The white horse and fortune-telling

In Slavic mythology, fortune-telling occupies an important place. Radigast, Triglav and Sventovit were famous for their oracles. The Baltic slaves did not take any important decision without seeking the protection of their numen beforehand. The main medium for this was the sacred horse. That of Sventovit had a white colour and was not to be touched by anyone except the priest. The Rugans proceeded as follows when consulting Sventovit’s judgement. The priests drew up three rows of lances, pointing downwards. After a solemn prayer, the priest took the horse by the rein and led it over the lances. If it was crossed by the animal with its right paw, it was believed to see a favourable omen in this and the intended plans were carried out, otherwise any action was refrained from.

(Vyncke, 1969)

Sventovit with a horn in his hands and the white horse on his side, Zbruch idol. Collection of the Krakow Archaeological Museum in Poland.