Originally posted by partycrasher
the serpent is chosen as a symbol for fluidity. the spiral represents a slow advancement or decline, gradually, stealthily, circular until it reaches
its goal, its prey. the symbol is common enough and labyrinths will often depict how the spiral can backtrack and redirect.
It depends, very much, upon where you are in the world, and what qualities you would have been able to observe in the serpents around you, and how you
experienced, or interacted with those serpents. Not all serpents have such dynamic characteristics as you describe. Many are dangerous and highly
venomous. As such, you will find that there is much adaptation of serpent-beliefs depending upon the environment settled. Every culture shares the
symbol of the serpent as representative of water and water-based phenomenom, but due to the successive diaspora of our species, those symbols have
adapted according to environment. In areas that are subject to the most fierce water based phenomenom...flash floods, mud slides, tsunami, etc etc,
these serpents become dragons often. Understandably. River dragons, often transformed from beautiful maidens to fierce, horrifying, beastly dragons,
providing one minute, devastating the next. This symbology seems
global and may represent elements of our core beliefs, but it has over time
been adapted to different environments, or in some cases, abandoned and forgotten all together.
It is more for the slithering movement, think of how many metaphors apply to the passage and movements of rivers, the scale like quality of a river's
current as it catches the sun, and for the incredible power concealed within that beauty.
Given the reality, as humans dispersed, that some snakes must have presented according to the environments encountered, some must have been less
inclined to revere something so deadly and reverted to more furry idols. The qualities that 'serpents' had when they were applied to our symbology,
did not apply to the serpents they encountered on dry, arrid, rocky landscapes. Those people had to not only overcome their fear, but also their
reverence of serpents. The people of the meditteranean, and the Egyptians, developed medicines, cures and antivenoms to treat various snake bites.
As well as poisons derived from venoms.
So, where medicine/pharmacology took hold, we have a systematic demystification of the serpent, and subsequently of water. Elsewhere, such as in the
language of Kundalini, you have a recognition of our own water-content, or serpent, figuratively, coiled around the base of the spine. Or not really,
it is more that the serpent/water is associated with the 'life-giving force' it's role in shaping the environment. We too can, presumably, learn
to find the balance of the micro environment that is our human form, through practices such as Kundalini, and hopefully use that inner balance
expansively. And, there is a lot of sense there, but you can perhaps see where the two approaches would have eventually conflicted, one way or
another. Those that on the one hand took things apart to understand how things work (and then unfortunately forgot how the thing went together in the
first place), and those who have sought to understand the whole (before it is eaten away to only a core, as things now seem to be progressing...and
seperated into it's millions of elemental component parts, each valued for one reason or another for it's purity).
Anyway, before I digress even further. Serpents, dragons (even the fire breathing ones are only a manifestation of mountains in their less watery
forms) are one thing, snakes are another. A Brotherhood of the Snake, I would guess, would be not the same as a Brotherhood of the Serpent. Just my
guess, but Snake (with linguistic root in 'Pyth-') denotes medicine/chemistry/or transformation/divination by either of those means...as part of the
human condition...the serpent however, tends to refer to more holistic/universal conditions. Symbolically speaking...