MYTH*ING LINKS
An Annotated & Illustrated Collection of Worldwide Links to Mythologies,
Fairy Tales & Folklore, Sacred Arts & Sacred Traditions
by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.

[Also see Myth*ing Links'  page on 2011-2012 Lunar New Year of the Rabbit;
and General Data on Lunar New Year]
This page is double-listed under Animal Guides and Seasonal.]

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IN THE EAST:
The Rabbit in Art,
Literature & Culture
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Rabbit and 3-toed Toad in the Moon
Detail from "Azure Dragon" Starchart Stone
Han Dynasty: 206 BCE - 220 CE
[See link directly below]
http://hua.umf.maine.edu/China/astronomy/tianpage/0006H_9183w.html
This is a small detail from a much larger stone (see the above link for a great photo) featuring the Chinese constellation of the Azure (or Green) Dragon as well as the Rabbit (and toad) in the moon.  There are many variants of the story of the Lunar Rabbit.  The author of this site offers this one:
Both the toad and the rabbit are the traditional symbols of the moon. The toad is actually a beautiful woman in disguise. In ancient times she lived on earth with her husband. Her husband was a famous archer who saved the earth from dragons or falling stars. The gods gave him an elixir for immortality, but his wife, Chang O, swallowed it instead. Both her husband and the gods were angry and she fled to the moon.

There she found a rabbit and a Cassia tree; both are symbols of fertility and long life. There are two versions of the story at this point. Either the rabbit was mixing elixir for long life or she had the elixir she had taken from her husband. Either way, she asked the rabbit to help spread the elixir to all the people of earth. In the end, she settled down in a Jade Palace on the moon and can be seen at her best and brightest at Moon Festival. Eating Moon Cakes during Moon Festival is one way of sharing the elixir and living a long life.


Red Lotus -Leaf-shaped Dish with a carving of the Rabbit in the Moon
Qianlong period, Qing Dynasty (1736-1795 AD)
Height:3.5cm   //  Diameter of mouth:21.4X16.5cm
Qing Court collection
Cultural China

http://kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com/en/139Kaleidoscope8879.html

From Cultural China comes yet another description of the Rabbit/Moon scene depicted in the lovely red lotus dish above:
The dish is lotus-leaf shaped, with wave patterns carved all over the red lacquer. Right in the center is a circle, suggesting the round moon, in which the picture of a rabbit pounding medicine is carved in gold relief on a yellow background. The picture, a jade rabbit pounding medicine under the osmanthus tree, represents the legendary story of moon palace. The bottom of the dish is painted with black lacquer, carved in gold the name of the dish, "Hai Yue Xiang Pan" (literally meaning sea moon fragrant plate), and the time "Daqing Qianlong Nian Zhi" (made during Emperor Qianlong's reign in the Qing Dynasty), all in regular script.

 The dish is an excellent work combining the craftsmanship of carved lacquer and colored lacquer with gold relief. The lacquer wares of the Qing Dynasty were often processed with multiple craftsmanships and techniques, so as to achieve unique artistic effects.

The mythic motif is related to ancient India, in which the ancient Hindu goddess Vak guards a precious vessel of amrita, sometimes called soma (which is connected with the moon) She sits under a World Tree in the depths of the primal sea.

Note: click on this link at Cultural China  and you'll find a total 27 links on rabbits spread over 3 pages (but most of those on pp. 2 & 3 either were no longer available or weren't loading when I checked them -- so you can go through them quickly).  Some of my other favorites will follow...


