Hare Moon



The Moon of May is called the Hare Moon. May is rebirth of life upon the Earth. With its reputation for
being prolific, no creature is more suited than the hare as this monthís symbol.

In researching legends for mythology appropriate to Mayís lunar cycle, there was no shortage of tales.
Being a creature sacred to many of the lunar deities and of significant importance in many cultures, the legends
regarding the hare seem to be as prolific as itís reputation.




The Origin of the Harelip
Hottentot People of South Africa



The time came when a decision had to be made regarding the fate of human. Time had withered their bodies
and the fullness of their existence had begun to decline. As it happened, the task of this most serious
deliberation fell to the Moon.

The decision would be final and unchangeable. The judgement would have to be of great wisdom, for it
would endure until the end of time. The Moon knew well the gravity of her task and did not enter into it
lightly.

After much thought and consultation with the other gods of the old days, the fate of humans was decided.
Just as it is with her own waxing and waning, it would be with humans. Men and women would rise to the
fullness of their lives and then begin to die away. And just as the Moon, humans, after their deaths, would
rise again with life renewed.

The Moon was pleased with her decision. It would mean that for all time humans would share her gift of
renewal. Those of the Earth below, she thought, should be the first to know how it shall be among them.
She sent the hare with the news of her decision.

When the hare arrived upon the Earth, all the men and women were busy with the work of preparation for
the winter months. They stored what food and grain they had, wove fibers together to keep them warm, and
strengthened their homes against winterís harsh winds.

So devoted to their work were they, in fact, that they did not even notice the arrival of the Moonís courier.
The Hare was upset over his apparent neglect. This, he thought, is surely no way to treat one of divine grace.
He decided that the creatures of this mortal realm should be taught a lesson so that they would keep better
manners in the days to come. The Hare knew just the way to do it, too.

When at last he managed to get the attention of the people of the Earth, the Hare told them that he had come
carrying a most important message from the Moon. He told them that the fate of humanity, after much
consideration, had been decided upon, and that he had been sent to deliver the news of the outcome.

The Hare watched as the many assembled before him grew silent and waited anxiously to hear of their fate.
At last, he arrived at the fulfillment of his purpose in descending to the Earth. He began to deliver the
message that he had brought, but the message he gave was not the one with which he had been sent.

"People of the Earth," the hare began, "you can look into the darkness of the heavens at night and see the
cycles of the divine Moon. She rises to the fullness of life and glory. Then she dies away and there is
darkness. By Her divine power, you can see Her then rise yet again. Her power is the gift of renewal. Surely
it is a gift devoutly to be wished even among the races of mortals. But it is a power that is truly divine. It
could come only as a gift unto humans, for you are not of the holy realm. So watch the Moon as she
transcends both life and death in her travels across the sky, and know that in her cycles is proof of the glory
of those who inhabit the heavens. Like the Moon, those of the Earth shall ever-more grow to the fullness of
their lives ere they begin to fade away. But to keep you ever aware that you are not of the same substance as
those who dwell above, humans shall fade and rise again no more!"

With this, the Hare took speedy leave of the Earth and returned to the Moon, confident that he would never
again descend to the Earth unnoticed.

The Moon asked the Hare how the humans reacted to the decision of the Moon to bestow the gift of renewal
upon them. The Hare, aware that he had disobeyed the command of his mistress, was reluctant to give his
account of his journeyís events. Finally, however, he realized that he could not do otherwise. He related the
meeting with humanity as it truly happened.

When She learned the truth of the situation, the Moon became enraged with the malicious actions of her
messenger. So great was her anger, in fact, that she took a hatchet and lowered it swiftly upon the now
trembling hare in order to split his head right between the ears. The rage of the Moon, however, blinded her
judgement, and the hatchet fell short of itís mark. Instead of falling upon the crown of the hareís head, the
hatchet met with the hareís upper lip and cut him severely. The hare was stirred to a rage of his own. He
raised his claws and scratched the Moonís face. The dark spots upon the Moon are the scars from her battle
with the hare.
The hare has since made peace with his mistress, for you still can see his outline when you look at the
Moon. The hare has always felt, however, that fault lay with humans. A grudge against humanity has been
carried in the heart of the hare. In return for the trouble for which he feels humans were responsible, the hare
has given the curse of the harelip to the world. It is the hareís way of reminding humans, as he had once
tried before, that those who dwell in the holy skies are not ever to be forgotten.


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