Hares, Witches, and Andred

An insider view of my brain as I try to piece this together.


We’ll start here as the nexus of our “conspiracy board”, so to speak. In East Anglian Witches and Wizards, hares are described as connected in the folklore of the region to witches and witchcraft (i.e. eating a hare was unlucky, as hares were a common shape witches allegedly transformed into and a common shape of their familiar spirits or “imps”, and one could be eating the neighborhood wise woman or her familiar; however, hares’ severed feet were lucky and could ward off birth defects). Boudicca’s use of a hare (here described as a pet) for divination before doing battle with Roman forces was also mentioned, thereby connecting the animal with the witchy practice of predicting the future. (pp. 131-134)

There is also a folk belief (whose provenance I don’t know but which this article attributes to Robert Graves) that striking a hare causes one to become cowardly, and Boudicca may have been hoping to provoke the Romans to attack the creature and thereby be inflicted with cowardice. But it’s hard to say.

The connection between hares, Andred, and witches is summarized in “The Hare”, by Oak, which can be heard here. (Andred and the hare who is the speaker are also connected to the moon; sometimes the various features on the moon’s surface look like a rabbit or hare to certain cultures.)

Speaking of which…

The Moon

The moon has a long association with witches. There are surviving ancient attestations that Greek witches could “draw down the moon” (where the name of the modern ritual comes from). Hecate may have had lunar associations in ancient Greece (possibly) and then there is Diana. In Aradia, or The Gospel of the Witches, Diana has a daughter, Aradia, who teaches humanity witchcraft.

And the association is very strong in the modern movement. In ancient cultures lunar (and for that matter solar) deities came in all shapes and sizes, but a not insignificant chunk of modern Paganism casts “The Goddess” (either under an oathbound name or generically titled as such) as the deity of the moon and the Earth (except some flora and most fauna, as I understand it).

Before I even knew Her name, Andred had very strong lunar associations with me. It was almost like She was watching me from above. (Specifically this association was most prevalent with the waning crescent. I’m still not 100% sure why, and I probably never will be and that’s just fine.)


Witchcraft is the recourse of the dispossessed,

the powerless, the hungry and the abused.

It gives heart and tongue to stones and trees.

It wears the rough skin of beasts.

It turns on a civilization that knows the

price of everything and the value of nothing.

Peter Grey, Apocalyptic Witchcraft
Other search suggestions, comparing witchcraft to rebellion.

This was originally going to be the “Andred -> Hares -> Witches” portion of the post. However, lately I have been reading a lot about horned deities and the liminal qualities they embody (both in a dedicated book about the subject, and in another book mostly about the interaction of religions in Britain at the time of Roman annexation). In my very first post I mentioned that I first encountered Andred’s name in Paul Huson’s Mastering Witchcraft, where She appears alongside Cernunnos, and they are the primary deities of Huson’s vision of witchcraft. (And on page 217, Huson states “Andred. Witch goddess name coming from the Forest of Weald in England.” I think Huson is referring to a different forest entirely, as Andred’s sacred grove is thought to be in Epping Forest, and in this case specifically the name “Andredes Weald” is a coincidence. But, as they say, coincidence is seldom “mere”.)

In Jason Mankey’s The Horned God of the Witches, he devotes a chapter to the horned god in traditional witchcraft, and points out in its own dedicated chapter that the horned god has always been the primary male deity of Wicca, and surfaces in the earliest writings. This particular horned god has a sacrifice arc wherein he is routinely killed in order to provide the fruits of the earth (in the form of grain, typically).

In one of my earliest experiences, I remember helping a wounded individual (henceforth the Wounded Man, as his identity is a mystery which has bothered me for years) off the battlefield, to be cared for by Andred. When I read about horned deities, for reasons as yet unknown, I think of him.

And there’s another possible thread, beyond “Andred -> Hares -> Witches” and whatever is happening with the horned deities as was revealed to various founders of Wicca and older names in traditional witchcraft (and any possible connection that has to the Wounded Man). There’s the idea of the fringes, the “outer rim” of acceptable society, where the familiar mingles with the weird. Britain was once the outer rim of the Roman Empire (and before that, beyond the edge of the world as they conceived of it). Witchcraft is perpetually on the fringes of accepted social practice as pertains to religion and magic. (In modern times all things magical are lumped as “woo woo” and summarily dismissed in favor of “rationality”, but during the witch trials things were not so simple. The Catholic Church had rituals which were held as socially distinct from alchemy (still accepted, as the domain of wealthy dudes with tons of free time) and herbalism (done usually by villagers, and not as socially accepted). There seemed to be some disagreement about astrology; court astrologers existed, but outside of that it appears to have come under question.) The quote and photo above are related to this idea specifically.

In a way, witchcraft is like Jughead from Riverdale. It doesn’t “fit in”, and it doesn’t want to “fit in.”


As fascinating as it would be to time travel back a couple thousand years and ask the Iceni themselves about their myths and theological positions, such information is actually kind of useless in the modern world with modern problems. Times change, folklore changes, and gods change. For one example, I think Andred has adopted rabbits as well as hares as symbols. And for another example, there’s a pretty solid possibility that as hares picked up associations with witchcraft (for good or ill) and the Moon, so too did She.

