ANIMAL SPIRITS


Serpent / Snake
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Serpent / Snake

Snake is the universal symbol of transformation. Life, death and rebirth are represented by the shedding of the snake’s skin. Among the Pueblo Indians snakes and lightning are equated with rain and fertility, as are the snake dances annually held by the Hopi.

In Celtic mythologies the snake is the universal symbol of the Earth Goddess, eternally dying and being renewed, and the sinuous, serpentine path of the life force, in China, called “chi“. When St. Patrick “drove the snakes out of Ireland”, it could be interpreted as the older pagan religion, which venerated a cycle of birth/death/rebirth, being driven out of Ireland. Almost universally, the snake is identified with the Goddess in ancient Sumeria, Old Europe, and Egypt. Even in early Christianity the serpent is venerated in some Gnostic sects, among them the “Ophites” or “Serpent People”, who used the symbol of the serpent as an embodiment of the wisdom transmitted by Sophia.


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