Animal Guide Spagyric
.: Rabbit :.
Species: Sylvilagus audubonii - Desert Cottontail
Secured: May 2019 in Taos, New Mexico
Parts Used: With the exception of the hide and skull, all parts where used
Method of Extraction: Advanced Alchemical lab processes combining Plant, Animal, and Mineral works to achieve the secretive Animal Alchemy
Correspondences: Mercury, Moon, Earth, Jupiter, Venus
Highlights: Fertility, New Beginnings, Alertness, Cycles/Lunar Cycles, Rapid Changes, Speed, Agility, Ambition, Foresight, Ability to Blend in, Quick/Rapid Decision Making, Opportunities, Planning Ahead, Preparedness, Good Luck, Intuition, Psychic Abilities, Awareness, Sensitivity, Lunar Magic, Protection, Sacrifice, Family, Care, Responsibility to Others, Empathy, Gentleness, Haste, Maneuverability, Quick Thinking/Fast Action, The Divine Mother/Feminine
.: Biology :.
Rabbits, along with hares, are in the family Leporidae lagomorph with 29 species being wild, and numerous domestic species, inhabiting every continent except Antarctica. Their sizes range from the smallest Pygmy rabbit at 9" to the largest being the Antelope Jackrabbit at 24".
Rabbits have specialized ears that are highly vascular which help thermoregulate depending on the size of the ears and their habitats and are sensory heightened organs used in predator detection. Smaller ears help keep preserve warmth in colder habitats while larger ears help disperse heat in hotter climates.
Their habitats include meadows, grasslands, deserts, woods, forests, and harsh, cold environments. They are social animals, although Cottontails tend to be solitary, living in burrow networks called warrens where there is an alpha females and various alpha males. Mothers tend to spend less amounts of time at or near the place where babies are buried in small dug out ditches since they don't have a scent and the mother, in order to keep her scent away from them, occupies her time feeding herself only to return to feed the young. Her milk in one of the most richest and nutritious in the animal kingdom, because of this one feeding a day is more than enough and aids in keeping predator attention away from the young by avoiding her scent and appearance near them.
If you ever find buried/hidden baby rabbits, please don't touch them and leave them alone because the mother will come back, although it may seem that an entire day has gone by, she'll be back; if you're nearby she'll know you're around, doesn't want to bring danger to the young, and won't come back until you've left. Trust Nature, or you could be the reason why she abandons her young.
All rabbits are herbivores and spend the first half hour out of their warrens quickly grazing and stocking up on food in case of predators, while the next half hour is spent "relaxing" and doing selective grazing if permitted by the environment.
Because rabbits are prey animals, their bodies and behaviors are designed to be in a constant state of hyper-vigilance. Their eyes are purposely positioned on the head to provide a 360 degree field of vision thus having exceptional awareness of predators and their environment and with their camouflaging agouti color schemes they are aided very well with the surroundings making them very difficult to spot.
Rabbits rest with their eyes wide open in case of any danger and sleep around 6-8 hours. Although considered crepuscular (active during twilight hours) they lean more towards nocturnal pursuits even though they aren't nocturnal, yet this all depends on whether it's safe to be out or not and the hours of dusk and dawn tend to be the times when there is less activity from Nature.
When a threat is detected by rabbits they will completely freeze and warn others by quicky stomping, which is perceived by other rabbits at far distances. They will run in bursts of speed aiming towards tall grass, sporadically sprinting with erratic zig-zag maneuvers to confuse and exhaust the threat and hopefully find refuge back in the warren. If caught, their last line of defense is kicks and painful bites from their strong teeth.
The life expectancy of wild rabbits is 2-9 years, with Cottontails having a shorter life expectancy of 1-2 years and this is never certain due to factors such as diet, food availability, health, local ecosystems, if pesticides/herbicides are used-contaminating their food sources, and habitat. Because many newborns will die at birth rabbits are designed to reproduce quickly and often and be sexually mature at very young age.
.: Spirituality :.
"The Secret is not Great when one Knows it. But It is something to one who Does it. Turn and Turn again and we will also Turn, so that we give pleasures to each of you. And when we have Turned, count our Ears, It is there, without any disguise, you will find a Marvel. - Jurgis Baltrusaitis's 1995 Le Moyen-Âge fantastique
Because Rabbit inhabits every part of the planet, with the exception of Antarctica, its mythology and lore is rich, extensive, and paradoxical.
