'Wise Old Toad' (bufo bufo)
These A5-sized cellophane-wrapped lino-print cards are all individually handmade and no two are exactly the same. They include an envelope, an insert page for writing a message on, and the following text outlining the social history and mythology of Toads:
' The Hare' (Lepus capensis)
These A6-size cellophane-wrapped lino-print cards are all individually handmade and no two are exactly the same. They include an envelope, an insert page for writing a message on, and the following text outlining the social history and mythology of Hares:
Other names used for the hare were stag of the stubble, furze cat, cat of the wood, shagger and puss. It represents the elements of Earth and Fire.
Usually a solitary animal, hares are sociable in the mating season from December to early summer. They can be seen 'boxing' each other in the spring and this gave rise to the saying 'mad as a March hare'. Their babies known as leverets are born in May fully furred and with their eyes open. The Male is known as a 'Jack' and the female a 'Jill', their home is a sheltered tuft of grass called a 'form'. The hare has long been a representative of the corn spirit and the equinoxes, bringing the excitement of rebirth, fertile abundance and the willing release as each creative cycle comes to an end.
The hare was revered by the old religion as being sacred to the Earth Goddess and was the original Easter bunny: hares would be seen crouching near lapwings nests in the long grass and if startled would run away apparently leaving behind the gift of eggs, thought to be from the Goddess in the form of the hare. To eat the eggs was not only a delicacy but a sign of good fortune and abundance.
To kill a hare was once frowned upon, the penalty were to be struck with eternal cowardice. When a hare is killed its cry sounds like a child, so to kill a hare is to kill ones own. Like many animals sacred to the old religion, the Christians changed the hare into an animal of ill omen, saying witches shape shifted into a hare form to suck the cows dry!
In ancient Britain the hare is strongly associated with the corn spirit. Hares often find shelter in corn fields until the reaping of the harvest, if a hare resides in your field until the last cut, it is a sign that the land has been blessed with fertility by the Earth Goddess for the following harvest. The last sheaf of corn to be cut was known as 'the hare' or 'cutting the hare'. Long has the hare been an animal of the moon worshipped by many religions from the Egyptians, Buddhists, the Vikings, Chinese and also the Mexicans, all linking the hare with the Feminine energy of the lunar cycle. The hare echoes the fertility of the Earth, the power of the male fiery sun and the placid feminine moon in perfect balance.
A symbol of creativity the hare teaches us to break free from restrictions, be unconventional, be inspired and inspire others in a moment of sheer fun and madness.
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