Rabbit Totem: Spirit Meaning of Rabbit

Rabbit Power Animal Despite its small size and apparent weakness, Rabbit can be an incredibly powerful spirit animal with an abundance of meanings. And, in fact, Abundance is one of them!

Rabbit: Power Animal of Fertility, Abundance, and Creativity

Rabbits, rabbits everywhere – that’s what it seems like in spring, anyway, when litters of young bunnies grow large enough to hop out of their nests and go bouncing like popcorn out of the hedges. Rabbits are legendary for their reproductive abilities. A Miami University staff member once estimated that at average rates of reproduction and without disease or predation, a single mother rabbit and her female babies could theoretically produce over 187 billion offspring in just seven years. This, of course, makes Rabbit an awesome ally when we are working towards improving Abundance in our lives. Bunnies also represent creative abundance and have much to offer as a power animal for creativity.

Rabbits have good reason to multiply, since in the real world nearly everything eats them. In Richard Adams’ epic tale about rabbits, Watership Down, the rabbits’ mythical hero El-Ahrairah was called “The Prince with a Thousand Enemies” for this very reason. This brings us to three more of Rabbit’s spiritual associations: Sensitivity, Fear, and the Trickster.

The Sensitive Rabbit

Because Rabbits must always be on the lookout for danger, they are highly sensitive. Their big ears are always swiveling around, picking up the slightest sounds. Their eyes, too, are large, and placed on the sides of their heads so they can see virtually all the way around without even turning their heads. And their little noses? Continually twitching to catch scents on the wind. Rabbits tolerate cold well, but are highly sensitive to heat, noise and commotion.

Rabbit people, too, tend to be highly sensitive. If you have Rabbit spirit animal energy, you may be especially perceptive, intuitive, and/or empathic. You may also be highly artistic or musical. If this is so, you will be most productive and creative in peaceful, quiet surroundings – or at least you should have access to a quiet place to retreat to when you do your work, just as the mother Rabbit digs herself a burrow to bear her young.

Sometimes being a sensitive person can get a bit overwhelming, leading to anxiety. It can also sometimes show up as physical or environmental sensitivity, or even allergies. If this happens to you, consider that your sensitive nature is actually a blessing. Like Rabbit, you have built-in warning systems that let you know when you’ve entered a situation that may not be in your best interests. When Rabbit feels endangered, she takes refuge in her burrow. Sensitive people often find solace in Mother Earth. Spending time in nature or doing activities like gardening or working with clay may bring you a sense of peace and help you feel more grounded.

Overcoming Fear: Rabbit as Trickster and Warrior

The shadow side of Rabbit energy is to be always living in fear, using avoidance as a protective mechanism by running scared or hiding oneself away. Yes, there are times when fear is justified, and running away from the situation or laying low can save our skins. But if you notice that this type of behavior has become a pattern in your life that is keeping you from your goals or from growing in a positive direction, it’s time to turn that energy around. One way is to call upon Rabbit’s Trickster side.

Wild rabbits, when chased, will run in a confusing, zig-zag pattern. They are also very good at losing their pursuers in the “briar patch.” No wonder so many stories from many parts of the world (including the Brer Rabbit stories of the American South, and even Bugs Bunny), feature Rabbit as Trickster. In these stories, Rabbit uses his wit rather than brute strength to win out against much more powerful antagonists. Note, though, that Rabbit’s wit usually has more to do with psychology than with mental calculations. So Rabbit people do well to use their intuitive understanding of people in their defensive strategies. (In other words, fight smart, not hard.) With Rabbits, strength is in numbers, and territory is important, so use your alliances and your knowledge of the territory to your advantage.

Note, too, that Rabbits can also be fierce fighters. They will kick out with their powerful hind feet, and may bite when cornered. So don’t underestimate a Rabbit person – they will tolerate a lot of crap, but once they’re pushed to their limit, watch out! Rabbit people can call upon this little known Warrior aspect of Rabbit if need be.