Because they are prey animals, are always on high alert, and flighty, several cultures attune Rabbit spirit to fear but we can observe its polarity very quickly from fear and the opposite can been said; Nature has equipped Rabbit with pole-matched skills to those of predatory animals. Rabbits are prepared for last second decision-making with a heightened Mercurial mind, an advanced nervous system, and are skilled at this - how could this be fear based? There's an ability to being aware that's comparable to that of a psychic 6th sense where they can know of a predator's intent in seeking a meal even before it can have a chance of ever noticing the Rabbit. Every aspect of a predator's abilities to hunt is equally matched and built into the Rabbit both biologically and metaphysically.
Being able to freeze, observe, and make split second decisions is a great tool to have developed when life puts you into situations where this skill is necessary.
There's an air of empathy and awareness to Rabbit spirit that'll imbibe itself into whomever works with this animal guide. It's power is connected to the Moon and rich lore of their relationship is known throughout many ancient cultures.
Illustration from Book VII of The Florentine Codex, 1577, an encyclopedia of early colonial Mexico compiled by Fray Bernardino de Sahagún
“The gods, they say, were teasing the moon and flung a rabbit in its face. And the rabbit remained marked on the moon’s face. That is what darkened the face of the moon, as though it had been bruised. Upon which the moon went out to light the world.”
The god Quetzalcoatl, who was living on Earth as a man, started on a journey and, after walking for a long time, became hungry and tired. With no food or water around, he thought he would die. Then a rabbit grazing nearby offered herself as food to save his life. Quetzalcoatl, moved by the rabbit’s noble offering, elevated her to the Moon, then lowered her back to Earth and told her, “You may be just a rabbit, but everyone will remember you; there is your image in light, for all people and for all times.”
Ixchel, the Mayan Mood Goddess, depicted with the Rabbit.
Jade Rabbit pounding out the Elixir of Immortality - 18th c. Imperial Embroidery
In Chinese folklore, the Moon goddess - Chang’e - is depicted with with the white Jade Rabbit who is making the Elixir of Immortality for Chang’e.
In the Buddhist Jataka story No. 316 - An otter, a monkey, a jackal, and a rabbit all want to demonstrate great virtue and be rewarded for it under the full moon of that evening. An old man appears, begging for food so monkey gathers fruits from trees, otter brings fish from the water, and jackal brings him a lizard and milk. Because Rabbit can only gather what he eats, grass, he decides to offer his body for food and casts himself into a fire for the poor man to eat. Reaching into the flames and pulling Rabbit out of the fire, the old man reveals himself as Śakra, the Buddhist cosmological Lord of the Devas. Being so humbled by Rabbit's selfless virtue Śakra lifts Rabbit up so that all the gods can see him and draws the likeness of the Rabbit upon the surface of the moon for all to bare witness for all time as a honor for his deed. The Sanskrit word for Moon is Sasanka; "the one whose mark is a hare".
With the Sacral and Jupiter energies within Rabbit, one can easily access the abilities of abundance, fertility, expansion, and creativity for our lives and will require Trust in one's own intuitions. This energy can be very electrical, surprising, intense, and fast like Mercury is and a good planning of how to ground oneself and this archetype are important. Connectivity to the Earth is essential and vital to Rabbit, and their feet have an abundance of nerves that allow it to be connected and aware of the subtle vibrations of everything nearby. Mapping and planning of what to do with all of this energy, abundance, fertility, and electricity is a Key to Rabbit's successes even as a prey animal.
Because of its speed and agility, those called to Rabbit can have examples in life where opportunities and circumstances present themselves as quickly as they are missed. Effective and quick responses are vital with the practice always coming down to Trust. Make haste! Or you'll need to practice and wait until the next cycle/opportunity arrives and since it's Rabbit, they usually come with the Lunar Cycles. Feel. Pay attention. Know when to be silent, when to be still, and when it's the appropriate moment to act fast during the next influx of Rabbit energy.
Unlike most animals whom have a selective breeding season, Rabbits are fertile, mate all year round, and this ties in to the Nature of our ability to be fertile and reproduce at anytime of our yearly cycles. Where do we put our creative/sexual/potential energies and why are crucial to what will be birthed into your future and great care should be given with this power through intent and responsibility.
With the Moon energies surrounding Rabbit comes the darker aspects of mental operations. Being able to see in little to no light allows us to tap into heightened senses of awareness when our eyes can fail to provide a clear and precise view of our realities and ourselves with spatial relation with the world.
