Rabbit Symbolism & Meaning
Rabbit Symbolism and Meaning conjures images of a lucky, fleet footed trickster.
Do you need help hatching a plan? Are others trying to take advantage of you? Is it decision making time, and you don’t know whether to zig or to zag? Rabbit, as a Spirit, Totem, and Power Animal, can help! Rabbit teaches you how to stop, look, and listen so you can avoid difficulties. Delve deeply in Rabbit symbolism and meaning to find out how this Animal Spirit Guide can still, calm, and illuminate you.
Rabbit Table of Contents
- Rabbit Symbolism & Meaning
- Rabbit Spirit Animal
- Rabbit Totem Animal
- Rabbit Power Animal
- Native American Rabbit Symbolic Meanings
- Christianity Rabbit Symbolism
- Celtic Rabbit Symbolism
- Rabbit Dreams
- Rabbit in Astrology & Zodiac Signs
- Rabbit Far East Symbolism
- Rabbit Tattoo Meaning
- Rabbit Spiritual Meaning
- Back to all Mammals
- Back to all Spirit Animal Meanings
Rabbit Symbolism & Meaning
The Rabbit archetype is anything but a “fuzzy bunny” lightweight in the world of Animal Symbolism. In many myths and legends, Rabbits act as guides between Heaven, the Earth, and The Underworld. They’re a potent emblem of Shamanic journeys and may even be called upon to monitor those rituals. In fact, when viewing the Rabbit’s physical attributes, the creature comes to represent a prayerful life as it puts its paws in prayer position each time they wash their faces.
In the Earth Plane Rabbit is a sound navigator, having perceptions that pilot him through the darkness. Because of this, Rabbit represents Sensitives and Seers and their psychic powers. It also symbolizes those moments in life when we must hop to or in unfamiliar surroundings, using your inner light for direction.
Rabbits are creatures of the Earth, living close to the ground where they can easily hide. The meaning here can be twofold–either you need camouflage, or you’ve become under-recognized among peers.
Rabbits are Tricksters because they know their enemy and remain aware of their adversary’s movements to outwit them. When chased, Rabbits are not predictable in their movements–rather, they zip and zag, which aids in an escape. If their unpredictable movement doesn’t work, then Rabbit (or Hare), like a skilled shapeshifter, disappears as it blends into the environment via camouflage. Otherwise, Rabbit slips into a small hideaway for a tidy retreat. So, the cunning critter has the additional symbolism of directional awareness, cleverness, planning, and keen senses.
Rabbit Spirit Animal
When Rabbit leaps into your life as a Spirit Animal, it’s time to stop, look, and listen as you’ve never listened before. Rabbits often appear to those who are being “hunted.” Is there danger afoot at your job, in your home, or within? If so, now is the time to nurture your instincts, especially those that aid in survival.
Do you need to be a little less predictable? Or is it time to stay in perfect stillness, thus allowing a would-be predatory person to find something else to distract their attention? Rabbit encourages you to tune into your instincts. It gives you time to get out of or away from a situation where you can then find a haven until the threat to your emotional well-being ends.
When your life situation leaves you feeling cornered, Rabbit, as an Animal Spirit Guide, knows full well how to help get you out of a fix. In the wild, Rabbits are terrific planners and escape artists. They create small caves open at both ends. Part of Rabbit’s Medicine involves learning the importance of always leaving yourself an “open door.”
When Rabbit appears, it may be to let you know that personal transformation is necessary or about to happen. While Rabbit has survived for centuries, they are some of the biggest “victims” of the animal kingdom. Have you adopted the role of “victim”? Do you feel others take advantage of you? If so, it’s time to stop. You can only be a victim if you allow it. Rabbits are some of the most clever critters on the planet. Rabbit says, “Trust your smarts! Know that you’re are worthy of respect!”
