Like owls, THE HARE is a nocturnal animal: It lives by night and sleeps by day. Which is a big reason why the hare has almost always been regarded as an agent of the supernatural: It is a creature of the night, the time of Mystery and Magic.

Ancient Egyptians venerated the hare not just for its strength and swiftness, but because they believed it to be immortal: It 'died' every dawn but was 'resurrected' every evening. Later, in a different part of the world, Celtic peoples saw hares as a link to the Otherworld, because they tended to inhabit misty lowlands, mounds, ponds, caves, and ancient burial sites – the very portals of the Otherworld. And most famously, among the pre-Christian Saxons of northern Europe, the hare was a frequent companion to Oestre (or Ostara) their spring goddess of fertility, renewal and abundance.

In fact, at one time in Europe in general, it was the hare – not the cat – who was the animal most often identified with witches. Hares served as witches' 'familiars' and messengers, and were believed to be the form most witches and shape-shifters took to do their magic.

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