A few sweet updates I thought I’d share to keep up the Astrid Chronicles and document her bunny garden progress. This morning finds us with 52 of the 72 seeds I planted late Saturday afternoon/early evening sprouting away in just under 5 days already. Astrid discovered them yesterday on the floor, as I move them to different spots throughout the day, and tried to get at them, chewing the little revolving plastic window at top of the mini greenhouse. She did manage to get it off, but I stopped her in time and told her to wait until they’re big plants so she can enjoy them more.
She’s SO smart and knows how to get into anything, including gated off areas we have downstairs so we didn’t have to bunny proof the room. And, she relishes in delight to show me just how smart she is, as each time I come up with a new way to keep her from opening the gate, she finds her way through it. She will actually wait for me to discover her and then springs in the air with glee and as I laugh, she darts around the room and then leaves and dashes part way up the stairs where she stops and waits again. Once I leave the room, she goes back and does it again. She’s discovered it’s a fun game to play with mom.
Needless to say, I decided to just go ahead and bunny proof the room, as the gate bothered me, so now she has full reign of the area and perhaps was her plan all along, as the Queen that she is. 😉
Anyway, it’s been exciting to watch the sprouts literally sprouting before my eyes, as every day more and more appear and even within a couple of hours. Plants are incredible! And I know these will be incredible delicacies for Astrid once they’re big enough to plant in my Garden Tower. Likely some of the outdoor bunnies will enjoy them too. So, I’ll have to think on that. Perhaps provide them their own plants on the lower level of the Tower so that they can have some too and tell them that those are theirs and the rest are for Astrid. We’ll see.
It will be another couple weeks before I get that going, especially since this morning we woke to a couple inches of Spring snow. I was excited yesterday to see that my daffodils already had yellow buds formed, but as you can see they are covered in snow this morning. It will likely melt off by end of today or tomorrow, but sure is pretty!
Nature is amazing! And that includes her children like Astrid.
She continues to reveal more and more of her magickal self and abilities. I keep noticing how much she reminds me of Nestor too, which feels like another full circle experience for me and very healing and special. Her fur continues to reveal amazing and ever-evolving symbols, just like Nestor’s did too. Currently she’s sporting a half Chakana symbol, as you can see in this photo of her coming out of her second castle tunnel to commune with her Faery friend.
She really loves her big sleigh bed that sits next to my desk and enjoys the afternoon sun there. I received a beautiful Swarovski crystal octagon prism for my birthday that hangs from my sliding glass door and creates rainbow light from the sun. It just so happens to fall on Astrid now and then too. Or is it that Astrid knows just the precise location, like a grid worker, to be in the line of its light and energy? OR, is something being revealed to me in this alignment? I love how it falls on her ears – telepathy connected.
She often sleeps in this bed as I write, keeping one eye open with awareness even though she is away in Dreamland. This is the way she reaches my Pisces subconscious. She keeps a stream of telepathic energy flowing between us and channels of communication wide so she can send me thoughts to assist with my writing. We are a team and together our work is more potent than if done alone.
Just as in life, cocreating and community is where powerful change is.
She’s such a dear and wise helper and our bond exponentially increases by the day. We are inseparable and we understand each other clearly.
I love our snuggle time and I love our play time. She makes me laugh out loud and my voice fluctuations of her name let her know it’s time to play. She’ll flip her ears, twist her head quick, and take the ready stance when I add a tone of excitement to my voice.
And other times it’s the love voice that beckons her to come to me for a snuggle and kisses.
Then there’s the treat voice that calls her name, as I send her thoughts of goodies she’s about to get, and she comes running.
And of course there’s a more stern “Astrid” voice maybe followed with a “no” if she’s about to do something naughty. This one doesn’t happen that much, as she really is a good and smart bunny.
In general, though, there’s a huge difference from how she was in the start.
I’m happy to share that there is no more charging anytime you approach her. She only does this if she’s under something or in her tunnel and someone tries to put their hand there, which makes sense. Hey! No one wants to be cornered or bothered when they’re trying to be alone.