In the night our pineal gland goes through a chemical process of producing melatonin and as we enter the REM cycle, DMT is produced. Studies have shown that sensory deprivation in a completely dark environment will induce this DMT production even if it is daylight outside because the lack of light triggers a circadian rhythm response in our bodies - the longer one is in the dark, the more prolonged is the production of DMT. Equate this to consuming a psychedelic; you have heightened sense of awareness, sensitivity, and connectedness to your environment through our other senses because our eyes are disconnected from the 3rd dimensional space. Because you are not a 3 dimensional/physical Being and under a psychedelic your two 3 dimensional eyes are pretty useless in that state, your Being resorts to the extra sensory; your nervous system and pineal gland/3rd eye. Blindfolding your eyes while journeying will allow you to see what is always and already there but not perceived when using our eyes. These are the Mystical and Meta-physical realms we aren't aware of.
Louis Wain's disputed cat art journey as his schizophrenia advanced
There are many delights that are present when the lights go out and we lose our ability of visual perception and developing a discipline around this brings many gifts... if you can Trust and move away from your preconceived notions, ideas, and thoughts about what you think you "know". As Rabbit is quite well-equipped for the world, so have we are been given the proper tools to exist and navigate our lives and whatever circumstances could be lurking. With a little bit of courage and faith, who knows what abilities and wisdoms can be unlocked? In the night you will produce the light necessary to see in all directions and help shed some light to your fellow people when grazing out of your warrens. During the night, while the world sleeps, is the best time to frolic and play with your ideas, the energies being provided, to tap into the creative spark without the distractions of other's needs for space, time, and your attention. It's secret, it's private, and magical. Acknowledge your nervous tendencies and let them dissolve and you'll zig-zag your way into the adventure that is the gift of your life. When one thing "fails" be certain that a new one will return but pay attention; it can be the next lunar cycle or a few from now. Life isn't short, it the longest and only life you get to live.
Knowing when to rest, when to hide, and when to come out are keys as well. At times, in a single day, you may need to be silent, observe, and be invisible in order to not be detected or interfere with processes thus allowing the world to operate as if you weren't there; you'd be surprised at other's actions/behaviors/intentions when they don't know your watching.
As quick as Rabbit is, it is also very gentle by nature and is capable of tempering its - go go go - energies of Jupiter and Mercury. Reaction and action are useful tools that don't always need to be used, sometimes what you and the world needs is empathy and a gentle approach - even the things that you're creating and nurturing. Such an advance nervous system and sacral can induce negative-talk, behaviors, and critiques about yourself and others and a little grounding of that electricity is healthy.
As an Animal Guide so tapped into sensitivity working with Rabbit will bring to you a responsibility to yourself and others in your life. As Rabbit's nose twitches it can process up to 20 different scents at once, they can feel subtle frequencies and Hz emanating from its surroundings, and have exceptional hearing. This can be a psychic ability in you and a great deal care must be applied in your interactions with others - it is a gift not to be abused or mishandled. The psychic data you can pick up on from others may not be asked to be revealed and those around you could benefit from your silent awareness and empathetic compassion. Most people don't know how loud their thoughts are and like a skilled technician you are capable of great service rather than causing unnecessary and useless discomforts.
Be aware of numbing your psychic and sensory sensitivities and do not confuse your empathy for being an "empath" who projects onto others their past traumatic experiences. Empaths are not actually aware of others, only aware of matching traumas in others and they serve no purpose and are of no use. Empathy is the wisdom acquired through traumatic or difficult experiences that have been matured and exalted; you're no longer triggered or moved and when you see/feel someone having an experience you empathize with you have the wisdom and tactic in how to conduct yourself and be of healthy assistance.
Like the loving Rabbit - protect your home, loved ones, and resources while simultaneously knowing that attachments aren't needed. Being able to let go of something/someone leaving, dying, or taken away won't harm you and you'll develop this Guide's trust that someone/something new and improved will show up. Good Luck is the main theme of Rabbit and Luck is always on your side.
Learn from Rabbit, whose life is full of predators and possible this that and the forth, and live. Explore. Nurture yourself and those around you. Fear comes from not knowing, but you already know that you're fiiiiine and always will be, even when you must tap into your skills to out-maneuver obstacles and create the world you desire.
I know I didn't mention Easter. Other than the ancient fertility and moon goddess associations, Rabbit has nothing to do with Easter nor Jesus of Nazareth.