Friday, October 05, 2007

Hare Moon Gazing

Last weekend I visited Oxford and the nearby village of Woodstock and happened to glance in the window of an art gallery. My eye was met by a beautiful moon gazing hare and I knew she was just meant for my altar and hearth. So I went inside and asked to see her. The lady in the gallery was obviously puzzled by my description but brought the hare from the window for me to see. Whilst I was getting acquainted with the energy of the hare the lady was looking for information on the artist and the ceramic. The artist turned out to be Linda Heaton-Harris who specialises in hand built one-off pieces of British wildlife. She had entitled the ceramic, "Hare Moon Gazing." The lady said, "Full marks for getting the name right. He will be going to a good home." "Yes" I replied, "She will."

All over the world the hare is a character in the myths of our ancestors. She is always associated with the moon and fertility and often associated with immortality, wisdom and bravery. Although in Britain people now talk about 'the man in the moon' most cultures know that the moon bears the image of a hare. In China the moon hare carries a mortar and pestle in which she mixes a potion of immortality. In Africa there is a story of how the moon goddess was so pleased with men and women that she sent the moon hare with a promise of immortality.

In Britain hares were once seen as royal animals and it was forbidden to hunt them. Many Celtic goddesses and legendary women are associated with hares. There are many stories of women shape-shifting into hares. Certainly their beautiful courtship dances, wild sexual energy and night activity make them fascinating, magical animals.

Sadly hares were maligned by the church, associated with madness and decried as animals of ill-omen. Dancing hares at night were said to be covens of witches dancing. Shape-shifting witches in the form of hares were said to dry up the udders of cows and cause women to miscarry or give birth to a child with a hare-lip.

But, I will have none of that. Like the hare I will dance about the moon and let her work her magic and I know that my beautiful hare will evoke the goddess in my heart.

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Blogger S. Nichole said...

The statue would have caught my eye as well. It is beautiful. :)

I didn't realize that there are so many cultures that tie the moon and the hare together.

Thanks for sharing both the info and the photo of the hare. :)

Blogger Paul said...


Good to see you back from that beautiful wild landscape.


Blogger Leanne said...

Hi paul, that hare is so beautiful, I am not surprised yuo were drawn to her.I would have been too,

Blogger R.E. said...

Love your hare. What a wonderful symbol. :)

Blogger realtine said...

I totally agree with you, and she is beautiful. When I first set eyes on the moon gazing hare I was immediately captivated by her and have since been collecting various bits and pieces of her that I can find. I consider her to be my talisman. Nice of you to post pictures of your lady and the history also.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was so thrilled to find your blog but it seems it has been awhile since you wrote.

I wanted to mention that in Japan they say it is a Rabbit in the moon making rice cakes.

I hope to see more - your writing is lovely and inspirational.


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