Rabbit – Increase and Decrease
* This essay focuses primarily on feral rabbits in Australia, however some of its lessons apply to the rabbit globally.
Increase and decrease. Land degradation. Taking the land for granted. Growth. Fertility. Personal growth for a price. A fighting spirit. Power. Surviving despite adversity. Adaptability. Facing fear. Walking the underworlds. Anxiety.
Rabbits are herbivorous, social creatures that dig extensive warrens that can house a great community. They are generally nocturnal. Rabbits can breed at any time of the year and are prolific breeders. It is not certain when rabbits were introduced into Australia, though they were probably introduced for the purposes of food and hunting. They quickly became feral and abundant, destroying habitat, ousting native species from nesting sites and food / water sources and despite a huge rabbit-proof fence managing to establish themselves Australia-wide.
Feral rabbits are implicated in the extinction of some small marsupials and implicated in the decline of other natives. They are controlled via the diseases myxomatosis and the calicivirus, though they have shown increased immunity to these introduced viruses over time. They have also been controlled through predation from native sources such as eagles and dingoes. Feral cats, foxes and dogs also predate heavily predate upon rabbits.
Lessons and Challenges:
All rabbits indicate an energy of increase and decrease. There are times when your life is filled with abundance and fecundity, and times when there will be nothing at all, and no resources to pull from. This natural ebb and flow of life and death, energy and lack there of, cannot be fought against and is something that needs to be accepted as a natural cycle. Rabbit reminds us to accept this cycle, and to embrace it.
Rabbit teaches us about growth, the waxing energy that indicates fertility and even transformation. Rabbit is able to take its environment and bend it and form it to its will, it doesn’t just adapt to its environment, it transforms it to create a place to live and thrive. The presence of rabbit energy indicates an ability to apply these same skills to the environment around you.
Rabbit also indicates increased fertility, not necessarily physically (though this may be the case!) but also in your creative abilities. All rabbits teach adaptability and the energy helps to enable change and transformation.
Many appropriative ‘totem’ 101 books will be quick to mention that rabbit teaches us about fear. I do agree that rabbit often indicates a sense of fear, or even terror, about an event, feeling, or time in your life; but rabbit for me also indicates a strong fighting spirit. Rabbit is a warrior.
If rabbit energy is in your life, you may be focusing on a particular problem or issue that isn’t going away. It can signal an increase in feelings of anxiety, restlessness and feeling nervous or uncomfortable.
Rabbit energy can sometimes feel like a trap, that you are ‘caught in the headlights’, or cannot stop looking at the problem approaching. The good news is that rabbit teaches power, and how to survive despite adversity. Believe it or not, many rabbits are capable of fighting back, and not just freezing during a time of crisis.
Metaphysically, rabbit can indicate a need to journey, particularly in the Underworlds. Calling up your fears or shadow self during this time, or triggering initiatory experiences, can all be beneficial during this time.
Feral rabbit indicates taking the land for granted. Are you using your environment without giving anything back? When was the last time you bought local and organic produce? How do you view your local environment? Do you look after it or seek beauty within it? Do you care for it? Consider changing your attitudes towards the land around you, or alternatively examine whether you take it for granted.
Feral rabbit can warn against land degradation, earth instability, or harmful changes to your local environment. On a symbolic level, feral rabbit warns against destroying, degrading and harming your own body. Watch out for illness, and look at how your lifestyle is damaging yourself.
Personal growth often comes with a price, or a sacrifice. For feral rabbits in Australia, their population growth and great fertility is offset by gross degradation of the environment and harm to some native floral and fauna populations. Growth is often positive, but sometimes we mistakenly focus on increasing or ‘growing’ the wrong areas, such as a need to work too hard, be more successful, or push our bodies too hard. Often when we push in the wrong areas, we may be too frightened to confront our internal issues and transform from within. Turn your focus inwards to confront your inner fears, rabbit after all provides the courage to do so.
The Shadow Aspects:
Those who fear and dislike feral rabbit may find themselves unable to accept those who take the land for granted, or who aren’t ‘good enough’ to the environment. They might judge these people (and themselves) by very harsh standards which takes the enjoyment out of their lives and limits their ability to interact with all but the very few who meet their environmental standards. Not everyone is able to give the same amount to the environment, but through gentle education and not judgement, you are able to help others to learn how to make a difference. Stop judging others by such harsh conditions, and start accepting that all lifestyles are equally valid, even if they are more difficult to understand.
Those who are challenged by rabbit may find it hard to see that those who are shy or timid may actually have a strong backbone within them. Sometimes those who appear timid or frightened may actually people who have access to a great resource of power and strength. It is time to look at your own fears and anxieties, and the fears and anxieties of others, are they logical? Do they keep you protected? Are they a form of strength? Discard those that no longer help you, but acknowledge that many anxieties and fears are actually very helpful to us, and a form of protective strength.
Like all animal helpers, this animal will only appear when right and appropriate, and cannot be forced to visit you, commune with you, or share messages with you. Rabbit energy is an accessible energy for many people and a common guide and energy worldwide. If you want to contact rabbit energy, or voluntarily summon it into your life, you can even visit actual rabbits and study how they move, look, act etc.
Visualisation is a fairly common method of contacting rabbit, as they are often forthcoming. Rabbit doesn’t always communicate verbally, but usually through its interaction with you and the environment you can see and experience what message it is trying to tell you. In journeying, rabbit energy can be called forth by using rabbit animal products, which are quite common (even in Australia). If you have difficulty procuring fresh rabbit fur, consider looking for vintage clothing that features rabbit fur.