Harnessing the Power Within: Exploring the Three Archetypes of Strength through Equine Facilitation

Did You Know that the Horse is the Totem Animal for Power?

When you reflect on “Power” what are all the different energies you have around it? Grace, balanced, soft, strength, sensitive, listens, and wisdom spring to my mind as I reflect on power that is life-serving. Whereas doubting, dominant and force spring to mind reflecting on power that does not serve life well. 

As a power animal, horse, is primarily a message carrier and often supports people to traverse "gateways" in their lives. They are connected with the power and responsibility that comes from exercising authority, and the wisdom necessary to utilize it in a balanced way. On an emotional level, horse is connected with the beauty of the need for compassionate understanding. 

The 3rd chakra is the personal power chakra. When the fear-base is triggered in the human nervous system, the energy can oscillate into the Militant archetype (the central vagus nerve branch–fight to survive) which may show up as; it’s all about me, ego, dominant, self-righteous, and control-force energy. Or, it can oscillate into the Subservient archetype (the dorsal vagus nerve branch–flee for survival) and may show up as; the outer environment influences the inner environment, being a slave to reality, serves others to a fault, a loss of authenticity, low sense of value, living in shame, and energy loss. The freeze state can be activated when both the Militant and the Subservient archetypes simultaneously flood the nervous system. (Like having the gas and brakes of your vehicle held down to the floor at the same time.) 

Balanced 3rd chakra energy rests in the Warrior archetype (the ventral vagus nerve branch - our social engagement system) which can show up as; the power to be in full choice, knowing self, assertive, truth, integrity, inner freedom and holding space for the good of all.  

Let me share my experience as I prepared to step into an active session with Horse. My coach invited me to face the horses in the arena, to bring my awareness to my breath, and take three deep breaths through my nose and exhale through my mouth. 

“As you bring your awareness to the moment, and your eyes gaze upon your horses, open your senses; where are you in your body? What sensations do you notice? What do you hear? What do you smell? What are you noticing on your skin or hair?”

“Keeping your eyes on your horses as you stay in this present moment, what do you most want to step into, at this time in your life?” She asked.

“I want to step into the arena fully present with myself.” I responded. 

“Would you be willing to allow this arena and these horses to guide you to your desire?” she asked.


“What authentic voice would support you in this process?” she queried. 

Listening to my core, I acknowledged with confidence. “I trust myself now.”  

“I trust myself now,” she reflected back, “take a breath as you embody the energy of your Authentic Voice. Are you ready to honor yourself and your horses at this time?”

(I nodded agreement) 

“Keeping your eyes on your horses, repeat these statements out loud as you extend your heart’s energy out to your horses:

            May you have good health.

            May you share your wisdom.

            May you receive love, honor and respect.

            May I have good health.

            May I receive your wisdom.

            May I experience love, honor, and respect.”

Pausing a moment, “Now, take another three deep breaths and imagine that these beautiful horses and this arena is the energy you desire,” she continued, “what would you most like your horses to teach you today?” 

“I would like them to teach me how to remain fully present with the different parts of myself.” I responded thoughtfully. 

“What might that look like with the horses - and which horse represents the different archetypes of the power chakra?” she asked with curiosity. 

“The three horses represent the parts of myself, the archetypes of Power. Diva represents the Militant, Moon represents the Subservient, and Cor represents the Warrior.” I slowed and scanned the arena, “I will move one horse to stand by the fence in the middle shadowy space.”

“What might that give you?”

“It will mean “I am centered, centered and balanced.” I replied with a smile. 

I stepped into the arena, picked up the stick and string tool, and with mindful intention moved out to the right, to approach the three horses that grazed on the far side of the arena. 

Mindfully, I took deep belly breaths, and whispered out loud my Authentic Voice, “I trust myself now, I trust myself now…” and visualized Trust energy flowing freely throughout my being as I opened to receive a felt-sense of each horse. My belly felt open and soft with Moon, who stood in the middle of the three horses. Spontaneously I set a new intention to “rescue” little me (represented by Moon) for him to experience a cellular shift of energy; transforming “Subservient Me” to “Empowered to be Me” in my core. 

