America and The Horse Ritual

The mandate of heaven is withdrawn


The horse hiding behind a bush (top left) started it. From an alternate ending to the Ramayana.

You can read all my stuff for free on my website,

In the old Hindu stories I grew up with, the Ashvamedha is a classic tale. The wandering horse ritual. In this ritual, the king lets a horse wander around for a year, accompanied by some warriors. Wherever the horse can go unmolested, that was the kingdom. Wherever the horse was challenged, the warriors duked it out. At the end of the year, if the horse made it, it was guided home to be sacrificed. This sealed the deal with the gods.

Honestly it’s not much different from the travails of an old lion, pissing on bushes until he pisses some young lion off. Then it’s on. Well, look at the world right now. It’s on like Donkey Kong.

American Ashvamedha

In the history I’m growing old in, America’s version of Ashvamedha is going terribly. For decades, America’s mechanical horses wandered around — chewing babies and drinking oil — and that was American Empire’s bounds. Now, however, America’s ‘sea’ horses are drowning in the Red Sea, its workhorses are being attacked in Syria/Iraq, and its warhorses are burning in Ukraine. They lose the Pacific by default. It’s inauspicious by any measure. As the Chinese would say, the Mandate of Heaven has been withdrawn.

For many years America could stomp around the world, killing people, besieging others, taking resources, and generally take the piss. Now, however, they’re losing people, besieging their allies, losing control of resources, and taking serious hits. The gods are angry and, in secular terms, America is in some shit.

Sea Horses

Take, for example Yemen. Yemen blockaded the Red Sea, as is their duty under the Genocide Convention, to try and stop the genocide of Gaza. America asserts a sovereign right to both do genocide and suffer no consequences, so they deployed warships to the Bar-el-Mandeb strait. Yemen, however, slapped those warships on the ass and turned them around, neighing. Yemen even killed two vaunted warriors (Navy SEALs), though America says they just fell off ladders. Either way, it’s not a good look. Highly inauspicious.



Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at, or just email me at