bunny rabbits (+ hares)
ideas / common symbolism
Life, healing, clear-sightedness, gentleness / Luck; trust; love;
friendship; fear; evasion / Rabbit symbolism concerns the Moon (Intuition).
The rabbit represents humility, because he is quiet and soft and
not self-asserting. -- Black Elk
tradition says that people born under the sign of the Rabbit possess
intelligence, wisdom, and understanding. After turbulent Tiger years,
Rabbit years are times of diplomacy and gentle persuasion. Emphasis
is placed on human rights and helping the underprivileged. Activities
dealing with healing and medicine will flourish. An excellent judge
of character, they are difficult to deceive. 1
Older than Christianity,
the symbolism of the hare is thus a celebration of life's continuation
with rebirth, as in each spring, and the rabbit expresses hope
that life will be renewed, and better than before.
rabbit, signifying the moon who dies every morning and is resurrected
every evening, also represents the rebirth of nature in spring.
Both the moon and the rabbit were believed to die in order to
be reborn. Therefore the hare is a symbol of immortality. In Egypt,
Osiris, god of the dead, was sacrificed to the Nile each year
in the form of a hare to guarantee the annual flooding Egyptian
agriculture depended upon. Although the hare is not a symbol for
Christ some analogy might be made to Christ who was sacrificed
in the form of a man for the feeding of God's people.
To Buddhists the
hare is a symbol of self-sacrifice. Legend says this creature
threw itself into a fire in order to feed Buddha when he was starving.
As a reward, it was given a new home in the moon.
Because of its fertility
(one doe can produce 42 young a year), the rabbit or hare is an
emblem of fertility, abundance, good fortune, sexuality, lasciviousness,
lust, procreation, puberty, renewal, spring, rampant growth, excess,
and love gods and goddesses such as Venus, Aphrodite, and Cupid.
Pliny the Elder even prescribed its meat as a cure for female
sterility. The white hare sometimes found at Mary's feet represents
her triumph over lust or the flesh. Because it signifies abundance,
the rabbit is sometimes used in western countries as a harvest
or fall symbol. It also stands for madness and the month of March.
The rabbit's alertness
and speed made it a Christian symbol of vigilance and the need
to flee from sin and temptation. Like the lion, the hare was believed
to be so vigilant that it slept with its eyes open. Its flesh
was contaminated with wakefulness and could cause insomnia in
its eater. Its speed was a reminder of the swift passage of life.
burrow is a symbol of Christ's tomb.....The rabbit's trembling
makes it a symbol of cowardice and timidity. However, Judeo-Christian
writings recommend a holy trembling before the Lord. [1 Chr 16:30;
Ps 96:9, 99:1, 114:7; Is 19:1, 66:2; Jer 5:22, 33:9] The writer
of Philippians warns the Christian to "work out your own salvation
with fear and trembling." [Phil 2:12] In Medieval times, cowardice
was personified with drawings of an armed man running from a hare.
On the other hand, in Africa and the Americas, the hare was believed
to be a trickster using its superior intellect as its defense.
Some tribes considered him a hero and even the earth's creator.
Aztecs believed 400 rabbits guarded their fields. 2
- If we consider
the phases of the moon in its waxing (masculine) and waning (feminine),
and accept the notion that the moon at full intensity is the Destroyer
of Darkness or, as Hillard says, "sign of new life and the messenger
of immortality," we can appreciate the honored position to which
the rabbit has ascended..... A number of explanations account
for this hare/moon symbiosis. One is that the hare is nocturnal
and feeds by night; another is that the hare's gestation period
is one month long. And, it was believed that a rabbit could change
its sex—like the moon. 3
in Wonderland - rabbits & more
are many similarities between the two narratives. Donnie falls asleep,
and hears, then sees Frank, a 6-foot tall rabbit-costume wearing
being. Alice's summer slumber brings a vision of a talking rabbit
wearing human adornments. Frank tells Donnie to follow him, &
leads Donnie to a golf course. Alice chases her rabbit, following
him right down the rabbit hole. Character introduction and water/metal
symbolism aside, the golf course/rabbit hole relation seems obvious.
Like Alice's rabbit, Frank acts as Donnie's guide in the mad world
of the "underground". (This aspect is suggested by Donnie's
poem.) Alice's rabbit is a servant of the Queen / Frank is a being
manipulated by the master force. Alice and Donnie are similar in
their confusion and curiousity, both are desperate to figure out
what is happening to themselves. Also... eat me/drink me similar
to Donnie's pills, both characters are changing lifeforces -- Alice
grows tall / shrinks, Donnie grows stronger & superhuman-like
when he's sleepwalking. These physical changes give solution to
the current dilemma the character is facing, but also cause feelings
of isolation and fear. And... The mirror imagery of Donnie's bathroom
communion place with Frank is similar to Through the Looking
general ideas: nourishment, rebirth,
and fertility (water) / hopelessness and despair
(water) Fr. Alexander Schmemann writes: "Water is undoubtedly one
of the most ancient and universal of all religious symbols. From
the Christian point of view three essential dimensions of this symbolism
are important. The first one can be termed cosmical. There can be
no life without water, and because of this the "primitive" man identifies
water with the principle of life, sees in it the prima essentia
of the world: '...and the Spirit of God was moving on the face of
the waters'(Gen. 1:2). But if water reflects and symbolizes the
world as cosmos and life, it is also the symbol of destruction
and death. It is the mysterious depth which kills and annihilates,
the dark habitation of the demonic powers, the very image of the
irrational, uncontrollable, elemental in the world. The principle
of life, a life-giving power, and the principle of death, the power
of destruction: such is the essentially ambiguous intuition of water
in man's religious worldview. And finally, water is the principle
of purification, of cleanliness, and therefore of regeneration
and renewal. It washes away stains, it re-creates the pristine
purity of the earth. It is this fundamental religious symbolism
of water - symbolism rooted in the self-evident and natural attributes
of water - that permeates the Bible and the whole biblical story
of creation, fall and salvation.(Of Water and the Spirit p. 39)
Thus our Lord allows Himself to be cleansed in order to restore
this fundamental element of the world, and to purge it of the demonic.
(metal) that which can be manipulated and used with infinite precision
and acuteness.... conductive/magnetic (the airplane/engine, Donnie's
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