Rabbits and hares are important in traditional symbolism seemingly round the world. Part of the deal is that they have a strong association with the moon.
So let's circle back to the moon and its associations with feminine creativity/procreativity. The two are practically indivisible in a symbolic sense, since they are both reliant on the same life energies. We can easily discern why Eostre, above, holds a nest of eggs- that's literally what women do in their bodies. The inner reproductive organs of female mammals are like a bird's nest, eggs plopping down periodocally- in synchrony with the moon's cycles of dark and light.
The European hare has an interesting activity that ties it closely into Spring, and lends other associations. When mating season begins in Spring they come out in the daytime and chases around the fields (and who knows where else), occasionally leaping and boxing. The old wisdom lore saw this as a fertility rite. The leaping is used symbolically to denote joy, the joy of rebirth, of glad-to-be-aliveness, of sexuality.
This behavior links back to the moon, too, to lunacy, heard in the idiom "mad as a March hare".
For my purposes in relation to the rabbit's shapeshifting, though, I want to draw attention to the truth of Hermes as god of boundaries. Hermes teaches us that the human experience is created through the perception of boundaries, starting with the whole perception of individual personhood. We learn to perceive that we are what is inside our skin, you could say, and the rest is "other". The training and conditioning in separation goes on from there. So the alchemist, magician, wisdom seeker, shaman, or what have you is in need of Hermes's teaching on the nature of boundaries.
The edge, the limin, the line between one thing and another becomes a place where we can experience the dissolution of boundaries, then, and lunacy is a possible result. Merlin goes through a period of insanity according to some, part of his tempering as a wise magician, as shaman if you will. The ability to lose the personal self in order to experience oneness can result, certainly, in getting lost in states my culture certainly would label lunacy. The person is neither here nor there, trapped on some borderline, caught on the dark side of the moon.
"Crazy wisdom" as it's called in Buddhism, is a longstanding tradition. That is probably always going to be the case in cultures with very old, shamanic type traditions.
Here's another interesting graphic I ran across in my image wanderings:
So the rebirthing aspect and lunacy (and wisdom/unitive healing, too, depicted in Hermes's caduceus) and boundaries and creative powers all come together in the hare and rabbit. Another of Hermes/ Mercury's attributes is there, as the rabbit's a psychopomp, or guide between the worlds, between realities. There are a number of animals that are, probably one reason folks in my society are pretty taken with their pets! Dogs are notable psychopomps/ guardians of doors, of portals and passages, like Cerberus.
Now a song, my favorite hare song, by Seth Lakeman. It's based on British Isles legend and lore; the nighttime, shapeshifting, female hare. If she "steals your soul away", surely you'll not be right in the head after that!
And I can't resist a nagging urge to refer back to the picture of Eostre and dawn, dawn being the borderline between night and day, as is evening. The hare's dawn would be that time before the sun actually rises, not as depicted on the image. A detail, but such details are important in symbolism, so that we can weave the larger tapestry. The hare's dawn is like the one oft mentioned in the Odyssey, ruled by Greek goddess Eos, "rosy-fingered dawn". The "rosy-fingered" makes sure that we're referring to dawn before the sun rises. When Sun moves to the other side of the boundary we call "horizon", everything becomes flashy and fiery, as opposed to the feminine, gentle, maidenly qualities of the sky before the sun easily dominates it. Eos, Eostre? Must be a Greek-Celt crossover.
Got that off my chest- now Seth, and The White Hare:
The White Hare Seth Lakemen intro G D Em C capo 3
I heard her in the (G)valley,/I heard her in the (D)dead of night.
The warning of a (Em) white hare/Her eyes burning (C)bright.
Careful you don`t (G)catch her/Give her (D)right of way.
For she will look (Em)upon you,/Steal your soul (C)away
(D)For the (G)white(C) hare(G) is (C)calling,
She’s dancing in the(D) night.
She'll be(G) out (C)`til (G)the(C) morning,
With her eyes burning(D) bright.
The (G)white (C)hare(G) is (C)calling you.
Out upon the heather/A shadow came onto me.
Her hair was hanging over,/Her face I could not see.
She ran behind the rocks,/I heard the hounds cry,
The image of a woman/Her head she held up high.
For the white hare is calling,/She’s dancing in the night.
She'll be out `til the morning/With her eyes burning bright.
The white hare is calling you.
If you go hunting,/Calling out your prey,
If you see a fair maid,/With hair of ash and grey,
Well careful you don`t catch her,/Give her right of way...etc. 2nd verse