Superstitions About Rabbits
What does a rabbit mean as a sign or omen? My wife and I were standing together as I was getting ready to leave for a very important business trip. We were waiting for a plane to pick me up to charter off for the meetings. We decided to take a walk next to the small airport. It is very remote with wheat fields and pasture all around. We noticed a jack rabbit in the distance. In a nut shell, while standing together watching the rabbit, he started towards us. He continued until he was only 4 or 5 feet in front us. He sat down and quietly observed us.
It felt as he looked each of us in the eyes… then he quietly left and ran into the pasture. One other important observation…. this jack rabbit had a split ear… His left ear for the entire length was split. Apparently from running under a barb wire fence that cut the ear as he(she) ran under it…
Both of us felt this an omen… a good omen…. What does it mean? Scott
In the Medicine Card Deck, Rabbit medicine is about fear. He is the Fear Caller. 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. By focusing on your fears so strongly you can create them. 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. Let go and allow all the positive things that life has to offer flow to you. Let go and Let God, Laura
The Rabbit means fertility and new life.. Look for new things in your life in a 28 hours, days or weeks. If you are drawn by nature a good book to pick up is Animal Speaks.. It is written by Ted Andrews and a interesting read.. Hope this helps, Barbi
Rabbit’s Foot – Lucky or Not?
What are your thoughts on rabbits? Like…. the rabbits foot or other bodily parts of rabbits. I have a reason for asking this. Lynn
Rabbit is known as “fear caller”… those of us who work closely with energy prefer not to work with such objects… and in general it is unwise to focus one’s attention – or “luck” on any kind of charm because this just represents our fear that we may be unlucky… that said, the superstitions about rabbit’s feet go back two centuries at least… when they were also thought to be healing, good for rheumatism. – some thought that rubbing a rabbit’s foot on a newborn’s face would ward off evil spirits… However, it was also said to be unlucky to kill a rabbit, so… who can say where the truth is… it’s all about what you choose to believe. Lotsa LLLove, Danielle
Rabbit superstitions go back a long way….
The first thing to note is that rabbit is primarily referred to as a hare. However, in 1920 comes a little entry that puts the semantics into perspective:
“…the following belief is common in many parts of Great Britain, with local variants: To secure good luck of some kind, usually a present, one should say ‘Rabbits’ three times just before going to sleep on the last day of the month, and then ‘Hares’ three times on waking the next morning”
From 1922 comes this exerpt from a speech “Coming on to midnight, gentlemen, he said:
‘I hope everybody here will remember to say ‘Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit’ first thing in the morning.”
Hey, I thought rabbit was for night, hare was for morning! Well, we certainly can’t leave it that simple – from 1953 comes this published bit of folklore:
“On the first day of the month when you wake up in the morning shout ‘White Rabbit’ and when you go to bed at night shout ‘Black Rabbit’ and you will have good luck.”
Aha ! – it’s the colour that counts! From 1982:
“The first words you say for a lucky month are ‘White Rabbits.’ If you can remember to say that twelve times a year, you’ll have a very lucky year..”
Notice the plural, rabbits – multiply the good luck?
Rabbits also for Bad Luck…
Wicked witches are supposed to be able to turn themselves into hares (or is that rabbits?). I guess they alternate with black cats – keep the villagers guessing. In old times, it was considered quite unclean to eat hares. From 1738:
“…’tis melancholy meat”.
From 1893 edition of Folklore comes this:
“Country people in Kerry don’t eat hares; the souls of their grandmothers are supposed to have entered into them.”
Some big ones surround the hare/rabbit as a portender of fire. 1852:
“The running of a hare along the street or mainway of a village portends fire to some house in the immediate vicinity.”
From 1972 comes this retelling:
“I’ve heard about the hare running and a fire coming afterwards. In fact, an old character out this way used to reckon that they were bad luck to have run through your garden because you’d probably have your house on fire before the end of the year.”
