In many cultures, the rabbit symbol represents fear, but it is also associated with longevity, fertility, good luck, creativity. If we desire order in our lives, it is vital to understand the symbols that occur, in this case, the rabbit symbolism, and apply the bunny meaning to gain its power in our favor.
Table of contents
- Rabbit Symbolism and meaning
- Rabbit Native American Symbolism
- Rabbit Eastern Symbolism
- Rabbit Christianity Symbolism
- Rabbit Celtic Symbolism
- Rabbit African Symbolism
- Rabbit in Dreams
- Rabbit Encounters and Omens
- Rabbit’ Mythology and Folklore
- Rabbit Spirit Animal
- Rabbit Totem Animal
- Rabbit Power Animal
- Rabbit Tattoo Meaning
Rabbit symbolism and meaning
The rabbit can symbolize many aspects of life, both negative and positive, according to different cultures. Its primal meanings are of fear, sexuality, abundance and prosperity, good luck, intuition, spontaneity, wittiness, and many more.
Although it is a defenseless and harmless animal, with many predators on its tail, it manages successfully to avoid danger thanks to its speed and intelligent nature. Rabbits remind us of our vulnerability and push us to find the strength within ourselves.
Because of its nocturnal lifestyle, the rabbit was linked to the Moon and the idea of rebirth as well as being a mythical creature with magical powers.
It has many connections through various cultures with several deities. An example is the sacred rabbit of Hermes as his speedy messenger.
The rabbit was portrayed as a symbol to identify certain tribes and was also used by the Chinese Emperor as a sign of their house. It’s meaning was of longevity by it’s connection to the Moon.
The lucky rabbit’s foot is commonly used even to this day as a lucky charm, but few know the origins of this practice and it’s affiliation to witchcraft. (1)
Rabbit Native American symbolism
The bunny symbol is also found in the Native American cultures, and it is considered widely as a trickster animal, though in some regions, the rabbit meaning is about fertility.
Aztecs, on the other hand, view this rabbit sign as a type of alcoholic beverage and connect it with debauching and boozing. The rabbit spirit animal or even deity is a hero present in many tribe legends and clan animals.
Although it is said that it tricks it’s rivals and acts foolishly; people have a deep respect for the spirit animal rabbit because it is not a dangerous or evil being, but a friend to many and a spiritual guide.
The rabbit power animal is a well-known character in children’s stories as they make them laugh with their tricks and inflated egos.
The Native American folklore describes them killing, dying, and reviving randomly, and in some legends, the bunny is a symbol of Jesus, the son of God, or the son of the creator god Earthmaker.
In the Anishinaabe tribes, the rabbit spirit is portrayed as the hero Nanabozho or the Grate Hare, which is believed to be the son of the Sun and is viewed as a teacher and a friend of humanity. (2)
Rabbit Eastern Symbolism
In Chinese and Korean folklore, there is a story of the Moon Rabbit, also known as the Jade Rabbit.
It originates from a Buddhist tale in which the Emperor of Heavens asks three animals, the fox, the monkey, and the rabbit, to bring him food, while disguised as a beggar.
The fox catches a fish and brings it as an offering to the beggar, whereas the monkey provides him with fruits.
The rabbit, not being as resourceful as the others, could only bring him grass, so it decides to burn the grass and throw itself in it, thus offering itself to the beggar. Being impressed with the sacrifice of the rabbit, the Emperor sends him to the Moon to be its guardian.
So what do rabbits symbolize in the Eastern Countries? Besides being a religious icon, the bunny spirit animal is a symbol of cleverness, vigilance and deftness, lechery and fertility, self-protection, wit, and of course, of the Moon.
In Japanese culture, bunny symbolism is used frequently on kimonos, merchandise and is also part of the oldest manga in the world.
For Han Ethnic people, rabbit meat is forbidden, as it is believed that pregnant women will give birth to babies with harelips. (3)
Rabbit Christianity symbolism
The rabbit symbolism in Christianity has found its way through the Germanic deity Eostre from which the name Easter came to be.
She is the goddess of spring and fertility and is associated with the rabbit animal spirit, which is believed to be a hermaphrodite.
The first western Christians thought that rabbits could reproduce without any sexual contact, so they made a connection with the Virgin Mary, which led to a series of paintings, books, and manuscripts that depicted them together.
But what is the spiritual meaning of the rabbit? It seems that its presence in Christianity is merely a way in which the German immigrants tried to accommodate their children through stories.
