Suspected Bunny Tracks
I wanted to share this video with you all because it mentions hares (YAY!) as fertility symbols who may or may not have been able to reproduce asexually, as part of the origin of the Easter Bunny
A jackalope is a local legend where I’m from, and is said to be a jackrabbit with the horns of a pronghorn or antelope. The name is a portmanteau of “jackrabbit” and “antelope”, though a jackrabbit is another name for a hare, and a pronghorn is actually a type of deer. They are said to be the product of male hares and female antelope, and only mate with each other during lightning strikes (and also that their horns get in the way during the process, which implies that the female of the species also possesses them). Also called “the warrior rabbit” (though once again, a jackrabbit is not actually a rabbit), they are known to charge at people and take their legs out from under them, and gore them with the horns.
Can be lured with whiskey, and are exceptional mimics of human voices, a skill they use to elude capture.
I bring all this up because jackalopes came up in therapy today as a means for me to help process some of my baggage. I associate them with Andred in a roundabout way through Her association with hares and the relatedness of hares and jackalopes, and so during session they became Her symbol and Her weapon against my abusers. In my head, they swarmed and attacked through overwhelming, primarily. I’m sure they left a bloody mess behind, but I wasn’t around long enough to see it. That wasn’t the point of the exercise. But it did help me see the relatedness of the two, and bring Andred and I closer.
More on Jackalopes:
I’m beginning to feel Andred again. The summer heat broke a couple of weeks ago and now it’s starting to be properly chilly. Fall is coming. It’s September, today is Labor Day, and it’s the second or third week of pre-season football (my parents are protesting this year, due to the whole hullabaloo about kneeling/”taking a knee” started by Capaernick last season). And, it has a particular order in this town: summer is tourist season (and also the heat of Ra, who gets brief mentions here where relevant), then we come into hunting season, and then, snow gods permitting, skiing, snowboarding, snow machining, and the annual sled dog race (top notch puppers right there).
In ancient times, this is about the time everyone goes back to their villages from the hills or from wherever they were fighting and raiding, to harvest things, cull the herd, and prepare for winter. It’s time to start cleaning up, regrouping, and preparing for the coming year.
And, as you might be aware, I’ve recently moved (I call it being kicked out with plausible deniability because I don’t like to sugar coat things). I’m almost completely set up, and She has her own shrine space. My mother keeps closing the door on it, but that’s a post for another time. So personally, I have to regroup, because a wrench has been thrown into my plans (to be brutally honest, it’s the latest of many wrenches, but at least the most brutally honest of the lot of them). I have to reassess and gather myself up. I don’t know what awaits in the days ahead, but this is not a season for very much action. This is a season for figuring out what I’m going to do next.
I learned within the past few years that if I move with the seasons, instead of trying to move in spite of them, then I’m a lot happier. Now I’m at least in an environment that ensures me peace and quiet, free from certain toxic persons, and I can still myself and worship the gods. Perhaps this time I’ll make choices I’ll be satisfied with, not ones I feel half-pressured into.
When in Rome…
I began this journey essentially clueless. I didn’t know any other gods but the major ones, and none of them were speaking to me in the way this previously unnamed goddess was. Was she Luna? Well, that was an OK place to start. For a long time I hovered around Scàthatch, but that didn’t make a hell of a lot of sense, either (and before I continue I don’t want to say that I had her confused for the way she appeared in young adult novels like the Nicolas Flamel series). I still kept searching, and gravitated back toward this figure as a sign that I was on the right track, but I still had no idea where I was supposed to be going.
And then, because I was on an unrelated never-ending quest to learn about magic (and, in fact, I still am), I found the answer. I found everything I had been looking for on page 213 of a little book called Mastering Witchcraft, by Paul Huson. (For reasons other than the fact that it helped me find Andred, I absolutely recommend this book to everyone who encounters this, and me online generally.)
I found this:
The Theban writing (in this case right to left) spells ‘Andred’, and this image matched everything I was looking for, and had seen and gathered over the course of time.
I searched the internet for references to her, and I found (among a number of different little tidbits whose validity is questionable), this account from Dio Cassius:
Let us, therefore, go against [the Romans], trusting boldly to good fortune. Let us show them that they are hares and foxes trying to rule over dogs and wolves.” When she [Boudica] had finished speaking, she employed a species of divination, letting a hare escape from the fold of her dress; and since it ran on what they considered the auspicious side, the whole multitude shouted with pleasure, and Boudica, raising her hand toward heaven, said: “I thank you, Andraste, and call upon you as woman speaking to woman … I beg you for victory and preservation of liberty.
From this we gather much of the basics of who Andred is: a goddess of victory whose name means “the unvanquished”, with associations with the hare and women, as well as the fight for oneself, for liberty or survival or both. In this way She stands with the underdogs, and does not always govern direct battle. If the battle is staying alive one day at a time, She will stand with you. If the battle is trying to escape, She will stand with you.
All other associations (and arguably the last of the ones listed above) are Unverified Personal Gnosis, and so I provide that disclaimer in the opening post of this blog. As I post my thoughts on Her (some previously posted on Tumblr), that must be borne in mind. The primary purpose is to be a source of (some) knowledge, as well as an e-Shrine to Andred, and maybe whomever happens upon this blog will make the same connection I did.