"The Jade Rabbit Pounding Medicine in a Mortar"
[Unfortunately, no data is given on this work]
[See directly below]

http://traditions.cultural-china.com/en/14T47T197.html
Here is still another version of the same Chinese myth: Cultural China's "The Jade Rabbit Pounding Medicine in a Mortar":
Legend has it that there were three immortals that turned themselves into three poor old men asking a fox, monkey and rabbit for food. The fox and the monkey had food to give them, but the rabbit had none and didn't know what to do. Later, the rabbit said: "just eat me for food!" With that, the rabbit jumped into a blazing fire, making himself ready to be eaten. The immortals were deeply touched and sent the rabbit to the palace on the moon to keep Chang'e company and he was made a jade rabbit.
As you'll see below, a different version of this tale appears in  the Buddhist Jataka Tales about an earlier rabbit-incarnation of the Buddha-to-be.
http://characters.cultural-china.com/143hz287.html
This Cultural China page reflects another aspect of this myth (unfortunately,Chinese characters don't display):
An ancient Chinese legend says there lives a rabbit in the moon called “??” (yùtù, jade rabbit), “???” (yuè zh?ng tù, rabbit in the moon) or “??” (yuè tù, moon rabbit). It is said that Chang’e secretly swallowed the elixir of immortality from Queen Mother of the West, and then started flying up. In a hurry, she grabbed a white rabbit to accompany her. From then on, the rabbit kept pounding medicine in the palace of the moon over the years, and the medicine was the elixir of immortality.
[Note -- 31 January 2011: for the best developed version of this MoonGoddess/rabbit/elixir tale, see http://idp.bl.uk/4DCGI/education/astronomy/myth.html. For my comments on that link and other rabbit-connected stories, see my Lunar New Year's General Data page, which is where I just grokked that link in the "Zodiac" section.]
http://characters.cultural-china.com/143.html
Here Cultural China looks at the Chinese character for "rabbit" -- I had no idea it was so ancient!  (Again, the Chinese characters don't display so you'll need to go to the page to see them).
The character “?” (tù) is one of the oldest pictographic characters. In oracle bone inscriptions,  looks like a rabbit (or hare) with long ears and an upturned scut. In the small seal script, long ears and limbs of a rabbit (or hare) can still be recognized from the form  . So the character originally refers to the kind of mammal that has a head somewhat resembling that of a mouse, big ears, divided upper lip, short and upturned tail, and shorter forelimbs than hind limbs, is good at jumping, and runs very fast. The common term for such mammal is rabbit (or hare).

Because hares can run very fast, people use “??” (tù tu?) to mean running away like a hare. Hares are often the quarry of hunters, and from the hunting scenes come the proverb “????” (tù q? hú luò), which means as soon as the hare moves, the falcon (?, hú) will swoop down. It is used to describe rapidity in action, or quickness and continuousness in painting, calligraphy or writing. There is an old saying in China - “???????” (tuzi buchi wobiancao). Literally it means the hare does not eat the grass around his burrow. It is quoted to warn people not to do evil things around their homes. According to Chinese legends, there is a rabbit living in the moon, so people usually use the words “??” (tù pò), “??” (tù lún) and “??” (tù yuè) to refer to the moon.

http://traditions.cultural-china.com/en/16Traditions10249.html
Finally, from Cultural China comes a colorful page focused on the booming popularity of rabbit toys in this upcoming Year of the Rabbit.  (Note: unrelated to rabbits, the page also has a stunning, vertical photo of red Chinese lanterns -- Update 1/31/11: this is now the opening image on my Lunar New Year's General Data page.)


Japanese Court Lady and Two Rabbits
Artist: Toyokuni Utagawa
January 1831
Color woodblock print
Minneapolis Institute of Art (also see directly below)

http://www.artsmia.org/search/index.php?term=rabbit
This is from Artsmia, an educational site created by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  Last year I found their superb page on the yin/yang Zen pair of tiger/dragon.  This year, a search for Asian rabbit, Japanese rabbit, Chinese rabbit, Zen rabbit came up with nothing.  But when I limited my search to "rabbit," 94 items were found at the above link -- many from Asia, some from the West (oddly, many of these are small metal banks for children in the shape of a rabbit).  There are 10 pages of thumbnails with brief descriptions -- many have no image available so you can go through those fairly quickly.  If you click on those with images, the resulting page will provide great enlargements and data.