One of these tales describes the rabbit as the pet of Jesus Christ. The rabbit’s spiritual meaning originates from it waiting patiently and sad for its owner to revive and come back to it. This is how hope and patience became the spiritual meaning of a rabbit.
Ever wondered what does a rabbit means spiritually, especially when it comes to celebrating Easter? It seems that it’s just another children’s tale brought to us by the German folklore, in which only the good and well-behaved children would get gifts of decorated eggs. (4)
Rabbit Celtic symbolism
In Celtic folklore, the rabbit is seen as a supernatural being from the Otherworld. It was believed that it could shapeshift and have great power, so harming it would bring misfortune.
There is a legend in which is described as a Celtic warrior that wounds a bunny’s leg and runs after it through a door in the ground. Inside he finds instead a beautiful young woman that was bleeding from a leg wound. Because of this view, eating their meat was forbidden in Ireland.
So what does a rabbit symbolize for the Celtic people? Hares were admired for their strength and speed, and it seems that they also saw them as the Moon symbol.
Celtics associated the circles the rabbits make with the moon cycles, as well as the femininity and fertility. So if you’re thinking what does it mean when you see a rabbit or maybe baby rabbits running, you should consider reproducing or conceiving a new idea or project.
Because of their close relationship with the grounds, rabbits were seen as couriers for the underground world that could carry messages between the living and the dead. By examining their tracks and rituals, they were used in Celtic shamanic practices.
Rabbit African symbolism
The spiritual meaning of the rabbit crossing your path is found in the African myths, where it is believed that it is a sign of bad luck.
Another negative aspect of it is portrayed in the tale in which the rabbit is a divine messenger of the Moon sent to offer the gift of immortality to humankind. Because of its trickster nature, the rabbit spirit guide does the exact opposite and brings death to Earth.
Upon hearing of his doings, the Moon hits him with a stick as punishment and splits his lip. It is said that you will encounter the rabbit crossing the dead in the afterlife.
So is seeing a rabbit good luck or bad luck? Although there is the trickster behavior present again, the African people view the symbolic meaning of a rabbit positively as well. It is outlined as a spirit of wisdom and kindness.
The lucky rabbit’s foot is part of this culture; it’s origins coming from the Hoodoo, a religion combined with witchcraft. This lucky charm must be made out of the left foot of the rabbit, captured during the full or new Moon in a cemetery.
Rabbit in dreams
Bunny dreams are a good sign in general. The existence of a rabbit in a dream signifies success, an increase of income, and a positive future. The rabbit omen could also bring to mind fear, the desire to run away from something, or even a sexual problem.
The biblical meaning of rabbits in dreams consists mostly of unclean thoughts and feelings. They are rarely mentioned in the Bible, though.
White rabbit symbolism is about love and luck, loyalty, and good relationships. The white rabbit appearance could also signify the desire to be a parent. The Black rabbit’s meaning is of insecurities, sexual, and relationship disappointments.
Black rabbit symbolism could also stand for fear of intimacy and lies. A gray rabbit is the embodiment of a person that wants to trick you. A pink rabbit suggests the possibility of financial problems.
A dream of a dead rabbit corresponds to a boring life, a loss of vitality. The dead rabbit symbolism is generally negative, and it could also imply illness.
A woman’s rabbit dream meaning insinuates a conflict with the opposite sex, especially if she is chasing or chased by it. But if it’s a white rabbit animal, the bunny could be her guide for the righteous path. (5)
Rabbit encounters and omens
There is a generally accepted superstition about the lucky rabbit’s foot. But there are different views of whether it is a good or a bad sign to encounter these animals.
In some parts exists the belief that a bunny crossing your path could mean that you must follow your intuition, or make some kind of a change or transformation in your life, or maybe even start a family as it is a symbol of fertility.
Finding a dead rabbit in front of your house indicates that your opportunities are long gone. The direction in which the rabbit is crossing your path is also essential.
So if the bunny was moving to your right, then it means you will encounter the masculine energy of the Sun. But if it was headed towards the other side, then it’s a symbol of the feminine Moon.
Omens and symbolism of rabbits are widely positive, as they bring the observer good fortune, wealth, and prosperity.
But as said before, some cultures see them as a bad omen and keep them away from human life because of the belief that there is some sort of witchcraft about them, connected with the shapeshifts we have spoken about previously.
Rabbit mythology and folklore
We have talked about the deep affinity between the rabbit and the Moon. Still, there are many more legends around the world, such as the discoveries made in Great Britain, where it was considered against the divine law to eat bunnies, as they were a rare and exotic animal.
