The Rabbit Triad – a little known bunny’s tale

Medieval Roof Boss Wissembourg France, Three Hares Project

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

–   1576 Dutch engraving from a book by Jurgis Baltrušaitis

I unearthed another interesting rabbit fact while doing my research.

In 1991 archaeologist Tom Greeves wrote about the Three Hares symbol found in Dunhuang, China.  He noted a similar symbol was used in European churches.  Over the next decade, photographer Chris Chapman and art historian Sue Andrews joined Greeves on a worldwide rabbit hunt.

Map of locations where The Three Hares were found

The Three Hares were not as elusive as one might imagine.  The trio discovered a trail of the trinity rabbit along the Silk Trade Route.  The earliest Three Hare symbol found in China was encircled in a sacred lotus.

The Tao-Te Ching says

“The Tao produced one, one produced two and two produced three.”

Baseplate detail found in Trier, Germany. Three Hares Project

To the Chinese three was the perfect number representing wholeness and fulfillment.

Three, the triad, and the triangle are universally regarded as a fundamental number or even a perfect number expressing the divine order in the cosmos and mankind.

Buddhists find fulfillment in the Triple Jewel – Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.

Hindus view the threefold manifestation of the Godhead as Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.

In the Great Work, alchemist used the three elements sulfur, mercury and salt.

Ancient Persians had a threefold motto: “Good thoughts, Good words and Good deeds.”

And the Christian trinity – Father, Son and Holy Ghost – is an example of a sacred triad.

Emmanuel Swedenborg’s angels told him,

“For love, wisdom and usefulness are three things that cannot be separated…. Nothing is complete or perfect unless it has this trinity…You can see why the number ‘three’ in the Word can be understood spiritually to mean ‘complete and total’.”

Conversations with Angels, pg. 144 and 145

A child reveals the presence of a mother and a father.  A tree trunk reveals the presence of leaves above and roots below.

The Three Hares are both a puzzle and a perfect symbol.

Iranian Tray, Three Hares Project

Each TWO-eared hare gets its second ear from another hare.  It is only when the THREE are gathered together as ONE that they are whole and complete.

You can join in the rabbit hunt.

When traveling the world if you find a Three Hare symbol, you can forward your photo with the details to Sue Andrews, Chris Chapman or Tom Greeves at The Three Hare Project.



Tales by Chapter

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