Rabbit Symbolism & Meaning (Totem, Spirit & Omens)

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Rabbits are small, timid, and very cutesy animals that are often adopted as domestic pets. But long before they became revered as part of the family, rabbit symbolism had a long history.

They can be seen in many different cultures and religious practices, as they offer important lessons about being aware, protecting ourselves, and are symbols of fertility, family, and new life. 

Rabbits appear in lots of mythologies and folklore told in cultures around the world as they live on all but one continent in the world, Antarctica.

Rabbits are also familiar creatures as they are closely linked to the change of the seasons such as springtime, representing a symbol of fruitfulness and renewal.

They are symbolic little creatures full of cleverness, devotion to self-improvement, and good luck.

What does a rabbit represent?

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White Rabbit Symbolism 

White rabbits are symbols of love, tenderness, and inner power.

In general, rabbits are considered lucky animals, but white rabbits are actual symbols of good luck and impending opportunity. We see this in many European cultures as a white rabbit can be seen as a kind of blessing.

The legend goes that if you say ‘white rabbit,’ or ‘rabbit, rabbit’ on the first day of the month every month, you're guaranteed good luck.

Black Rabbit symbolism 

Black rabbits symbolize the peacefulness of being still and silent, much like how the color black is symbolic of silence and stillness.

Your interpretation of a black of rabbits and all depends on how you symbolize it and your own personal or cultural impression of them.

What is the spiritual meaning of a rabbit?

Sensitivity

Rabbits are one of the most sensitive animals. They can process up to 20 times the scents that humans can pick up and they are very intuitive. Their ears can pick up on a variety of sounds in their environment as they are often large and can help them keep a close ear out for predators.

In addition to hearing, rabbits can see in almost every direction at once, and for those reasons, a rabbit in the spiritual world is a symbol of sensitivity.

If a rabbit crosses your path, it's for a reason, reminding others to not become too desensitized. Rabbits remind us that we have our senses for a reason and that they can be gifts.

A person who identifies with the spiritual meaning of a rabbit is most likely to have them as their spirit animal and is likely an extremely sensitive person. Even though your sensitivity may feel like a burden sometimes, the rabbit can remind you to remember that it's indeed a gift. 

Gentleness

Rabbits are gentle creatures who eat plants and hop around the forest and the grass. Therefore, they are seen as harmless and gentle creatures, spiritually reminding people to use empathy and compassion when speaking to others.

It's not every day that you'll get along with others but the rabbit spirit reminds you to go easy on people, while also treating yourself kindly. 

Fertility

The rabbit has always been a long-standing symbol of fertility as rabbits are known for having lots of babies.

A young rabbit only two months old is able to have babies because female rabbits have a gestation period of around 27 days. Therefore, a single rabbit can have several litters per year. Male rabbits can also impregnate any female rabbit as they want, which creates more and more babies.

Therefore the rabbit's spiritual meaning of fertility is a powerful symbol as visualizing the rabbit can put you in the right mindset for having a baby or babies.

This idea also can expand as visualizing the rabbit can help abundance in all areas of your life in which you want to expand. 

If a rabbit appears to you, think about the different areas in your life you want to see grow and prosper and maybe say a prayer.

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Rabbit Spirit Animal

If you identify with the rabbit spirit animal, you're a loving, lucky, family-oriented, shy, creative, and quick-witted person.

The rabbit spirit animal will show up in your real life, media, or art for a reason. The rabbit spirit animal reminds you that there's hope and new opportunities in your future.

They also can help remind you that renewal is possible and the old can be new again. They help you gain the capacity to spring up and try new things.

As spirit animals, rabbits can inspire you to be kind, tender, and to find their powers of fertility, rebirth, luck, and spiritual exploration in your life.

Rabbit Totem

As a totem animal, rabbits offer magical and mysterious powers are full of life and possess deep connections with the sacred and eternal spirit of the earth. 