They thought of them as angelic beings and carefully buried them. An Arabian legend talks of Almiraj, a beast that lived in the Indian Ocean that was shaped in the form of a rabbit with a unicorn horn.
It is said to be a gift for Alexander the Great after he defeated a dragon that was destroying the local livestock.
Aztec mythology reveals the Centzon Totochtin, also known as the 400 rabbits, was a group of bunny deities that engaged in drinking and partying.
In North America, there is a mythical beast called the jackalope. It is a rabbit with horns and seems to be a hybrid between a bunny and an antelope, hence the name.
This animal appears to be dangerous and can talk, but at the same time, legend mentioned that you could milk the females during sleep and use the emulsion as a bunny medicine. (6)
Rabbit spirit animal
The energy of the rabbit spirit animal should be invoked in times when there is a need for keen senses and comfort when a person lives in fear or requires wealth and abundance.
Call this spirit, and it will grant you fertility and creativity. If this spirit comes to you spontaneously, it is a warning to be aware of the dangers that lay ahead.
You may be “watched” by some evil being, and this guide has come to you to heighten your instincts and make you aware of your situation, giving you the time needed to escape.
If instead you are faced with a decision making state of affairs, this appearance signifies the time to stop and reflect deeply on what is the next step.
The rabbit is also a useful guide if you’re planning to start a family, as it helps in keeping yourself grounded and making sound financial plans.
When in times of trouble, calling the spirit rabbit can render you more agile physically and mentally, thus making you prone to attracting opportunities and finding solutions. This animal will make your mind flexible, and it will increase your speed in problem-solving. (7)
Rabbit totem animal
Having a rabbit as a birth totem shows that you are a witty person that enjoys life, partying, and even frolicking. You like moving fast through life and are in constant need of adrenaline. The bunny totem makes you highly intuitive so that it is easy to find the path to success.
Even so, we must not forget about its fearful nature. The rabbit animal totem reminds us of a timid creature that has no moment of relaxation.
Social shyness and perpetual anxiety may be a struggle for those that were born with this totem, but at the same time, this animal is the one to teach them how to overpower these feelings.
A rabbit’s lucky foot or a rabbit totem work somewhat in the same way. It is a lucky charm that will increase the chances of manifesting your desires and help you overcome fears.
When this totem enters your life, expressing your seductiveness and childlike candor will come naturally.
Positive energy will emanate with great magnetism while being a contemplative and an exceedingly observant person at the same time.
All these traits will help you solve various situations with great diplomacy and kindness.
Rabbit power animal
If your health is not that well, or if you have questions regarding what you should eat or not, this power animal might appear and encourage a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.
The rabbit power animal is a guide of balance, of fast making decisions through silencing one’s mind and a bearer of fortune and well-being.
Its ability of full awareness is projecting into your life, teaching you to be conscious of all actions and thoughts so that you can attract only positive aspects in life. The rabbit medicine card is a clear example of this.
Its significance is of the power you give to thoughts through feelings. This means that if you fear something, this emotion actually gives strength to that situation, person, or whatever it may be, materializing it unknowingly into your life.
The message of this medicine card is to let things be and stop worrying about the things you cannot control. Instead, breathe deeply and let Mother-Earth take away any concerns you might have.
Another way of using this power animal in your favor is by writing down your fears and burning them to ashes, which can be collected in a metal container and buried.
Rabbit tattoo meaning
Rabbit tattoo meaning is not far from the general view. It is a symbol of good luck, especially for their rear legs, which were used in divination.
The luscious and fertile aspects are also present. Many girls tattoo this symbol or the Playboy logo as a representation of sex and sensuality. This logo is also famous amongst men as it is a symbol of sexual liberation and lifestyle.
The bunny tattoo meaning is also for people that want to be reminded to remain calm in troublesome times. As a more lighthearted meaning, this animal is displayed on people’s skin for the love they hold for their pets.
This cute animal can be a permanent souvenir as a portrait of their best fluffy friend.
There are a series of cartoon rabbits that find their way through tattoo enthusiasts, like the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland or Bugs Bunny. Each of these characters represents a set of values and concepts.
For example, Bugs Bunny stands for the restless teenager, always ready to get into trouble and give a witty commentary.
If you wish to express the idea of spring and rebirth, you might want to get a bunny tattoo or even an Easter bunny with colorful eggs.
Even though the rabbit is a fearful and shy animal, it is clear that this symbol is full of wisdom and teachings. It is the way to overcome limits and find the resources you need within yourself, through cleverness and high intuition. Invoke this animal spirit into your life and let it guide you towards success.