Why is the hare the emblem for this healing?
Some interesting facts about the Hare
The sacred symbol of the Hare is as prevalent throughout the ancient world as tales of the Great Flood. It is seen to be the messenger between Creator and created, and it is fluid between these states of being.
The hare was held sacred by the Egyptians, Babylonians, Celts, Mayans and Native Americans, and amazingly the image of the Three Hares that share three ears appears again and again in art sacred to the world’s major religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism and Islam.
1) Sacred Geometry
There is strong evidence that the design of the Three Hares derives from sacred geometry: the ears are the shapes which form from the intersections of the Vesicae Piscis within the Flower of Life, itself a sacred and fundamental design concerned with creation of form, also found globally. Not only do the shape of the ears themselves resemble lips; the shape created inside the three hares’ ears corresponds to the human womb. As in Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man – in which he illustrates the Fibonacci relationships of the human body (contiguous parts of the finger-hand-arm, for example) and cosmology – the shape of the womb also derives from sacred proportion applied to the human body.
So straight away we see that the Hare is associated with the manifestation of life in this reality and the implicate order of the formation of matter.
2) The Hare and the egg
The Babylonian symbolism of the Hare and the egg associated with Spring came westwards with the Saxons and the Norse whose names for the Goddess Eostre (from which we get the words Oestrus and Easter) / Andastre / Ostara were all names derived directly from the Babylonian Goddess of fertility, Ishtar.
N.B. The Jews spent some time in ancient Babylon, and the Passover meal in the Spring also begins with the eating of an egg, without any symbolic reference to the story of Exodus. Indeed the Passover – which was instituted to celebrate the flight from Egypt way before Babylonian times – tells how Moses began by asking the Pharaoh for permission to let his people go into the desert to celebrate a Jewish religious festival. While, intriguingly, this festival is not described or given a name, it clearly predates the Passover; and the Egyptian diet included eggs.
The egg here is seen to represent continuity and the cycles of birth / rebirth – see also “Cosmic Cycles” below
3) Sacred Mystery and Cymatics
Michabo – the Great White Hare – brought sacred mystery and picture-writing to the Native Americans; he was the preserver of the distinction between Earth and Heaven (matter / non-matter) and was also the Creator. In ancient Egypt the hare was the messenger of Thoth who brought hieroglyphs and sacred mystery teachings to the Egyptians. These sacred mysteries concern the origin of Being and the nature of life as it manifests in the material world.
Marvellously also, in the stories known to the early indigenous Japanese, the god who made this world decided that living things should be created on it. He consulted with the god who made living things and they first made the hare; and the hare became the messenger between them while they created fire and fish, preparing the world for human habitation. I find this story very beautiful. It seems to come straight from the heart.
Hieroglyphs – a Greek word meaning “Sacred Writing(s)” – were sacred in that they codified the sound that created matter. In essence the sound creates the object described, and the hieroglyphs codify that sound. To speak the hieroglyph was to speak the sound of creation; what it created was the object or concept the hieroglyph defines; it carries the essence. Science is clear that at a fundamental level, all things are merely some form of vibration with the appearance of solidity – quantum physicists and astronomers alike wrestle with the absence of form and matter.
Cymatics shows how sound makes form; and a brilliant exercise in cymatics in the “Sarcophagus” in the Great Pyramid of Cheops by John Stuart Reid showed that simple sound vibrations in that vessel produced hieroglyphs: notably the Eye of Horus, itself a symbol of the Egyptian Mystery School. You can hear an interview with him on the Laura Lee show here: http://www.lauralee.com/index.cgi?search=John%20Reid
We may also see how this principle is enshrined biblically: the first verse of John says: “In the beginning: the word”. The Greek “logos”, here translated as “word”, also means “thing” or “matter”; there is no differentiation between the sound and the object. At the level of “Logos” they are one and the same. Analysis of the equivalent first verse of Genesis “In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth”, using traditional values for the Hebrew letters, has shown a substantial sacred geometrical pattern.
Finally, and most wonderfully, the Egyptian hieroglyph of the Hare on a wave represented the verb “to be” or “to exist”
So we see once again that the Hare is associated with sacred mystery of the nature of creation.