If you want to start a family or become part of a pre-established family, Rabbit, as a Spirit Animal, arrives to tell you, Hop to it! Rabbit will appear to people with a strong sense of hearth and home who want to have large families. In this setting, Rabbit assists with effective family planning, so you avoid overextending yourself physically, emotionally, or financially. The creature’s mantras are “Look before you leap,” and “Keep one foot grounded in reality.”
Finally, if you see a Rabbit cross your path, question its direction. Was it heading to the left, symbolizing the Feminine and Lunar Energies, or was the creature hopping to the right, signifying the Masculine and Solar Energies? Was Rabbit heading North, South, East, or West? The symbolism of the Four Cardinal Directions gives you more insight into Rabbit’s meaning when it appears in your life.
Rabbit Totem Animal
People with Rabbit Totems are spontaneous and the life of the party. Rabbits love good fun and frolicking, so those who encounter you will find no wallflower! You love the feeling you get when things are moving fast; it gives you a rush of adrenaline, which heightens your awareness, gets your blood pumping, and brings a blush to your cheeks!
With Rabbit as a Birth Totem, you have a quick wit and use your creative skills for innovative problem-solving. Rabbit Energy challenges your reflexes and supports you in tapping into your psychic skills. Therefore, you have a deep sense of knowing what direction to take to ensure progress in your life and your spiritual path.
Carrying a Rabbit Totem carving is an Earth-and-Animal-friendly alternative to a Rabbit’s foot for a little whimsical serendipity. You may have to take a leap, hop, or skip of faith to see it manifest, but Rabbit will not ask you to do so without cause. Don’t let fear block opportunity.
Rabbit Power Animal
As a Power Animal, Rabbit works wonders for those who have chosen a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. As a vegetarian, the Rabbit Spirit gives you energetic support when seeking a balance in what you eat for your greatest well-being.
The phrase, “Breeding like Rabbits,” stems from the creature’s remarkable fertility. Invoke Rabbit as a Power Animal when you want more abundance in your life; this can translate into various fertility types from the successful growth of a glorious garden to financial abundance or even to the start of a family.
If you want to commune with the Godhead for life guidance, call on Rabbit as a Power Animal for help! Let your Power Animal teach you the magic of silence. It is only when you quiet what Buddhists call “the Monkey Mind,” or the endless chatter of your conscious thoughts, that the Divine can get a word in edgewise.
When you are uncertain about steps to take when pursuing your career or making a decision, call on your Power Animal, the Rabbit, for some help with direction. Rabbit reacts fast, relying on instinct to choose what direction to go in, and the creature wastes no time when hopping on an opportunity. The Animal’s energetic signature will help you in trusting your inner voice, with eyeing opportunities, and with knowing when to remain still or make a move.
Native American Rabbit Symbolic Meanings
Native American lore portrays Rabbit as an ingenious and often humorous Trickster. Known as Manabozho, or Great Hare, this character shows up in many legends, sometimes with the additional symbolism of a hero. Some stories relate that the Great Hare created the world, brought humans Fire, and even taught Shamans how to enact sacred rites. The Hare Spirit is a good Animal Ally when learning ritual forms.
An additional association with Rabbit is that of a “fear caller.” Lore suggests when Rabbit fears something, it calls out to that thing until noticed. In nature, Rabbit lives in fear. Here, the Native American lesson is that calling to whatever frightens you or focusing on it can foster manifestation of that very thing in your life.
To the Aztecs, Rabbit was considered a symbol of hedonism and debauchery. The Rabbit is associated with the alcoholic drink called pulque.
The Shawnee and Hopi have Rabbit Clans. One of the most significant practices of these Clans is the Rabbit Dance.
Various myths and stories tell of Rabbit being lazy, cunning and wily.
Christianity Rabbit Symbolism
In the Christian belief system, the association with Rabbit is more secular as a symbol that came to be associated with Easter. This is not a direct result of the observations of Jesus Christ, but of later transmogrification between Pagan and Christian cultures.
