Symbolism and meaning of the rabbit (totem, spirit and omens)
Rabbits are small, shy, and very cute animals that are often adopted as pets. But long before they were revered as family members, the symbolism of the rabbit had a long history.
They can be seen in many different cultures and religious practices, as they offer important lessons in awareness, self-protection, and are symbols of fertility, family, and new life.
Rabbits appear in many mythologies and folklores told in cultures around the world as they live on every continent in the world except one, Antarctica.
Rabbits are also familiar creatures as they are closely related to the changing seasons like spring, representing a symbol of fertility and renewal.
They are symbolic little creatures full of intelligence, dedication to self-improvement, and good luck.
What does a rabbit represent?
Symbolism of the white rabbit
White rabbits are symbols of love, tenderness and inner power.
In general, rabbits are considered lucky animals, but white rabbits are true symbols of luck and impending opportunity. We see this in many European cultures because a white rabbit can be seen as a kind of blessing.
Legend has it that if you say “white rabbit” or “bunny, rabbit” on the first day of the month of every month, you are guaranteed good luck.
Symbolism of the black rabbit
Black rabbits symbolize the tranquility of being still and still, much like the color black symbolizes silence and stillness.
Your interpretation of a black rabbit and it all depends on how you symbolize it and your own personal or cultural impression of them.
What is the spiritual significance of a rabbit?
Rabbits are among the most sensitive animals. They can process up to 20 times the smells that humans can perceive and they are very intuitive. Their ears can pick up a variety of sounds in their environment as they are often large and can help them keep an ear alert for predators.
Besides hearing, rabbits can see in almost any direction at once, and for these reasons, a rabbit in the spirit world is a symbol of sensitivity.
If a rabbit crosses your path, it’s for a reason, reminding others not to become too desensitized. Rabbits remind us that we have our senses for a reason and that they can be gifts.
A person who identifies with the spiritual significance of a rabbit is very likely to have it as a spirit animal and is likely an extremely sensitive person. Even though your sensitivity may seem like a burden at times, the bunny can remind you to remind yourself that this is indeed a gift.
Rabbits are gentle creatures that eat plants and jump in the forest and grass. Hence, they are seen as harmless and gentle creatures, spiritually reminding people to use empathy and compassion when talking to others.
It’s not everyday that you get along with others, but the rabbit spirit reminds you to be gentle with people, while treating yourself kindly.
The rabbit has always been a symbol of fertility for a long time, as rabbits are known to have a lot of babies.
A young rabbit only two months old is capable of having babies because doe do have a gestation period of around 27 days. Thus, the same rabbit can have several litters per year. Male rabbits can also impregnate any female rabbit as they please, creating more and more babies.
Therefore, the spiritual significance of rabbit fertility is a powerful symbol, because visualizing the rabbit can put you in the right frame of mind to have one or more babies.
This idea can also grow as the visualization of the rabbit can help with abundance in any area of your life that you want to grow in.
If a rabbit appears to you, think about the different areas of your life that you want to see grow and prosper and perhaps say a prayer.
Animal Spirit Rabbit
If you identify with the Rabbit Spirit Animal, you are a loving, lucky, family-oriented, shy, creative, and quick-witted person.
The spirit animal of the rabbit will appear in your real life, in your media, or in your art for a reason. The rabbit spirit animal reminds you that there is hope and new opportunities in your future.
They can also remind you that renewal is possible and that the old one can become new again. They help you acquire the ability to emerge and try new things.
As spiritual animals, rabbits can inspire you to be kind, tender, and to find their powers of fertility, rebirth, luck, and spiritual exploration in your life.
As a totem animal, rabbits offer magical and mysterious powers, full of life and have deep connections with the sacred and eternal spirit of the earth.
Rabbits are also one of the 9 Native American Totem Animals. The rabbit totem animal is a symbol of intelligence, sensitivity and shamanic power, as rabbits have strong perceptual and intuitive powers.
The rabbit totem represents creative problem solving, courage, and quick wit. It reminds us of our need to control our fears in life in order to find our true potential.
Is it a chance to see a rabbit? In many different cultures, rabbits are considered incredibly lucky animals and are good omens.
If you see a rabbit in the wild or see one crossing your path, you will be lucky in romance, family life, and your finances.
A rabbit is auspicious because it means that you will soon be experiencing a spiritual awakening or revelation and that you will have to follow your intuition.
Symbolism of the rabbit in different cultures and religions
Symbolism of the rabbit in Germanic culture
In German culture, the rabbit is sacred to Ostara (or Eostre) the goddess of fertility. Ostara celebrates new life and in her vision she can only see potential in things. This is the reason why spring gives vitality as it keeps its bright light even during the longest months of winter.
She is also celebrated on the feast of Easter, where her sacred bunny is transformed into an Easter bunny for centuries with the head of a hare and the body of a goddess. Ostara is also linked to the spring equinox which takes place from March 20 to 21.
Symbolism of the rabbit in Native American culture
In Native American folklore, Manabozho is a god known to be a trickster and the Big Hare. He has shapeshifting powers and his tricks help bring about creation.
The rabbit is also a powerful and highly respected animal mascot in Native American culture.
Native Americans also have a rabbit clan, like the Hopi and Shawnee tribes, and the northeastern and northern plains tribes perform a sacred rabbit dance.
Symbolism of the rabbit in Asian cultures
The rabbit in Chinese culture is the fourth animal of the Chinese astrological chart. Those born under the Rabbit are conservative, friendly, and deeply compassionate. They are also very creative, active and try to avoid conflict.
In Japanese culture, the rabbit is associated with the moon because they have a story about the rabbit and the moon. In the story, the Man on the Moon comes to Earth and he is very hungry, so the rabbit offers himself to eat. The Man on the Moon was so impressed with his generous offer that he doesn’t eat the rabbit but instead brings it to the moon to live with him.
For the Chinese, Koreans and Vietnamese, rabbits are also associated with the moon. The Chinese also considered the rabbit to be an embodiment of the moon goddess.
Symbolism of the rabbit in Christianity
Many Christians believe that rabbits should not be related to Christianity due to their importance to some pagan religions, as rabbits are spiritual messengers in the pagan world, traveling through the human realm and the underworld. Therefore, rabbits are rarely mentioned in the Bible, but when they are, they are negative symbols.
In the Bible it is mentioned that humans should not eat rabbits as they are considered unclean animals because “it ruminates, but does not divide the hoof”. Surprisingly, although not symbolic, Christians follow the pagan tradition of Easter and the Easter Bunny.
Symbolism of the rabbit in Celtic culture
The Celts had a goddess named Eostre who was known for her closeness to rabbits as she is the fertility goddess associated with spring and the spring equinox, very similar to Germanic culture.
The Druids used rabbits as a source of divination, as they would catch and release rabbits as a game, interpreting the direction the rabbits would take after being freed.
Rabbits were also associated with fairies so that they could communicate underground, and people could metamorphose into rabbits, so taboos on killing them were often said.
Symbolism of the rabbit in Buddhism
In Buddhism, Buddha would have been a hare in an earlier incarnation. He traveled like a hare in the company of a monkey and a fox.
The symbol of the three rabbits symbolizes samsara, or the wheel of karma, which spins life after life until the person achieves enlightenment. The three hares also represent a lotus flower, implying that the hares represent a cycle of reincarnation and spiritual enlightenment.
In Buddhism and other Eastern philosophies, the rabbit can also be associated with fire, as fire is also a symbol of renewal and rebirth. Therefore, the rabbit shares the symbolism with the phoenix.
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Megan Hatch is a writer at YourTango who covers the zodiac, love and relationships, and pop culture.