4) Cosmic cycles
Again, every culture from China to the Mayans associated the Hare with the moon; both Celts and Egyptians held that the Hare changed sex as it waxed and waned.
As early as 2000 B.C. the hare symbol is found to be associated with death and rebirth in Mesopotamia and Syria.
In Egypt, Osiris – who held the secret of resurrection and rebirth – brought about the fertile Nile floods by taking the sacrificial form of a Hare.
For the Celts, it was the Goddess Cerridwen who represented the seasonal and human cycles of birth, the bringing forth of life, death and rebirth. The greenest-fingered agriculturalists planted by the Moon phases, and the human fertility cycle is governed by the Moon; naturally Cerridwen is also the Moon goddess. In Celtic lore the Hare was also associated with transfiguration and transmigration – as in the story of the warrior Ossian, who hunted a hare and wounded it in the leg, forcing it to find sanctuary in a thicket. When Ossian followed, he found a door leading into the ground; passing through this doorway (see ‘liminality” below), he emerged into a vast hall, and found himself in the presence of a beautiful young woman sitting on a throne, bleeding from a wound in her leg. Indeed the Hare was held in several cultures to disappear when hunted (for an example of this story in the UK see Bill Oddie:
It was this capacity to wink in and out of corporeal existence that allowed Cerridwen to adopt the shape of a Hare.
Once again we see the association of the Hare with natural cycles of Creation and manifestation, this time with the added capacity to move freely between states of being.
5) Pure essence
So: we have Sacred Geometry, cycles of birth, regeneration, death; the egg and the Moon Goddess; cycles of fertility both agricultural and human; transmigration of the soul, resurrection; the verb “to be”; hieroglyphs & picture writing and the holder of sacred mystery; the ability to change sex and manifest at will.
Or we could say we have agricultural and human cycles of oestrus / birth, the bringing forth of life, death and rebirth; sacred geometry as a way of connecting us with the nature of Creation; the symbolism of the egg and the womb; the way matter is formed and life sustained; the nature of Being and the Great Mystery; and liminality.
Both the Celts and the Egyptians were known to be fascinated by liminality – hermaphroditism (as ascribed to the Hare) was revered in Egypt, and the Celts were drawn to the meetings of worlds: the seashore was sometimes land and sometimes the province of the ocean; on Samhain the period of light and dark became equal and souls could move between this world and the next; a careless mis-step over a crucial threshold, even the picking of a leaf, could hold you in thrall to the secret kingdom of elves, fauns or faeries. In an altered state of consciousness you might perceive a being from one of these neighbouring dimensions; to kiss (combine sexual energy with) them, or take sustenance, would ground you in that other reality; and you could only return to your own dimension after completion of a given time cycle when liminality aligned the two worlds again.
Liminality in the hare, though, was a pointer to non-duality and to the point of origin before entering the duality of life in, for example, the material world. The Three Hares cradle the essential feminine, the interdimensional portal through which we, as consciousness, enter this reality, and thus they also anchor the reverence for the lunar cycles and the miracle of oestrus. As we arrive at this remarkable epoch, the Hare links us further to cosmic alignment and the greater Creation cycle of the Yugas, through which we become aware that this is a time of awakening. Indeed, the form of the womb in the Three Hares is part of the simplest and most fundamental Sacred Geometry of the Flower of Life, which encapsulates how Consciousness takes form in this reality. This in turn connects us to the implicate order and the cycles of Creation.
The Hare then, as the hieroglyph of “to be”, as the keeper of the Great Mystery on a wave of sound, links formlessness to form and oneness to duality, and connects us both to our awakening and to the cycles of Creation. But why the hare? Its liminality, with its unique capacity to disappear, held the key to moving in and out of form and between states of awareness; and thus the Hare holds the secret to our sacred journey. Moreover, in the ease of that movement between states, we return to clarity; and our awareness is reminded of the nature of pure Being.
Through becoming aware of liminality it is possible allow our perspective to penetrate the membrane separating the perspectives of personality, Soul and pure Awareness, and move freely between these and other aspects of reality; and we wake up.