I try to let people know how she likes to be touched, which is on top of the head and stroking along her back, which also avoids the element of surprise. Often people want to put their hands under her nose and mouth and she doesn’t like that. Rabbits can’t see directly in front of them, so it’s also startling. Every bunny is different, and can have different moments of being okay with things and then not. But she’s doing amazing with no more defensiveness and the only grunts I hear are when I get her her favorite foods and treats, if I’m not doing it fast enough. She sounds like a little piglet grunting in anticipation and delight.
But another huge difference is how she sleeps.
When I first brought her home she would always remain on alert and just sleep in a ball on all fours or lay down stretched out, but not on her side. I wondered when she would get into that relaxed bunny sleep, which indicates feeling safe. Sometimes I’d see her start to fall asleep and almost get there, but then wake herself up when she realized.
And now, we have this.
She would never have done this in the beginning. Throwing herself on her side and sleeping vulnerably is a huge trust and comfort thing, which makes me so happy. I love when she throws herself at my feet when I’m at my desk and goes to sleep. Those little silver dipped paws and tummy are precious!
She keeps me on my toes too, and makes sure I’m keeping up with my writing. I’ll often find her sitting in my cozy chair in my office – Queens like their thrones! She’ll nudge my feet and ankles and makes sure to wake us in the morning by racing around the master bedroom to rise for her greens feeding time!
Sometimes she’ll hang with the cats – the three of them in a row – as long as everyone remains at least a foot or two apart. Boundaries are a must! She also keeps the cats amused watching her race around the room.
She keeps a tidy realm here in Wonderland and sees to the happiness of all the beings that dwell here. It’s working, as everyone who walks into the room says things like, “this room makes me so happy,” or “this room makes me smile,” and most share that it inspires them in one way or another or definitely has the inner child vibe. We actually had four kids over recently with their parents and they of course went crazy over my room, which was a great sign of the innocence I’ve managed to reclaim and recreate here. That was a goal for me, to make this my inner child sanctum where all of my dreams could come alive – a world of pure imagination, as Willy Wonka says.
And that makes Astrid happy too, as she loves her room – spending the majority of her day in it. And the cats pretty much don’t come into it. They try occasionally to eat some of her hay on the top of her castle, but that’s as far as they get. They hardly come downstairs in general. Sweet Pea actually won’t come down unless her dad does. Both of the cats feel it’s safe if dad goes down, and then they follow. It’s pretty hilarious how much Astrid has established herself. And it’s only fair that she should have her own space too, as we know cats think everything belongs to them. 😉
Astrid is doing so good inside and out, and her health is testament to that. Monday I took her to her vet check up. This was the welcome sign for her – I thought it ironic with the cat on it.
We go to regular vet check ups every 6 months and sometimes 3 months to stay on top of any irregularities that could show up in her teeth. This is a must for bunnies since their teeth not only continually grow, but if not caught in time it can create huge challenges, or even be fatal with complications. I’m so grateful we have such a proactive vet who knows her bunny stuff and is just as sweet as angels come. She’s amazing!
And, so far so good. Astrid has continued getting clean and excellent bills of health. Marcy at SaveABunny had also said she never had issues as long as she was with them either.
We’ve been monitoring one tooth since the beginning but it’s doing well and no changes since the start. Sometimes a small irregularity is simply due to the way they chew so you just need to make sure it’s always maintained by your bunny or else will need maintenance. She’s doing well consistently maintaining it. We’re now keeping an eye on one other tooth where the gum is slightly protruding. She’s has no signs of problems, or issues in any way, and the gum and tooth is healthy, but the vet is staying on top of it to make sure it doesn’t turn into anything.
I love how gentle she is with Astrid and in general, she just has the softest energy about her, but not in any push over kind of way, as she has a strong presence, it’s just a gentle power. This vet has actually seen all of my bunnies (minus my first bunny Twinkie whom I had when I was in my teens) this to include Nestor, Joy, Cosmo, and now Astrid. So that also is pretty special given how much I’ve moved around. And this also makes Astrid number 5 – my fav magickal number.
Astrid did great and we’ll be back in 3 months to see how it’s all shaping up while I continue watching her for any slight changes. That’s simply a daily part of having a bunny…staying on top of knowing every little nuance since they can hide things well.
And that leads me to another Bundate – Bunny Update – from SaveABunny, actually.
