I was born in the year of the Rabbit–not the most imposing of totem animals, compared to the Dragon, the Tiger or even the Serpent. While some folks transform the Rabbit into the Cat, any predator being more impressive than prey, I am coming to understand the gifts of the rabbit, especially in this spring of my crone-dom. Rabbit is a trickster, sly and fast, needing always to outwit the larger predators. Rabbits have been honored as pure, reviled as sexual, snuggled as cute, and thought mad for their activities in the Spring–the original March Madness. The meme of the killer bunny shows our continuing unease with that which seems on the one hand to be so vulnerable, so freely sexual, and one the other hand, has such sharp teeth and claws that it was once accused of attacking President Jimmy Carter on a fishing trip.
Many peoples speak of the Rabbit in the Moon, rather than the man or the maiden, but once you see her, she is always there, like those double pictures of the old woman and the young woman. In this image of Ix Chel, from Dr. Estés’s facebook page, shows the love of the goddess of the moon for her companion, the Rabbit.
Including Ix Chel and her beautiful companion, Rabbit who as you see unusually portrayed in the iconography, loves Ix Chel and they are tender with one another, each holding the other, literally arms around one another. Iris de la luna, Ix Chel is sometimes called, rainbow around the moon… the Rabbit, being the one reflected it is said, by the dark markings on the moon, in that sense, Mother Moon carries the fertility and creativity of New Life, for she carries beautiful soulful gentle Rabbit out of harm’s way. – Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Living underground, the Rabbit brings a need to create, a need to produce offspring, to bring forth. In warrens where there are too many rabbits, the female will reabsorb their litters, and become barren. I have felt that barrenness when I have not taken the time to write, to draw, to sew, to plant. The need to create is part of me like my blood is part of me, like my hands are part of me.
Ix Chel is the Grandmother, the midwife, the medicine woman. She controls the waters, rainbows and floods,and in her crone aspect, wears a snake in her hair, a universal symbol of regeneration. Sometimes portrayed as a young woman, sometimes as old, she is the mother of the jaguar wind gods, and like all midwives, she brings people into this world and takes them out.
She is a weaver, spinning out the threads of life. In Mayan mythology, she was married to the Sun, bore the four winds, and was killed several times by the Sun’s jealousy of her and his brother, the Morning Star. So the Moon is always opposite the Sun, the full moon rising at sunset, and hiding away when they rise together–the dark moon.
Jung said that the gold was in the Shadow self, that which we fear and project on others, that which carries our power when we own it and reclaim the rejected parts of ourselves. Today I am looking at what I think others have that I do not. I am reclaiming my inner Rabbit, beloved of the Moon Goddess. I am spinning and weaving my life, bringing spring rain to it, and looking for the Rainbow around the Moon.
Thalia Took’s Ix Chel from her goddess oracle
It’s great the way you see the best in your totem sign. Now you’ve pointed it out, I’ll look for the rabbit in the moon. Fascinating facts. Thanks for sharing.
I never thought about the connection between the moon goddess sand the rabbit, and I’ve seen the image of Ix Chel before. Funny how we make connections.