Also, see if one of Rabbit’s predators calls to you. Rabbit’s biggest predators include all the Canids (dogs, coyotes, foxes, wolves), the Cat family (including bobcats, lynxes and cougars – even domestic cats will prey on young rabbits), and larger birds of prey such as owls, hawks and eagles. Snakes, too, will often go for young rabbits. If you find yourself especially attracted to or scared by any of these animals, they may have good medicine for you to help you overcome your fears.

Intuitive Rabbit

Another very important thing to realize about Rabbits is just how strong their survival instincts are. My daughter once had a pet rabbit named Cuddles. Rather than keep her in a cage, we let Cuddles have the run of our enclosed front porch. One day, the mailman left the door ajar and Cuddles got out. She was on her own for months before we were able to catch her. I was amazed at her ability to fend for herself even through the harsh Wisconsin winter. Rabbit teaches us to trust our instincts and our intuition to guide us. This is another area where sensitive Rabbit people shine – they tend to be very intuitive and often connect readily with the spirit world.

The Practical Side of Rabbit Spirit

Finally, Rabbits have a very specialized digestive system. They eat primarily grasses and other high-fiber foods, including bark in the winter. This material actually gets sorted within the Rabbit’s digestive system.

The food that is more easily digested gets processed and turned into waste in the customary way. (If you have a garden you are probably familiar with Rabbit’s little, round hard droppings, which incidentally are one of the few manures that you can safely turn into the garden soil without composting first.) However, the more fibrous, hard-to-digest material makes a side trip into an organ called the cecum, which corresponds to our appendix but is much larger and better developed. Here, a multitude of friendly digestive organisms goes to work on it, and the material gets passed as a special soft type of dropping that the rabbit then eats and digests in the normal way.

Oh, and by the way, unlike some other grazing animals, Rabbits don’t need to eat continuously. They are active in the morning and evening so eat basically two meals a day, and spend the rest of the day relaxing and digesting.

So, Rabbit is thus a wonderful spirit animal for prioritizing and efficiency. And, if Rabbit is your totem, don’t feel you have to be on the go 100% of the time. You may do better by doing your work in highly productive spurts (and you may find you work best in the mornings and evenings), and spending the rest of your time digesting the experience and enjoying life!

Enjoy the video version of this post here:

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

Did you enjoy this post? If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, spirit animal information and artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just hit the "follow" tab in the menu up top to subscribe.

Finding Your Purpose: A Spirit Message from Fox

Red fox power animalA couple weeks ago I had a magical moment in the woods. I’d been rambling about with my dog, and after a while felt the call to go off trail a bit to pray.

Right in the middle, I hear this rustling in the leaves behind me. I look up and see this critter just booking towards us. Someone’s dog? No—as it comes closer I see it’s a beautiful Red Fox. It barrels past just a yard or two behind me, then disappears into the woods on the other side, its white-tipped tail like a signal flag behind it.

Fox  has been calling himself to my attention quite a lot lately. So I thought I’d feel into it and see what he’s wanting to say.

Fox Power Animal Guidance

What’s coming forward right now is the shapeshifting aspect of Fox. Unlike frogs and butterflies, Foxes don’t actually shapeshift (except in folklore, such as the Japanese kitsune, a fox that can shapeshift into human form.) But, they do move silently and are really good at disappearing and reappearing into the forest, giving the impression of being able to disappear at will.

In other words, they have a slippery, elusive quality that gives the Fox totem the energetic quality of shapeshifting.

Also, foxes are one of those wild animals that do quite well in an urban environment. I’ve come across foxes right in the middle of several small to medium towns I’ve lived in. A friend from Dublin once wrote me about a fox living in their garden, and I’ve heard quite a number of stories of foxes living quite happily in other larger urban centers as well.

So the fox energy that’s coming forward right now has to do with that elusive quality, and also with their adaptability. It’s about the ability to slip in and out of established conventions.

Sometimes we find ourselves moving about in social circles or work environments that “require” us to step outside of who we are and follow the conventions. Fox medicine allows us to appear to do that while still actually following our own compass.

One of the interesting things about foxes is that they’re able to “see” the Earth’s magnetic field. Scientists think they can actually see it as a shadow on their retina, and it gives them the inborn capacity to be aware of where North is. They use that ability in tandem with their sense of hearing to locate and capture small animals that may be hiding under the snow or under fallen leaves. It’s rather like a specialized intuition that’s very connected with Earth.

