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Witch As Hare


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#1 Tana

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 06:11 PM

You can view the page at http://www.tradition...tch-as-hare-r47
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#2 Marion

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Posted 27 February 2010 - 06:52 PM

Thanks! :) I especially love hare stories.
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#3 Tana

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 02:16 PM

Witchcraft Legends translated and/or edited by

D. L. Ashliman

© 2000-2005
http://www.pitt.edu/~dash/witch.html



The Old Hare - Ireland

When I was a little girl, 'twas out near Loop Head I live. Well, there was an old woman lived in a small little cabin by herself, and all the neighbors around used to be in dread of her. They said she was chanted [haunted]. No one knew how she lived, for she never left the cabin in the day, but they said she used to go out through the fields at night. Nearly every week some of the neigbors' milk would be gone, and if it wasn't, if they were churning for a month, 'twouldn't make butter.

One, a man name of Shawn Teigue Mack, said he would know if 'twas she that was taking the butter. So he watched all night at the cabin, and about twelve o'clock he saw a hare come out of the house. The very minute it saw Shawn, away would it across the field, but Shawn fired, and struck it in the shoulder.

Begor, the next morning tracks of blood was seen along the road to the cabin. What did Shawn do, but call to the cabin, and the door was barred from inside. But he shoved in the window, and sure enough, there was the old dame, and all her shoulder wrapped up in calico. She left the place shortly after, for she knew she was found out, and no one ever missed butter or milk after.

•Source: "Folk-Tales from County Limerick collected by Miss D. Knox," Folk-Lore: A Quarterly Review of Myth, Tradition, Institution, & Custom (London: Folk-Lore Society, 1917), v. 28, p. 214.
•Knox's source: Told by Kate Vasey, Moveen, County Clare.
•I have revised Knox's spelling, changing "nabors" to "neighbors," "cum," to "come," "minit" to "minute," etc.

Witch and Hare - England

An old witch, in days of yore, lived in this neighborhood; and whenever she wanted money she would assume the shape of a hare, and would send out her grandson to tell a certain huntsman who lived hard by that he had seen a hare sitting at such a particular spot, for which he always received the reward of sixpence.

After this deception had many times been practiced, the dogs turned out, the hare pursued, and often seen but never caught, a sportsman of the party began to suspect, in the language of the tradition, "that the devil was in the dance," and there would be no end to it.

The matter was discussed, a justice consulted, and a clergyman to boot; and it was thought that, however clever the devil might be, law and church combined would be more than a match for him. It was therefore agreed that, as the boy was singularly regular in the hour at which he came to announce the sight of the hare, all should be in readiness for a start the instant such information was given; and a neighbor of the witch, nothing friendly to her, promised to let the parties know directly the old woman and her grandson left the cottage and went off together, the one to be hunted, and the other to set on the hunt.
The news came, the hounds were unkenneled, and huntsmen and sportsmen set off with surprising speed. The witch, now a hare, and her little colleague in iniquity, did not expect so very speedy a turnout; so that the game was pursued at a desperate rate, and the boy, forgetting himself in a moment of alarm, was heard to exclaim, "Run, Granny, run! Run for your life!"

At last the pursuers lost the hare, and she once more got safe into the cottage by a little hole in the door, not large enough to admit a hound in chase. The huntsman and all the squires with their train lent a hand to break open the door, yet could not do it till the parson and the justice came up; but as law and church were certainly designed to break through iniquity, even so did they now succeed in bursting the magic bonds that opposed them.

Upstairs they all went. There they found the old hag bleeding, and covered with wounds, and still out of breath. She denied she was a hare, and railed at the whole party. "Call up the hounds," said the huntsman, "and let us see what they take her to be. Maybe we may yet have another hunt." On hearing this the old woman cried quarter. The boy dropped on his knees, and begged hard for mercy,
which was granted on condition of its being received together with a good whipping; and the huntsman, having long practiced amongst the hounds, now tried his hand on other game.

