All Hallows’ Evening, or the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, (the Gaelic word for November) is the time of year when the veil between our world and the ‘other’, spirit world is at its thinnest, and heralds the beginning of winter. In Ireland, it was the time when cattle were brought back down from the Summer pastures and when livestock was slaughtered in preparation for winter feasting. This week, like those same Irish herders, I decide to bring Tommy down from his moorland home to the flat lands around Marazion, the gateway to St. Michael’s Mount.
Preparing for our departure, and with gratitude in my heart for Tommy’s time spent here as a member of the herd, it is time for Tommy and I to say a fond farewell to his crew mates at Steda Lowarth. Donning all the hi viz gear I have, from yellow leg wraps for Tommy to a ‘polite’ chequered band around my hat which makes drivers think I am a policewoman (it has it’s uses), we head out into the dripping ‘pea-souper’ to brave the constant flow of heavy lorries and cement mixers that trundle up and down the hill that forms the rat run to the quarry, across the A30 at Crowlas, over the railway bridge and up a bridle track. Finally, emerging from the fog, we arrive at Tommy’s new home just before darkness descends, and once turned out onto his new pasture, he loses no time in getting his head down to the serious business of eating grass, completely ignoring the pretty grey Arab mare in the adjoining field who has come up to the fence to say hello.
The following day is spent pushing plastic pole spikes into the ground and threading them with electric tape to fence off a section of his nice big field. In this first ‘strip’, there is a lovely big ‘spoil’ mound for Tommy to play on.
I discover that the mound is guarded by a resident rabbit!
If you click on the image, you will see what I mean. A little gorse stump on the top of the hill looks remarkably like a rabbit, from whatever angle you care to view it. I think Tommy will be happy here with his guardian rabbit. Perhaps he has been sent as a messenger from the underworld on this auspicious day.
Thinking there was more to this than meets the eye, I googled ‘symbolic meanings for rabbit’ and found this quote about rabbits on a Totem Animals site which lists animals and their shamanic meanings: animals as spirit guides who protect individuals and Nations with their animal qualities ‘essential for success in any venture undertaken‘. Here is what it had to say about the rabbit:
“Rabbit’s medicine includes moving through fear, living by one’s own wits, receiving hidden teachings and intuitive messages, quick thinking, strengthening intuition, and paradox. Rabbit also represents humility, because he is quiet and soft and not self-asserting. Rabbit reminds us not to be afraid. Fearful thoughts reproduce (like rabbits) and bring the very thing we fear. Rabbit people are so afraid of tragedy, illness, and disaster, that they call those very fears to them to teach them lessons. If you see Rabbit or in any way feel attracted to him, it may be telling you to wait for the forces of the universe to start moving again, to stop worrying and to get rid of your fears. It always indicates a need to re-evaluate the process you are undergoing, to rid yourself of any negative feelings or barriers, and to be more humble.”
Timely thoughts for me and Tommy. And they complement Frog Spirit which you can see if you ‘rabbit-rabbit’ over to my Artist as Pilgrim blog, here.
For other WordPress weekly photo challenge ideas on Descent, here