Mythic Morgans

Horse Names

We are often asked where to we get or how we come up with names for our horses. It is not always an easy process, but there is a method to the madness! G

All of the horses we have breed have been given names from folk lore, legend or mythilogical sources. I've always loved to read and had long thought that when/if I was able to set up a breeding farm that I wanted to name the foals after fictional characters. Del was fine with that, though he thought it would be better if we could narrow the focus just a bit. Actually I don't think he was too happy with the possibility of having a Rhett or Scarlett in the herd! After checking with the Morgan registery about some of the prefixes we thought of to use with fictional characters, we choose 'Mythic' and narrowed our fictional names to those used in myths, legends and folklore. While the Greek and Roman names are the most well known, I like to think that we engage in cultural 'equal opportunity' name choice.

Some of the criteria we use in choosing the names are that they should be somewhat easy to pronounce, be usable in calling the horse, don't sound too much like one of the other horse's names, doesn't have a possible shortening that might be objectionable (I really liked Hippona, the goddess of the horse, but we were afraid there might be a tendency to call her hipo or hippy :( ) and are not attached to a character that was too evil or performed to many nasty deeds. ;-) After all, we do want these critters to turn out to be sweet characters!

Aladdin - our first born. BG {Arabic Alâ' ad Dîn} in folktale, the hero of "Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp" in the collection of stories known in English as Arabian Nights. In most versions of the story, Aladdin is the lazy son of a poor Chinese tailor. After his father's death, he meets a magician who poses as his uncle and persuades Aladdin to retrieve a wonderful lamp from a hidden cave. When Aladdin fails to give the lamp to the magician before emerging from the cave, the magician becomes enraged and seals the cave, leaving Aladdin to die. In his misery Aladdin weeps and wrings his hands, releasing a genie from a ring the magician had given him. The genie frees Aladdin, who soon discovers that the lamp also produces powerful genies when rubbed. They grant Aladdin his every wish, and he eventually becomes immensely wealthy and marries the daughter of the sultan. The magician returns to steal the lamp, but is defeated, as is his evil brother who also tries to gain the lamp. Free of these enemies, Aladdin lives a long, happy life and succeeds the sultan to the throne.

Diana -- our next born (now happy in owning her new person, Janice Jones) is the Roman goddess of nature, fertility and childbirth. She is closely identified with the Greek goddess Artemis. Diana is also a moon-goddess and was originally worshipped on the mountain Tifata near Capua and in sacred forests. Torch-bearing processions were held in her honor. Later she was given a temple in the working-class area on the Aventine Hill where she was mainly worshipped by the lower class (plebeians)and the slaves, of whom she was the patroness. Slaves could also ask for asylum in her temple. Diana was originally a goddess of fertility and was worshipped mainly by women as the giver of fertility and easy births. Her name is possibly derived from 'diviana' ("the shining one"). She is portrayed as a huntress accompanied by a deer. Diana was also the goddess of the Latin commonwealth.

Freyja {fray' jah}: In Norse mythology, Freyja is a goddess of love and fertility, and the most beautiful and propitious of the goddesses. She is the patron goddess of crops and birth, the symbol of sensuality and was called upon in matters of love. She loves music, spring and flowers, and is particularly fond of the elves (fairies). Freyja is one of the foremost goddesses of the Vanir. She is the daughter of the god Njord, and the sister of Freyr. Later she married the mysterious god Od (probably another form of Odin), who disappeared. When she mourned for her lost husband, her tears changed into gold.

Forseti {for set' ee}: Also from Norse mythology, Forseti is the god of justice. He is the son of the god Balder and his mother is Nanna. Forseti rules in the beautiful palace Glitnir, which serves as a court of justice and where all legal disputes are settled. Glitnir has a roof of silver that is supported by pillars of red gold.

Feronia {fur oh' nee ah}: An Etruscan goddess of fire and fertility. Alternatively, Feronia is also the Roman goddess who was invoked to secure a bountiful harvest. She was worshipped as the goddess of freedom by slaves, for it was believed that those who sat on a holy stone in her sanctuary were set free.

Galetia {gal eh tee' ah}. There are a number of different spellings for it the most common of which is Galatea, but I liked the lessor used spelling the best. There are three of them in Greek myth:
1. A sea nymph, loved by the monster Polyphemus (a Cyclop), although she loved Acis, who was thereby killed by Polyphemus or the other Cyclops (two differing versions). Galatea, in bereavement, threw herself into the sea, where she joined her sister nymphs (one version), she wept so copiously she was changed into a fountain (another version), and she accepted Polyphemus and had by him a son, Galates (another version).
2. The woman who was originally a statue carved by Pygmalion and who was brought to life by Aphrodite in answer to his prayers.
3. Mother of Leucippus, who was reared as a boy in order to fool Galatea's husband, who had ordered the child to be killed at birth if it was a girl.