So here’s the power animal message from Fox:

  1. First, Fox is asking us to really tune in to what is our “true North.”

Not what you think you should or ought to do, or what others are trying to tell you to do, but what are YOU being called to do? 

Doing so will require you to tune into your intuition. Pay close attention to all your senses. Each sense is its own channel for divine guidance; when we get similar intuitive input through different ones it can work like lining things up in the crosshairs – just like the fox “lines up” the rustling sounds in the leaves with its magnetic vision to zero in on its prey.

Use your senses to follow your pleasure. Every animal knows that pleasure is a good thing. It’s the pursuit of pleasure just as much or more than the avoidance of pain that helps them survive and thrive. We humans often have a warped view of pleasure. Yes, there are false pleasures, but let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water.

What brings you joy? By joy I mean real fulfillment, not some false pleasure that is just a temporary fix for an empty spot in your life. Find what brings you joy, and allow yourself to pursue it! That’s what Joseph Campbell called “following your bliss,” and it is the road to Purpose.

2. Next, the encouragement is to connect with Earth, to ground ourselves.

There are many ways to do this, but the one that’s coming forward for me right now is to pay close attention to your body. Whatever frustrations or setbacks you might be experiencing, take a moment to tune in and ask: what is your body wanting to tell you?

Maybe you need more sleep, or more exercise, or a different kind of exercise, or to eat more or less of something. It’s amazing how many times when we get thrown off track it’s because we’re not aligned with our body’s needs. A little fix like an extra hour of sleep can work wonders.

3. Also, Fox is saying we don’t always have to disrupt our lives to follow our purpose. 

Sometimes we get the prompt from Spirit to make big leaps, to quit a job or to move out of state or start a business or something like that. That can be very legitimate, and for most of us there are times for that, but that’s not what this is about.

The message I’m getting from Fox is that you can follow that sense of true north, follow your purpose, in a way that doesn’t require you to make huge leaps,  disrupt your life, take on Herculean tasks, and/or call undue attention to yourself.

Bringing Purpose to Earth

With this Fox energy, it’s more like weaving your pursuit of joy through your existing life, keeping that true North in sight, but moving towards it in a way that’s almost inconspicuous and/or not overtly disruptive. So it’s the ability to follow your guidance, follow your bliss, follow your purpose within the life you already have. It’s a sort of flying under the radar.

For example, say you feel called to be a healer. You could go all out, quit your job and start a healing business, or go back to school and switch careers to something in the medical profession, the whole nine yards. And sometimes that’s the way to go.

But another path is to keep the life you have, and work your passion for healing into it. Maybe start a healing Meetup. Work on family and friends in your spare time. Take on a few clients on the side. Take some night classes. Quietly practice Reiki at work. That sort of thing.

It’s a “yes, and” approach. Yes, there are reasons for me to be where I’m at. And yes, I have dreams and desires for something more. I allow myself to experience and receive both!

That is not to say that big shifts will not happen at some point. In fact, if you’re truly following your purpose they most certainly will. You may eventually quit that job, make that move, start that business, or whatever it is. The point is that it can happen gently and naturally, growing organically from where you are at right now, without being forced or forcing you and those around you to cope with huge changes all at once, at least not at the moment.

In a sense, it has to do with a sort of truce, a “meeting half way” between the spiritual and the material planes of life, between our dreams and our daily reality. They really can come together in harmonious ways!

Looking for more insight on the Spiritual meaning of Fox?

Like all power animals, Fox has multiple spirit meanings. We are all connected, so even though this message is relevant to me personally, it will relate to the collective as well. If Fox has come into your life recently it may therefore feel spot on for you, too.

But, if you feel Fox may have a different message for you, or if you’d like additional insight into the spirit meaning of Fox, check out my YouTube video on Fox here:

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

Did you enjoy this post? If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, spirit animal information and artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just hit the "follow" tab in the menu up top to subscribe.

