Chasing the Shadow
A Tale of the Fox and the Rabbit
“Don’t send a Rabbit to kill a fox.” – Ghost in the Shell
Long has humanity feared the Dark spaces.
The Underworld, perhaps the pinnacle of all Dark spaces, has peculiar methods of communication.
This recent journey of Soul it instigated within me, which has been littered with synchronicity and crystal clear moments of understanding, began, largely, as a result of a cup of coffee… well, two to be exact.
The second image, soaked into the base of the cup was so defined, so stylised and apparent, that it led people to believe I had artistically created it, but this was simply not the truth.
Instead it was one of those moments of pure spirituality that was unavoidable in its blatancy, which, from that point on became almost the normal course of events.
The resulting otherworldly expedition started from the smallest fragment of the coffee divination (from which more essays will undoubtedly follow) in which a small hare or rabbit shape was discernible amidst the forest.
This coupled with several different synchronistic experiences shared amidst women I have come to think of as tribe, led me down the nether path with moment after moment of exhilaration; the Universe was not only speaking but bellowing message after message at me.
Most of the experiences that others underwent and connected them to me are obviously personal (and therefore not up to me to share), but I had gifted one dear friend with a talisman that related to Fox and Rabbit and another had a dream in which I featured, shape-shifted into a Rabbit and proceeded to lead her down the rabbit hole in true Wonderland fashion.
Initially my deepening relationship with Fox energy made the emergence of Rabbit lessons peculiar… for they are usually envisioned as creatures at odds; with the Fox being the hunter and the Rabbit the prey… but as with many messages from the Otherworld, answers began to slowly shift into place.
Nothing is ever as separate, as rigid, as many would have us believe, and the power and understanding that comes with seeing patterns, energies and lessons as cyclic, constantly in flux is immeasurable.
One lesson with this delving into spirit was simply; you are not alone, which directly addressed a fear I have long battled, and another was more complex; it surrounded a concept of Shadow that I have been delving into with the Shadow Ogham: Silver Birch; the more generalised concept of fear.
Fear has been on my mind a lot lately, the devastating effect it can have on a person, preventing them from truly living their life, or reaching their potential. As magickal practitioners it can interfere in our spell work, derail our personal energy, leaving us feeling a plethora of emotions that block us from adventure and contentment.
Fear is often described as something that freezes us, forces us to remain still, hindering our movement and growth; a concept which I have always been at odds with; impatience springs forth like a fox from my subconscious onto its prey when the situation requires long periods of waiting.
Whilst realising and engaging with the otherworldly concept of cyclic existence, it occurred to me however that stillness was not paradoxical to this practice; instead sitting wrapped up in the darkness, sitting with my fear, being enveloped by it, acknowledging it and then birthing anew from it was of paramount importance.
Rabbit is known as the fear caller in a tale that Cris shared with me from “The Medicine Cards” in which a Rabbit uses and benefits from the magical powers of a Witch, and then out of fear rejects her. As a result he and his kin become the fear callers, all they fear makes its way to them, they manifest that which they are afraid of.
There were two quotes in particular within this story that deeply resonated;
“Running does not stop the pain or turn the dark to light,” and “What you fear will persist, what you fear will become.”
In a world littered with choice and options, it can often feel like we are mired by them; not knowing which way to turn, which path to engage in, or whom to trust.
Sometimes our experiences are painful and they lead us wrongly to sweeping generalisations about others, or we focus on the wrong element of the lesson, much like the rabbit in the tale.
Instead of realising the depth of the friendship with the Witch, the rabbit chose to fear the magick. His focus was negative, ruled by fear, and he hurt his friend as a result.
We have all been the rabbit, and the Witch.
We have had our friendship, our deeds, rejected unfairly, we have been used and dismissed by others, and similarly we have all made the wrong call, focused only on the part of the lesson we blindly chose to see, ignoring the larger picture.
Slowly the Otherworld lesson of Shape shifting echoed through my mind; you are both the Fox and the Rabbit.
“Blood in the mouth
Take the essence of Rabbit
And become both
I am the Rabbit,
The prey, the fear,
I am the Fox,
The hunter, the strength.”
– Joanne Morris 2017
Finally, another article from The Urban Howl spoke to me on the path that now lies ahead, engaging with this lesson;
“Alone is the epicenter of my heart. Beating. Rabbit fast and quiet. Today, it is soft and tender. But soon, oh loves, soon, a roar that reverberates across the heavens will rip through this place. Wisdom rising up from wells I cannot know or name. Only surrender to. Carry home on the back of my tongue to spill into the world like holy fire. Burning away all the dross. I am coming. Becoming. Unbecoming. And I vow to never ever stop.” – Shannon Crossman
The only thing stopping me is the fear vibration.
So I will sit with my fear, I will wear it like a mask, I will understand it, in all its complexity, not to simplify it, not to reject it, but to better understand it.
I will not allow my fears to rule over me, but understand they speak of wounding; wounds within my psyche that need addressing, cleansing, and healing.
I will not be the fear caller, nor will I reject others out of fear, but neither shall I allow myself to be made small by the fearful actions of others; for I am both Rabbit, and Fox.
I will understand fear as a reflection of myself, and in that mirror I will seek to better know myself, and stand in my authenticity; not to reject myself or the lessons that I have thus far learned, and not to lord them over others either.
Rabbit teaches me when to be quick, and shy, and when to remove myself from situations that are not beneficial, when his medicine is wisely measured and fear is consultant not ruler.
Fox teaches me when to stride forward unabashed, knowing these paths through shadow by touch and feel, remembering who I am at heart.
“Don’t send a Rabbit to kill a fox,”… because you are only hurting yourself.
– Joanne Morris 2017 All my own work and design all rights reserved