Merry we meet - Merry we meet - Merry we meet
Animals and Witchcraft
(The Witches Familiar)
Rabbits & Hares
By Patricia J. Martin
to hop into Spring! And who better to do it with than those adorable long-eared
and short fluffy-tailed creatures, the Rabbit and his cousin, the Hare
- both of whom are well associated with fertility, Spring, creativity and new
Rabbit and Hare have also long been associated with the Goddess and
were the totem of several - the hare to Artemis and Hecate,
the sacred rabbit to Aphrodite, to Holda who was accompanied by several
torch-bearing hares, to Cerridwen and Freyja who both had hare
attendants, and, of course, to Eostre who was said to have taken the
shape of a hare at each full moon and whose Anglo-Saxon counterpart,
Ostara, was often depicted with a white hare by her side. There are many
more goddesses associated with or attended to by both rabbits and hares and, in
such, these gentle creatures can assist us in becoming more
attuned to the lunar cycle. All rabbits in general are associated with the
Moon, magick, luck, love, creativity, success, sensitivity, agility, spontaneity,
abundance, rebirth and, of course, fertility.
is something to be said about the "March Hare" who is typically seen
this month darting around at all hours of the day and night when
normally they are nocturnal creatures, and there stands reason behind the
old saying "mad as a March Hare," for March is the beginning of
their mating season. The males will be seen acting strangely and appear
quite "mad" in their antics, especially if rebuffed by the female.
are also out and about at this time of year, and are there to teach us that
fertility has returned to the land and to us too, in all respects. Ostara
is the time to rejoice in the return of the Goddess in her maiden form, and in
the growth and early maturity of the God who is youthful and now
coming into his own. It is a time to awaken and continue welcoming
the return of the Sun, as we cast off the cloak of winter and are now ready
to begin to put into play all that we have thought about and mulled over during
our own internal musings during the slow, cold months we've been delivered from.
And it is a time to give thanks for the resurrection of life, once dormant, but
now once again alive and fertile. The Rabbit and Hare are most happy to attend
to the season and to welcome it in. And with this Totem, our own
lives and endeavors are assured to grow in leaps and bounds.
There are striking differences between rabbits and hares. Newborn rabbits are called kittens, while newborn hares are called leverets. And while baby rabbits are born naked, helpless and blind, baby hares are fully furred at birth and are able to move independently and able to immediately see. Hares can actually live on their own very soon after birth. As each matures, the common Cottontail Rabbit will be smaller than the Hare (who has much larger ears, back legs and overall mass), and will have a year-round lighter brown color fur, whereas hares usually have splotches of black in their coat, and the overall color will change from grayish-brown in summer to white in winter. But even with their slight differences, both will
Since rabbits are often prey for many larger animals, they are usually on guard and can be quite timid or leery of the slightest movement in their surroundings. Their ears are large and will stand straight up when they detect danger. They keep their eyes trained on both land and sky. Luckily, rabbits are also quick thinkers and quick movers. In a protective move, they are known to double back to elude a predator. Those with Rabbit Totem will find themselves more quickly capable of seeing all sides of an issue, having an increase in clairvoyance and especially clairaudience, and becoming much more acutely aware of their surroundings - all making for clearer visions and rapid, auspicious decisions. This Totem teaches us how to never again box ourselves into any corner, and thus frees us from limitation.
teaching of freedom, Rabbit will also teach us the value of
knowing when to speed up, when to slow down, and when to double back to
revisit something we may have missed or need to set right. This includes
all species of Rabbit, including the Cottontail, Snowshoe Rabbit, Hare,
Jackrabbit, and even all varieties of domestic rabbits. In watching
this animal, we see that it is not uncommon for it to stand stone-still while,
ever on the alert, it assesses its situation. Alternately, we can also
see that it knows when to dart away from danger or to run like the wind
whenever it needs to. For this, rabbits are often associated with
fear. Even in the story we see the White Rabbit (white symbolic of the purest
essence of one's Self) showing his fear of being late and yet leading
Alice into a fantastic world of adventure. Fear has its place in
situations of survival, as it attempts to show us how to be careful
and mindful as we go after our new goals. But by having this Totem,
we will also be reminded to not let fear hinder nor keep us from
moving forward toward where we want or need to be. They also teach
us that how we think, will often manifest. So we must dispel old
fears that are not serving any purpose other than to thwart our movements.
