still RESPECT the horse and all the animal has meant for their survival, some of these horses might end up eaten but they never know the hell of the slaughter chutes, the torture of the feedlots, or the horror of double-decker trailers.

I can respect their way of life. I do not live it. I do not live the life of the Pagan Sarmatians either. I do live with horses, all rescues. I live in a country where horse slaughter is done in immensely inhumane ways, horses are in terror and pain going into the chutes, they are in utter agony when they are rendered alive because the bolts do not kill horses. EVER.  We hide this from our eyes, breeders use it to get rid of excess foals, the racing industry to get rid of retired racers, many owners to get rid of "aged" (that would be four years old) retired performance horses. The latter two are all treated with 'bute, poisoning those eating them, too. These horses are not treated as sacred, they are not honored, they are not living free and half wild, they are not killed quick and humanely.

They are treated like trash.

I would no more eat horses than I would own slaves. There are things we are NOT reconstructing. These are two of them. I know of no Heathens or Pagans who would suggest returning to human sacrifice, slavery, or even the sorts of class systems. We do not need to return to eating horses.

If one were, I challenge them to live as I do. With a small herd of horses who depend on you, who you care for daily, who trust you, and who seek your attention and love. Can you do it then? I actually do raise other animals for food, the difference between what my horses seek from me and what the sheep, pigs, and chickens do is tremendous. The cats want less to do with me, only the dogs out do the horses in bonding.

Many Christian horse advocates actually will note that eating horses is "heathen" or "pagan" and that Christianity should have brought an end to it and did in some parts of Europe. This is, in some places, this was true. There are currently accusations that horrible acts of violence and slaughter happening in Britain are done by "Pagans." I highly doubt that is who is doing it, rather this is just a very sick person or people. We do NOT need actual Pagans and Heathens even just talking about eating horses when the reality of what they are talking about is participating in the most horrifically cruel corporate slaughter that can be imagined.

So this Pagan, following a horse culture, does NOT eat horses, does NOT support horse slaughter, DOES spiritually honor the horses, DOES do what she can to rescue horses from both abuse and slaughter, and WILL fight an end to the slaughter of our horses. I ask other Pagans and Heathens to pledge likewise!