The sacred spiral, the organic wisdom of Snake
Generically speaking, snake is associated with primordial knowing, the wisdom of creation, the keeper of dreams.
Snake symbolism has widely been linked with wisdom and protection of the sacred in many religions and spiritual paths. Snake appears as Hesha, the coiled protector of Vishnu, in Hindu Mythology; as Hatuibwari in Malaysian mythology, the creator who suckled all his creations; Eingana, the mother of humanity and water creatures of aboriginal Australia.
The Minoan Snake Goddess , goddess of home and earth (and one of my personal favorites), appears as a female figure holding two snakes in her outstretched hands. In ancient Greece, the Oracle of Delphi used a serpent to communicate with the underworld. Mesopotamian sea creatrix, Nammu, who created heaven and earth, was imaged with the head of a serpent in the ancient excavations of former Sumeria.
Early polytheistic religions and goddess based religions portray Snake as neither good nor evil, but rather an extension of the natural life cycle, regenerative. The shedding of skin represents the leaving of the old / death to make way for the new / birth. The symbolism of Snake is most powerfully expressed in Ouroboros' circular formation, with his tail in mouth.
Ouroboros is especially potent for me as it is a reminder that nothing can be "consumed" lightly. His own consumption leads to his demise. For the ultimate price of life is simply death.
On my 30th birthday, I called upon the power of snake, my own ability to transform the old and enter into the new with a fresh perspective, renewed energy, and another layer of knowing. The experiences throughout my turbulent childhood and cataclysmic twenties required processing. As difficult a process as it is, the transformation of old memories and traumas must be faced with honesty, courage, and, frankly, embodiment.
For true change to occur in our world, true change must happen in our being. Just as the shamans of South America, escaping the trance state that holds them captive inside the monstrous body of the white anaconda, so we must metaphorically emerge from our own "clouds of misperception" and personal pain.
This year, I step into the lair and await the painful kiss of Mother Snake.