Something I found noteworthy about the material for this post was that it felt less like a discovery or “reveal” (so to speak) and more like a bunch of disparate pieces finally fitting together in my mind (see the photo above). Following the threads and seeing how they interconnected, and then working out what that might mean. Now, the second step is to figure out what I do with this.

“Rare jackrabbit finds a refuge”

Jackson Hole News & Guide, March 13, 2019 pg. 3A

White tailed jackrabbit

A white-tailed jackrabbit, pictured here in early March, has been frequenting the Miller Butte area of the National Elk Refuge. It’s the first verified sighting on the refuge in 56 years.

Repeated sighting of lone lagomorph marks its first appearance in decades. By Mike Koshmrl

A hefty and exceedingly rare hare has been making its home near the base of Miller Butte for much of the winter.

On several occasions National Elk Refuge staff have spotted a winter-whitened, white-tailed jackrabbit, which is among the rarest native mammals in Jackson Hole.

“It’s been hunkered near the buildings and some of our equipment,” Elk Refuge spokeswoman Lori Iverson said.

Iverson, who has spotted and photographed the white jack, theorized that it might be hanging tight near the Elk Refuge’s autoshop at the base of Miller Butte’s north face to take shelter from predators, such as coyotes that frequent the nearby flats. The area is off-limits to the general public.

White-tailed jackrabbits rarely frequent the Elk Refuge. There have only been three verified occurrences ever, the last being 56 years ago, in 1963, though there was an uncomfirmed sighting scratched into Elk Refuge records in the winter of 1990-91.

“All the confirmed sightings have been in the winter,” Iverson said, “except for 1959, and that was in the summer.”

Diet analyses of coyotes and observations from settlers and biologists suggest that the species was commonplace in Jackson Hole through the first half of the 20th century.

In 20 years of traipsing around Jackson Hole as a nongame biologist for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department before retiring last fall, Susan Patla never stumbled upon a white-tailed jackrabbit, the largest of the valley’s three rabbit and hare species. The others are snowshoe hares, a big-footed inhabitant of conifer forests, and mountain cottontail, which like white-tailed jackrabbits predominantly dwell in sagebrush environments.

“I’ve seen them in Pinedale and Teton Valley,” Patla said, “but I didn’t see any in the direct Jackson Hole area.”

“They’re probably one of those animals that have microhabitat needs that we don’t really understand well,” she said.

A solitary species, white-tailed jackrabbits weigh in at a hefty 6 to 10 pounds, turn white in winter and can typically be found in open prairie-like environments. Their most important food source is sagebrush, according to guidebooks.

Although research relating to white-tailed jackrabbits is decidedly slim on the whole, there have been some local examinations. Former Teton Valley resident and conservation biologist Joel Berger took an interests in the animal’s decline around the turn of the century and convened a workshop about the issue. Berger published recommendations that emerged from the gathering of biologists in a 2006 technical report, “Where have all the rabbits gone?”

The paper postulates that Jackson Hole’s jackrabbits might have been a satellite population connected to more robust populations in the Gros Ventre and Green River drainages that eventually were extirpated. Severe winters, disease, predation, human persecution, habitation change, competition for food with ungulates and chance were all possible – though impossible to test after the fact – causes of the disappearance. Infrequent observations in modern times hint that neutral recolonization would be “unlikely to occur,” wrote Berger, who alluded to the possibility of reintorducing the lagomorphs to Grand Teton National Park.

In a 2004 News&Guide “Guest Shot,” Berger implored wildlife managers and scientists to get a grip on white white-tailed jackrabbits seem to have gone missing.

“Should we fail to cast our net widely, lack foresight that involves thinking beyond rabbits or grouse or pronghorn as individual species, and conduct business as usual instead of treating the well being of the sage-grass ecosystem in Jackson Hole in its entirety, we can be assured of one thing,” Berger wrote. “Our future will still include a park, its land and their inhabitants. But a new generation of visitors will inherit a system that is no longer as rich, as vibrant or dynamic as the one we have today.”

Happy Ostara

I know that Andred has little to do with this holiday, as far as evidence has come down to us of her existence (the only reason we know who She is, is, well, here). However, hares are a symbol of the season (in part because it looked like they reproduced asexually, but there’s also that whole “fucking like rabbits” thing and that rabbits are…prolific little bastards).

I found this image, which inspired the post:

And then ran a google search and found some more:

Image result for art spring equinox pagan

Image result for art spring equinox pagan

Related image

Image result for art spring equinox pagan

Related image

Image result for art spring equinox pagan

On Jackalopes

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:



On Hares

I recently looked up “rabbit vs hare” cuz I thought they were just two names for the same creature. I was wrong.


This link lays out all the differences between hares and rabbits even though they look very alike. Andred Herself seems not to mind that I’ve gotten the two mixed up, but I wanted to make this post to alleviate any confusion going forward.