Deer Spirit Meaning and Finding Your Purpose

Deer painting in watercolor

Deer has been coming forward for me a lot lately so I thought I’d share a bit about the spirit meaning of this magnificent animal. Perhaps it will speak to you, too!

Like all animal guides, Deer has multiple meanings and I could go on for pages about it. For now, though, let’s explore Deer spirit meaning as it relates to soul’s purpose.

Connecting head and heart

This animal relates very strongly to two chakras in particular: Heart and Crown. Gentleness, innocence, nurturing, giving of oneself, and Love are some of the symbolic meanings of Deer in many traditions. All of these resonate very strongly with heart energy. And the antlers of the male deer symbolize the crown’s connection with Spirit. While pursuit of purpose involves all the chakras, this connection of heart and crown is especially significant. Deer can therefore be a powerful guide in the process of seeking one’s purpose.

It’s interesting to note that in English, another word for “stag” is “hart,” don’t you think? There are many examples in folklore of a hunter or prince being led deep into the dark forest by a mysterious stag, becoming lost and embarking upon a great adventure that eventually leads to love, wealth and happiness.

And that is what often happens when we begin to follow our h(e)art’s purpose.

Often we feel alone in the wilderness, at least at first. And we face many challenges and even demons and monsters along the way. Every hero of story and myth experiences their dark night of the soul, and it can truly be a place of woe and despair.

3 whitetail deer illustration

So as innocent as the Deer animal guide may appear to be (and innocence is indeed one of its symbolic meanings), taking it on as a totem is not for the faint of heart.

But there is immense wisdom to be found in myth. Inevitably, our hero meets up with helpers and guides along the way, and is given tools and wisdom to vanquish the forces of the dark and accomplish his task (the first step of which is often to realize that he has a task in the first place, and to find out where and what he needs to do!)

Letting go of attachments

On another note, purification is another huge symbolic meaning of Deer totem. And in fact, a large part of finding and pursuing Purpose often entails letting go of that which does not support it.

Here we want to take a close look at one of the shadow aspects of Deer: jealousy.

Male deer can be extremely jealous, which if you think about it makes sense, since during rutting season it’s a buck deer’s goal to gather together a harem of does and to mate with as many of them as possible. If he is successful at this, of course, his genes get to rule the next generation. But he has to not only fight with powerful rivals, but also guard against rogue bucks who will sneak into his harem and mate with the does while his back is turned.

So like nearly all shadow energies this one is here for a reason. When jealousy shows up in human relationships the underlying reason is typically fear of loss.

I’m not talking just love relationships here. I’m talking about any kind of attachment energy, where you cling to and/or defend a person or behavior or idea of how something should be. And what happens is that we fixate on that thing, we keep giving our energy to that instead of focusing on our connection with Light.

So one thing to consider if Deer keeps showing up for you, especially if you are experiencing some sort of dark night of the soul, or relationship issue, is what fixations might be present in your consciousness? Are you relating to the person as he or she really is, or some sort of projected belief about that person? Are you focusing on what you really want in your heart, or on what some part of you thinks you should want? Are you clinging to things that no longer serve you? Recognizing and releasing these fixations and attachments will help free you to get back on the path you seek.

Watch my new video for more about the spiritual symbolism of Deer

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Deer spirit meaning. If you’d like to hear more Deer spirit wisdom (including Deer’s connection with Christ energy), check out my newest animal spirit video here:

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

Did you enjoy this post? If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, spirit animal information and artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just hit the "follow" tab in the menu up top to subscribe.

Warrior Bunny

Rabbit spirit animal Yes, I know it’s a little early for Easter. But this little bunny came forward for me recently and just really insisted that she has something important to say today.

When animals come into your life with that kind of presence, it pays to listen. I’ve found they always have an amazing message to convey.

Now, much of Rabbit spirit animal meaning has to do with sensitivity to the world around you, and with procreation, fertility, creativity and abundance. Rabbit is also a renowned Trickster animal. And of course it’s fabulous at running and hiding; the presence of Rabbit can indicate a need to address fear.

On the surface, bunnies don’t seem very Warrior-like, do they? They sure don’t look it! But if you really pay attention, Rabbit may surprise you.