To some, the connection between Jesus and Rabbit can stem from the Rabbit living underground, similar to Jesus’s time spent in an underground tomb.
They are associated with rebirth and fertility and the association with resurrection also connects Rabbit with Christianity. Some accounts of early Christian cults describe a connection between Rabbit and the Virgin Mary as well.
Rabbit is not mentioned in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, Rabbit is incorrectly labelled as a “ruminant” and therefore considered unclean. Though in more recent factions of Christianity, Rabbit is associated with purity, innocence and gentleness and therefore associated with Christ or being Christ-like. In other or perhaps earlier aspects of the Abrahamic religions, Rabbit was more likely associated with trickery and being unclean or not to be trusted.
Though Rabbit Spiritual Meaning is often positive, signifying growth, abundance, wealth, fertility and rebirth, in some traditions, Rabbit also connotes subversiveness. Historians note this link when exploring the origins of the Lucky Rabbit’s Foot. How in the world did carrying the foot of a Rabbit become symbolic of luck?
As it is traced to a tradition of bending the rules of trade (and in doing so, using the cunning and intelligence of sneaky Rabbit Spirit Animal), using a Rabbit’s Foot as a form of currency allowed people to get around the rules and restrictions of currency exchange.
Other references point to the association between Rabbit’s Foot as a lucky token and a prolonged ritual in which all that is associated with “good” in Christian mythos is inverted. Thus, the connection between Rabbit and more specifically Rabbit’s Foot and Witchcraft or Sorcery, may stem from this lore. According to folklore, it was said that a Rabbit’s Foot had to be from the Rear Left side and prepared using a ritual in a graveyard under a Full Moon using one’s Left Hand.
It was common for those who persecuted Witches to assume that powerful ceremonies were based on an inversion of the power of Christian symbolism. So where Christ was seated at the “Right Hand” of God, it was considered then that the Left side was associated with evil and Satan.
This superstition carried down to modern times in which recent generations of children were cruelly trained out of Left-Handedness because it was associated with evil. So while the Bible says nothing about Rabbit’s Foot as a talisman or portent of Witchcraft, it was later facets of social norms and trends influenced by Christian doctrine but taken to an extreme, that led many to associate Rabbit and Rabbit’s Foot with Witchcraft and Folk Magic.
When unpacked step by step, the connection between Rabbit and Moon is found in many cultures and was no doubt observed in many non-Christian societies. Crusaders and later Colonizers who lumped all that was not Christian into one large box associated with the Devil and Black Magic, would no doubt see this connection as sinister when it was not.
The Lunar connection associates Rabbit Spirit Animal and Feminine Power, something also considered suspect by patriarchal authorities who leaned on Christian dogma in order to give credibility to their suspicions.
The connection between the Left side, often associated with intuition, magic and again, Feminine Energy, further creates a link in the mind of patriarchal authorities manipulating Christian dogma for their own agendas, between Rabbit and deceit.
Celtic Rabbit Symbolism
Celtic myths include tales about the Goddess Eostre, from where the word “Easter” originates. Eostre is a Moon Goddess with symbolic ties to the spring, fertility, and the reawakening of the Earth come springtime. Each Full Moon Eostre shapeshifts into a Hare.
Connection between Rabbit Spirit Animal and the Moon and Lunar Deities is established not only in Celtic but in other cultures as well. Part of this connection stems from Rabbit’s observed activity at night. Though it is often said Rabbit is nocturnal, they are actually Diurnal, meaning they prefer to graze in the early and late hours.
But they are also swift, creative and resourceful and will adapt to avoid danger.
Because they live in the Earth and burrow into the ground, it is believed in Celtic cultures that Rabbit or Hare is connected to the Otherworld.
Though the Brown Hare was introduced later by Romans, the Mountain Hare is native to Scotland and the Irish Hare native to Ireland. It is considered dire to harm a Rabbit in Celtic culture as they are considered both sacred and lucky.
