Totem Animals

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By CinnamonMoon

*Ted Andrews/Animal-Speak:
Keynote: Fertility and New Life
Cycle of Power: Year-round

The rabbit is an animal whose essence and energy is a paradox. It is found in both myth and
folklore, and depending upon the society, it was perceived in a variety of ways. In Greek
mythology, it was associated with the goddess Hecate. In Egyptian hieroglyphics it is associated
with the concept of being. The ancient Hebrews considered it unclean because it was lascivious
(Deuteronomy xiv, 7). "Among the Alonquin Indians, the Great Hare is the animal-demiurge."
In China, it is one of the twelve astrological signs. It was considered a most fortunate sign,
giving those born under it the ability to possess the powers of the moon. Hare individuals are
considered sensitive and artistic. The hare is imbued with ambition, finesses, and virtue, along
with living on the moon. The rabbit is known for its ability to procreate, its fleetness, its ability
to make great leaps and hops. It moves primarily by hops and leaps, and individuals with this
totem find that their endeavors do so as well. All of these characteristics are significant for those
with this totem.

The rabbit is found mostly in thickets and tall grasses. It is active both day and night, but is most
visible at dawn and dusk. These are the times long associated with the Faerie Realm of life, and
because of this, the rabbit is often seen as an animal that can lead one unknowingly into the
Faerie Realm. The most common example of this is found in Lewis Carroll's store of Alice's
Adventures in Wonderland, in which Alice follows a white rabbit down a hole into a wondrous
world of adventure. Rabbits and mice are the two most common prey animals. Because of this
Nature compensates them with a tremendous fertility. Rabbits can have between 2-5 litters of
young per year, usually with 3-6 young per litter. It is because of this that the rabbit has long
been a symbol for sexuality and fertility. The mother only feeds the young in the morning and in
the evening. She spends the rest of the day away from the nest, feeding herself. This is a
protective gesture for the young, so as not to draw attention to them. Unfortunately many people
come across baby rabbits while the mother is away, and they assume they are abandoned. People
then proceed to move the young.

Within one month, 28 days, the young are able to be out on their own. They can stay in the nest,
but they can survive on their own. If a new litter arrives, the mother will kick the old litter out.
This 28-day period again reinforces the lunar connection with the rabbit. Usually if a rabbit
totem shows up, you will begin to see a cycle of 28 days beginning to manifest in your life. The
two most common rabbits are the cottontail and the jackrabbit. The ears of the cottontail are
shorter than the jackrabbit, and its coat stays the same all year round. The fur of the jackrabbit
will lighten or even turn white in the winter. Both animals can leap and hop. Those with rabbit
totems will see movement occur in their life in varying degrees of leaps and hops. It won't be a
steady step-by-step movement. The leaps and hops do not usually take more than the cycle of
one moon (28 days) to occur.

Although some associate fear with the rabbit, it has wonderful abilities for defense. Those with
this totem would do well to apply them to their own life. Rabbits often create forms to use for
hiding and resting. To create a form, the rabbit scratches a shallow bowl into the earth or grass
that is open in front and in back to enable it to escape if necessary. Rabbit people should plan for
possibilities. If a rabbit has shown up, it may indicate a need to do some more planning or check
those you have already set in motion. You do not want to box yourself into a corner. Rabbits
have a knack for avoiding being seen. They can freeze, holding perfectly still. They know that
movement can be detected from great distances by many predators. If you are involved in
competition--in work or play--it will be important not to foreshadow your moves.

Rabbits are also clever at doubling back, making quick and rapid turns. If they need to flee they
can be extremely fast. Learning to shift from freezing to great speed is something all with this
totem should learn. It will aid your success and enable you to take advantage of opportunities
that may only present themselves for brief moments. Rabbits are vegetarians. Those with this
totem may need to examine the kinds of foods being consumed. For the greatest health and
healing, a vegetarian diet, even if only temporary, will strengthen and heal. Rabbit can show you
how to recognize the signs around you. It can help you to attune to the lunar cycle and recognize
the tides of movement within your life. This in turn will enable you to become even more fertile
in your life.

