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Animal Superstitions – Rabbits and Rabbit's Feet

By Yona Williams    9/17/09

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We've all heard that a rabbit's foot brings good luck and protects those in its possession. Plenty of key chains have been made bearing its likeness. In this article, you will learn about superstitions centered on rabbits and their infamous feet.

Rabbit Superstitions

Many people believe that rabbits and hares are born with their eyes open, but this is a common misconception. Nonetheless, these critters have been given the reputation of possessing special powers over the evil eye. Before Christianity came to the British Isles, hares were seen as witches in disguise and it was believed at the time that the only way to kill this creature was by using a silver bullet.

Bad luck is associated with rabbits, as one superstition says that it is unlucky to meet with a rabbit or hare. However, in some circles, if a rabbit crosses your path before you, it is a good sign, while if it crosses behind you – watch out for a string of bad luck. Throughout some English countries, it is frowned upon to shoot a black rabbit, as it is believed that ancestral spirits take on this form. Suffolk residents looked at white rabbits as witches and believed they too were unlucky to shoot.

Increase your chances of good luck by saying 'rabbits' or 'white rabbits' once or three times on the first day of each month. This old custom claims that it must be the first word uttered in the morning for the charm to take effect.

The Significance of a Rabbit's Foot

It is the rabbit's ability for reproducing at such a rapid and prolific rate that earns its foot an association with fertility. Carrying a rabbit's foot around serves as a symbol of new life, but on the other hand – has dark connotations. The foot has also been linked to witches, the Devil, and darkness since the animals live below the ground. However, as it stands, owning a rabbit's foot serves as a powerful connection with what is believed to be a magical creature.

So, is there a difference between the left or right foot of a rabbit? When it comes to the left hind foot, it is recommended to carry it in the left pocket. It is thought to bring more positive energy to the owner, as the rabbit's strong hind legs touch the ground before its front legs. Ancient people believed this was a fascinating ability; therefore, they believed the rabbit possessed magical powers.

In many English-speaking countries, the rabbit's foot is a highly recognizable lucky charm. Some people use it to encourage good luck with their crops. Actors and actresses have been known to insert a rabbit's foot in their makeup cases for good luck. If the foot becomes lost, some believe they will endure a grave misfortune. If you give birth to a baby in Wales, the old tradition was to rub the body of the newborn with a rabbit's foot to bring the baby good luck for the rest of his or her life.

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