You remember the white bunny, Big Sur (who to me is Zephyr) that I didn’t adopt. I mentioned getting a brief update from Marcy, but she had mentioned that she told his new mom to contact me directly. I hadn’t heard anything until yesterday morning and this was the beautiful news:
Marcy asked me to reach out to you and let you know that I formally adopted Big Sur. I know you had donated to help much with his care while he was at SaveABunny – thank you. In October we (my partner Ryon, my 10 year old daughter Dyllan and I) wanted to help out so we decided to foster Big Sur (we already had adopted 4 rabbits previously) Well months went by and we just couldn’t fathom the idea of bringing him back. So we totally foster failed. We love him so much words cannot express. He is such a special loving soul and we are so lucky to have him in our lives. Thank you for all your help and love. He found his forever home
PS – I’m also an adoption coordinator at SaveABunny…I’ve always felt a draw to him since he first arrived.
And here was my reply:
Hi Lisa!! I saw your message first thing this morning and it made me smile so big. I had to wait until I could respond more in fullness to you, but I first wanted to say how VERY grateful I am that you took time to write to me about him. I have wondered so much how he has been doing, as like you had been so drawn to him and felt that love and connection. I was very challenged with my decision as to who to adopt when I did arrive there, but felt in my heart he was telling me to take Deja Vu – who is now Astrid – and that he was going to be fine, needed that time to heal, and everything would end up perfectly. I am SO happy beyond words to know you have him with you and that he is in the perfect home and you are all sharing so much love between you. It confirms what I had felt and it also speaks so much of the bond you both have and why everything turned out as it did. I am so grateful for all of the work you do for SaveABunny, giving so many homes to rabbits in need, and now loving Big Sur so dearly. And you are so welcome for the help with him. It meant a lot to me to be able to do that. I’m so glad you foster failed! I’m glad to know you are the adoption coordinator…I can’t remember now as it was nearly a year ago I had first contacted about Big Sur, but we may have spoken via email. Marcy and SaveABunny mean a lot to me and Astrid is definitely my perfect partner. I couldn’t love her more and our connection has deepened so much since last June. She’s my second adoption from SaveABunny and likely there will be more at some point. So it’s good to know you! Thank you again! Love and hugs to you
I love happy endings, don’t you? They lead to great new beginnings!
Yesterday I received another very loud, clear, and blaring message from my sweet rabbit and soul companion, Joy, as you can see in this photo from our hike. As we were descending the mountain, our attention was drawn to the left and there in clear letters was her name deliberately written in the snow upon a rock. Incredible.
You may remember the sign from Cosmo after his transition and messages I’ve been getting from Joy since my dream of her about a week and a half or so ago where she was getting my attention to “hear” and “listen” to something coming, which could be tangible or telepathic.
Immediately following the dream, my bunny loves have been super active in showing up with messages, gifts, and their presences, but especially so, Joy has been with very tangibly seen messages and several times with her name appearing in huge letters.
Yesterday Joy’s message showed up right after I’d spent the last five minutes deeply immersed in thinking about my bunny loves and was getting teary eyed, feeling the tug at my heart strings.
Joy’s message felt fourfold.
- I felt that she was wanting me to know how much they were with me and to feel their love and “joy” in my heart to heal any sadness present.
- I felt that she was messaging me again to keep listening, being ultra observant, and to pay attention to the signs and messages she and the others would be sending me, as something is amping up right now and something big is coming. Also, to confirm for me to keep on point with my path I’m being inspired to follow right now, as it’s being supported and channeled by them to fuel my heart.
- I felt it (and the other “Joy” signs) was confirmation of what I’d come to see about Joy in her last year or so of having truly embraced and embodied her name, which when I first got her she had been concerned she couldn’t live up to and afraid of disappointing if she couldn’t be the essence of “Joy” always. She came to own that truth of her heart, as her innocence and vulnerability WAS pure Joy always.
- And a “joy” filled appreciation for what I’ll share below.
Needless to say, I was so touched by seeing her sign and have been so grateful for my bunny loves’ constant and recently very profound presence in more heightened ways than usual.
So much so, that I’m discovering myself embodying the bunny me more than ever and everything in my life is coming up bunnies, as I’ll touch a little bit on in another post.