Thus the old woman escaped a worse fate for the time present; but on being afterwards put on her trial for bewitching a young woman and making her spit pins, the tale just told was given as evidence against her, before a particularly learned judge, and a remarkably sagacious jury, and the old woman finished her days, like a martyr, at the stake.

Source: Edwin Sidney Hartland, English Fairy and Other Folk Tales (London: The Walter Scott Publishing Company, ca. 1890), pp. 194-195.
Hartland's source: Mrs. Bray, The Borders of the Tamar and the Tavy, vol. 2, p. 112.

Witch as Hare - Germany

On two days a hunter from Freiburg saw a hare in Schlossberg Forest and shot at it. Both times it stood still, looked mockingly at the man, only running away when the latter hurried toward it. The hunter presumed that he was dealing with witchcraft, so he loaded his gun with consecrated powder, then used this to shoot at the hare when he saw it a third time. Instead of a hare, a female personage was there, standing on her head and bleeding from a gunshot wound in her breast. When the hunter touched her, she fell to the ground dead.

Source: Bernhard Baader, Volkssagen aus dem Lande Baden und den angrenzenden Gegenden (Karlsruhe: Verlag der Herder'schen Buchhandlung, 1851), no. 62, p. 50.


)0( Tana )o(

If I break faith with thee, may the skies fall upon me, the seas drown me, and the earth rise up and swallow me.

#4 aurora

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 11:50 PM

Been dreaming a lot about hares lately so it got me thinking about this because I have not felt the need for this for quite some time. Have any of you run as a hare.
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#5 Havilland

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 01:43 AM

While probably not relevant, I thought I'd add in this little song from "I Shall Wear Midnight" by Terry Pratchett (obviously fiction, but I really liked this little bit of it).


The hare runs into the fire.
The hare runs into the fire.
The fire, it takes her, she is not burned.
The fire, it loves her, she is not burned.
The hare runs into the fire.
The fire, it loves her, she is free...


As for the question, no I have not. I have saved baby bunnies from being devoured. Even though it was a happy ending (as far as I know at least), the sound of the rabbits screaming still haunts my dreams from time to time.

Edited by Havilland, 28 May 2013 - 01:47 AM.

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#6 anjeaunot

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 11:59 AM

Many of the peoples who settled in the British Isles associated the hare with a powerful goddess.

The Scandinavian Nertus was depicted with a hare's head.

The Germanic Eostre was always represented as a hare. We have commemorated her hare as the Easter bunny. Indeed, Eostre gave her name to Easter.

The Church fulminated against the witches and assured the faithful witches could turn themselves into animals.

Folklore associated the Devil with a hare. Naturally this perpetuated the myth that witches could assume hare guise.

No witch has ever became an animal in a physical sense. However, Scandinavian and German witches assumed animal form on the astral plane to kill or maim victims.

Edited by anjeaunot, 29 May 2013 - 01:24 AM.

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#7 aurora

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 06:39 PM

Thank you Aj, given me lots of food for thought and a good read up. My dreams have been most odd and that's what i meant when I said running as a hare.
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#8 Jevne

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 11:43 PM

Thank you Aj, given me lots of food for thought and a good read up. My dreams have been most odd and that's what i meant when I said running as a hare.


I have heard the term "running as a hare" before, and I always assumed it was not a literal act, but rather symbolic of a frame of mind or indication of inner turmoil. That type of thing would easily show up in a dream, as an actual activity or feeling. The sensation of being chased, for example, whether with or without also sensing that one is actually a hare.

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#9 DoeHare

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 12:24 PM

The hare is sacred to me, I'm English , to kill a hare you will be cursed, it will sap all your courage and leave you a quivering cowardly mess. I have visions and dreams of hares very often.The one that always stays with me is a strange one, I was sitting on my bed just thinking, next thing I knew I was in a pet shop of all places, but it was a pet shop like I have never seen, it was awful, it smelled bad and the animals where in a bad state, the birds looked more like oven ready chickens ! cats and rabbits with running manky eyes and stuff.Then I saw her, in a cage, a big beautiful hare, I had to get her out of there, so I bought her. Next thing I was at a place I know in Norfolk, and I opened the box to let her free, but she stayed at my feet and I had to cokes her to go, as she ran and disappeared into the trees I fell to the ground, I couldn't move at all, then I heard voices approaching, I thought some one would help me. there were about 6 men and 2 woman, they had some sort of cart, I could even smell them like body odor, they went on passed not even looking at me, I even tried to call out but I was paralyzed . As these people went out of sight, I was suddenly back on my bed.