This correlates to a myth of Oisin who intended to hunt a Hare. He shot the animal in the leg, wounding them. The Rabbit then darted into a doorway in the ground. Oisin followed the Rabbit to find a Maiden in its place, her leg wounded in the same spot.
The link between Rabbit and shapeshifting is also well established in Celtic lore.
Druids would catch Rabbits and then let them loose, studying the way they flee to safety as a form of divination. This is not surprising considering Rabbits are known for their seemingly erratic pattern of darting about.
A Rabbit’s style of scurrying in a zig-zag pattern is intentional as it confuses and misleads predators giving chase.
When you’re working with Rabbit Spirit Animal, you may be led in different directions. Are you following a decoy? Or do you need to be clever and confuse your adversary by keeping others guessing and on their toes?
Your path may zig-zag as you follow your quest now as well.
Thus, as Rabbit is a symbol of prophecy and divination, working with Rabbit Spirit Animal may serve as a calling to follow your intuition.
In Celtic traditions, people relied on Rabbit for divinatory purposes. They would not only read the patterns of Rabbit tracks and observe mating rituals to interpret Rabbit’s actions as signs or omens; thus, Rabbit has the additional symbolism of prognostication.
Dreams of Rabbits portend abundance, sexuality, fertility, and luck. Dreams in which you play with Rabbits represent a full life with many children. Rabbit dreams usually portend a positive turn in fortunes.
White Rabbit may signify love and good luck are on the horizon. Sexuality can also be part of the significance. Some see the dreams of a Black Rabbit as an ill omen or sign of mistrust.
If the Rabbit in your dream bites or scratches you, it’s a head’s up. You are ignoring an important relationship in your life. If you continue doing so, it will lead to relationship difficulties.
Learn more about Rabbit Spirit by reading What Do Rabbit Dreams Mean? on WhatIsMySpiritAnimal.com!
Rabbit in Astrology & Zodiac Signs
Rabbits are one of the twelve Chinese Zodiac Animals. People born in the Year of the Rabbit are one of the luckiest Chinese Zodiac signs. According to Chinese Astrology, Rabbit People will live a long, peaceful life filled with beauty, love, and much prosperity.
Visit my sister website BuildingBeautifulSouls.com to learn all about the personality, traits and characteristics of those born in the Year of the Rabbit.
Rabbit Far East Symbolism
What does Rabbit mean in the Far Eastern cultures?
Bunny symbolism in Buddhist lore, like Celtic and some African and Native cultures, is associated with the Moon. To the Chinese, Bunny Spirit Animal is associated with luck and is known as the Jade Rabbit.
This stems from a Buddhist story of an Emperor disguised as Beggar, a common theme from Ancient Greece as well. In this myth, the Beggar asks for food from Rabbit, Monkey and Fox. Though Fox and Monkey are able to hunt and gather food for him, fish and fruit, Rabbit is only able to gather grass.
Knowing this is insufficient, Rabbit burns the grass and in doing so, offers himself as a sacrifice. This self-sacrifice symbolism shows Rabbit as a Divine archetype of willingness to give of one’s self. In this myth, Rabbit is rewarded for his sacrifice by being given a special place as Guardian on the Moon.
Rabbit Spirit Animal in the East is associated with hedonism, fertility, protection, Lunar energy and speed among other things.
Bunny symbolism can easily be found in Japan in art, decoration and on clothing including Kimonos.
Rabbit consumption is taboo to the Han people and consuming Rabbit was associated with children being born with a birth condition known as a cleft lip, or in the pejorative description, “harelip.”
Rabbit was used as a prominent symbol in the home of the Chinese Emperor, further fusing the connection between Rabbit and good fortune, the Moon and longevity.
Rabbit Tattoo Meaning
The spiritual meaning of Rabbit may or may not have been taken into consideration when someone gets a Rabbit Tattoo.
A Rabbit Tattoo can signify a love of these intelligent and highly social animal, or it can convey the wearer’s interest in magic and spiritual growth. Yet for some with a Tattoo of a Bunny, Spirit Animal may be the last thing on their minds.
