I spent last weekend on an animal communication course with Madeleine Walker, an animal communicator and spiritual empowerment coach. Madeleine believes in increasing awareness of the deep connections we have with the animals that surround us and I was interested to find out more about this. It was during a session outdoors, as we remembered and celebrated the life of one of the other participant’s horses, that a hare ran across the field in which we were standing. It was a beautiful moment for all of us.
The hare has long symbolised the beginning of spring, with the Shamanic Festival of the Hare and the Wicca Ostara Sabbat both taking place on the spring equinox. The equinox is said to represent the day when both masculine and feminine energies are balanced and heralds in a time of fertility, both in reproduction and regeneration. The hare, being a creature of sunrise and sunset, is believed by many to have links with the realms of the faeries and spirits or what Celtic mythology refers to as the “otherworld”. The Celts believed it unlawful to eat hare, such was its importance but, on the other hand, medieval hunters saw it as a particular challenge to catch a hare for food.
Going back even further in history, the Algonquin tribes in Canada believed that the hare was a demiurge, that is, a creature responsible for the creation of the universe. Similarly, the Egyptians saw it as representing creation, procreation and immortality. The reproduction and procreation symbolism may be because the hare has a breeding season from January to August and each female can produce four litters in that time!
Whether you believe as the Chinese do that the hare brings luck or, like the Goths, that it is an earthly representation of diligence, there can be no question that it is indeed a beautiful creature and is truly a symbol that spring has finally sprung.