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#10 RoseRed

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 12:17 AM

Are rabbits and hare's considered the same animal or is there a difference between them?


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#11 Jevne

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 12:30 AM

Are rabbits and hare's considered the same animal or is there a difference between them?

 

That is a good question.  I have no idea, really.  It occurred to me, however, that rabbit stew sounds a hell of a lot more appetizing than hare stew.


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#12 RoseRed

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 12:56 AM

Doesn't it tho?


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#13 Wexler

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 02:25 AM

Are rabbits and hare's considered the same animal or is there a difference between them?

I've done a fair bit of research on rabbits, and rabbits are a totally different species than hares. They will not cross-breed nor get along well. Domestic rabbits have been bred in captivity for so long that they are not even able to cross-breed with wild rabbits (or so I have heard). Unless the term 'hare' happens to archaically also refer to cute bunnies, I would not consider them to be any more similar than a mule is to a horse.


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#14 DoeHare

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 07:11 AM

the hare is more beautiful than a rabbit, they are bigger too.

 

hareHare.jpg

 

 

rabbit

cute_rabbit-458_640x480.jpg


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#15 aurora

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 08:39 PM

Nice pictures tho I must say I have killed and eaten hare. Killedby accident I must say but im fine. Im not taking the piss just saying. Sometimes that's all it is a saying sometimes not.
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#16 Jevne

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 08:50 PM

The hare is sacred to me, I'm English , to kill a hare you will be cursed,. . .

 

Hello, DoeHare:

 

I am curious as to the specific path of the Craft or related that honors the hare, beyond the stories listed above.  I mean there are plenty of English on the Forum, but to my knowledge, no one else has directed or acknowledged having directed that level of respect toward the humble hare.  So, I am thinking that there may be something more to it; maybe something personal or perhaps environmental.  Is it related to a specific sub-culture, common in your location, carried through a family or other line?   

 

Just wondering.


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#17 Michele

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 09:11 PM

Nice pictures tho I must say I have killed and eaten hare. Killedby accident I must say but im fine. Im not taking the piss just saying. Sometimes that's all it is a saying sometimes not.

 

I'm not overly up on hare folklore, but I do know that some believed witches could travel as a hare. Perhaps that is where the folklore in some parts of Europe about it being bad luck to kill a hare comes from? 

 

M


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#18 aurora

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 09:59 PM

Ok thanks to AJ, I did read bits and bobs. It is or was not accepted to kill and eat hare in some traditions that work with the moon goddess in england she is the warrior andrast. The celts also believed to kill and eat hare was a no no so yes its out there. I believe that i killed something and it was wrong not to honour its life and so its bones also were used. I am fine.
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#19 CelticGypsy

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 11:16 PM

http://www.pantheon....a/andraste.html

 

http://www.pantheon..../m/medeine.html

 

http://www.pantheon..../chapter-7.html

 

 

I found that on one of our links in the Forum, there were several more regarding the Hare and different culture myths as well as Witch-Craft.

 

 

 

Regards,

Gypsy


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#20 foxman

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 11:35 PM

The Tribe known as the Iceni, headed by the famous Queen Boudicca, worshipped the Goddess, Andraste - who quite often would shape-shift to that of a Hare. It was on such an event that Boudicca beat the Romans at their own game and won many battles against them, before being caught, raped with her three daughters and taken to Rome to be paraded before the people of Rome before Her eventual death. Boudicca was the ideal of every Celtic Leader and one of the few who were mentioned by various Roman Writers.foxman


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