Rabbit meaning can be so varied because this creature is endeared by society on so many levels. They are associated with magic tricks and true magic. With protection and good luck. With cunning and creativity.
A Rabbit’s meaning when depicted on a tattoo, may show a love of any number of favorite cartoon characters from Bugs Bunny to Roger Rabbit, or fictional characters like Fiver from the classic novel Watership Down by Richard Adams.
Rabbit’s meaning can also imply a docile nature or desire for good luck and abundance. When someone gets a Rabbit tattoo, they may be delving deeper to connect with the spiritual realms but may also look to pay homage to a beloved companion animal without giving as much consideration to more significant Bunny symbolism.
Still, if you have Bunny Spirit Animal or find Rabbit symbolism to recur in your life, you may want to memorialize your connection to this animal through a Rabbit tattoo.
Rabbit Spiritual Meaning
The spiritual meaning of Rabbit is often associated with Lunar energy. From the Celtic traditions to the lore of African cultures, Rabbit is associated with the Moon.
In Africa, there are tales of the Rabbit’s split lip being a punishment from the Moon as Rabbit had tried to give the gift of immortality to humanity. In other stories, Rabbit is clearly a sign of positivity.
The symbolic connection between Rabbit Spirit Animal and magic can also be seen in the frequent use of Rabbit in cultural portrayals of stage magic. Magicians who pull Rabbits out of hats or make them disappear may not be practitioners of Ceremonial High Magic, but nonetheless, the image in the collective consciousness connects Rabbit with the process of transformation.
Is there a miracle you need to create from thin air? The spiritual meaning of Rabbit may be reminding you to use your intelligence and creativity to manifest and bring forth what you need, even if it seems unlikely or amazing.
Bunny Spirit Animal can be a harbinger of rebirth, a new cycle or phase may be on the horizon for you. You may also have the chance to amplify your abundance or encounter some lucky opportunity to grow.
For further spiritual meaning, look to the many cultural icons featuring Rabbit symbolism. One in particular is the White Rabbit of Lewis Carroll’s famous work, Alice in Wonderland. The term “Down the Rabbit hole” has come to be synonymous with taking an inner journey that can blow your mind.
Jefferson Airplane reiterated this association in their song White Rabbit. Just as the psychedelic vibe suggests, exploring the outer reaches of your psyche and journeying deep into inner worlds in which you can encounter the bizarre or unusual, as Alice did when she stumbled down the Rabbit Hole. Ironically, this story bears some similarity to the innocent Persephone being drawn into a subterranean world while picking flowers, though Wonderland is not specifically the Underworld, there are parallels between Alice and Persephone and their journeys.
When Rabbit appears, you may be stumbling into a new world in which you need to keep your mind open and stay alert, as Rabbit would.
Though Rabbit symbolism, as a marker of fertility and abundance, goes far beyond the conventional ideas of money or pregnancy. Perhaps you will win the lottery or have a family. But you may also come to acquire greater resources of various kinds. Someone may gift you with resources worth value, for example. You may come to adopt a new cat, thereby expanding your family, rather than specifically giving birth and experiencing fertility that way. Or your business or career may expand in a positive way, yet another example of the symbolism of Rabbit as a marker of abundance.
In fact, in the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot, the Queen of Pentacles is depicted with a Rabbit at her feet. The Queen of Pentacles symbolizes the Earth element, as does the Rabbit. This is also a card of wealth- again symbolically or literally- and practicality.
Keeping your wits about you and remaining grounded can lead you to grow in your business, career or financial life. This is one of many ways to interpret the Queen of Pentacles card and Rabbit’s portrayal reinforces the intellectual and witty nature of the message that is otherwise rooted in practicality and earthiness.
Rabbit Symbolic Meanings Key
- Divination, Signs, & Omens
- Survival Instincts
- Psychic Senses
- Speedy Action