This is the first positive I’ve drawn for a new screen print. This is Indian ink on clear film. It’ll be a 3 colour print. This “layer” will be ultramarine.
Tricky little trickster, the hare. Mad as a march hare. A broken-hearted maiden. A starer at the moon.
All these things and more is the hare.
The constellation Lepus represents a hare. It is just south of the constellation Orion, and is sometimes represented as a hare being chased by Orion’s hunting dogs.
The association of rabbits and hares with the moon can be found in numerous cultures all over the world, from Japan to The British Isles. In Western folklore it’s the “Man in the Moon,” in other societies it is more commonly the “Hare (or Rabbit) in the Moon”.
Pagans believed that a hare staring at the moon brought fertility. This maybe is linked with the fact that rabbits and hares give birth to large litters in the early spring and they are prolific breeders.
The hare is linked with the pagan Goddess for Easter, Ēostre. The connection the hare has with the Easter Goddess is difficult to pin down. In Northern Europe in the 19th century there are folk customs involving the hare around the period of Easter. However it is recognised that this link with Easter goes back further. The sacredness of this animal reaches back into a more distant past, where it was probably an important part of the great Spring Festival of the prehistoric inhabitants of the British Isles.
Ēostre’s influence began to wane as Christianity started to take hold in Western Europe. As a result of Ēostre’s demise, the hare started to become a symbol of trickery. Sometimes they were viewed as witches in animal form. Numerous folk tales tell of men led astray by hares who are really witches in disguise, or of old women revealed as witches when they are wounded in their animal shape.
And so it goes on! There is a rich folklore involving the hare across all cultures.
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It seems that wherever man has been, and a cat of some sort, you’ll find tales of people shapeshifting into felines. In fact the only places on earth where it’s safe from the werecat are Australia and Antartica; two continents which don't have a native cat - I hear they have their hands full with werekangeroo’s and werepenguine’s as it is!