*Brad Steiger/Totems:
Many of the Native American tribes revered the spirit entity of the Great Rabbit as a sacred
teacher of skills, arts, and crafts--and even as a participant with the Great Mystery in the creation
of humankind. The ancient Britons relied upon the rabbit as an instrument of divination, along
with the rooster and the goose. While many farmers raised the three animals, it was unlawful to
eat them. Their actions, feeding patterns, and sometimes their entrails, could only be used for
purposes of seership.

In both Native American and African tribal folklore, the rabbit (hare) is a quick=witted, smoothtalking
individual, who may be small in size, but who triumphs over his adversaries and
predators by his wits. Because it is obvious that some cross-cultural collaboration contributed to
the popularity of the Brer Rabbit tales in the famous Uncle Remus stories, even their official
recorder, Joel Chandler Harris, speculated that rabbit as trickster very likely originated in Africa
and was later adopted by Native American tribes.

Quite apart from tales of quick-witted rabbits, the tribal Shamans perceived the animal's wellknown
attributes of fertility and reproduction to be related to action, life, and growth. The
rabbit's large, red eyes were representative of the living fire of blood and the essence of the life
force that courses through every living creature. Its ability to change its gray coat to white in its
winter transfiguration was quite likely associated in the Shaman's mind with the change from
rain to snow, and thus the rabbit was allied with the spirits of thunder and storm. Its nimble and
quick actions, its flying leaps, connected the rabbit to the miracle of unfettered upward
movement shared with the birds. Even the name of Manabozho, the Iroquois' legendary culture
hero, is derived from the words for "great" and for "rabbit."

Those born in the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac are said to have begun their earthwalk
in the luckiest of all signs. Rabbit people are acclaimed as talented, articulate, affectionate, and
peaceful. If you have chosen the rabbit as your totem animal, you have an ally that will always
be there to assist you in speeding up processes that appear to be merely limping along. This spirit
helper may surprise you with the philosophical depth it will lend to your thought patterns. The
rabbit has been a survivor for centuries, and your totem guide's skill in helping you through the
rough spots in your earthwalk will be greatly appreciated by you. If the rabbit has only recently
come to you as a totem animal, you may have too often adopted the role of a victim in personal
and business relationships. Rabbit will guide you into a new mindset that will enable you to
regain status without resorting to low-level negativity. Rabbit is the eternal optimist, and this
spirit helper will not tolerate depression and defeatism.

*Patricia Telesco/The Language of Dreams:
The lunar, feminine aspect of self or the Universe. Fertility, abundance, and sexuality (e.g.,
"breeding like rabbits"). Metaphorically: Prolific energy, as when a writer, musician, or artist
overcomes creative blockage and creates a masterpiece. Potentially sexual obsession that needs
to be controlled or examined closely before it becomes destructive. An overly large white rabbit
in American theatre represents the fine line between "imaginary" things and reality. Rabbits foot:
The ability to move quickly and cleverly, or an omen of improved luck.

*Timothy Roderick/The Once Unknown Familiar:
Key Words: Timid, introspective
Magical Influences: Enhances rapport with the Goddess and the God, makes one appear sagelike,
meditation, knowledge.

Personality: Rabbits are timid creatures. They don't care much for parties and lots of small talk.
They live in their own little world where they feel safe and protected. They are naturally
meditative, and for this reason they can be attracted to professional psychic counseling. In this
trade, they prefer methods of divination that rely more on intuitive processes, rather than on mechanics.

*D.J. Conway/Animal Magick:
Hares and rabbits are not the same animals. Rabbits bring their babies into the world naked and
sightless, while those of the hare are better developed with a coat of fur and good vision. Hares
also run faster than rabbits. Rabbits move in short quick spurts and are very adept at dodging.
When there is danger present, the rabbit will remain motionless until the last moment before
dashing away.