Meanwhile, the above Japanese woodblock print is a real treasure.

http://worldkigodatabase.blogspot.com/2006/04/pounding-rice-mochi-tsuki.html
For an additional Japanese perspective, this is "Pounding rice (mochi tsuki) and rabbit hare," a somewhat scattered yet interesting site with a great deal of poetry about pounding rice -- and about the rabbit in the moon who is also considered to be pounding, not any Chinese elixir of life, but mochi!  Excerpts:
...Pounding rice for small rice dumplings (sometimes translated as "cakes", but they are not sweet at all) is a ubiquious sight all over Japan during the few days before the New Year. It used to be done in a wooden or stone basin with a large wooden mallet, but nowadays many families use an electric appliance, although complaining that the taste is just not the same....

Mochi is finely ground cooked rice pressed into shapes. This creates soft, chewy shapes which can be used in sweet and savory foods. If kept, they form hard blocks, which can be stored until they are needed. Mochi is also combined with roasted soy bean flour (kinako) or sweet bean paste (anko) to make traditional Japanese sweets.

Traditionally, making mochi is a group activity. Village people sat together, hand-pounding the rice with a wooden mallet (kine). According to Shinto tradition, each grain of rice represents a human soul, so the process was reflective and self-purifying for the whole community.

In the West, when we look at the moon, we see a man on it. The Chinese see a rabbit, pounding magical herbs to make the elixir of eternal life. The Japanese, with their love of obscure wordplays, envision the same rabbit pounding rice to make mochi. The name of the full moon is “mochizuki”, while “mochitsuki” means “making mochi”....

In recent years, ever since man began launching satellites into space, his ideas about the universe have been undergoing a profound though little noticed change.  The science of astronomy has existed since ancient times, yet when we as children in Japan looked at the full moon, we invariably saw in it the image of a rabbit pounding glutinous rice to make rice cakes because that was what the adults had told us existed in the moon....
http://www.metmuseum.org/search/iquery.asp
After the ease of navigation with the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (above), moving to New York's Metropolitan Museum is quite frustrating.  The above link should take you to a general search page. Just type in rabbit and you will find 100 items in various categories (many with no available image). But the search page is an "asp" page, which means I can't save it for you.  If I clicked on any of the available thumbnails, I found it imposible to go back to the previous page. I could go backwards but not to the page I had come from!  For example, in the "Asian Art" category, once I clicked on an intriguing thumbnail, the Met's system dumped me into the general section of Asian Art instead of returning me to the rabbit section -- thus, instead of being at #1 of 22 examples, I was at #1938 out of 35,162!  That meant I had to start my search all over again.  I stopped after the first few tries.  So that you'll know if you get to the right place, here are the categories and the number of pieces in each:
22    Asian Art
19    Drawings and Prints
10    The Costume Institute
7    Photographs
6    American Decorative Arts
6    European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
6    Modern Art
5    Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas
3    American Paintings and Sculpture
3    Egyptian Art
3    Greek and Roman Art
3    Medieval Art
2    Islamic Art
2    The Robert Lehman Collection
1    Ancient Near Eastern Art
1    Musical Instruments
1    The Cloisters
Himalayan Art
This page gives several links to pages about the rabbit in Tibetan Buddhism.  There are three strands here: 1) In the JatakaTales ("Birth Stories"), the Buddha-to-be had several lives as a rabbit, one of which is in the next link (also see above in Lunar Rabbit variants). 2) In another earlier life, a wise rabbit helped the Buddha-to-be to stay faithful to his spiritual path. 3) Dalai Lamas also had earlier incarnations as rabbits.


One of the Buddha-to-be's Rabbit Lives
Mongolia
1800 - 1899
Buddhist Lineage
Ground Mineral Pigment on Cotton
Collection of Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts
(See below for details of the painting)

http://www.himalayanart.org/image.cfm/50196.html
Here are excerpts from the Jataka tale of "A Tale of Selfless Generosity."
In this lifetime the Bodhisattva was born as an animal, a rabbit. Yet even as a rabbit, he possesed incredible virtue, goodness, beauty, and vigor; so much so that the other animals viewed him as their king....  Among his devoted following, three animals in particular became his closest students and companions. They were an otter, a jackal, and a monkey....