As I deliberately placed my 3rd chakra energy behind Moon’s left shoulder, my right hand lifted the stick and string, while my left hand opened the door to invite him forward. Cor stood calm and grazing. Flicking the stick and string with more energy, I clicked my tongue, and as Moon slowly moved out to the left – Diva’s energy suddenly got bigger, she quickly pivoted to the left and trotted down the arena with Moon trailing behind her. I noticed her “Militant” energy did not disconnect me from Moon, or Moon from me, (I noticed his ears moved back and forth listening to Diva and then back to me, back and forth, and then more back listening to me) I felt a strong alignment energetically with him (my Subservient self) as I (from my Compassionate Observer Self) combined utilizing driving and dancing steps connecting with him moving down and around one end of the arena. He stopped, near the chosen central spot, and I moved closer and pushed on his left eye energetically, but he stood still. Checking in with my core; I felt curious.   

“What would you like to have happen?” She coached from outside the arena. 

“I would like him to move closer to the shadowed space by the fence.” 

“What might you do differently to invite the movement you would like?” She asked. 

Observing his position I chose to move around him, to his right side, and with my eyes focused intentionally on his hindquarters, I leaned my torso over into a forward stance and he disengaged his hindquarters to face me. Energetically I invited him forward, and he followed me! My belly opened up soft, with utter delight and euphoria. And then he stopped, while he licked, and chewed with his mouth. 

Breathing into my sensations, while my coach processed my experience with me, Moon moved his head to my solar plexus and then stepped forward until I was positioned at his left shoulder, which symbolized to me protection of my vulnerability being seen by others in the program.

Invited to drop into my body, I noticed my lips trembled and my throat was tight. As I caressed Moon’s neck and withers he moved to stand closer to me and raised his head blocking my coach’s view of me too. In that moment the gift I received from Moon was acknowledgment that “little me” had really good reasons for choosing to be subservient - so don’t make her wrong – she survived! Immediately Moon bumped me gently with his head, tears of gratitude sprang up behind my eyes and I acknowledged needs met for protection, understanding, safety, trust, and there is a reason I experienced what I did; so I would have lots of compassion for others’ trauma – and I could “get it” on a cellular level remaining present and in relationship with others on their healing journeys. 

I looked over to the two other horses grazing and recognized in that moment that I am all three - Militant, Subservient, and Warrior – how vital it is not to make any of them wrong, but rather to welcome, soothe, and accept each of them home. Moon turned his big head around, looked deep into my eyes, then nodded his head and walked out to join the others to go back to grazing. I watched him in awe as a sense of completion washed over me. 

Deeply moved, I walked across the arena to thank each horse individually and acknowledge the tremendous gifts I received; I moved from left to right, first Diva, then Moon, and about five feet away as I approached the right side of Cor, I suddenly felt his energy bubble and witnessed my right arm as it jerked back momentarily and I stumbled, it was as if I had run into something and tripped! 

“What was that all about?” I asked myself with surprise and wonder. 

Checking inside I noticed I felt absolutely no fear – only profound respect and awe – acknowledgment of pure Warrior energy.

As I reflect on this experience, I recognize how Cor represented my cellular shift, stepping from subservient energy into who I am now; at peace with my power. Calm, strong, confident, clear, the veil of confusion dispelled. 

When I walked away from acknowledging and thanking Cor that day, I could see brighter, clearer, I had more awareness of all my senses. I saw the auras around the tree tops; I heard insect noises, my sense of smell, sound, touch, and temperature was heightened. Rather than being run by old critical mental thought loops that kept me small and experiencing emotions that powered over me, I notice that mindfully living in my body, I am empowered to “Be” and live in alignment with my personal power - in full choice. I know myself anew. I am here now. I am home. I am back. 


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