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The Symbolic Meaning of a Rabbit

By Saoirse
September 08, 2021
The Symbolic Meaning of a Rabbit
TL;DR Another powerful creature, the gentle rabbit hops in and out of our vision, seemingly to bring messages. The meaning of rabbits whether it’s a spirit animal rabbit, a running rabbit icon seen on some brand label, or even a rabbit that hops away that you didn’t know was there before it moved can simply be that the rabbit exists, but oftentimes, it’s more than that. What does seeing a rabbit mean in the many forms it takes? What are rabbit symbol meanings, and what messages does the rabbit bring to us?

Rabbits Definition


What is a rabbit? Simply stated, they are small mammals that are not actually rodents, although they used to be considered such. No, they are in the grouping of Leporidae creatures along with hares. Not only do rabbits live in the wild, but they are also an important food source for many people and animals. Believe it or not, they are so popular as pets, over three hundred kinds of them have been developed for domestication! Rabbits eat plants only, and that’s why seeing a rabbit munching on grass is a common sight!

Rabbits are known for “breeding” like crazy simply because they do! A rabbit female can have up to sixty baby rabbits, or kits in one year, and can become pregnant the very next day after giving birth!

They are known for keen eyesight due to how well they are able to escape from predators, but how does a rabbit see so well? Their eyes are situated in strategic spots on the side of the head, and high up, allowing them 360-degree eyesight, but due to this, they have difficulty seeing what’s right in front of them! They don’t see the range of color humans do, but they don’t need to because they are foraging for green things to eat, and they can see that just fine.

They are typically more active at dusk and dawn when for food, although some kinds of rabbits are more active in the darkness. They typically hunker down in the daytime, and night to avoid predators like owls, and adjust their foraging schedules to the seasonal availability. A pet rabbit can live for about seven to twelve years, but in the wild, they live for only a year or two due to predators, disease, and weather conditions.

Rabbit Mythology Symbolism


Rabbit meaning and lore varies by culture, and as they have been introduced to every continent but Antartica, many people have something to say about what rabbits symbolize and what spirits and gods/esses they are associated with.

The Aztecs Party Animals


Rabbits meaning to the Aztecs was a bit of fun. They were known as Centzen Totochtin, or “four hundred rabbits” and were a group of immortal bunnies who gathered for drinking and partying. One, the father of some of the others, was Patecatl, the god of fertility, healing and the delicious pulque, an alcoholic “adult beverage” made from agave. At one time only upper classes of people could drink it, but that rule got relaxed one day, and the drink’s popularity went off the charts. It fell out of favor, as more people prefer beer these days, but if you’d like some and can’t find any, you can always brew your own! This might not be exactly what the four hundred rabbits partied with, but you can always have fun making it.Pulque Recipe (dayofthedead.holiday)

What does the rabbit symbolize here? Fun, fertility, and enjoying the bounty of the earth.

The Chinese Goddesses Rabbit


Chang’e is a beautiful Chinese goddess who loved Hou Yi. He was called away to save creation from ten suns that were scorching everything. He did many brave deeds, defeating monsters and balancing the sun’s power, and was granted a potion for immortality as reward. Through cruel fate, he and Chang’e were separated, and she had to drink the potion alone to escape from an evil. She fled to the moon where she lives with her Jade Rabbit companion, and can only see Hou Yi from afar.

The Jade rabbit didn’t go to the moon with Chang’e, though. The blessed Jade Emperor disguised himself as a beggar and asked for food from the rabbit, an otter, a jackal, and a monkey. The jackal gathered milk curds and a lizard, the otter gave fish, the monkey got some fruit out of trees, but the rabbit could only bring grass, which he knew the man could not eat. Feeling sympathy for what he thought was a starving man, the rabbit gave his own body to the man. He thought it was his last day alive, but the jade Emperor revealed his true form and instead of eating him, he rewarded the rabbit with a new home on the moon and everlasting life!

What does seeing a rabbit mean in this context? It symbolizes the rabbit’s selflessness and kindness as well as devotion and companionship.