Gaia has been there too, but she seems to make very timely, big entrances at less frequent intervals.
But for now, as we approach the end of this year and get ready to walk through a new gateway of experience, I felt so much that alongside all that I’m focused on I really wanted to anchor in some energy (it’s 3:33 pm here as I write this part) and honor the memory of my sweet ones in a way I know they would appreciate and likely have inspired.
Each year Dave and I give to organizations to help animals. Most of the time we do it around Christmas and the New Year, but sometimes it’s been at Easter (for bunnies), and sporadically donate to different events as well at any given time. For example, I’ve donated a bunch of my paintings, prints, time and services to help raise money for animals and volunteered at a rabbit shelter as well for a while.
This year it was immediately a stand-out for us where we wanted to lend our support.
Our Christmas gift went to two non-profit organizations that were connected with both Joy and Cosmo, in honor and in memory of them and all the love they had for the bunnies they left behind, and came to know over the course of their sheltered lives, when they came home with me, and to others like them that are in need and not as fortunate as they were.
Donations provide things like food, litter, supplies, toys, and help out with vet fees for neutering/spaying, health challenges, and needed surgeries.
Joy and Cosmo are “compassion ambassadors” for rabbits and spreading awareness and education to others about rabbits, and this was a way not only to do what is in my and Dave’s hearts’ “joy” to offer in way of support, but also to continue their work through me, since we are One.
No wonder I’m becoming a rabbit more and more with these power souls channeling through me.
It’s one way we can help bunnies in need, bridge the rabbit/human gap, do what’s most in our hearts, show our reverence for these two ever-giving souls, a way for me to keep them alive through me, and a way to spread a little “JOY” to others via the path and role I have in this life involving rabbits.
This year has been profoundly shifting for me, which has been in large part because of the work I’ve been doing with my rabbit companions and what has come through them.
These messages and gifts in the cycle of giving and receiving mutually, have truly been a theme pervading 2016 for me and I can’t think of a more perfect way to close it out and anchor in the new.
I received notification of this when I went back online after my sabbatical and I thought I would share for anyone that was following this, worked on getting it through, and share a love for rabbits.
You might remember my post and the dream that moved me to share about it:
Well, I’m happy to share that there was a victory with this and Marcy Schaaf, the founder of SaveABunny (who I met at a San Francisco VegFest and later visited to provide Reiki for the bunnies she sheltered, which is how I came to adopt Joy quite magickally), had a big hand in making this happen.
Here’s the announcement that came out on September 15, 2015, while I was offline during my time away:
Since my personal path is linked so much with rabbits and continues to grow in this area as far as what I feel called to do, this is very meaningful to me.
Of course I’m vegan and so all souls in animals bodies are important to me. This is just one of many compassionate steps that continue to unfold, as shifts in consciousness happen.
Thank you to all who worked hard at making this change.
Reverence for Rabbits & All Living Creatures – The Greatest Gift at Easter is Sharing the Heart of Compassion
Let us remember that animals are not mere resources for human consumption. They are splendid beings in their own right, who have evolved alongside us as co-inheritors of all the beauty and abundance of life on this planet. ~Marc Bekoff
Most people know that I am a huge animal lover and that my life is driven by living in reverence to all of life and in loving compassion to all creatures, great and small. You may also know that I have a special place in my heart for rabbits.
A few nights ago I was sharing about my connection with rabbits, as I was reflecting on Easter time and how rabbits are such a huge symbol of this day and Spring, but also experience the sad results of it.
I find it quite profound that rabbits are the brunt end of so much violence and sadness, as they are killed for their fur, for their meat as food, are one of the animals hugely experimented on and tortured for “science” and for things such as cosmetics, are the third most euthanized animals after dogs and cats, end up abandoned, in shelters, or let loose in the wild unable to fend for themselves after their “cuteness” wears off (Easter time especially), or die short lives because of people not being educated on proper rabbit care and their delicate physiology. The majority of veterinarians are not even educated to treat them properly (a fact, as well as something I experienced with my rabbits). Rabbits are simply widely misunderstood because they take intuitive care and attention since they haven’t a voice like other animals that can meow or bark, are generally more docile and easily over-powered, and will simply retreat when something is wrong.
