Year of the Rabbit (hole)
Our friend and comrade in arms, Darren (whose weblog: Just Watching the Wheels Go Round is a recommended read) had left a comment on our new years post, and was the first to point out to us that 2023 falls under the Year of the Rabbit for the majority of the Earth's population. Within the Chinese Zodiac, the sign of the Rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity in Chinese culture. Consequently, 2023 is predicted to be a year of hope.
Additionally, 2023 is a "Water Rabbit" year, following the 60 year procession of the 5 Taoist elements which cycle the twelve animal signs of the Chinese zodiac. Consequently, 2023 is a mixed blessing, as water rabbit characteristics include gentleness, amicability, and the ability to adjust readily to different conditions. These admirable attributes are offset by water rabbit's tendency toward a weak mindset and stunted principles. So there's that.
After a decade of stunted principles and weak mindsets, as made manifest in U S politics and the rise of the alt-right... we place our hopes on the qualities of gentleness and amicability. Water is the most yin or feminine in character of the five elements, its motion is downward and inward, and its energy is stillness and conserving. So too does Rabbit represent a potent feminine power. In Chinese mythology, Jade Rabbit is the trusted companion of moon goddess Chang’e. In Chinese culture, the rabbit has the unique characteristic of waiting for an opportune moment and then leaping into action. More than any other zodiac animal, the rabbit symbolizes luck.
Within the mythology of high weirdness, the rabbit symbolizes the flight from ordinary, to non-ordinary reality. The dark passage to the unknown is euphemistically typified as "going down the rabbit hole." Beginning with Lewis Carrol's rabbit, whom Alice followed down the rabbit hole... to Jefferson Airplane's entheogenic anthem: White Rabbit... culminating in the rabbit tattoo of The Matrix franchise fame. The following is from our above-linked article chronicling high weirdness...
In 1999, a Wuxia inspired, noir infused science fiction action film, created by the now-notorious Wachowskis, was released by Warner Brothers. The film’s title: The Matrix. In an early scene, a black-clad computer hacker known as Neo falls asleep in front of his computer. A mysterious message appears on the screen: “Wake up, Neo.” To his amazement, his hacked computer warns: “the Matrix has you” concluding with the cryptic message: “follow the White Rabbit.”
This reference to Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland becomes a recurring theme in the Matrix. When our hero Neo meets the archetypical Wiseman: Morpheus… he poses the film's pivotal question to Neo: “I imagine that right now, you're feeling a bit like Alice. Hmm? Tumbling down the rabbit hole?” Morpheus proceeds to offer Neo a chance to wake up from the illusion that is the Matrix: “This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill… the story ends… you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill… you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes."
This encounter between characters in a film denotes the turning of a dark corner in the very real world of contemporary high weirdness. This was the moment when “going down the rabbit hole” entered the lexicon of the fringe. No longer did this reference conjure the whimsical world of Carroll’s Alice… nor did it even convey the psychedelic connotation of Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit. At the dawn of the new millennium, the term “rabbit hole” was now evocative of computer surveillance and impending Artificial Intelligence... was now synonymous with an emerging networked global conspiracy. How deep the rabbit hole went, was indicative of how far the conspiracy reached.
There are many more interesting aspects of rabbit or bunny symbolism, both ancient and modern. The intrepid reader may find more examples of such in our 2018 post: Follow the White Rabbit. Meanwhile, the use of bunny symbolism moves on. Even the denizens of TikTok got in the act, albeit in a cute and sexy way... with the 2021 #bunnychallenge phenomenon. Although this trend was more about young girls showing off their bums than it was about social commentary, it most definitely says something as to the state of our contemporary culture.
So the year of the rabbit has begun... for better or for worse. Let us hope it will be for the better. In our new years post, we identified 2023 as the year of the enigma. As we indicated, the 23 enigma represents all that is sacred, profane and possible, within our discordian-informed understanding of universe, and our place within it. So it is with great expectations that we welcomed 2023, as the year of the enigma! The year of the water rabbit!
And interestingly, the Year of the Rabbit... especially the water rabbit... is a very auspicious sign within the Chinese zodiac. It exudes all the feminine aspects needed for a smooth and gentle transition to the partnership paradigm. The moon energy of water rabbit facilitates this transition quite nicely. As the Chinese zodiacs is based on the Heavenly Stems and Branches system (which coordinates with one of five elements Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth), the Water Rabbit is said to have the ability to turn unfortunate events around with feminine grace and style.
So... all hail 2023, the year of the bunny! We know our patron saint of all things high and strange... the incomparable Buggs... would approve.
Stanley Kubrick passed away in 1999, the Year of the Rabbit, when his last movie 'Eyes Wide Shut' was released (same year that 'The Matrix' was released) and 3 of his last 4 films were released in Rabbit years, the exception being 'The Shining' in 1980, but full of Rabbit imagery still.
Johnny Depp who plays the Mad Hatter in the Tim Burton Alice movies turns 60 in 2023, meaning he is a Water Rabbit.
So, I think 2023 is going to be an interesting ride for most of us, but hopefully I can complete my 60-year birth cycle of the Wood Dragon next year by keeping afloat long enough :-)