The Cherokee Great Rabbit


There is a story told by the Cherokee about the Great Rabbit and how he got such soft, beautiful fur. All the animals decided to have a gathering to see whose fur was the nicest. Rabbit believed the otter had the nicest fur, and decided to steal that fur for himself. He went to Otter’s home, offering to travel to the gathering with him, as Otter was from far away and didn’t know the path so well. Otter accepted, and they began the trip, stopping to rest for the night. Rabbit lied and told Otter that there might be a firestorm, so if he wanted to protect his coat, he should take it off, and hang it up to be safe.

Otter obliged, and Rabbit found a way to make it appear as if fire was raining out of the sky. He told Otter to dive into the water to be safe, and when Otter did, Rabbit stole Otter’s coat, and ran off to the gathering to show off his new fur. The animals figured out it was Rabbit wearing Otter’s stolen fur and tried to take it from him. They could only grab a hold of his tail, which was long at the time, and he pulled away from them , but his long tail came off. To this day, he has managed to keep that fur for himself, has a short tail, and Otter liked the water so much, he made it his permanent home.

In this story, the rabbit symbolizes craftiness, and taking what you want for yourself.

What Do Rabbits Mean Spiritually?


Spiritually, rabbits mean a great number of things, but the most well-known meaning they symbolize is that of fertility and renewal. This is due to them appearing in Spring around Easter or Ostara time, when people are celebrating new life or resurrection, and the gentle rabbit has become a symbol of that. The way that developed was believed to be in Pagan Europe with a goddess named Ostara , a Spring goddess of dawn was venerated at Springtime and she had a rabbit or hare who laid eggs that was associated with her. Today, the Easter Bunny “delivers” both dairy eggs and candy Easter eggs to people worldwide! Even secular celebrants of these Spring festivals associate the rabbit with the new beginning after the time of “death”, or Wintertime.

Rabbit spiritual meaning is also that of gentleness, timidness, and speed. Rabbits are perfectly adapted to running and hopping quickly away from prey, and are associated with cleverness and because they camouflage, hiding so well, they are associated with being able to disguise themselves or hide their whereabouts for protection. The path they take when running from predators is to dodge, weave, and run in a helter skelter pattern to be unpredictable and throw predators off. They are thus associated with intelligence and survival.

The Meaning of White Rabbits


What do white rabbits symbolize? Now that humans have bred rabbits, an albino, or white rabbit is not that rare, but is actually quite popular. The beauty of their fur makes them highly sought after as pets and for their fur to be made into goods people find very valuable. In snowy places, rabbits’ fur can naturally be white, and in places that have snow seasons, the rabbit's fur can turn from grey or brown to more white as it camouflages with the landscape.

The symbolism of the rabbits when they are white is different from other colored rabbits. Their color symbolizes both purity and positive change or a new spiritual beginning. White rabbit symbolism can be that of beauty be it physical beauty or spiritual beauty, and white rabbit meaning symbolism is also a message that it’s time to release fears, and happily move forward with whatever it is you have been afraid to.

So, what does it mean when you see a white rabbit? It depends on where you are in your journey, and any of the messages of beauty, a new beginning, releasing fears, purity, or moving towards something joyously could be what the sweet creature is delivering to you.

What Does a Dead Rabbit Symbolize?


For the hungry, a dead rabbit symbolizes a good meal. The dead rabbit spiritual meaning, however, is more than this. It can mean bad luck or that you may lose somebody dear to you because of a falling out or even death, but it can also mean good things. The meaning of a dead rabbit on your doorstep might be that your dog or cat has caught this and is gifting it to you, or it can be telling you it’s time to reach out and accept abundance, which is literally being handed to you. Seeing a dead rabbit can be the powers that be telling you that you need to start progressing, striving, and improving to your true potential or you will lose your opportunities!

