The serpent has been seen as evil, the Devil or Satan in literature, forever to be bruised by the heel of man, when it dared to go against the will of God never to touch the fruit of the tree of knowledge when it beguiled Eve into accepting to taste the forbidden fruit.
This moment in the story of the Garden of Eden has been likened to the moment when man achieved self consciousness. It has also been suggested that this was the moment when God split into two with the one half falling to Earth in the form of Satan, which mirrors the moment when man could exercise the choice between good and evil. So not just a fallen angel you understand, but half of God Himself? Hmm!
So you could say that good and evil just represented the birth of choice and since Satan was often represented in animal form and therefore of the Earth he was connected with the terrestrial attribute of intuition from which the new human consciousness moved from animal instinct to self consciousness.
The animal forms of Satan have variously but mostly been depicted with the head of a horned goat and the other monster, the Minator of ancient legend being a horned bull. There is no doubt in my mind that at the time when the consciousness of man took that sudden leap into self consciousness there were other changes going on in the moves from instinct to consciousness causing animal man combinations that we see depicted on tomb walls and cave paintings around the world.
Were these strange beings the result of the drawings of dreams or visions when in trance or were they actual experiments gone awry? I suspect the later but thankfully sterile and not capable of reproduction.
If we were the recipients of a special gene, that enabled us to take that leap in consciousness, is it not equally possible that there were parallel experiments going on with other terrestrial beings to see what might be achieved also with other animals, even reptiles and serpents?
On the one hand we applaud the artists and artisans of ancient times for their amazing skills and on the other we question whether what they created were representations of things real or imaginary! What are not imaginary are the pyramids and massive sculpted figures or temples, tombs and churches carved into solid stone mountains.
We have been visited by quite a few serpents at our home in the campo of Spain and I have always admired the capability of being able to slough ones skin and put on a new face to the world, which tells of rebirth. Although our Siamese cat seemed unaware of the dangers and just wanted to play and perhaps enjoy an elongated snack! It was a job to try and protect him from a venomous lightning strike by those faster and more dextrous than me! But we all managed to stay in one piece and go our own ways in peace.
Like many I am fascinated by the stone circles, henges and pyramids around the world, and with recent research and remarks made by archaeologists about the pyramid of Khufu I begin to wonder if these amazing structures are really all just abortive attempts to recreate some half remembered but lost places of power. Tombs I do find difficult to believe, having spent time in the King’s Chamber!
It seems that there have been equal fascinations in the past … why else would a serpent, a giant cobra in this case rise up to spread its hood and shelter Buddha from the rain? Might it not be just a story to give the message that in fact Buddha was not troubled by anything, least of all the rain? I guess it sounds more plausible to a superstitious public that a shelter in the form of something they most feared would protect the one they all revered!
Where does your fascination lie? Is it in Legends or do you see through the superstitions, parables and allegories to the truths that lie beneath?
Incidentally the Uraeus or cobra, the representation of the goddess Wadjet was used in ancient Egypt as a symbol of the Pharaoh’s sovereignty and also as a symbol of protection with the head of the vulture, as depicted on the top of the enclosure walls of the complex at Sakkara.
I remember being on holiday in Greece at the time of the celebration at the church of the snakes and I know there are others in India where the snake is also revered, and we are all familiar with the snake charmers haunting melody but in fact the tapping of his foot encouraging the reptile to rise from its basket. How strange that those opposites of fearing and revering of the same reptile exist? Perhaps if we could all respect and allow others their freedom across all the kingdoms what a happier world we would have, without giving others undue worship or hatred? N’est ce pas?
Hissstory is fassscinating with Love, Hanukah