I cherish all animals and communicate with them daily, but for whatever reason since I was young, rabbits have been one of the amazing beings on this Earth that I have a special bond with and that I feel to be a voice for.
Every Easter, I sponsor a rabbit, or two, from the shelter where my bunny love, Joy Julianna, and I connected. This year I was instantly drawn to one bunny that stole my heart and I’ve been thinking of her ever since laying my eyes upon her photos.
Her name is Tej and she is a special needs bunny. I do not know her story, of how she came to be as you see her, but I have put in an inquiry to the shelter to find out more about her and her condition. I cried the instant I saw her, and felt such a bond with her. If she can’t be with me physically, I’ll be supporting her as I can energetically and in sponsorship.
If these dear ones call to your heart, perhaps you might help with a small donation, fostering, home, volunteering, or at least help to educate others that rabbits are not objects of amusement, but tender and intelligent beings that deserve our love.
Or, at the least, when thinking about Easter today and what to share with your children, share the heart of compassion and reverence for all living beings and for the beauty of living in harmony with Nature. This will have great impact for all beings that walk this Earth with us.
Here’s a good article on reasons NOT to give a rabbit as an Easter gift:
Let us deepen the reach of our hearts to extend to all beings gifting our lives with their precious souls.
Two days ago I received a voice message from SaveABunny.org – the nationally recognized non-profit adoption, education and volunteer-based foster center that rescues rabbits, based in Mill Valley, California. This is where I adopted my precious little Joy Julianna on February 23rd, 2009 – just 3 days before my birthday, coming up on almost 5 years ago now. She arrived at the shelter after being neglected, but still retained her loving quality, despite her experiences.
She was named Julianna by the shelter, but I added Joy to the front of her name. Since, she’s taken on a few nicknames to include “Tiny” and “Jules”.
I’ve shared a lot about Joy and Nestor (my two rabbit companions and soul partners) in many other posts, so I won’t go into detail here, nor could ever possibly explain the magickal experiences I have had with them in the decade of time they both have graced my life.
But because of the synchronicity of SaveABunny contacting me, mirroring not only my thinking of them in the last week and some ways to support their efforts, but also their call coming in directly the morning after I hung my original painting, “Once in a Blue Moon” which features both Nestor and Joy, in my office (after receiving message to do so, which has created a portal and shifted the vibe of my space), I felt moved to share this short post today.
Anyway, back to the phone call from SaveABunny….the lady calling was asking to have my contact information updated, as well as was checking in to see how Joy was doing and asking if I’d be willing to update them with a brief share about her along with some photos, as they love to hear and share about happy endings for these sweet and magickal creatures.
I, of course, immediately stopped everything and sent them the small share you can find below, along with the photos you see in this post (I’m only sharing a few of the many I sent them. Yes, I love my little one so much and I wanted them to see how happy and wonderful Joy is).
Some people have human babies…I have animal babies, but to me they are much, much, MUCH more than that. They are powerful beings, my best friends, and alchemical magicians that have not only worked their magick with experiences in my life and the lives of others, but have worked their magick on my heart.
After having experienced a traumatic transition that Nestor left this experience through to continue her eternal one, I found myself in an instantaneous “Tower” Tarot card experience where the quick and intense lightning strike of change flashed through my soul. Not only did it mark one of the largest shifts that have me on my current journey, but it also had my heart in a pain I had not yet ever experienced until that moment, and likely won’t again. Not only did Nestor take me to the depths of unconditional love, but she took me to the depths of anguish in having the physical experience of my Twin Soul move on, which at the time felt like – without me.
Yet this proved not to be the case, and rather than continue that story I’ve shared before, through a series of magickal circumstances, messages, and signs orchestrated by Nestor, Joy Julianna came into my life (something I thought I would never allow in again), but she, with Nestor’s guidance, helped me to mend and integrate healing of my heart and come to know the true resiliency it houses, as I love her with ALL of me again.
From the depths of dark and light, I have learned about the fullness and wholeness of experience and deepened my capacity for unconditional love and compassion. And from the experiences they both have shared with me (much too long to explain the how’s), I have been able to harness the authenticity and clarity of my/this life’s path and get myself aligned and on track with greater strength and courage.