Rabbits are also one of 9 Native American totem animals. The rabbit totem animal serves as a symbol of cleverness, sensitivity, and shamanic power as rabbits have strong perceptive and intuitive powers.

The rabbit totem represents positive creative problem solving, courage, and quick-wittedness. It reminds us of our need to control our fears in life in order to find our true potential.

Rabbit Omen

Is it good luck to see a rabbit? In many different cultures, rabbits are seen as incredibly lucky animals and are good omens.

If you see a bunny in the wild or see one crossing your path then you will experience good luck in romance, family life, and your finances.

A rabbit is a good omen because it means you'll experience a spiritual awakening or revelation soon and that you should follow your intuition.

Rabbit Symbolism in Different Cultures & Religions

Rabbit Symbolism in Germanic Culture

In German culture, the rabbit is sacred to Ostara (or Eostre) the fertility goddess. Ostara celebrates new life and in her vision, she can only see potential in things. She's the reason spring gives vitality as she keeps her light bright even through the longest months of winter.

She is also celebrated at the festival of Easter, where her sacred rabbit is morphed into the Easter bunny for centuries with the head of a hare and body of a goddess. Ostara is also connected with the vernal equinox that happens through March 20-21st.

Rabbit Symbolism in Native American Culture

In Native American folklore, Manabozho is a god known for being a trickster and the Great Hare. He has powers of shape-shifting and his tricks help to spawn creation.

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The rabbit is also a powerful and well-respected totem animal in Native American culture.

Native Americans also have a rabbit clan, like the Hopi and the Shawnee tribes, and Northeastern and Northern Plains tribes do a sacred Rabbit Dance.

Rabbit Symbolism in Asian Cultures

The rabbit in Chinese culture is the fourth animal in the Chinese astrological chart. Those born under the rabbit are conservative, friendly, and deeply compassionate. They also are very creative, active, and try to avoid conflict.

In Japanese culture, the rabbit is associated with the moon, as they have a story about the rabbit and the moon. In the story, the Man on the Moon comes to Earth and he is very hungry, so the rabbit offers himself to be eaten. The Man on the Moon was so impressed with his generous offer that he doesn’t eat the rabbit but instead brings him to the moon to live with him.

For the Chinese, Koreans, and Vietnamese, rabbits are also associated with the moon. The Chinese also viewed the rabbit as an incarnation of the moon goddess.

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Rabbit Symbolism in Christianity

Many Christians feel that rabbits should not be connected with Christianity because of their significance to some pagan religions, as rabbits are spiritual messengers in the pagan world, traveling through the human realm and underworld. Therefore, rabbits are rarely mentioned in the Bible, but when they are, they are negative symbols.

In the Bible, it mentions that humans should not eat rabbits as they are considered unclean animals because “he cheweth the cud, but divideth not the hoof.” Surprisingly, even though it's not symbolic, Christians do follow the pagan tradition of Easter and the Easter bunny. 

Rabbit Symbolism in Celtic Culture

The celts had a goddess named Eostre who was known for her closeness with rabbits as she is the fertility goddess associated with springtime and the Spring Equinox, very similar to germanic culture.

Druids used rabbits as a source of divination as they would catch and release rabbits sort of as a game, interpreting the direction the rabbits took after being let free.

Rabbits were also associated with fairies so they could communicate underground, and that people could shapeshift into rabbits so taboos about killing them were often told.

Rabbit Symbolism in Buddhism

In Buddhism, Buddha is said to have been a hare in an earlier incarnation. He would travel as a hare in the company of an ape and a fox.

The symbol of three rabbits symbolizes samsara, or the wheel of karma, that is spun lifetime after lifetime until the person reaches enlightenment. The three hares also depict a lotus flower which implies that the hares represent a cycle of reincarnation and spiritual enlightenment.

In both Buddhism and other Eastern philosophies, the rabbit can also be associated with fire as fire is also a symbol of renewal and rebirth. Therefore the rabbit shares symbolism with the phoenix.

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Megan Hatch is a writer at YourTango who covers zodiac, love and relationships, and pop culture.