Say It With Tarot

Everything you want to know about Tarot--especially for contemplation, self-empowerment, personal growth and creativity--from Tarot expert, author and deck co-creator Janet Boyer.

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Some Bunny to Love – Pop Culture Rabbit Archetypes and Symbols

Five years ago, I wrote a blog post titled Rabbit Symbolism in the Tarot. With Easter/Ostara fast approaching, I thought I'd examine rabbit symbolism in light of pop culture. This article was interesting to research, and I hope you find the historical tidbits as fascinating as I do.

March Hare – From Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Host of the Mad Tea Party. Also known as Haigha in Through the Looking-Glass. Carroll noted that "Haigha" rhymes with "mayor". "Mad as a March hare" is an English expression based on observing the behavior of Lepus europaeus during March breeding season. Supposedly, female hares not wanting to breed would repeatedly kick aggressive males with their forelegs to repel them (it used to be believed, incorrectly, that these leporidae fisticuffs were males fighting for supremacy). Sir John Tenniel’s illustration of March Hare featured haphazard pieces of hay on its head, a Victorian symbol for madness.

Traits: Excitable. Delirious. Confused.

Archetype: Mad Man; Crazy 8

White Rabbit–Also from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. "I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye! I'm late! I'm late! I'm late!" Almost everyone is familiar with these lines from the White Rabbit’s song, not to mention the phrase “going down the rabbit hole”—where he lives (and Alice turns into a “monster”).

Traits: Hurried. Nervous. Timid. Time-Conscious. Haughty with Servants, Yet Ingratiating with Superiors.

Archetype: Sycophant; Coward Symbol: Ticking Clock

White Rabbit (Song by Grace Slick. Sung by Jefferson Airplane)  – According the songwriter/singer Grace Slick, “White Rabbit” was a slap to parents who read Carrolls’ books to their children, and then wondered why they end up taking drugs. Interestingly, Slick supposedly wrote this song after an acid trip—and it was one of the few tunes that referenced drugs and made it past the censors of the time. In the Wall Street Journal article “She Went Chasing Rabbits”, Slick was quoted as saying that the White Rabbit in her song represented “following your curiosity. The White Rabbit is your curiosity”.

Traits: Curious. Experimenter. Imaginative. Hallucinative. Stoned.

Archetype: Fool Symbol: Psychedelia

Peter Rabbit – From The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, this bunny and his three sisters are constantly warned by Mother to stay out of Mr. McGregor’s garden, because “your Father had an accident there; he was put in a pie by Mrs. McGregor".

Traits: Disobedient. Risk-Taker. Boundary-Crosser.

Archetype: Rebel Symbol: Swimming Against the Tide

Rabbit – Denizen of the Hundred Acre Wood and friend to Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet and company. Character created by A. A. Milne.

Traits: Fastidious. Critical. Serious. Intelligent. Organized. Bossy.

Archetype: Planner; Mastermind Symbol: Checklist; Clipboard

Bugs Bunny: “Eh…what ‘s up, Doc?” If you’re not familiar with this carrot-chomping animated cartoon character from the 1930s—well, you need to get thee hence to YouTube to check him out!

Traits: Loquacious. Devious. Mocking.

Archetype: Provocateur; Trickster Symbol: Mercury

Jackalope – American Cryptid created in the 1930s by Douglas Herrick and his brother—both hunters and taxidermists. A “fearsome critter” whose name is as portmanteau of “jackrabbit” and “antelope”, the jackalope has reached urban legend status in the vein of Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster—especially in the state of Wyoming. Interestingly, it’s possible that the mythos of this cryptid is rooted in pathology: rabbits infected with the Shope papilloma virus sprout grotesque horn-like tumors from not only the head, but also other parts of the body. Researchers believe sightings of these deformed rabbits may have initiated the jackalope legend.

Traits: Artifice. Hoaxing. Boosterism.

Archetype: Magician (Shadow); Opportunist Symbol: Take a guess.

Hazel – Character from Richard Adam’s book Watership Down, a novel about anthropomorphic rabbits in search for a home.

Traits: Inclusive. Brave. Trusting. Self-Sacrificing.

Archetype: Magnanimous Leader; Adventurer; Hero Symbol: Heart with Crown

Brer Rabbit – Character in Joel Chandler Harris’s The Adventures of Brer Rabbit, as told by the fictional kindly, old Uncle Remus—a composite of storytellers Harris encountered at the Turnwold Plantation. As the story goes, Brer Fox creates a doll out of tart, and places clothes on the lump of goo. Brer Rabbit comes by and says “Hello!” to the “Tar-Baby”. When the doll doesn’t respond, Brer Rabbit gets offended—and proceeds to punch it. He becomes angry, and punches some more—resulting in Brer Rabbit becoming thoroughly stuck in the tar. Brer Fox finally reveals himself, and Brer Rabbit plays the helpless victim by saying “please, Brer Fox, don't fling me in dat brier patch”—knowing full well that the thicket of briers will help him escape from tar. 

Traits: Cunning. Resourceful. Deceitful.

Archetype: Trickster; Provocateur Symbol: Mask

The Hare – Racing opponent of the Tortoise in Aesop’s Fables.

Traits: Hubris. Arrogant. Vain. Boastful. Presumptuous. Taunting. Patronizing.

Archetype: Bully (Click here to read my post on the Bully Archetype)

Roger Rabbit – A cartoon character in the novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit? by Gary K. Wolf, later adapted into the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.

Traits: Funny. Hyperactive. Friendly. Jittery. Bungling.

Archetype: Clown Symbol: Whoopee Cushion

Other famous rabbits include Harvey, Frank and Eddie

Did I miss any? Do weigh in at the comments below!

How would you like a 20-question Tarot spread based on this post? Become my Patron on Patreon here for instant access to this and other goodies. 

For more rabbit-related goodness, check out my podcast Rabbit Symbolism in the Tarot and the Queen of Pentacles Breeder Card here.


Some of the information shared in this article was gleaned from reading Wikipedia.


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Janet Boyer is the author of Back in Time Tarot (Hampton Roads), Tarot in Reverse (Schiffer Publishing) and Naked Tarot: Sassy, Stripped-Down Advice (Dodona Books). She's the co-creator (with her husband, artist Ron Boyer) of the Snowland Deck and Coffee Tarot, and authored both companion books to those decks. A Renaissance Soul, she is also an award-winning cook, mixed media artist, jewelry artisan and journal maker. Next to creating, her favorite thing to do is spend time with her beloved husband, son and 5 cats at her rural home in Pennsylvania. Visit her at


  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Wednesday, 28 March 2018

    Off hand the only rabbit that comes to mind are the chocolate bunnies that appear around Easter Time.

  • Janet Boyer
    Janet Boyer Thursday, 29 March 2018

    Ha! True, true. I can't believe I forgot THE Easter Bunny--and Peter Cottontail. D'oh! And then there's Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom from John Updike's books. :)

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