The rabbit is found in Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North and South America, the cottontail is
identified by the white underside of is short tail. The hare can weigh as much as eleven pounds.
They are fast-moving and can leap in great bounds. The ears and tail are much longer than those
of the rabbit. The most common hare in the United States is the snowshoe hare, which changes
from brown in the Spring to white in the Winter. It is generally called a jack rabbit. The
domesticated rabbit was introduced into England at an early date, probably by the Romans.
Strabo wrote that ship cargoes of rabbits were brought to the Roman markets in Spain.

There is an old Teutonic legend that the hare was once a bird and was transformed into its
present form by Eostra, the goddess of Spring. In gratitude for this, the hare laid eggs during the
April festival of the Goddess. Our Easter customs are survivals of this ancient tradition. The
North Germanic goddess Holda was said to be followed by hares carrying torches. This creature
was also sacred to the British Moon goddess Andraste; its movements were used as a form of
divination. Queen Boadicea's banners were said to have the image of a hare on them. In
Scotland, the word malkin or mawkin means both cat and hare. It was also associated with other
deities around the world, such a Freyja (who was accompanied by hares), Hermes (who used a
hare as a messenger), Aphrodite, and Eros. the American folk tale of Brer Rabbit comes from the
African Trickster deity who always outwits other animals.

Some Native Americans say that the Great Hare was the original creator of the universe; they
said that the face of the Full Moon was the reflection of the rabbit in his own eye. The magickal
Great Hare of the Native Americans figures strongly in many of their legends. The Egyptians
knew of the story of the world-creative hare and used its picture to symbolize elemental existence.

The Hindus say the outline of a hare can be seen in the spots on the Moon. Sanskrit calls the
Moon cacin, which means "Marked with the hare." An old Sanskrit fable tells of a hare that lived
on the Moon and was king of all earthly hares; thus, the Moon deity Chandra is often shown
carrying a hare. Certain European cultures said the hare was the spirit of corn. The last sheaf of
corn was called "the hare"; the peasants shaped it into the rough form of a hare and used it in
rituals. To the Japanese, the hare is a very ancient symbol of long life.

The Moon Hare in China symbolizes long life and is the guardian of all wild animals. Various
colors mean different things: white, divinity; red, good fortune, peace, prosperity; black, good
fortune, a successful reign.

The saying "Mad as a March hare" refers to the ferocious fights between male hares during the
March mating season. During the Middle Ages in Europe, the hare came to be associated with
witcher and black magick; they believed only a silver bullet could kill a hare.

The left hind foot of a rabbit is thought to be a powerful charm against all evil. To work
properly, it should be carried in the left pocket. If an infant at birth has its feet brushed with a
rabbit's foot, it will not have accidents. A rabbit's foot for good luck is used by many actors to
apply make-up. If this is lost, disaster follows.

It is a general belief in England that a hare crossing your path brings bad luck, probably because
hares are said to be witches in disguise. This idea about witches and hares is known throughout
Wales, Scotland, the Isle of Man, and Ireland also. The farmers of these countries will burn the
brush each year and kill all hares that they find for this reason. This connection is carried so far
as people digging up, turning over, and burying the tracks of hares in the hopes of suffocating a
witch. A local witch is said to show the wounds of any maimed or killed hare.

If a hare gets aboard a ship in Scotland, the vessel is considered witch-ridden. No one will get on
it until a clergyman blesses the ship again. In fact, they will not even mention the word rabbit but
call it a coney instead.

The Cornish hold a belief that must strike fear into the heart of any man thinking of dumping his
sweetheart. They say that if a maiden is forsaken, and dies broken-hearted she comes back as a
white hare. This hare is invisible to all except the guilty party who is plagued by its appearance
everywhere he goes. In the northern part of England, there is a charm used to dream of a
sweetheart. Nine pins are stuck into the blade-bone of a rabbit, and the bone put under the pillow.
If a pregnant woman sees a hare, her child will be born with a harelip.