As instructed by the rabbit in a teaching one night, it was customary that on the next day, a holy day, to offer alms to anyone who passes through their forest. Later that night, the rabbit was distraught as he realized he had nothing to offer. His three companions had ample means to feed a guest, but the rabbit had nothing but the meager blades of grass he ate to sustain himself, which were far too bitter to offer a visitor. Then he realized he could offer his own flesh as food and without hesitation, decided this was what he would do.

...Hearing this, Shakra [Indra], the lord of gods, went to test the animals and disguised himself as a weary traveller who had lost his way.... Seeing that the man had built a fire, the rabbit explained that he was offering his own body and then, without hesitation, lept into the hot coals and swirling flames.

...Shakra rejoiced, reached into the fire and pulled out the rabbit and then lifted him up into the heavens and displayed him before the gods.

Then Shakra, having in mind the good of the world and the glorious example of the animal bodhisattva, adorned the top of his own palace, Sudharma, the palace of the Gods, with an image of a rabbit. He also adorned the face of the moon with the same image. It is said that even today, the image of the rabbit can be seen in the full moon.

Monty McKeever 3-2005

[For those who would like to explore further, Jataka Tales in general: http://orias.berkeley.edu/2009/Jataka.htm
and The Illustrated Jataka  & Other Stories of the Buddha by Dr C. B. Varma, D.Litt: http://www.ignca.nic.in/jatak.htm, which includes a more detailed version of "The Hare On the Moon" at: http://www.ignca.nic.in/jatak003.htm.]
http://www.khandro.net/animal_hare_rabbit.htm
This is a collection of rabbit/hare folktales from a lovely, multi-leveled, informative site, "Hare & Rabbit":
In places where both animals live, a distinction is made between the rabbit and the hare.  The hare, which has larger feet and is generally wilder, is typically considered a Trickster.  In some cultures, this mythological role is assumed by the clever and mysterious fox.  In the Vietnamese version of the 12-animal calendar system, the cat replaces the hare....
http://www.pristowwweb.com/B18R04.html
This is a link found on the above site: "Looking for Home," a Turkish folktale "in which the three hares are brothers who learn the benefit of sticking with tradition." It's a charming tale built around how the three do, or do not, follow their father's advice about building a home.
http://www.khandro.net/animal_about.htm
This is "The Animal Realm," a wide-ranging spiritual and philosophical look at issues concerning animals, mostly from the East (especially relating to Tibetan Buddhism), but there are passages about the West as well (do a "find" for specific references to rabbits).  From "Part 1: Existence Has Many Forms":
Sentient beings manifest as animals by the billions.  They range in size from microscopic bacteria to gigantic sea creatures, and like other forms of existence, they have the potential for Enlightenment....

Many Buddhists are vegetarian. Those who are not can be mindful and limit their consumption of meat of all kinds. To a person who understands existence from the perspective of the Wheel of Rebirth, there is no hierarchy of animal forms. A shrimp or a steer are each the embodiment of a consciousness with the potential for Enlightenment....

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IN THE WEST:
The Rabbit in Art,
Literature & Culture
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Untitled rabbit girl
© Terri Windling

http://www.endicott-studio.com/rdrm/rrRabbits.html

Terri Windling's Endicott Studio is a website simply not to be missed.  This page is on "The Symbolism of Rabbits and Hares" a four-page, richly illustrated essay by Windling, world-famous for her brilliant art and writings on myth and lore.  She begins with the motif of the "Three Hares" (see below for the Three Hares Project mentioned by her), looking at their associations "with the lunar cycle, fertility, longevity, and rebirth." She adds that there are darker strands as well, for --
...we find that they are also contradictory, paradoxical creatures: symbols of both cleverness and foolishness, of femininity and androgny, of cowardice and courage, of rampant sexuality and virginal purity. In some lands, Hare is the messenger of the Great Goddess, moving by moonlight between the human world and the realm of the gods; in other lands he is a god himself, wily deceiver and sacred world creator rolled into one.
Then she moves through an engrossing mythic journey, touching on ancient Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Celtic, Teutonic, Anglo-Saxon, Siberian, Asian, Native American, African, African-American...........and winding up with a wide range of 20th century Western literature (there's also a great bibliography at the end).

