Throughout the realms of modern medicine, ancient philosophy and traditions and mythology, the serpent has held a significant presence and role.
In today’s world, as we wander down shop streets, we see the symbol of the entwined serpent, which originates with the Greek mythological “Rod of Asclepius”, Asclepius being the God associated with healing and medicine. In his honour snakes would be used in healing rituals and be allowed to roam free among the ill in their sick beds.
The serpent has been long associated with healing and renewal. As the serpent sheds it’s skin, it sheds what no longer serves it. It heals and releases what it needs to in order to maintain vitality and health.
It has been considered a sacred and powerful animal for thousands of years in the shamanic traditions. It is often called upon to hold sacred space in the south direction, the direction associated with the earth in some traditions.
As with all of the teachings that have been handed down to us from our ancestors, we must connect with them and interpret them in a way which is applicable to our everyday modern lives. What can we take from the essence of the serpents teachings which we can apply to our daily routines.
- Shedding the Past:
Many of us wrap our past and pain around us like warm blankets on a cold winter’s day. Although we yearn for the freedom that comes with walking freely without carrying that extra weight, we fear the emptiness that comes with allowing that cover of past remnants to fall to the floor. By connecting to the energy and teachings of the serpent, we can slowly work on “shedding our skin” I.e. letting go of the heaviness that surrounds our past and letting go of what doesn’t serve us in this present moment. The serpent has been a symbol of renewal, and eternal life, due to it’s ability to shed it’s skin and emerge as one again. It teaches us that there is life after letting go of the past, and by doing so we are gifting ourselves with a fresh lease of life.
The serpent is far from rigid. It twists and turns, coils around its nest and trees. We can learn a lot by simply observing the behaviour of the serpent. When we have goals or projects that we would like to achieve, we can learn to be flexible, keeping focused on reaching the final goal, rather than being rigid and restricting ourselves to a single path to getting there.
3. Caution and Awareness
The serpent moves slowly, cautiously, being acutely aware of its surroundings. Connecting with the serpent energy teaches us to be aware of our current surroundings. We are reminded to take things easy and approach our current situation with caution. We are taught to take a moment to reflect on the accuracy of the situation, the truth of what is really going on, to reassess our direction and path.
The serpent is often associated with the root chakra, our connection to the earth and our connection to our sensual self. It is also associated with fertility. In the path of personal healing, we can connect to the essence of the serpent as an archetype, to heal our root chakra and begin our awakening and our reconnection to self. When we heal, we heal from the root upwards, and often carry heavier energy and blocks, sometimes lingering from our childhood in the lower chakras. Try meditating and connecting energetically with the serpent to begin to heal the root causes of disharmony in your life.