Sunday, December 9, 2012

Three Yuletide Hares

Hello, and Happy Yuletide! I've been completely absorbed in myth and symbolism this week, and am so excited about the result... 

The triple hare motif - with three hares chasing each other, and sharing just three ears between them - is a symbol appearing in sacred sites from England (the "Tinner's Hares" in Dartmoor churches) to the Middle and Far East. No one seems to understand the precise connection or meaning, although they've come to represent the Trinity in Christian churches, the triple Goddess in pagan tradition, and in other ancient cultures and mythologies, the lunar cycle, femininity and fertility.

I've wanted to explore this image for years now, and finally delved into it (with a bit of a Yuletide twist) on this wooden platter...


The hares indeed share just three ears, yet each appears to have two. I've bordered the design with Celtic knotwork, and a triple garland of holly and ivy.

Immersion in the lore and mythology surrounding this symbol was pure magic - and of course I feel as though I've just scratched the surface, so look for more pieces exploring this motif soon.

In the meantime, this Yuletide platter will be up for grabs on today's PFATT Marketplace (update on December 10th at 9AM Pacific/1PM eastern), as always on a first-come basis.

Back very soon with new goodies to share (ornaments!)...but first, a few hours much needed sleep...

Until next time,
♥ Carolee


4 comments:

Rhissanna said...

You lured me here, with this talk of rabbits! Yes, I'm fascinated by the Tinner's Hares and by their adoption in a string of different cultures from western Europe to China.

I'm guessing the paradox of the image came first, and the symbolism after; the optical illusion of the ears charmes us even if we don't know what else it might mean. It is, in any case, a joyous image. It always reminds me of the moon, the cycles of existence, the playfulness of Creation.

(That plate is gorgeous)

Ms. said...

No cash for purchases as this lean year ends and I escape the city with it's holiday consumer spirit to Massachusetts friends, where we will celebrate the solstice with a fire and some sweets, and Christmas by giving each other love, food, and trinkets from our personal wardrobes (things others admired that we wore once-freshly laundered and ironed). But, I had to drop in to say how lovely the hares are, and how lovely your telling of their multi-cultural significance. I wish you and John the sweetest new year and all the best in health, but most of all in love. Michelle

Silver Fox said...

Thank you for sharing about the lore of these interesting symbols! I find folklore fascinating, and as a reformed Christian of decidedly pagan leaning I really enjoy learning about the way we borrow soupy boos and meaning from one another. Blessed Yule!

Silver Fox said...

Thank you for sharing the lore!