Here is a passage from the last page:

...Whether hovering above us in the arms of a moon goddess or carrying messages from the Netherworld below, whether clever or clownish, hero or rascal, whether portent of good tidings or ill, rabbits and hares have leapt through myths, legends, and folk tales all around the world – forever elusive, refusing to be caught and bound by a single definition....
If you know her work, you're probably already on her site and needing no further words of mine.  If you don't know her work, you should <smile>.  To repeat:  this is a website not to be missed.

Three Hares
Medieval Roof Boss: South Tawton, Devon

http://www.chrischapmanphotography.co.uk/hares/index.html

This is the "Three Hares" site mentioned by Terri Windling -- the pages, most of them quite brief, are beautifully photographed and written by Chris Chapman. Here is how he describes the purpose of the Three Hares Project:
The Three Hares Project is researching and documenting an ancient symbol of three hares or rabbits running in a circle and joined by their ears which form a triangle at the centre of the design. The symbol is a puzzle for each creature appears to have two ears yet, between them, they share only three ears....
I am struck by the triangle at the center of the design. Neither Chapman now Windling mention it, but the triangle is an ancient symbol for the female pubic area or yoni.

Click on "Devon Pictures" for 24 more images from Devon.  Click on "Britain and the Continent" for many more. It's really quite a fascinating theme, akin to ancient Scythian and other "Animal Art" from the steppes and even further back to art motifs Gimbutas found in Danubian Old Europe.

http://www.chrischapmanphotography.co.uk/hares/page5.htm
On the page called "Buddhist, Islamic and Jewish Occurrences of the Three Hares," there are several more exquisite photos.  Here is Chapman's comment on the earliest known finding of this motif (which unfortunately isn't shown -- perhaps because it's been too badly damaged):
The earliest known examples of the three hares motif are to be found painted on the ceilings of Buddhist cave temples at Mogao, near Dunhuang, China. Dating from the Sui Dynasty (581-618 CE) through to the end of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE), the images are centrally placed on detailed representations of textile canopies.

Dunhuang is situated at the western end of the Great Wall of China and was an important trading post on the Silk Road (a term used to describe the ancient overland trading routes linking east and west). The Silk Road was a major conduit for the exchange of goods and ideas for many hundreds of years....

http://www.chrischapmanphotography.co.uk/hares/page6.htm
What does the Three Hares symbol mean?  Chapman's explanation rings true:
The hare is strongly represented in world mythology and from ancient times has had divine associations. Its elusiveness and unusual behaviour, particularly at night, have reinforced its reputation as a magical creature. The hare was believed to have mystical links to the female cycle and to the moon which governed it.

The theory of the Ancients that the hare was hermaphroditic and could procreate without a mate led to the belief that it could give birth to young without loss of virginity. In Christian contexts, the three hares may be associated with the Virgin Mary in her role in the redemption of mankind...

Again, the triangular yoni symbol created by the three hares fits beautifully with Chapman's interpretation here.


Moon Dance Spirals
 © Wendy Andrew
Also see her Magical Way works

http://www.squidoo.com/2011YearOfTheRabbit
Near the bottom of this Squidoo page, under the category of "So who's your favorite rabbit?"you'll find a listing of famous literary and movie rabbits in Western culture.  I'm not adding individual links for most of them because it would make my page impossibly long.  If you see favorites of your own, just google them <smile>.
Br'er Rabbit (from the Stories of Uncle Remus)
The March Hare & The White Rabbit (Alice in Wonderland)
Bugs Bunny
Roger Rabbit
Oswald the Lucky Rabbit
Harvey
Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, Fierce Bad Rabbit & Flopsie (by Beatrix Potter)
Peter Cottontail (stories of Thonton Burgess)
Uncle Wiggly (stories of Howard R. Garis)
The Velveteen Rabbit
Rabbit (from Winnie the Pooh)
Thumper (in Disney's Bambi)
The Were-Rabbit (from Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit)