The word “Gratitude” is far too limiting for what I feel.
You never know where and how gifts will show up in your life, and it is often the most challenging experiences that are, and hold, the greatest of gifts that hold the opportunity for us to grow exponentially.
Here is the brief, general update I shared with SaveABunny about Joy:
I’ve attached several photos of sweet little Joy Julianna, as I call her now – nickname “Jules”. She is doing amazing and has integrated beautifully into our home with a sister Tortoise named Gaia, a sister cat named Sweet Pea, and a brother cat named Boojum. They all get along beautifully and it’s been such a delight to have Joy with me. She is healthy (has had no major issues since I’ve had her), happy, loves to be with me all of the time, and shares my office with me, although has the run of the house since she’s potty trained and I keep her free. I work from home, so it makes it nice to be with her and the other little ones, and she has proven to be quite the powerful little healing bunny and loves to assist me with all of my healing work and artistic creations. She adores crystals (is often laying with them), is very telepathic, adores and admires her sister Gaia, and loves her stuffed bunny friend that I swear she has enchanted. I just love her so much and am grateful that I found her through SaveABunny, as she is my beloved best friend. Thank you so much for all that you do!
According to the ASPCA, rabbits are the third most frequently euthanized animal in the country. Adopting or fostering a rescued rabbit saves precious lives. If you can’t foster or adopt you can still express your care and support with a donation:
As shared in my blog this week, Easter has varying symbolic meanings, but it also carries varying feelings for me along with this in terms of rabbits, knowing that Easter is when many people go out and purchase them for their children and that they are seen more as a novelty who, in most cases, are later neglected, forgotten, mistreated and handled, and even euthanized.
See my post Rabbits, Cosmic Eggs, Pagan Goddesses & Transition – Easter Origins & Awareness for more information about rabbit awareness involving Easter and Easter symbolism.
You can also go directly to this great post that covers the considerations to be consciously aware of in terms of our rabbit friends and making compassionate choices on their behalf: Five Reasons Not To Buy A Bunny For Easter by Julie Castle
I’ve had several discussions with people recently about rabbits and how to care for them and communicate with them, as I feel they are one of the least understood animal companions. I was happy to hear that a teacher friend of mine was going to incorporate rabbits into her curriculum of animal teaching with her students after our discussion, realizing that it would be of benefit to educate children about these dear ones.
Rabbits’ sensitive natures and need for your tender presence and intuitive care is part of the value you will receive tenfold from them if you learn how to give in these ways to them. Commitment to love them the way they need, not as you want, is a lesson of learning unconditional love and going within more in order to understand their reflections. And when taken seriously and with awareness the magic that awaits you in a friendship with one of these dear loved ones is precious and priceless.
Today, in honor of my beloved Nestor whom I celebrated a 10 year anniversary of our physical connection in this life just two days ago, my precious Joy, whom Nestor brought into my life after her passing and led me to SaveABunny, and all of the beautiful souls in rabbit form, I donated to two rabbits that have been through an enormously courageous ordeal that are residents of SaveABunny now and in need of new homes and care. These two called to my heart and I wanted as my Easter gift to give back to the beings that have given so much to me.
The bunny loves I donated to are 101 South and Heaven Lee. You can read about each of them at the links and you can see all of the bunnies that are in need of donations, fostering and adoption here: SaveABunny Rabbits
If these dear ones call to your heart perhaps you might help with a small donation, fostering, home, or at least help to educate others that rabbits are not objects of amusement, but tender and intelligent beings that deserve our love.
You can give here and even choose a rabbit you’d like to sponsor:
Marcy Schaaf, head ofSaveABunny (a non-profit organization rabbit rescue and nationally recognized adoption, education and foster center) is such an endlessly giving soul to these beautiful beings.
SaveABunny was founded in 1999 following the rescue of a frightened, neglected stray rabbit. Since then, their professional reputation has grown into a nationally recognized adoption, education and foster center. Yet, at heart they are a scrappy, resourceful and volunteer-based group that walk the talk. They are recognized as a leader in rabbit rescue efforts, as well as a model for building effective partnerships with animal shelters and community groups, such as the Girl Scouts.