The hare never closes its eyes and changes its sex once a year.
In many parts of Britain, it is believed that saying "white rabbits" very quickly three times on the
first day of the month will give you good luck for the rest of that month.

To see or kill a black rabbit is bad luck.

Poachers once believed that carrying a rabbit's foot would keep them from being caught.
Magickal Attributes: Transformation; receiving hidden teachings and intuitive message. Quickthinking
when necessary; don't push yourself on others. A fear of disaster or illness. Sometimes
the appearance of this creature signals that you need to stop worrying about your future; just take
what steps you can to protect and provide for yourself. Strengthening intuition.

*Jamie Sams and David Carson/Medicine Cards:
Fear. A long time ago--no one really knows how long ago it was--Rabbit was a brave and
fearless warrior. Rabbit was befriended by Eye Walker, a witch. The witch and Rabbit spent
much time together sharing and talking. The two were very close.

One day Eye Walker and Rabbit were walking along and they sat down on the trail to rest.
Rabbit said, "I'm thirsty." Eye Walker picked up a leaf, blew on it, and then handed Rabbit a
gourd of water. Rabbit drank the water but didn't say anything. Then rabbit said, "I'm hungry."
Eye Walker picked up a stone and blew on it and changed it to a turnip. she gave the turnip to
Rabbit to eat. Rabbit tasted it and then ate the turnip with relish. But still Rabbit didn't say

The two continued along the trail, which led into the mountains. Near the top, Rabbit tripped and
fell and rolled almost to the bottom. Rabit was in very sad condition when Eye Walker got to
him. She used a magic salve on Rabbit to heal his great pain and mend his broken bones. Rabbit
didn't say anything.

Several days later Eye Walker went searching for her friend. She searched high and low but
Rabbit was nowhere to be found. Finally, Eye Walker gave up. She met Rabbit quite by accident one day.
"Rabbit, why are you hiding and avoiding me?" the witch asked.

"Because I am afraid of you. I am afraid of magic," answered Rabbit, cowering. "Leave me

"I see," said Eye Walker. "I have used my magical powers on your behalf and now you turn on
me and refuse my friendship."

"I want nothing more to do with you or your powers," Rabbit countered. Rabbit did not even see
the tears his words were bringing to Eye Walker's eyes. "I hope we never meet and that I never
see you again," Rabbit continued.

"Rabbit," Eye Walker said, "We were once great friends and companions, but no more. It is
within my power to destroy you, but because of the past and the medicines we have shared
together I will not do this. But from this day forward I lay a curse on you and your tribe. From
now on, you will call your fears and your fears will come to you. Be on your way, for the sweet
medicines that bound us together as friends are broken."

Now Rabbit is the Fear Caller. He goes out and shouts, "Eagle, I am so afraid of you." If Eagle
doesn't hear him, Rabbit calls louder, "Eagle, stay away from me!" Eagle, now hearing Rabbit,
comes and eats him. Rabbit calls bobcats, wolves, coyotes, and even snakes until they come.
As this story shows, Rabbit medicine people are so afraid of tragedy, illness, disaster, and "being
taken," that they call those very fears to them to teach them lessons. The keynote here is: what
you resist will persist! What you fear most is what you will become.

Here is the lesson. If you pulled Rabbit, stop talking about horrible things happening and get rid
of "what if" in your vocabulary. This card may signal a time of worry about the future or of
trying to exercise your control over that which is not yet in form--the future. Stop now! Write
your fears down and be willing to feel them. Breathe into them, and feel them running through
your body into Mother Earth as a give-away.

