The Witch and the Hare, a Spring Equinox Tale

The Witch and the Hare, a Spring Equinox Tale March 19, 2020

The Spring Equinox is a magickal time, even if one is still buried within winter’s snow. I gaze out of my window to the wood as I write this, seeing winter’s frozen crusted snowbanks, and iced remains. This being due to the melting during the day, and refreezing by night, a big part of springtime here in the woods. Although still resembling a winter’s wood, it is what lies beneath, and the folklore within this magickal time of spring, that takes me to this season and it’s celebrations.

There be folktales of huntsmen traveling out into the wood, coming across hares and shooting, only to be taken aback by the transformations from the hare into a hag after death…

In Britain it was considered a bad omen to be crossed by a hare, as it was believed that witches were able to shape shift into hares and other animal fetches by spell and by chant, as this bewitching little spell from the British Isles:

~I shall go into a hare, with sorrow and such and muckle care. And I shall go in the Devil’s name. Ay, till I come home again.

It is told that the witch could transform herself into a hare and steal milk from her neighbors cows, or would use a young boy for hire. The boy being able to locate the hares for the hunters at a price, always being able to find them, even when the hares seemed scarce. In 1662 a Scottish woman by the name of Isobel Gowdie confessed to practicing the art of witchcraft, and to being able to shape shift into her fetch the hare at will. She told the tale of being sent by the Devil to deliver a message to her neighbors, but ended up being chased into her home by hounds, escaping by reciting a reverse spell:

Hare, hare, God send thee care! I am in a hare’s likeness now; But I shall be a woman even now… Hare, hare, God send thee care!

The Spring Equinox is about the blossoming of fertility, sexuality, growth, and an awakening of both the flora and fauna. For my woods this time has yet to arrive, so in it’s stead I must go to other realms, by way of the hare… I use and work with a synergy of plant essence, in particular one of Henbane and Honeysuckle. Plant spirits giving aid to enhancing psychic abilities, working with the fae, shape shifting, and connecting to the fetch. I work with the hares skull, and oils of forsythia and lilac, plants with strong abilities to bring forth the light. So as I prepare for my equinox flight, I wish you all the beauty and light of this magickal day. )0(

About Raven Wood
Raven is a traditional witch and herbalist of Celtic and Germanic roots, who lives and practices her craft in the woods of northern Wisconsin. She has contributed to UK horror author Sarah England’s books such as The Soprano, The Owlmen, Hidden Company, and Monkspike. Raven's first book is in the works. She is also the owner and alchemist at " Deep Within the Hollow," a shop of Witchcraft and Divinations. You can read more about the author here.

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