The Moon Rabbit
Long ago, the Bodhisattva had been reborn as a rabbit. He had three friends
a monkey, an otter, and a jackal, earlier that day they
had vowed to practice charity on the day of the full moon
(Uposatha). These four creatures believed that a
demonstration of great virtue would earn them a great
Whilst walking in the green and fertile forest they came upon an old
who asked them each in turn for food.
The monkey climbed a tree nearby and gathered fruit, whilst
the otter leapt into the river and caught seven red fish.
The jackal took up a dead lizard and
a pot of milk-curd someone had discarded.The rabbit hesitated as he
wondered what he could give to the beggar, he only knew how
to gather grass. He asked the beggar to build a fire so that
they could warm themselves, when the flames were high the rabbit
said 'take my body and eat me' as he
threw himself into the flames.
The other three animals were only returning to witness this
event, when the beggar threw off his cloak and lunged forward to
grab the rabbit from the flames.
The animals gathered around fearing the worst yet the rabbit
was miracoulsly unharmed.
'I am Śakra' the beggar revealed, I am touched by your
virtue rabbit the smoke from this fire will be cast into the
moon for all to see for all eternity. (Buddhist Śaśajâtaka - Jataka Tale 316)
Hou Yi was an archer, and in some
tales he was a tyrant, yet Di Jun asked for his help when the
sun-birds, who had grown tired of their routine of rising
in turn each day, all rose together wherein they endangered the world.
Di Jun was displeased with Hou Yi for killing nine of the
sun-birds, as he had only asked for
Hou Yi to bring the sun-birds back in line and hence banished him from
His banishment eventually lead to Hou Yi to crave for an
immortal life, he went to see Xi Wang Mu for her elixir of
life created with the use of the philosopher's stone, he
built her a summer palace in exchange for the last two
remaining of its kind, which he took home for himself and
Hou Yi's wife Chang Er found the elixir's and drank them
both some say it was to prevent him from taking over the
world as there was little left for him to conquer. Hou Yi
was returning from battle when he saw his wife ascending to
the moon. Chang Er achieved immortality with only the moon
rabbit to keep her company. The moon rabbit continues to
make the elixir of life for her.
Moon Gazing Hare
The moon-gazing hare was especially important to early Britons.
Chinese moon gazing hares were thought of as gazing up at what he sees as his ancient ancestor, the Moon rabbit in the moon.
The hare signifies the fertility of Spring, of new life as the sun returns to the earth.
Light and dark are of equal length yet the light is growing stronger.
Seeing a moon gazing hare would bring growth, re-birth, abundance, new beginnings and good fortune.
The hare is known to be sacred to the goddess Eostre who is the namesake of the festival of Easter.
Eostre's hare hence became known as the Easter bunny.
In some countries, it is customary to eat hot cross buns around the time of Easter and Christmas;
the cross on the bun is said to represent the four quarters of the moon.
These buns were originally offerings and were often hung from rafters to scare off evil that lurked in houses.
The image of three hares (also known as
the tinners hares) running in a circle and sharing ears can be found
in several places along the Silk Road, appearing in Buddhist, Christian and Islamic contexts, the
image is apparent in cave paintings in Dunhuang, China all
the way to Devon in the UK. they span 3000 miles, 500 years
and many different cultures and religions.
These mysterious icons are believed to be a symbol of trade
between the Buddhist East through what was Greco-India all
the way to the Christian West and somehow worked their way
into Jewish and Islamic imagery.
The Aztec King of the Four Hundred Drunken Rabbit Gods also known as the Infinite Rabbits.
He is the supreme god of the fiery drink Pulque made from fermented sap of the Maguey plant.
Ometotchtli means Two Rabbit (is that a reference to seeing double?)
The Black Rabbit of Inlé
The rabbit version of the grim reaper who carries out the bidding of the Great Firth. Both feared and
respected but an inevitable fate for us all.
Familiar spirits or familiars in Medieval
European folklore were believed to be supernatural entities
believed to assist cunning folk in their magical
practices. They would appear in numerous guises but most
often as an animal, described as "clearly defined, three-dimensional… forms,
vivid with colour and animated with movement and sound"
as alleged by eye-witness accounts.
Familiars are often thought of as being benevolent, serving the witch and providing protection for them as they
come into their new powers.
Most of the infamy surrounding witches and their
familiars comes from the time of the English Civil War.
a Parliamentarian and self appointed Witch Finder General wrote the book The Discovery of Witches in 1647,
after sending around 300 women to their death, he was probably
one of the most disreputable figures involved in this process.
Prince Rupert at this time would take his large poodle dog
called Boye into battle with him. The dog was greatly feared
by Parliamentarian forces being given credit for having
supernatural powers. At the end of the war the dog was shot,
allegedly with a silver bullet.
|Rabbit Rabbit, Black Rabbit when said on
the night of the last day of the month and then the following
morning saying Rabbit Rabbit, White Rabbit is said to bring
good luck for the month.
|In some English counties it is considered
unwise to shoot a black rabbit, as it may be an ancestral spirit
returning in rabbit-form.
Mike was a great teller of tales, he used to say to our old
dogs when they were dreaming not to chase the black rabbit
for it would take them away from this world.
In September 2009 Mike and two of his friends were taken
from us in a motorbike accident in Trento Italy, leaving
Stewart's mum as the only survivor.
We left for Italy to look after her whilst she was in
intensive care, that night whilst sitting on the hotel
balcony we saw a little black rabbit sitting next to a busy
main road looking back up at us, was this Mike coming to say
goodbye? We think so therefore we named the shop in the
memory of his life.