Rabbits are a pretty easy symbol to define, if you’re looking on the surface. They’re prolific, fertile, fast. They move from a state of quiet freeze to mach 5 in the blink of an eye. When rabbit appears in your life, there is a need for quick thinking, agility, moving in leaps and hops rather than in a straight line.
The number 28 becomes significant when working with the symbolism of rabbit. Moon magic is a mark of this sign. A concentration on cycles, the timing of 28, waxing and waning energy are relevant at this time.
Rabbits are victim to many a predator, hence their ability to procreate quickly and with multiplicity. Rabbits symbolize fear, a trait adapted out of pure survival, and the energy of rabbit indicates the need to plan, stand still, evaluate the surrounding elements that may pose a threat. A hallmark of rabbit’s defense is the ability to stand perfectly still and blend into the background when a threat becomes apparent.
Rabbits rely on these natural instincts to survive, to thrive, to create, and break records in speed.
When I was little, we lived in Idaho for awhile. The longest we lived anywhere up till that point–three years, four houses. At the yellow house, there was a big garden out back, mountains in the distance, not a single fenceline anywhere in sight. We had neighbors, just no fences. I had a rabbit out back, happily housed in a hutch. She was safe and protected there on the side of the house in a white painted hutch that my dad built. I wrote her name in brand new letters, purple, in six year old script. My E’s were always capitalized and backwards, the letters spacious and curved. Lines were more of a landing guide than a supposed-to-be.
She was pretty fat. I fed her a lot. A rabbit doesn’t lose its sense of instinct, even when safely placed behind chicken wire and stainless steel hooks. I would feed her, she would eat. Thus was the nature of our game.
One weekend, we went up to Montana for Thanksgiving to see my grandparents. It was a three hour drive, a route we would regularly take. I fed the white rabbit, tended to her before we left. Double checked, fluffed her hay, patted her wriggly head with the bright clear eyes.
While we were gone, someone took her. They ate her. I know it sounds horrible, but I find this story always makes me crack a smile. Such is the nature of kids raised without fences, I guess–there’s always an inherent understanding that there is no permanence in life. Rabbits get eaten. Usually not pets, but rabbits are eaten nonetheless.
I could mention that rabbits are also a symbol of the quiet endurance of personal pain, but life to me is a lesson in suffering. You take it, you transform it, you release, and move on.
Rabbit’s function is to run fast, survive, think quick on her feet. In Chinese Astrology, rabbit is a knowing sign, graced by the intuitive prowess of the moon’s light. She thrives well in both night and day, but is most active at sunrise and sunset. An adept shapeshifter, she navigates change and adapts at the blink of an eye. Leads the willing into the portal of the faerie realm, where nothing is as it seems and time moves in jumps, bounds, and leaps.
In a cage, her skills render useless. She simply awaits death.
A lesson I will never forget.