Three Hares

DarkRubyMoon

Finksburg, United States

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Artist's Description

This is a quickly done image depicting the Three Hares. The three hares were drawn on card-stock paper and colored with copic markers to be used as part of a paper automata project I am working on. Before gluing them onto the project, I scanned them into the computer and overlaid it on top of a stock image of the moon which I digitally altered and re-colored red (for DarkRubyMoon).

The three hares symbol is a strange and ancient symbol that dates far back into antiquity and can be found all over ancient Europe, the Middle and Far East. Not only was this symbol far spread, but it can be found in temples and churches of numerous different religions including Buddhism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. The meaning of the symbol has largely been lost to time, though it has been linked with the moon as well as several moon Goddesses. There are many variants of moon Goddesses throughout the ancient world often depicted as having three forms, Isis being the most well known. Rabbits were often associated with the feminine. The three hares may be interpreted as representing the three stages of a woman’s life, maiden, mother and crone which is a typical interpretation of the Moon Goddess’s three forms. This is typically also symbolized by the three phases of a moon, waxing waning and full moon. An alternative interpretation is that the three rabbits represent the three forms of human sexuality… male, female, and the hermaphrodite (rabbits where once believed to be hermaphrodites able to spontaneously regenerate with no partner). Within Christianity, it has become the symbol for Father, Son and holy spirit. Some have linked a simplified form of this design as the origin of the triskelion, or possibly visa versa. If it is the origin of the triskelion, then this concept can be linked to even more ancient regions such as ancient Ireland and Greece. It may also be linked to the triple spiral symbol or triskele. The earliest occurrences appear to be in cave temples in China, dated to the Sui dynasty (6th to 7th centuries).

The three hares symbol later became associated with being a popular puzzle.

Jurgis Baltrusaitis’s (1955) Le Moyen-Âge fantastique. Antiquités et exotismes dans l’art gothique
32 includes a 1576 Dutch engraving with the puzzle given in Dutch and French around the image. It notes:

The secret is not great when one knows it.
But it is something to one who does it.
Turn and turn again and we will also turn,
So that we give pleasure to each of you.
And when we have turned, count our ears,
It is there, without any disguise, you will find a marvel.21

“These are the oldest known dated examples of the Three Rabbits as a puzzle.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_hares

This image is available in my DarkRubyMoon store on a wide range of items at…

Visit DarkRubyMoon’s website at http://darkrubymoon.com/ for all sorts of great activities, artwork and much more. Be sure to check out DarkRubyMoon Store for my artwork on all sorts of fantastic items from T-shirts and prints to clocks and camcorders at the following web locations.

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