Contrary: The paralyzed feeling which Rabbit experiences when being stalked is Rabbit in the
contrary position. If you have tried to resolve a situation in your life and are unable to, you may
be feeling frozen in motion. This could indicate a time to wait for the forces of the universe to
start moving again. It could also indicate the need to stop and take a rest. It will always indicate a
time when you need to re-evaluate the process you are undergoing, and to rid yourself of any
negative feelings, barriers, or duress. Simply put, you cannot have your influence felt until you
rearrange your way of seeing the present set of circumstances.

There is always a way out of any situation, because the Universal Force does move on. It is the
way in which you handle problems that allows you to succeed.

Take a hint from Rabbit. Burrow into a safe space to nurture yourself and release your fears until
it is time again to move into the pasture, clear of prowlers who want a piece of your juicy energy.

*Denise Linn/The Secret Language of Signs:
The rabbit is very prolific, so it sometimes symbolizes prosperity. It is used at Easter in
conjunction with eggs as a symbol of fertility and abundance because of its ability to produce so
many young.

The rabbit is often associated with timidity and fear. Is there a person or situation that inspires
fear in you? That which you fear is often what you create in your life, so face your fears instead
of running away from them. Affirm to yourself, "I have the resources that I need within me to
confront any fear in my life."

This can also pertain to an inner gentleness and softness. Have you been projecting your energy
outward and as a result feeling tired? Perhaps it is time to burrow into your nest and feel gentle,
soft, and receptive.

The rabbit also signifies going fast with no organization--in other words, hopping from one thing
to another. Are you running around with no direction? Stop. Breathe. Relax, and tackle one thing
at a time. Define your true goals, then choose the one that is most important to you and pursue it
with laser-like focus. Affirm to yourself, "I have all the time that I need in my life to accomplish
all my goals."

*Mary Summer Rain/On Dreams:
Rabbit represents an obsessive preoccupation with mental and/or physical sexual activities. This
is a warning. Sexual obsession is spiritual suicide. This symbol may also symbolize a quiet
endurance of one's personal pain. Recall surrounding dreamscape details for clarification. Rabbit
ears relate to awareness, one's personal antenna. Rabbit's foot denotes a belief in luck rather than oneself.

*Zolar/Encyclopedia of Signs, Omens, and Superstitions:
Rabbits in general are symbolic of prosperity, success, and fertility, since they are unusually
prolific. However, seeing a white rabbit on the way to a mine omens disaster. Seamen avoid
saying the word "rabbit" before going on board or sailing. Should this animal have to be referred
to, it is strongly advised that they use another word. Repeating the words white rabbit, three
times very fast on the first day of the month is said to ensure prosperity, according to one
tradition. You can see the object of your affections in a dream by taking the blade bone of a
rabbit, sticking 9 pins into it, and putting it under your pillow, says a Yorkshire tradition. Also,
baby rabbits, since they are born with their eyes open, have the ability to keep the Devil away.

In American folklore, carrying a rabbits foot to bring luck is a traditionally accepted belief. To be
effective, however, the food should be taken from the left foot of an animal that has been killed
by a cross-eyed person during a full moon. Women desiring a large family are often advised to
carry a rabbit's foot, and suspending a rabbit's foot over a cradle or placing it on a newborn's skin
is said to protect the child from evil.

A custom among English actors was to present a new actor or actress with a rabbit's foot to be
placed in his or her first makeup box. Using this to apply stage makeup was believed to ensure
one's success. Should it be lost, however, ill luck was said to follow. Some country folk also use
wet rabbit skins to reduce sprains and swelling. For those who may be confused as to the
difference between hares and rabbits, the former are said to have longer ears, large hind feet and
long legs suitable for jumping. While traditions in regard to hares and rabbits vary
geographically, they are essentially one and the same.

