Pegasus (Pegasos) in Greek Mythology is the winged steed that caused Hippocrene, the fountain of the Muses on Mt. Helicon, to well forth with a stroke of his hoof. Pegasus, whose name is possibly derived from 'springs of the Ocean' (pegai) or 'of the wells,' is a variant of the Greek word pege which means "spring" or "fountain" and the form sus is pre-Greek in origin, means "bridled horse" referring to the figurehead of a ship. Thus Pegasus can literally mean "Fountain Horse."
Legend Highlights (Greek Mythology): Son of the Gorgon Medusa & the Seagod Poseidon (Neptune) Sprang fully formed from the severed neck of Medusa when Perseus slew her (= most popular version) Brother of the giant (or winged horse), Chrysoar and of the colt, Celeris (or his father) Mounted by Perseus, who flew over the sea to slay the sea-dragon Cetus (some accounts say) Taken by the goddess Athena to Mt. Helicon to be reared by the Muses Caused the fountains of Hippocrene & Aganippe to gush forth The inspiration of the Muses (especially of Urania & her son by Apollo, Linus) Wise seer of Corinth, Polyeidus, advised Bellerophon to capture Pegasus Mount of Bellerophon, tamed by the golden bridle, Chalintis: gift of Athena (Minerva) Mortal enemy of the Chimaera, Pegasus' proficient flying enabled her slaying Stung by a gadfly when Bellerophon arrogantly tried to steer Pegasus to Olympus Occasional mount of Eos (Aurora) for her drive across the sky at dawn Occasional mount of Apollo (Phoebus) during his daylight drive across the sky Bearer of Zeus' (Jupiter/Jove) divine Lightening & Thunder (storming hoof beats) Father of the pterippi species by Euippe (according to some accounts) Earthly & heavenly deeds honored with a memorial in the heavens
Symbolism: Horses are a potent symbol from almost every world religion and mythology. Many of its myths express the horse's innate clairvoyance and ability to perceive the magic within humans. Some view the horse as the symbol of strength, virility and lust. According to popular belief it loses its sexual powers when its mane is cut, and is the only animal which shows sorrow because it weeps for its dead master (though this is later belief is not exclusive to the Horse-Human relationship). Also, it is a symbol for loyalty and devotion, such as the faith it has with it's master. It also represents the warrior spirit, bravery and courage. Strength & Sexual Energy
Wings are a symbol that denotes "flight" and often represent prayer and contemplation, especially in the sense of feathered bird-like wings. A spiritual or religious symbol they represent the soul's ability to transcend the weight of earthly burdens and rise above such concerns into the air, even to Heaven itself, to the presence of God. In Christian symbolism, through demonization, there are also the accursed wings of such infernal creatures as vampires, basilisks, dragons and others. These are the leathery wings of skin, like those of a bat, whose appearance adds to the attributes of evil inherent in the beast. "Skin" being a symbol of the carnal nature of man, therefore sinful, is connected to the to the idea of the perversion of the intellectual faculties toward evil purposes. Azrael, the Angel of Death, is often depicted with leathery wings, (i.e., the satyr-like devil, Satan [the former Angel of Light, Lucifer] the Destroyer). These are the typical wings of the Hellhorse or the Chimaera. Transcendence & Liberty.
TheWinged Horse or Pegasus symbolizes heightened power of the natural forces - the innate capacity for spiritualization and for inverting evil into good. As a Christian and religious symbol, Pegasus was adopted from the attribution as the mount of Apollo, the God of pure light, beauty and truth to be included in the symbolic fauna of Christ. Winged horses, in general, symbolize the transport of the soul of the deceased Christian to Heaven, and figuratively, like Apollo the Sun-god, represents Christ lifted up and, like the sun, 'Full of Glory,' and as the Revealer of Mysteries and the causer of refreshing (as in the passage: "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles..." - Isaiah 40:31). Also, during the Apocalypse, Pegasus has been compared to the "white horse" whom the conqueror rides in the book of Revelation in the Bible. Aside from being a general symbol of creative inspiration and poetry, the flying horse is an expression for speed, power and swift transport. As an animal totem, Pegasus symbolizes the immortality of the soul, and serves as the carrier and protector of the spirit in its journeys to the astral plane (especially to the Moon - the emotional plane). Pegasus is closely linked to the Greek gods Poseidon (Neptune) [emotion ], his father; Athena (Minerva) [heavenly wisdom ], his protectress; Zeus (Jupiter) [guidance & creativity ] as his Thunder-bearer; and the Muse Urania [heavenly love ], his nursemaid, and the Muses [inspiration, memory and the arts ] in general; the heroes Perseus [intellect ] and Bellerophon [impudence ]; and the monsters Medusa [mortal wisdom ] and Chimaera [complex evil ]. Creative Inspiration & Benevolent Transformation, Communication & Transportation.
