Emma-Jayne Saanen

[Totem Animal] European Hare

"The Moon and Her Children"


A limited run of 50 prints of “The Moon and Her Children” are available from my deviantArt store. 

Key Ideas

– swiftness
– intuition
– mania and creative passion
– do not take your gifts for granted
– the price of independence is vigilance


The European Hare is a shy animal that lives out in the open. To survive, they can race at fast paces and are near-constantly aware of their surroundings. To work with Hare energy requires the same level of commitment to Hare’s lessons.


Hare teaches swiftness and lightness – Hare is the wind in animal form.

The European Hare is fleet of foot, reaching speeds of 72km/hr. Speed is often frowned upon, as exemplified by the phrase “more haste, less speed”. Often it is acceptable to move through life at a moderate pace, but just as Hare does, there are times when quick decisions need to be made and quick actions need to be carried out. Being cautious is fine, but do not let opportunities pass you by.

Hare teaches the mysteries of the night and the moon, and symbolises intuition.

A secretive and shy animal, the Hare is usually active at night under the watchful eye of the Moon. As the dark hours symbolise mystery and the unconscious mind, so too does the totem of Hare. Like the Moon, Hare is seen as ever changing. The night is an alien world to those of us who spend our days indoors, and Hare may be willing to show you hir night-time world.

Hare teaches the power of mania.

Come the mating season, the personality of Hare changes. This shy animal becomes outgoing and wild in his attempts to mate with females, and her attempts to keep males away. The imagery of the “Mad March Hare” is powerful, and is known by most British people. This behaviour speaks to me of Mania, the manic phases of my bipolar disorder. The wild nights, driven by uncontrolled creativity and passion.

Hare teaches that things should not be taken for granted.

The gifts and skills we have, and that others share with us, are precious but due to how easily we have access to them, we do take them for granted albeit unintentionally. Hare has learned not to take hir swiftness for granted, as told through the popular tale “The Tortoise and the Hare” and in various creation myths.

Coincidentally, I have watched a BBC documentary on the Hare’s ally, the Moon. The Moon is something we take for granted. Without it, life would not have begun or would our type of life have evolved.

Hare teaches independence and vigilance.

In Hare’s world, the qualities of independence and vigilance go hand in hand. Hare is a solitary spirit and relies on hirself to survive, unlike Rabbit who sie is commonly confused with. But to thrive independently of any social group, Hare has to pay a price. That price is constant vigilance. Hare can sleep with hir eyes open, always ready to protect hirself should the need arise. It takes a certain emotional and psychological strength for us to learn these lessons.

Do It Yourself!

The above is what I learned from European Hare and what Hare had to teach me. If you would like to work with European Hare as a totem, be bold and learn directly from hir.

As with all totems, remember that Hare has real children deserving of respect and compassion.



  1. Thank You! That was helpful! :-)

  2. Thank you Emma-Jayne, I’ve felt the presence of Hare, she’s shown me little signs of her presence over this last few days. Love your beautiful artwork and heart-felt words, so inspiring.

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