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A hare-moon symbiosis

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I've read that we create myths in order to instruct and inform on the essential inner realities of human life.
Regarding Easter's Christian heritage: in 325 A.D. it was decreed by the council of Nice that "after that date, Easter was to fall upon the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox; and if said full moon fell on a Sunday, then Easter should be the Sunday after."
There are several myths from which come the origin of the Easter Bunny featuring in this ceremony.
In paintings and fables of artists and storytellers of the Far East , artists often painted the moon with rabbits racing across its face. The Chinese, in particular, have represented the moon as a rabbit pounding rice in a mortar.
In other stories, Buddha places him there as payment for a favor in which Rabbit voluntarily gave himself as food for one of Buddha's hungry friends. In another, a rabbit, with nothing else to offer a hungry, weary Indra, jumps into a fire, cooking himself for the deity (a timeless example of humankind's self-serving fables). Out of gratitude, Indra placed the rabbit in the moon.
Other stories in Sanskrit and Hindu connect the rabbit to the spots on the moon (related to the story above); to stories of hares dwelling upon the shores of the moon; and as mortal enemy of the lion (sun).
The hare is nocturnal and feeds at night. It's gestation period is one month long.
A more important connection can be found exclusively within the hare, who unlike the rabbit is born with his eyes open. The Egyptians called the hare Un, which meant open, to open, the opener. Un also meant period. Thus the rabbit became a symbol for periodicity in both the lunar and human sense of the word. The hare as "opener" symbolized the new year at Easter; and fertility and the beginning of new life within the young.
"* Older than Christianity, the symbolism of the hare is thus a celebration of life's continuation with rebirth, as in each spring, and the rabbit expresses hope that life will be renewed, and better than before."
Rabbit Resources
Something to think about when observing Easter with bunnies.
[ December 14, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
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