myth : the serpent
The serpent has been a symbol of long life, healing, and knowledge
among almost all cultures and
religions since the
beginning of recorded history.
serpent was revered in Aztec, Chinese, and Native American
mythologies, among others.
The single serpent staff
appears on a Sumerian vase of 2000 BC representing the healing god Ningishita,
the prototype of the Greek god of healing
The medical professions in America use the caduceus - a
pole entwined with 2 snakes, which originally was a symbol of heralds and
Ironically, this is the staff of Mercury (Hermes) who is
the god of
The "correct" and traditional symbol of medicine is the
staff of Aesculapius with a single serpent encircling a staff, classically a
rough-hewn knotty oak tree limb.
Aesculapius, an ancient
Greek physician deified as the god of medicine, is traditionally depicted as a
bearded man wearing a robe that leaves his chest uncovered and holding a staff
with his sacred single serpent coiled around it, symbolizing renewal of youth
as the serpent casts off its skin.
"The serpent represents magical power, which also
where animal drives are aroused imperceptibly in us."
Liber Novus, Page 366
The power of life causes the serpent to shed its skin,
just as the moon sheds its shadow.
The Serpent sheds its skin to be
reborn, as the moon its shadow to be reborn.
Life sheds one generation after
another, to be reborn.
The Serpent represents
immortal energy and
of the Creator and Sustainer
engaged in the field of time, constantly
throwing off death and being reborn.
The serpent is a traveling alimentary
canal, that's about all it is.
It gives you that
primary sense of
shock, of life in its
most primal quality.
the serpent is
represented as a circle eating its own tail.
The serpent represents the primary function of
life, mainly eating.
lives on Life.
The essence of
life is this eating of itself !
The Ouroboros, also spelled
Oroborus, Uroboros or Uroborus, is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent
swallowing its own tail and forming a circle.
The Ouroboros is one of
the oldest mystical symbols on
There are two of us talking
and one of us who wants to leave
in a world forged for only
an empty cage that has no key
don't you know we're working
with flesh and blood
carving out of jealousy
each other it's smothering
every little part of me
What kind of love is this that
hanging on despite everything it's doing to me
what is this love that keeps me coming
for more when it will only end in misery
I know too many people
in a life from which they'd prefer to flee
others get everything offered
they're wanton for discovery
my brother my sister my mother
you're loosing your identity
you see that it's you in the
window shining with
What kind of love is this that keeps me
despite everything it's doing to me
what is this love that keeps me
back for more when it will only end in misery
Life continues by
casting off death and being reborn.
The serpent in most cultures
is given a positive interpretation.
In India even the most poisonous snake, the cobra, is a
sacred animal and the mythological serpent king is
the next thing to the Buddha.
The serpent represents the power of life engaged
in the field of time, and of death, yet eternally
alive; the world is but its shadow - the
The serpent was thought of as a very important power to
be made friends with in the American
Go down to the pueblos, for example, and watch
the snake dance of the Hopi, where
they take the snakes in their mouths, make friends with them
and then send them back to the hills.
The snakes are sent back to carry
the human message to the hills, just as they have brought the message of the
hills to the humans.
The interplay of man and nature is illustrated in
this relationship with the serpent.
serpent flows like water, but its tongue continually
So you have the pair
of opposites together in the
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