But with increased intuition coming into play with this Totem, we are
assured of success and for good fortune to follow if we stay mindful
and alert during all our new adventures. Like Rabbit, we must rely
on finely-tuned senses, agility and wit.
quick-witted animal, who expects us to view and confront our own
fears, is known as a "trickster" in more than one ancient
tradition. Certain Native American tribes credit the creation of the
earth to the "Great Hare" and view him as a hero, while others
see him as more the trickster clown. Either way, Hare
or Rabbit's style of trickery, while gently teaching a lesson, is
always soft and simply wise. In Chinese myth, it is said that the
Buddha called forth all animals to his side before he was to leave
this world, but only 12 came - the rabbit being the fourth to come bid him
farewell. Buddha rewarded the 12 animals by naming a year after
each, and the Rabbit came to rule every fourth year of every twelve in the
Chinese Zodiac. In Indian legend, it was said that Buddha was a hare
in one of his earlier incarnations. Within the Christian adaptation we
have the Easter Bunny. In Greco-Roman myth, the hare is symbolic of
romantic love, abundance, sexuality and tremendous fertility. In fact,
Pliny the Elder wrote that eating hare meat would increase sexual attraction for nine
days, and that it could be a cure for sterility. And in Egyptian
lore, the rabbit is connected to the very essence of being. These
mystical creatures, known throughout the world in legend, lore and
literature, are gentle leaders, pushing us toward fertile grounds,
physically, mentally and spiritually.
are vegetarians, eating soft bark, leaves, herbs and fruit. As a
Totem, they will encourage us to start eating more lightly too.
Fresh salads with baby greens, new early Spring vegetables, and a lighter menu
in general will be most beneficial as we head into the more active time of
year. Gone are the heavier and more substantial Winter meals. Rabbit
shows it is time to be light on our feet, more active and more playful.
and Hares have long been associated with magick and the ability to walk
between the worlds and commune with the faeries. This is because both are
most often seen at those magickal 'tween times of dusk and dawn when it is
safer for them to be out and about. During the day they stick close to
home, which is usually a hidden burrow or, as with the North American
Cottontail, in thickets or dense brush. Their ability to dart quickly amidst
the shadows as they walk between the earthly realm and the spirit realm,
often disappearing and reappearing in the blink of an eye, makes them privy
to hidden knowledge and wisdom. It is no wonder rabbits and
hares have often been witches' familiars. And it is no wonder that
throughout the centuries it has been thought of as lucky to carry a
rabbit's foot in one's pocket, for they are a quite magickal Totem.
in the stars we can see the mysticism of Rabbit. Across the night sky, the
constellation Lepus is the Hare that forever eludes Orion's hunting dogs.
the black furror of a field
century children's poem by Walter de la Mare)
by Ted Andrews
and Hare, themselves
Patricia J. Martin, February
lives on the East Coast of America and is a Shamanic Witch.
Best wishes and Blessed Be
Site Contents - Links to all Pages
A Universal Message:
Let there be peace in the world - Where have all the flowers gone?
Wicca & Witchcraft
The Wiccan Rede / Charge of the Goddess / Charge of the God / The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) / The Witches Chant / The Witches Creed / Descent of the Goddess / Drawing Down the Moon / The Great Rite Invocation / Invocation of the Horned God / The 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief / The Witches Rede of Chivalry / A Pledge to Pagan Spirituality
Traditions Part 1 - Alexandrian Wicca / Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) / Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) / Blue Star Wicca / British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) / Celtic Wicca / Ceremonial Magic / Chaos Magic / Church and School of Wicca / Circle Sanctuary / Covenant of the Goddess (COG) / Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) / Cyber Wicca / Dianic Wicca / Eclectic Wicca / Feri Wicca /
Traditions Part 2 - Gardnerian Wicca / Georgian Tradition / Henge of Keltria / Hereditary Witchcraft / Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) / Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) / Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition / Nordic Paganism / Pagan Federation / Pectic-Wita / Seax-Wica / Shamanism / Solitary / Strega / Sylvan Tradition / Vodoun or Voodoo / Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /
Other things of interest:
Gods and Goddesses (Greek Mythology) / Esbats & Full Moons / Links to Personal Friends & Resources / Wicca/Witchcraft Resources / What's a spell? / Circle Casting and Sacred Space / Pentagram - Pentacle / Marks of a Witch / The Witches Power / The Witches Hat / An esoteric guide to visiting London / Satanism / Pow-wow / The Unitarian Universalist Association / Numerology: Part 1 / Part 2 / Part 3 / A history of the Malleus Maleficarum: includes: Pope Innocent VIII / The papal Bull / The Malleus Maleficarum / An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum / The letter of approbation / Johann Nider’s Formicarius / Jacob Sprenger / Heinrich Kramer / Stefano Infessura / Montague Summers / The Waldenses / The Albigenses / The Hussites / The Native American Sun Dance / Shielding (Occult and Psychic Protection) /