Yikes! So, not to be victimized by this, from 1866 comes this story:
“On Saturday last, a foolish hare ventured from broad field and open pastures, to visit the city of Ely…she was hotly pursued…and when near the Bell Inn, she was laid by the heels by a stout walking stick. The fact being generally known, great consternation prevailed; many persons being certain that Ely was too be visited by a fire.” Good grief – poor rabbit!
Hares were just not good luck. Even just “meeting” one could really mess up your day. From as far back as 1159 a version of the belief (I’m sure translated) says:
“You may ascertain the outcomes of your journeys from beasts…You are to avoid the hare; that is if it escape, for undoubtedly its fitting place is the table, not the road.” (Didn’t they hear it was bad luck to eat the things too.)
1584: “He that receiveth a mischance, wil consider whether he met not a.. hare, when he first went out of his doores in the morning.”
1614 “How superstitiously we mind our evils!…the crossing of a hare of powre to daunt whole man in us.”
1822 “Neither Clawson’s boat, nor Peter Grot’s are out to the haaf this morning, for a rabbit ran across them as they were going on board, and they came back like wise men.” (Imagine calling that one in to your boss!)
So, we only get so many years of these superstitions left unchallenged. If this was so, then by 1875 we have these remedies:
“It is still bad luck to meet a hare, yet if you are unfortunate enough to do so, you can easily set matters right by spitting over your left shoulder, and saying, ‘Hare before, Trouble behind: Change ye, Cross, and free me,’ or else by the still more simple charm which consists in touching each shoulder with your forefinger, and saying, ‘Hare, hare, God send thee care.’ I have never heard of more than these two lines being used, and indeed I do not think that the old man who told me of them knew any more.”
By 1883, things began to get a little more specific. The concept of this poor hare/rabbit being lucky, in certain conditions, of course, is introduced.
“It is lucky to meet a hare, but unlucky to see it run across the path. Should it cross the path of a wayfarer from right to left, his journey will be disastrous; if it scuds along the way before him, the issue of his affairs will be doubtful for some time; but if it crosses from left to right it is a lucky token.”
This must have been the start of the lucky rabbits foot, although for the rabbit, maybe not so lucky – I wonder if the hare who lost the foot saw a rabbit cross it’s path that day…..hmmmm. 1972:
“I was driving out with a man the other day when a hare crossed the road: ‘Had that been my old father driving he’d have turned back and gone straight home,’ said the car driver. He didn’t. But I noticed that he drove with special care the rest of the way.”
The rabbit’s foot is the only “really lucky entry” and they all say the same thing. Brush it on a new born babe to ward away evil spirits. The root of the use of the rabbit’s foot is to ward off witchcraft.And finally, the sailors have their go here too. No real surprises, not just bad luck but very bad luck should a hare , especially a dead hare show up on a ship, (bad weather). It would be very unlucky to go to sea with any part of a hare or rabbit about. 1939:
“If a fisherman from these places found a hare on his net he would burn it rather than go to sea with it.”
Young boys being what they are, used this particular belief to have a little fun. 1930:
“Stories are told all along the coast of mischievous boys getting hold of rabbit skins, filling them with rubbish and placing them in the sterns of boats, in order to stop the men from going to sea.” (A new take on “Daddy, Daddy, please don’t go…”.)
Those old Brits didn’t see much as lucky – no wonder Bugs Bunny was an American invention. Until next time…..
Our source, once again, is “A Dictionary of Superstitions” Oxford press, edited by Iona Opie and Moira Tatem
Opossum – a reminder to use your head
My friend and U have been seeing a possum in the middle of the road, not dead, for the past three days, since she had gotten her license, and we were wondering what does it mean? Amanda
In the Medicine Card book it says that opossum medicine is Diversion. You and your friend are being asked to use strategy in some present situation. Rely upon your instincts for the best way out of a tight corner. If you have to pretend to be apathetic or afraid, do it! Oftentimes of you refuse to struggle or show that hurtful words bother you, your taunter will see no further fun in the game. Opossum may be relaying to you that you are to expect the unexpected and be clever in achieving your victory. Opossum is beckoning you to use your brain, your sense of drama, and surprise – to leap over some barrier to your progress. Just be aware of your surroundings and stay on your toes. Love, Laura
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