Return to Natural Harmony:
My hope is that people and animals will one day live in natural harmony once again. This is one of the focuses of my service. It is also a heart calling to help educate and provide support in the co-creative partnership with rabbits we have, as they truly are symbols of our cosmic origins.
As we continue to move deeper into the Spring of this year and renewing cycle of life, we are also edging toward Easter this weekend, which also calls up visions, thoughts, beliefs, and energy of its own including fertile creation. Easter brings pictures to mind of spring blooms like tulips, colored eggs, baby animals, and also deep symbolism that may have varying meanings to each individual.
Easter is also a time when a lot of people, unfortunately, give baby bunnies as gifts to their children and do not understand the commitment to these precious and extremely sensitive living beings that comes hand-in-hand with that. Rabbits are the third most euthanized animals in shelters, right behind dogs and cats – something I learned from Marcy Schaaf, head of SaveABunny (a non-profit organization rabbit rescue and nationally recognized adoption, education and foster center) when I adopted Joy from there just over 4 years ago.
This is a great post that covers the considerations to be consciously aware of in terms of our rabbit friends and making compassionate choices on their behalf: Five Reasons Not To Buy A Bunny For Easter by Julie Castle
With the connection many of you know I have with rabbits and the depth of their magical presence in my life, this time of year can be especially sensitive for me and also a chance to share some of that magic with you in relation to the symbolism and connections rabbits have with Easter, along with some of the origins and meanings behind this “holyday of transition.”
Here are some snippets from a post I shared last year about this connection:
“….Traditionally, the Easter Bunny, actually a Hare, was said to lay eggs at Easter. This concept is of course very strange to our factual minds, but taken symbolically, the Egg is not only Potential, but it also represents the Cosmos, the very ground of Being from which we spring–no pun intended! One only need think about the Cosmic Egg and the Druid’s Egg to begin to get the full scope of this meaning. No wonder then that the Hare was at one time considered both male and female. To produce the cosmos, both must be present….
….Overall the Hare is a symbol of many things, all involving balance, Life, creative potency, regeneration, fertility, and eternity. This symbolism manifests in associations with Springtime, the Dawn, the Moon and Sacred Fire, the Egg, the Circle and Infinity symbol, Marriage, Androgyny and Hermaphroditism, as well as Madness, Genius and Inspiration (which seem to go hand in hand)….”
You can read the full post here: Hare Symbolism for the New Earth – Birthing the Cosmic Egg here
Easter has Pagan origins that bring to light a deeper understanding of its meaning. Easter is connected to the Anglo-Saxon Pagan goddess Eostre (or Ostara), but was originally the celebration of Ishtar (pronounced “Easter”), the Assyrian and Babylonian goddess of love, procreation, sexuality, fertility, and war. The dyed “cosmic” eggs were both “sacred Easter offerings in Egypt,” as well as are connected to the “mystic egg” that hatched Ishtar.
You can read a few of these insights to reflect on below and click the links for the whole articles.
As N.S. Gill shares in The Eostre Hares and Pagan Easter:
“An Anglo-Saxon goddess named Eostre may have had hares as attendants. If so, the hares may have held her lights, since Eostre was the goddess of Dawn, like Eos (Greek) and Aurora (Latin). The month of April was, among the Anglo-Saxons, called Eostur-monath, and during Eostur-monath, a festival was held to Eostre. This festival has, at least in name, been taken over by the Christian spring festival Easter. If Eostre did indeed have hares as companions, the association of Easter and Easter bunnies is an ancient one.”
Swain Wodening adds in the article Eostre:
“Eostre is a very obscure Goddess, and uniquely Anglo-Saxon Pagan….Her name is connected for words for “east” and “shining.” It is therefore related to the Greek godname Eos, Goddess of the dawn in their pantheon….
….Grimm in his Teutonic Mythology maintained that “Ostara, Eástre, was goddess of the growing light of spring.” The date of the holy tide would make this a reasonable conclusion. Holy water in the form of the dew or water collected from brooks was gathered at this time. Washing with it was said to restore youth. Beautiful maidens in sheer white were said to seen frolicking in the country side. Also according to Grimm, the white maiden of Osterrode, was said to appear with a large batch of keys at her belt, and stride to the brook to collect water on Easter morning. Cross buns were of course baked and eaten. While this could be a Christian addition, that cakes were often use in Heathen rites is apparent in any survey of the lore. And the cross may be symbolic of the rune Gebo or the buns may represent the sun wheel. Easter eggs seem to go fairly far back in both English and continental celebrations, and of course symbolize the beginning of new life. The hare also known for its fertility appears fairly early in Easter celebrations. Bonfires and vigils also seemed to play a role in many Easter rites.