*Lady Stearn Robinson & Tom Gorbett/The Dreamer's Dictionary:
Many rabbits in your dream signify increase in responsibilities which will be pleasant rather than
onerous; rabbit fur or anything made of it is a sign that you will eventually be able to afford

If your dream involved killing a hare, it predicts some temporary upsets; if you saw one running,
it indicates a change of position and/or residence; eating it signifies prosperity, and cooking it
forecasts pleasant family events.

In Summary: Rabbit represents transformation, intuition, and fertility; fears, gentleness, and
timidity; and Grandmother Moon.

Being a timid creature and vegetarian there is a gentleness associated with Rabbit. It is a prolific
breeder with maturity coming in a lunar phase. What it seeks will manifest in that span of time.
Rabbit teaches that you must not fear or worry about everything and by following your intuitive
nature you can protect yourself from danger. The desire to avoid others speaks of a loner and the
hermit who holds wisdom in a world apart from others. She will teach you how to be
comfortable in solitude and enter into the stillness of sacred space. Through this skill others will
seek counsel and come to you for answers to their own problems. Your ability to find these
answers will come in the teachings of digging deep for them and connecting to the wisdom of
Mother Earth and Grandmother Moon.

Rabbit will help you to expedite your explorations, to make great leaps and bounds upon your
spiritual path, and understand the depths of your own inner spirit. It will soothe your worries and
fears eliminating the pitfalls of victimization and depression. This creature-teacher will show you
ways of lifting your spirit and help you to see the creative exploration and progression along
your pathway. She speaks of sensitivity and creativity, of dwelling along the borders of the land
as well as the day and night. She will teach you to cross back and forth along them and enter into
dimensions that will further your knowledge.

Spontaneity is one of the keys Rabbit holds that demonstrates the brevity of escaping tight
situations or grabbing a brief opportunity that arises and making the most of it. She will
encourage you to take action or you will find yourself frozen with fear and unable to move. At
such times, when your fears have taken hold, Rabbit will urge you to watch and wait for that
opportunity that will set you free--and to seize it. She teaches you how to understand the flow of
cosmic energies and utilize them. Rabbit demonstrates that if you recognize the patterns of
motion and move with them there is a natural path being formed ahead. She will teach you when
to take cover and when to surface.

The Druid Animal Oracle by Phillip and Stephanie Carr-Gomm
Hare: Rebirth, Intuition, Balance

Hare brings us the benefits of balance and intuition, of promise and fulfillment. The hare is a
creature of the Goddess, the moon and the night, and yet it also represents the dawn, brightness
and the east. It is the most adept of animals at shape-shifting: we can never be sure exactly where
the hare is--in this or the Otherworld. It represents intuition, which makes things appear suddenly
in our consciousness, like the lapwing eggs of Eostre, that magically appear in the hare's form
(nest). As representative of the Corn Spirit and the two equinoxes, the hare brings the excitement
of rebirth, fertile abundance and willing release as each creative cycle comes to an end. With the
hare as your ally you will be well able to negotiate times of change, and you will be able to draw
on your intuition to guide you through life.

Contrary it may be suggesting that there is an imbalance in your life. It is possible that you are
allowing yourself to be overly concerned with the Otherworld: regarding every unusual sign as a
portent, or paying too much attention to "channeled" messages. To achieve balance, we need to
concern ourselves with the outer realm just as much as the inner: of channeled messages
someone once remarked, "Just because they're dead doesn't mean they're smart." Wisdom and
guidance come from many sources, and you may need to apply common sense to a greater
degree than you have in the past.

Libraries are on this row
INDEX Page 1
(Divination & Dreams, Guides & Spirit Helpers)
INDEX Page 2
INDEX Page 3
(Main Section, Medicine Wheel, Native Languages & Nations, Symbology)
INDEX Page 4
(Myth & Lore)
INDEX Page 5
(Sacred Feminine & Masculine, Stones & Minerals)
INDEX Page 6
(Spiritual Development)
INDEX Page 7
(Totem Animals)
INDEX Page 8
(Tools & Crafts. Copyrights)

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