Sabbats and Festivals:
The Sabbats in History and Mythology / Samhain (October 31st) / Yule (December 21st) / Imbolc (February 2nd) / Ostara (March 21st) / Beltane (April 30th) / Litha (June 21st) / Lammas/Lughnasadh (August 1st) / Mabon (September 21st)
Rituals contributed by Crone:
Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) / Antelope / Bats / Crow / Fox / Frog and Toads / Goat / Honeybee / Kangaroo / Lion / Owl / Phoenix / Rabbits and Hares / Raven / Robin Redbreast / Sheep / Spider / Squirrel / Swans / Wild Boar / Wolf / Serpent / Pig / Stag / Horse / Mouse / Cat
In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar. For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following: Birch / Rowan / Ash / Alder / Willow / Hawthorn / Oak / Holly / Hazel / Vine / Ivy / Reed / Elder
Rocks and Stones:
Stones - History, Myths and Lore
Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:
Apophyllite / Amber / Amethyst / Aquamarine / Aragonite / Aventurine / Black Tourmaline / Bloodstone / Calcite / Carnelian / Celestite / Citrine / Chrysanthemum Stone / Diamond / Emerald / Fluorite / Garnet / Hematite / Herkimer Diamond / Labradorite / Lapis Lazuli / Malachite / Moonstone / Obsidian / Opal / Pyrite / Quartz (Rock Crystal) / Rose Quartz / Ruby / Selenite / Seraphinite / Silver and Gold / Smoky Quartz / Sodalite / Sunstone / Thunderegg / Tree Agate / Zebra Marble
Wisdom and Inspiration:
Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:
Murdered by Witchcraft / The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / A Battleship, U-boat, and a Witch / The Troll-Tear (A story for Children) / Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife / The Story of Jack-O-Lantern / The Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost / Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) / The Two Brothers - Light and Dark
Old Masters of Academia:
(Ancient, Past and Present)
(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)
Abramelin the Mage / Agrippa / Aidan A Kelly / Albertus Magnus - “Albert the Great” / Aleister Crowley - “The Great Beast” / Alex Sanders - “King of the Witches” / Alison Harlow / Amber K / Anna Franklin / Anodea Judith / Anton Szandor LaVey / Arnold Crowther / Arthur Edward Waite / Austin Osman Spare / Biddy Early / Bridget Cleary - The Fairy Witch of Clonmel / Carl " Llewellyn" Weschcke / Cecil Hugh Williamson / Charles Godfrey Leland / Charles Walton / Christina Oakley Harrington / Damh the Bard - "Dave Smith" / Dion Fortune / Dolores Aschroft-Nowicki / Doreen Valiente / Dorothy Morrison / Dr. John Dee & Edward Kelly / Dr. Leo Louis Martello / Edward Fitch / Eleanor Ray Bone - “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” / Eliphas Levi / Ernest Thompson Seton / Ernest Westlake / Fiona Horne / Friedrich von Spee / Francis Barrett / Gavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca / Gerald B. Gardner - The father of contemporary Witchcraft / Gwydion Pendderwen / Hans Holzer / Helen Duncan / Herman Slater - Horrible Herman / Isaac Bonewits / Israel Regardie / James "Cunning" Murrell - The Master of Witches / Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone / Jessie Wicker Bell - “Lady Sheba” / Johannes Junius - "The Burgomaster of Bamberg" / John Belham-Payne / John George Hohman - "Pow-wow" / John Gerard / John Gordon Hargrave and the Kibbo Kith Kindred / John Michael Greer / John Score / Joseph John Campbell / Karl von Eckartshausen / Laurie Cabot - "the Official Witch of Salem" / Lewis Spence / Margaret Alice Murray / Margot Adler / Marie Laveau - " the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" / Marion Weinstein / Matthew Hopkins - “The Witch-Finder General” / Max Ehrmann and the "Desiderata" / Monique Wilson / Montague Summers / Nicholas Culpeper / Nicholas Remy / M. R. Sellars / Mrs. Maud Grieve - "A Modern Herbal" / Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning Glory / Old Dorothy Clutterbuck / Old George Pickingill / Paddy Slade / Pamela Colman-Smith / Paracelsus / Patricia Crowther / Patricia Monaghan / Patricia “Trish” Telesco / Philip Heselton / Raymond Buckland / Reginald Scot / Robert Cochrane / Robert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and the "The White Goddess" / Rosaleen Norton - “The Witch of Kings Cross” / Ross Nichols and the " Order of Bards, Ovates & Druids" (OBOD) / Rudolf Steiner / Sabrina Underwood - "The Ink Witch" / Scott Cunningham / Selena Fox - founder of "Circle Sanctuary" / Silver Ravenwolf / Sir Francis Dashwood / Sir James George Frazer and the " The Golden Bough" / S.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” / Starhawk / Stewart Farrar / Sybil Leek / Ted Andrews / The Mather Family - (includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather and Cotton Mather ) / Thomas Ady / T. Thorn Coyle / Vera Chapman / Victor & Cora Anderson and the " Feri Tradition" / Vivianne Crowley / Walter Brown Gibson / William Butler Yeats / Zsuzsanna Budapest /
Many of the above biographies are briefs and far from complete. If you know about any of these individuals and can help with additional information, please contact me privately at my email address below. Many thanks for reading :-)
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