Based on this Eostre would appear to be a Goddess of purity (the holy water), youth and beauty (the young maidens), as well as one of new life beginnings….”
And as Mark Esposito shares in his guest blog, Happy Ishtar Day: The Origins of Easter:
“….But the festival likely has origins before the Hebrew feast of Passover. Two thousand years before the accepted birth of Christ, ancient Babylonians were marking the beginning of Spring with a gala celebration honoring the resurrection of the god, Tammuz, who was killed by a wild boar. Tammuz was returned to life by his mother/wife, Ishtar (after whom the festival was named) with her tears. Ishtar was actually pronounced “Easter.”
Ishtar was quite the racy goddess, as historians Will and Ariel Durant explained in their monumental work, The Story of Civilization:
“Ishtar … interests us not only as analogue of the Egyptian Isis and prototype of the Grecian Aphrodite and the Roman Venus, but as the formal beneficiary of one of the strangest of Babylonian customs…known to us chiefly from a famous page in Herodotus: Every native woman is obliged, once in her life, to sit in the temple of Venus [Easter], and have intercourse with some stranger.”
Need anyone wonder why the ancient Hebrews would want to amend this legend and the Puritans to forget about it all together. They didn’t consider Babylon “the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth” for nothing.
Another theory, adopted by the Roman Catholic Church, is that Easter celebrations have their linguistic origins in the Anglo-Saxon fertility rites of the goddess, Eastre. “Since Bede the Venerable (De ratione temporum 1:5) the origin of the term for the feast of Christ’s Resurrection has been popularly considered to be from the Anglo-Saxon Eastre, a goddess of spring…the Old High German plural for dawn, eostarun; whence has come the German Ostern, and our English Easter” (The New Catholic Encyclopedia, 1967, Vol. 5, p. 6).
But what about Easter eggs? How did they enter the mix? Christians have always used the egg to symbolize the rock tomb from which Jesus emerged into new life. But the symbolism predates the Christian era. Pagan theology considered the egg as a symbol of Spring’s rebirth from Winter. (Francis X. Weiser, Handbook of Christian Feasts and Customs, p. 233). The Egyptians had a slightly different spin considering the egg the symbol of the passage of life from one generation to the next.
“Eggs were hung up in the Egyptian temples. Bunsen calls attention to the mundane egg, the emblem of generative life, proceeding from the mouth of the great god of Egypt. The mystic egg of Babylon, hatching the Venus Ishtar, fell from heaven to the Euphrates. Dyed eggs were sacred Easter offerings in Egypt, as they are still in China and Europe. Easter, or spring, was the season of birth, terrestrial and celestial.” (Egyptian Belief and Modern Thought, James Bonwick, pp. 211-212)
The pagan tales of gods and goddesses was quite an ecumenical affair with many civilizations sharing the same deity but branding each with a different name that suited their populations. Thus Ishtar became Astarte to the Greeks and Ashtoreth to the Jews. Nimrod, the Biblical figure who built the city of Babylon, and was mentioned in Genesis is another example. He was worshipped as Saturn, Vulcan, Kronos, Baal, and Tammuz by succeeding civilizations but the story remained more or less intact for centuries.
Easter thus is an international affair going back centuries and spanning civilizations from the Babylonians to ourselves. Who says things really change?”
Wishing you a regenerative, abundantly creative, and cosmically enlightening Easter.
The fasts are done; the Aves said;
The moon has filled her horn
And in the solemn night I watch
Before the Easter morn.
So pure, so still the starry heaven,
So hushed the brooding air,
I could hear the sweep of an angel’s wings
If one should earthward fare.
~Edna Dean Proctor, “Easter Morning”
Dedicated to my beloved and departed angel, Nestor, who embodies the Cosmic Egg of my heart.