Pegasus the Legendary Winged Horse. When the Gorgon Medusa was decapitated by the hero Perseus, Pegasus and his brother, Chrysoar, were born from the mix of seafoam and blood. Ridden by Perseus, he carried the hero over the sea and aided in the defeat of Cetus, the Sea-dragon, and the rescue of the Princess Andromeda. After this adventure, the young colt was gathered by Athena (Minerva) and carried to Mt. Helicon where she entrusted the Muses with his care. In his excitement young Pegasus struck the ground with his hooves and cause the springs of Aganippe and Hippocrene to gush forth their bounty of inspiration. Urania, the Muse of Astronomy and Universal Love (also an aspect of Aphrodite) showed the most interest in his rearing. Prophesying of his future heroic deeds and eventual celestial honor she grieved the most when Bellerophon, at Athena's beckoning, came to take Pegasus away from Mt. Helicon. After the many long years of heroic deeds Pegasus had accomplished in the companionship of Bellerophon, and the hero's thankless death, Urania was enraptured by Pegasus' triumphant arrival to Mt. Olympus. The tragic ending of the tale of Bellerophon would seem to be a shrewd illustration of the folly of assuming that something or someone is subject to our will and cannot function successfully without us. The Greeks may have also attempted to tell us that simply being a member of the human race does not, in itself, warrant our acceptance into the transcendental realms. The simple fact that it was the Horse and not the Man must surely convey something of the status of man in the universal scheme of things. Pegasus went on to become the occasional mount of the goddess Eos (Aurora) on her mission to bring forth the Dawn. At other times he was ridden by Apollo (Phoebus) as he brought the sun across the sky. And, even more importantly, Pegasus served as Zeus' Lightening bearer, when Pegasus' own hooves could be heard thundering across the skies in a storm. As a tribute to his exceptional life and heroic deeds, Zeus honored Pegasus with a constellation in the sky. According to an amalgam of several other myths stemming from Cheiron's progeny, there is a formidable afterlife for Pegasus involving a wife, Euippe (or Ocyrrhoe), and two children, Celeris and Melanippe. In poetry, the phrase "My Pegasus will not go this morning" means the author's brain will not work (lacks inspiration), and "I am mounting my Pegasus" means he's going to write (he's becoming inspired), and "I am on my Pegasus" means he's engaged in writing. (See: Bellerophon, Celeris, Chrysoar, Euippe, Hippocrene, Melanippe).
The Unicorn, a legendary animal usually depicted as a large horse with a single horn on its forehead. It has also been described as having the hind legs of an antelope, the tail of a lion, and the beard of a goat. Represented in the arts of numerous ancient and medieval Asian and European cultures, the unicorn may have been created from distorted reports of rhinoceroses. Ctesias, a Greek physician, about 400 BC wrote a classic description of the unicorn, calling it an Indian wild ass with a white body, purple head, and a straight "cubit-long" horn with a white base, black middle, and red tip. He described it as fleet and fierce. The unicorn is also mentioned in the writings of Aristotle, Pliny, and Aelian. In medieval Christendom the unicorn was endowed with symbolic qualities, both religious and secular. Some early translations of the Hebrew scriptures mentioned the unicorn (modern versions tend to call the same animal a "wild ox"), and as a biblical beast it acquired ecclesiastical associations. It represented chastity and purity. Though it would fight savagely when cornered, it could be tamed by a virgin's touch. Many examples of medieval artincluding woodcuts, illuminations, and tapestries depict the unicorn, particularly the hunt for it. In some Christian interpretations the unicorn is associated with the Virgin Mary; in others it represents Christ the Redeemer. Unicorns were also popular emblems in medieval heraldry. During the Middle Ages, and even later, the unicorn's horn (as it was alleged to be), because of its fabled purity, was a popular ingredient for medicines and for alchemical reactions. Potentates and pontiffs obtained reputed unicorn's horn because it was considered strong protection against poison. The horn was also believed to ward off stomach trouble and epilepsy. The Unicorn is found throughout world legends. His appearance has changed over time as writers and artists have taken poetic license and used their imaginations. The Myth of the Unicorn can be traced back to early pagan mythology. Oddly enough, this pagan creature was accepted in Medieval Europe, which was strictly dominated by Christianity, and the Unicorn even became accepted as a symbol of Christ Himself. The Lady of the Unicorn was a predominant part of the European Myth. It was said that only the purest of maidens could tame this beast. When a Unicorn saw a maid sitting in the wood, he would came forward and docilely lay his head in her lap, as innocent as a child. This was the Unicorn's one weakness. Some tales tell of a Lady residing in a cave with the Unicorn. These tales portray the Virgin which loved the Unicorn.
The Modern Unicorn is result of many different people’s imaginations. He has changed from the delicate, goat-like creature to one of simple equine beauty. A beast ridden by a Virgin who he can actually trust not to lead him to the Hunter. He comes in every color and size, from the purest ivory to the darkest ebony and every shade of the rainbow in between the two. He can have the wings of Pegasus and take the name of Alicorn, or he can be given the leathery wings of a Demon and be a creature yet unnamed. Today’s Unicorn is special to each of his followers, but he still holds the basic principles of nobility, selflessness, and purity. And he shall always be one of the most beautiful creatures conceived by the mind of Man. Stories of a magnificent horned steed filtered into European throughout the Middle Ages. They are believed to have originated from three sources. First, written accounts from Greek and Roman sources contributed to the widespread belief in the unicorn. Second, popular acceptance of the unicorn's existence. Finally, explorers brought back tales of the beast from other lands. It was in Medieval Europe that the unicorn attained its greatest fame, and where it began to assume the physical attributes we associate with it today. The European unicorn took the form of a large, white steed with a flowing white mane and a tuft of white hair on its chin. In most other respects it was much like an ordinary horse, except for having white hooves. It most unusual feature, of course, was the single white spiral horn projecting forward at an upward angle from its forehead.