The hare was a sacred and mystical animal to the Celts; a symbol of abundance, prosperity and good fortune. They were believed to have connections to the Otherworld. They were treated with great respect and never eaten. A group of hares is called a drove, a down or a husk and they are well known for their boxing antics around the mating season in March.
Celtic myths and legends often told of shapeshifting hares who could transform into human form. The great warrior, Oisin was said to have wounded a hare in the leg while out hunting one day. The hare fled into the undergrowth and Oisin followed only to find a woman inside with a cut on her leg.
Melangell is the patron saint of hares. She was a Celtic princess who escaped an unwanted arranged marriage. She took refuge in the beautiful Pennant Valley in Wales and created a place of peace and sanctuary for animals and people in need. Her story inspired our prints and bronze sculpture. It has been retold for us by local author and historian, Kevin Johnston and feature on our cards which can be found here.