The Rabbits' Christmas Party -- The Arrival
1892
by Beatrix Potter
(see directly below)
http://www.rightreading.com/blog/art-and-illustration/beatrix-potter-rarities/
This is "Beatrix Potter rarities" from Right Reading, a blog by Thomas Christensen. He comments briefly:
The resourceful Mr. Peacay of BibliOdyssey has collected a set of Beatrix Potter illustrations from archives at Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction houses. It’s an excellent set; shown is The Rabbits’ Christmas Party – The Arrival, the first of a series of six watercolour sketches from 1892.


The Rabbits' Christmas Party -- The Departure
1892
by Beatrix Potter
(see directly below)

About this work, from Mr. Peacay's comments: Hobbs, in the Dulwich Picture Gallery exhibition catalogue, noted "The attitudes are both rabbit-like and human. Only an artist with an intimate knowledge of anatomy could convey so well both musculature and the texture of fur. Remarkable, as in all Potter's animal drawing, is her observation of ears."
http://bibliodyssey.blogspot.com/2008/07/beatrix-potter-rarities.html
As mentioned above, this is Mr. Peacay's site featuring a treasure trove of Potter's work on animals, many of them rabbits -- a delightful blog! Here are more of his comments on Potter's work:
Two of the most important pets among Beatrix and Bertram Potter's childhood menagerie were Benjamin Bouncer and, later, Peter Piper. They would become immortalised as Benjamin Bunny and Peter Rabbit. Beatrix Potter used Benjamin Bouncer as a model in the early 1890s for drawing fashionable greeting cards - her first commercial enterprise.

Rabbit with Mayan Moon Goddess,  Ixchel
Copyright © Sandra Stanton
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_moon_goddess
This is Wikipedia's entry on the "Maya Moon Goddess."  Some excerpts on moon and rabbit:
The traditional Mayas generally assume the moon to be female, and the moon's phases are accordingly conceived as the stages of a woman's life. The Maya Moon Goddess wields great influence in many areas. Being in the image of a woman, she is naturally associated with sexuality and procreation, fertility and growth, not only of human beings, but also of the vegetation and the crops. Since in a negative sense, growth can cause all sorts of ailments, the moon goddess is also a goddess of disease....

Among the Mayas of Chiapas and the Northwestern Highlands of Guatemala, Moon is not Sun's wife, but his mother or grandmother, while Sun is a young boy harassed by his elder brethren. Only in this mythology do we find the origin of the lunar rabbit, either as one of the elder brethren transformed into wild animals and caught by his mother,[3] or as a creature responsible for the resurgence of the wild vegetation on Sun's maize field. In the latter case, the rabbit is caught by Sun, passed on to his mother, and again taken into the sky.[4] In Northwestern Guatemala, the rabbit in the moon is sometimes replaced by a deer in the moon.

...In Classic Maya art...the Moon Goddess occurs frequently. She is shown as a young woman holding her rabbit, and framed by the crescent of the waxing moon, which is her most important, identifying attribute.... The lunar rabbit (perhaps a Trickster character) has an important role to play in a poorly understood episode involving the Moon Goddess, the Twins, the Maya maize god, and the aged god L. In some cases, the Moon Goddess is fused with the main Maya maize god, making it uncertain whether what we see is a Moon Goddess with a maize aspect (that is, a maize-bringing moon), or a Maize God with a lunar aspect or function.

http://www.mayalords.org/mayafldr/rabbitfldr/rabbit.html
This is "The Rabbit and the Mirror" by D. M. Urquidi, a well-illustrated, interesting but long and fairly technical look at archaeoastronomy and the Mayan's Moon Rabbit.  Here are several passages on the role of the rabbit:
...the entity named Tecuçiztecatl, refused to move away in the sky, so a human took a rabbit and threw it into his face. The ancient writer just wanted to justify why the image of the rabbit can be seen in the moon, and so a vase was created.