Hyperion {hi pier' ee on}: A dweller on high. From Greek mythology, Hyperion is the Titan god of light, he was the father of the sun, the moon, and the dawn.

Honabe {hoe nah' bee}: In Huli (Papua New Guinea tribe) mythology, Honabe is the primaeval goddess and the first inhabitant of the land. She was seduced by the god Timbu and bore five deities.

Hemera {heh mare' ah}: In Greek mythology, she is the representation of day; she was the daughter of Nyx and Erebus.

Indar {in' dar}: The old Iranian god of warfare, courage and bravery.

Isara {i sar' ah}: The Syro-Mesopotamian goddess of the oath, and 'queen of judgement and offer rites'. The Hittites called 'queen of the mountains'.

Juma {ju' mah}: In Finnish mythology, and especially of the Cheremis people, Juma is the god of the sky and of thunder and lightning. The Finno-Ugric word juma means literally "the heavenly" but is also used to denote earth, wind, and water spirits. Juma is also referred to as "the Great".

Karta {car' tah}: The goddess of fate and destiny, similar to Laima and Dekla. Much less mentioned in the song texts (just 17 texts in Latvju Dainas), still used to build the "three fates" concept. May be of local origin, known mostly in just some western districts of Latvia.

Ki-Lin {key' lin}: A mythical being of Chinese mythology, comparable with the western unicorn. Ki-lin personifies all that is good, pure, and peaceful. It lives in paradise and only visits the world at the birth of a wise philosopher. The unicorn, which can become one thousand year old, is portrayed as a deer with one horn, the tail of an ox, the hooves of a horse, and a body covered with the scales of a fish. It is one of the four Ling.

Larenta {Lar en' ta}: The Roman earth-goddess, also called Dea Tacita, the silent goddess. Her festival, called the Larentalia, was observed on December 23. On this day offerings were brought to her in a mundus, a opened groove.

Lasair {Las air'}: In Irish mythology, Lasair (meaning "Flame") is the eldest of three sisters, a goddess triad representing the growing, ripening and harvesting of crops. Lasair, goddess of the spring budding, has beautiful long black hair and wears a silver crown, silver jewelry and armbands. She lives in a Red Castle (another reminder of her fiery nature) with an orchard. The god Flann brought her the Rose of Sweetness that never withers, the Comb of Magnificence, and the Girdle of Truth. She is alternately named Lassar Fhína, Lasairíona (the latter two meaning "flaming wine") or Crobh Dearg (Red Claws). Later on, she became a Christian saint and her well is at Lough Meelagh, Ireland. Her feast day is May 1st, the old Bealtaine festival. Her sisters are called Inghean Bhuidhe and Latiaran. The three goddesses are said to be daughters of Douglas and Scáthach.

Mitra {Me tra'}: Mitra is a Vedic god who stood for the sun, and was, with his brother Varuna, the guardian of the cosmic order. He was the god of friendships and contracts, and watched over the daytime hours. He was good-natured and on far better terms with humanity than was his brother. He is seen as a mediator between the gods and man.

Nike {ny'-kee}: Nike is the Greek personification of victory. She can run and fly at great speed. She is a constant companion of Athena. Nike is the daughter of Pallas and Styx and the sister of Cratos, Bia, and Zelus. She was represented as a woman with wings, dressed in a billowing robe with a wreath or staff.

Oden {O den'}: Swedish form of Odin. Oden is a god of war and death, but also the god of poetry and wisdom.

Pamba {Pom ba'}: ‘chief’, is the creator and sustainer of life of the Ovambo tribes in northern Namibia.

Quilla {Quil' la}: Incan Moon Goddess and wife of Sun God Inti. Her face is like a full moon, which may or may not be a good thing. Mostly interested in women's welfare, calendars and feasts. Quinevere {Qwen' e veer}: In Scottish, the name Quinevere means - Arthur's queen.

It's a lot of fun coming up with names for the foals. We get to read some interesting tales and discover new sources of myths, legends and folklore which necessitates some lively discussion regarding which one we should use.

The 'bible' of mythology is "Bullfinch's Mythology" by Thomas Bullfinch. We have a small collection of books on mythology for reference. I find though that the internet has been invaluable in helping research names for some of the more difficult 'letter' years, like two years ago when were were on the f's. That was one year we were very greatful to the Norse!

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