Black Rabbit Meanings


Some people associate the color black with bad luck and all things scary, but black is a protective color used to show respect for the ancestors, and black is a combination of all the colors in the spectrum, perfectly joining together to create a color that literally goes with everything. The rabbit spiritual meaning is different when the rabbit is black. Black rabbit symbolism is of peace and stillness and can be indicating you need to pull out of the limelight, and work behind the scenes, or the be as a shadow, moving silently and anonymously. Seeing a black rabbit can be an omen that you are about to experience some disappointment as well, so watch out.

Rabbit “Wife” and Rabbit “Husband”?


Rabbits do mate for life, but in captivity! They are not a wife rabbit and a husband rabbit! Rabbits are more in “open relationships”, and the stronger males spar for dominance with other males, the winners taking as many “wives” as they choose. In the wild, males do not stick around, helping with the kits, and will hop away to another mate whenever they choose. They are focused on survival, and the males will kill male kits, allowing the females to live, such is their drive to stop future competition.

This may not fit the image we get of the quiet, gentle creature that is timid and runs from danger, but it’s how rabbits are. They do not traditionally represent aggression, struggle, and the drive to live, but realistically, they are more than just what they have come to symbolize to humanity.

Wild Rabbit Meanings


The wild rabbit meaning as opposed to that of the pet rabbit is that of surprise and delight. Wild rabbits seemingly materialize out of thin air and hop away just as quickly. So, when you see them, it’s an extra special sighting. It is believed they specifically come into our presence to deliver the messages they bring, which could range from good to bad news depending on what their colors are, what is going on in our lives, and what gut feeling you get that the rabbit’s message is.

Rabbit Medicine Cards


In medicine cards, rabbit cards are one of the powerful messenger cards that come up. If you are looking for an oracle deck that brings messages from the animals, there are two decks that you might like.

The first is Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams and David Carson, and their webpage showing how those cards work can be accessed here:Medicine Cards – The Discovery of Power Through the Ways of Animals

Another specialized oracle deck using animal messages and medicine is called Animal Medicine Cards by Adriana Atema, and her product can be found here:Animal Medicine Cards

If you don’t want to read your own cards, Mysticsense has gifted readers available 24/7, ready to help you.Categories – Mysticsense

What Do Rabbits Mean in Dreams?


What does it mean when you see a rabbit in a dream? In general, dreams meanings about rabbits indicate good luck and abundance is about to enter your life. A grey rabbit dream meaning, on the other hand can indicate there is dishonesty you need to watch out for. A rabbit omen in a dream when in the dream you catch or kill one is that you will have success or acquire that which you are working towards. Dreams about rabbits can indicate you are at peace and are safe, and they can also be telling you to keep your wits about you, surviving in the best way possible temporarily until it’s time to thrive again.

Rabbit Spirit Animal Meaning


With all the different meanings a rabbit can have, perhaps the most asked about is the rabbit spirit guide. The rabbit power animal brings with it all the blessings it represents, those of fertility, luck, abundance, surviving, camouflaging when needs be, keen senses and intelligence, speed, beauty, joy, gentleness, and new beginnings. As totem animals, rabbits bring the ability to be unpredictable to you, showing you how to deflect and escape from people and situations that would put you in harm's way.

The rabbit as spirit animal provides quiet, gentle guidance and your rabbit totem animal may appear and disappear from your life in much the same way that rabbits do in nature. You can call on your totem rabbit for its strength, and energy at all times, however, and your rabbit totem will send you the energy and strengths it embodies whenever you ask. Like all animal totems, rabbits will be with you for your spiritual journey, and you will build on the strengths they bring, growing closer to them and more like them as your journey with your spirit animal progresses.

To learn more about spirit animals:A Guide To Spirit Animals

Be glad when the rabbit hops into your life, even if it’s just for a moment. Besides luck, the rabbit brings many other blessings you can benefit from. Having been close to humans for generations, the rabbit has provided sustenance to people as well as companionship, and is a true friend indeed. May the lucky rabbit bless you with its presence and all the gifts it bestows.

About the Author: Saoirse has studied magic and lore for most of her life, but started walking her own Magical Path after being spiritually reborn in the desert. Today she shares her gifts as a Psychic and Content Writer for Mysticsense and she writes for Pagan Pages emag.

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