    In Justin Kerr's rollout of the K0559 vase, the rabbit is viewing his appearance... in the obsidian mirror [which] earthly astronomers used to view the stars. The other half of the vase story, shows Goddess O, thought to be the midwife, holding out the rabbit to be nursed by a lady with a moon glyph upon her upper arm....

    The fact that Goddess O sits on a twisted star studded throne with a strange flower-like glyph under the seat indicates that she is a woman of power in the sky, not an ordinary midwife.... The flower image under the throne may indicate that she lives in the Milky Way (The Cosmic Tree) in the land called Tamoanchan [in the "place of the descent"]....

    First of all, a dragon tree (the Cosmic Tree or Milky Way) is emerging from the mirror. This tree is also part of the star throne of the unknown lady. According to the myth, the rabbit was not divine, but an earth creature thrown into the sky to thwart the cowardly Tecuçiztecatl who then became the new moon. The Maya considered that the moon was a female entity, not a male, hence the differences on the vase....

...The enthroned lady is presenting the rabbit to the Moon Goddess to nurse, to insure that the rabbit stays with her and does not leave. It can get awfully lonely on the moon. The only thing about this that is mytological is that rabbits have very, very sharp gnawing teeth. It is unlikely that the lady would be happy being a wet nurse to a grown animal.

    The Moon Goddess, identified by the glyphs on her arm and the gibbous moon image on her face, is informed that she should nurse the rabbit, and the animal would stay near her for her time on the Moon. It was the custom of the Maya women to nurse young fawns and small dogs, so that they would stay near the houses after they became adults....

http://www.cantaremusic.com/stories/mayan.htm
For children, this is a page with two Mayan folktales about rabbits, "The Smiling Rabbit," which, despite the lead-in, does not explain how the rabbit got into the moon (and also ends rather pointlessly, so perhaps a final section is missing -- I've written to ask for an update), and "The Rabbit and the Crab," a nice little tale in which a clever rabbit nevertheless gets fooled.

From Luna Moon Hare
Copyright © Wendy Andrew
(see directly  below)

http://www.paintingdreams.co.uk/luna_moon_hare.php

Finally, and again for children, this is Wendy Andrew's lovely, illustrated Luna Moon Hare: A Magical Journey with the Goddess. About the above painting, here is the passage that goes with it:
..The snow, now a blizzard, sweeps around her, stinging her eyes, blinding her, swirling, whipping whirl-winds, spinning, white light, floating, rushing air. She is swept off her feet. She feels like she is flying! She IS flying! She is riding on the back of a great white swan. In the rushing air of the sweeping wings she hears the words. "Remember, you are never alone."
http://www.paintingdreams.co.uk/luna_moon_hare_prints.php
More mystical rabbit paintings from from Wendy Andrew (also see below and elsewhere on this page).

From Wendy Andrew's Painting Dreams page
Note:  The Celtc feast of Imbolc falls just before the Rabbit Lunar Year begins 3 February 2011.
Also see my Imbolc page.
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The Rabbit:
General Information
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"Hare Dreaming"
© Wendy Andrew
Also see her Magical Way works
 http://www.suite101.com/search.cfm?q=rabbits+in+Mythology&Submit.x=9&Submit.y=7&Submit=Find
Here you'll find a wide range of basic data on rabbits -- all the way from what they mean in dreams to how to care for them as pets.
http://www.squidoo.com/2011YearOfTheRabbit
If you scroll halfway down this long Squidoo page you'll find "20 Thrilling Things You Probably Didn't Know About Rabbits." Here are some that caught my eye:
1. Rabbits are not rodents, they are lagomorphs.
3. Rabbits have 28 teeth that never stop growing.
5. A pet rabbit can live as long as 10 years.
7. Rabbits can purr similar to a cat.
10. Rabbits cannot vomit but need hay to assist the digestive system and prevent fur balls in their stomach.
13. Rabbit droppings make an excellent garden fertilizer.
14. Rabbits can suffer heat stroke, and a 4-pound rabbit will drink as much water as a 20 pound dog.
16. Rabbits can see behind them, but have blind spot in front of their face.
17. When rabbits are happy, they can jump 36" or higher and twist, this is called a "binky".
18. Predators can literally scare a rabbit to death.
http://www.redbubble.com/groups/rabbit-rabbit
For fans of rabbits, this is a huge collection of rabbit photos and art available on clothing and other items.  (Note: thumbnails of art seem to change at random so what you see one day might not be there the next.  If something catches your eye, save the image with its file name so you can inquire later. FYI: larger images have been rigged so that you won't be able to save them at all.)
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OTHER RELEVANT Myth*ingLinks PAGES:

General Data on Lunar New Year

The Tiger in Art, Literature, & Culture3 January 2010 (officially launched 29 January 2010)

A Gallery of Art & Culture Related to the Ox25 January 2009

Pigs in History, Religion, Culture, & Art:
[This is one of my new January 2007 pages with general information
but also great material on ancient China's pigs and pig-dragons.]

NOTE:
2010-2011 Year of the Metal Tiger is now at: Lunar Archives: MetalTiger
2009-2010 Year of the Earth Ox is now at: Lunar Archives: EarthOx
2008-2009 Year of the Earth Rat is now at: Lunar Archives: EarthRat
 2007-2008 Year of the Fire Pig is now at: Lunar Archives: FirePig
 2006-2007 Year of the Fire Dog is now at: Lunar Archives: FireDog
2005-2006 Year of the Wood Rooster is now at: Lunar Archives: Wood Rooster
 2004-2005 Year of the Wood Monkey is now at: Lunar Archives: Wood Monkey
 2003-2004 Year of the Water Goat is now at: Lunar Archives: Water Goat
2002-2003 Year of the Water Horse is now at: Lunar Archives: Water Horse
2001-2002 Year of the Metal Snake page is now at: Lunar Archives: Metal Snake
 2000-2001 Year of the Metal Dragon page is now at:Lunar Archives: Metal Dragon

To the ASIA menu-page

To Common Themes: Time
(Calendars, Millennial Issues, etc)

To Common Themes: Star Lore & Astrology

To Current Winter Greetings & Lore page

To the Imbolc page

To the Annual Springtide Greetings page


My complete Table of Contents
& e-mail address are on my Home Page.

© 2011 Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.

23 January 2010:  started collecting rabbit data and art early since it'll be next year's animal.  For this draft page, I've deleted Tiger-only art but am keeping links since I'll need them to search for data in 2011. Also made a list of famous rabbits: Alice in Wonderland's White Rabbit, Peter Rabbit, Easter rabbit, Run, Rabbit, Run, Brer' Rabbit, Velveteen Rabbit, Bugs Bunny, Uncle Wriggley. Note: in one of those $1. Met. Museum Italalian Myth, Lovers, etc booklets, there's a lovely B&W engraving of Venus with a little rabbit at her feet.  Scan whole image + CU of rabbit.  Text doesn't mention rabbit as fertility symbol, which is why it's obviously there!, so add it myself.  Russian lacquer sites -- I'm sure there're more there.
2011:
15 January 2011: started grokking and adding new images.
16 January 2011: worked for any hours & basically completed the East.  Later, started the West.
17 January 2011: more work on the West. Fortunately, Terri Windling and a Squidoo link mention those on last year's list of famous rabbits (+ additional ones)  so I'm not going to explore them further.
20 January 2011, 12:20pm: I have 3 links still to be grokked but I'm launching the page "unofficially" so that links from my other pages won't keep coming up as 404's.
22-23 January 2011, 12:30am: everything's done now. Launching page officially.
31 January 2011: added note on image of red lanterns from Cultural China website, which is now on my General Data page.  Also added link to IDP info on the rabbit, which I grokked today in the Zodiac section of my General Data page.


Two Rabbits under Chinese Parasol Tree
Leng Mei
18th century, Qing Dynasty
China, Palace Museum, Beijing