it’s easter. it has me thinking of the ghosts of easter pasts. when i was seven i had a minibike accident over what used to be called easter vacation. i was in a coma for 3 days. a year later my great grandmother who i lived next door to and was very close with, died over easter. then when i was 12 my grandfather who also lived next door died on good friday. consequently, easter’s always maintained a certain glow to it. a body memory. an emotional tone. actual ghosts.
it wasn’t until i started working with rabbit as teacher that i realized how powerful a symbol rabbit is for me. when i was a child, the easter bunny became this mystical being. it crossed through many of my experiences and coalesced into this amalgamation of death and loss with spring and resurrection. the vibrantly bounding rabbit with baskets of treats with the crucified, grieved and resurrected christ. the crucified christ was a dominant image in my childhood. there were large, gorgeous carvings at the catholic church and a small replica above every door in our house. we were very religious and spiritual.
easter, death, rabbit, spring, coma, loss. as a child things layered into each other. easter was a strange mix of play and grief.
sometimes, i have visions and one of the most poignant to me was around this time. i had a vision of the easter bunny. i still smile about this one. i dismissed it as too cute for many years until i listened more to rabbit and who rabbit really was to me.
the vision was a shadow in my closet, a very simple hare form on its hind legs. i remember it still. my child’s mind, so graceful, so able to see the symbol in life and see through the veil of physical reality. i used my imagination to make sense out of life, i used the language of symbol, a communication more expansive and inclusive and complex and rich and simple than a host of words. rabbit.
rabbit symbolized fear, the unknown, loss, renewal and endurance. these concepts were too large for my child’s mind. sometimes they’re too large for my adult mind. so rabbit held it for me.
when i first started listening to rabbit, i had to walk past all the massive cartoon rabbits and the silent, cute, fluffy stereotypes.
our culture flattens rabbit out. it looks at the surface and takes away the magic. it’s interesting that rabbit is so prevalent in our culture but a spiritual connection with the type of rabbit our culture promotes isn’t possible. luckily i grew up with rabbits. the fluffy pet rabbits, who can be fierce and aggressive and the wild, dessert rabbits, who are beautiful and graceful.
when i was a child rabbit helped me hold my experience. rabbit was another myself, connected to nature, wild and free, but also fragile and hyper alert and sometimes protected and cared for.
as an adult i can reap the benefits of my child’s mind by opening up to the rabbit as my teacher and my self. working with personal myth and symbol helps me understand myself and my life and even the greater lessons of humanity.
rabbit also reminds me that they have long been my teacher when i look at the moon. i remember the ancient mesoamerican stories, in one the rabbit is the moon as an act of elevation and respect, in another the rabbit in the moon is an insult.
this reminds me how we use symbols on large and small scales to work out our lives and reality. when i can see the symbols that run through my life and run through our culture i have a broader understanding of my experience and our experience as a whole during this time. this helps me.
the world seems so unconscious and out of control to me sometimes. it is tricky business to remember, reclaim and embody our magical minds, our imaginative, intuitive, expanded perspectives that can see through physical reality to the symbolic nature of reality. our lives are rich with symbols.
today i am rabbit. and i see rabbits everywhere!