Remember the Killer Bunny in Monty Python’s Holy Grail? The seemingly harmless and defenseless little white rabbit that sends King Arthur and his brave knights packing? Over the top, of course, but that silly scene actually contains a kernel of truth.

Rabbits are highly territorial creatures, and they will defend their space with surprising fierceness. In fact, new rabbit owners are often shocked at how aggressive these otherwise timid and sweet creatures can be.

Interestingly, female rabbits tend to be the most territorial. A female bunny’s territorial aggression has a lot to do with her primary concern – making babies and raising them safely. (The male helps by protecting her and her burrow.)

What I’m getting here is a clear Rabbit spirit animal message for creative people. Especially, creative people who tend towards having timid, quiet or sweet personalities.

Your creative work is core to who you are. And Rabbit’s lesson is to not be afraid to defend your right to do it.

If you are a creative person – and all of us are; remember creativity shows up in myriad ways, not just the arts – and your creativity is not allowed to express itself, the result is going to be one of two things (or sometimes both):

 1. You’ll start to feel eaten away, like a hollow core of your real self (this could also show up as migranes, eating disorders, and so on); and/or

2. You’ll act out your frustration (usually unconsciously) in ways that punish and/or isolate self and/or others. This can manifest as lashing out, giving the cold shoulder, nervous breakdowns, passive aggressive behavior, addictions, etc.

How best to defend your space? Let’s ask Rabbit.

Fighting is actually not Rabbit’s first line of defense in protecting her space. In fact, fighting and aggressive behavior are pretty energy-intensive activities which rob her creative energy. In addition, the raging emotions required of her in a fight put her at risk of engaging in careless behavior and being eaten by a predator. She would really rather not go there.

So, Rabbit takes great care to protect her space and warn others away from her burrow by marking her territory. Both male and female rabbits will mark their territorial boundaries by spraying urine and by rubbing rocks and plant stems with a scent gland under their chin.

Rabbit’s behavior points out the value of clearly and assertively communicating your sacred need for creative (or spiritual) time and/or space.

Now, of course I don’t advocate peeing all over your home to keep people out of your creative space. (Although it would probably work.) But actively communicating in a confident and assertive (rather than aggressive) way means you can remain the sweet, gentle person you are without losing it or having a nervous breakdown.

Have trouble with this? Strengthening the solar and throat chakras is key. But that’s a topic for another day! 🙂

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

Did you enjoy this post? If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, spirit animal information and artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just hit the "follow" tab in the menu up top to subscribe.

Beaver’s Lesson for Lightworkers

 A friend recently asked me for insight on symbolism of Beaver spirit animal. Beavers are awesome animals and I could write pages on them, but today I’d like to share one of the biggest lessons we can learn from this aquatic rodent.

Beavers are considered a keystone species. That means that their presence in the environment has a direct and positive influence on the entire ecosystem of which they are a part.

As you may know, beavers like to eat the bark of fast-growing trees such as aspen. They gnaw them down and use the limbs and branches to dam up streams to create ponds. They then build their homes, or lodges, in the middle of the pond, which acts as a moat, helping to keep the beaver family safe and secure from predators.

The beavers, of course, do this for their own benefit. But in doing so, they benefit a huge number of other species as well. When they build these ponds they make possible entire ecosystems where other animals- including waterfowl and many species of fish and other aquatic creatures – can thrive.

This is a big lesson for lightworkers. We, too, are keystone creatures, capable of exerting powerful positive influence. The Beaver power animal shows us that taking care of our own genuine needs opens up space for not only us, but everyone around us to thrive. This includes helping ourselves to the resources we need.

Some people have a hard time with beavers, because they cut down trees. (Just as some people have a hard time with healers charging for their services.) But remember, they go for the fast-growing trees, which grow back quickly. A small price to pay for all the gifts and benefits Beaver brings, don’t you think?

Did you enjoy this post? Christie

Did you enjoy this post? If you did, you will enjoy my newsletter, too. I share positive affirmations, spirit animal information and artwork, and spiritual insights for awakening souls. You will also get a free guided meditation to help you meet your Spirit Animal! Just hit the "follow" tab in the menu up top to subscribe.