Slithery scaly not so slimy squirmers, i love me some venomous coiling strikers! Big fangs, egg gulp or strangulation; method of murder matters not - all serpents belong here cuz its about snake talk.
These belly sliders have an oddly androgynous symbology. At once undeniably phallic but consistently associated with feminine power. They have a reputation for being toxic deceitful liars, with the forked tongues to match. Hence they are often considered to be some of the most evil, detestable, neir do well, low lifes around. This baseness though offers them almost infinite opportunity to reach upwards. Associations with prophecy and dreams lends some to believe them to be an embodiment of some sacred hidden wisdom. Some might be surprised to find out that Medusas' snakey locks were once seen as a sign of the aforementioned before powers paternal flipped the tables and branded her as the dreaded Gorgon. though not least of their contradictory attributions, nor particularly uncommon for the extra caustic creepy crawls, has to be their association with death and rebirth, bearers of eternity. While the death parts probably pretty obvious, the rebirth, with the skin shedding, cadaver spasms, and potential for a corpse to maintain a strike reflex, could be worth a mention.
Thematically echoed in their inclusion in the Ascelephus, not to be confused with its owner who bears the same title. The symbol of medicine is composed of a snek winding its way up a staff; what is base becomes high, a movement of matter to spirit, enlightenment. Although this symbol likely originates from the ritual practice of tapeworm removal. Patently squatting over a pile of decaying meat to lure the critter into sticking its gluttonous little head out so you can snag em with a stick to wind em up right on out of you.
a little farther along, the Caduceus, which is basically identical to the point of constant confusion even though it looks completely different, is made up of a staff with a knobbed head hosting two coiled wriggle friends and bearing a pair of wings. Emblematic of Mercury/Hermes the messenger of the gods as well as guider of souls to rebirth, this one doesn't know when to quit. Literally and figuratively viewed as providing stability the staff is an ancient symbol of being in charge; a tool utilized by all magic practitioners which calls to mind the tree of life or world axis. the spiritual intuition to be in communication with the heavens rests upon these wings, while the serpents spiraling their way up summon infinity in the interplay of opposites as balance as well as hidden knowledge. What hidden knowledge? That wielders of the Caduceus, whose short list includes Ba'al, Isis, Ishtar, Ningishzda and Ascelephus, have the intuition wings to use poisonous and corruptive substances snakes to restore life staff as tree.
Serpentine and snake stones share a similar not-unlikeness reminiscent of the rest our shortly developed themeology. Serpentine's appearance mimics that of snake skin which roughly translates to is-thought-to-have-talismanic-properties-of-protection-against-'x'-which-in-this-case-is-snakes-biting-you-and-you-dying-from-that. repeating myself snakes are a base animal and so it holds earthing qualites, and trivially, clasping some in your hand with sitting in the sun is a cure for rheumatism. Snake Stones hit again on the medically associative talismania. these stones, inky black, rough and roughly spheracle; are pulled from the heads of vipers by talented snake charmers. They are utilized to counteract venom by holding them against the wound. Their purification rital ammounts leaving them in milk until it turns green with rot.
There exist two generally accepted ways of taking the themes of resurrection and healing that transcend death brought by serpent. The first is an endless cycle, death and rebirth, the the waxing and waning moon, an eternal return. the second is a transcendence into a solar eternity.
Hippolytus speaks of a cult of serpent worshippers who held that no one can rise without the serpent because it is the paternal models that fell with them and it is they the serpent that will carry those back up who have been awakened from sleep. Beliefs from the same era carved into a ritual bowl display a winged solar serpent spewing its own light having ascended into knowledge and eternity worshiped in the center of the cosmic egg.
The legend of Patanji, who is credited with the creation of the Yoga sutras, Thread of Yoga, tell of him falling from the sky in the form a small snake. Well known Indus Valley seals display the first found evidence of yoga. Its is image of two worshippers at either side of deity figure. Each shadowed by a massive snake, origins of Serpent Power. Some of the more abysmally cultured might consider a spinal column a staff. Certainly in the sense that the great serpent Kundalini rises through the chakras, from base to crest, root to crown, muladhara to sahasrara, garnet to diamond in a laderic ascension to heaven and back down to earth, it becomes resonant with the expounded dynamics of the Aesclepius via world axis/life tree, so I could hardly sat they're wrong. Speaking of trees though, it is foretold that the glorious ash that supports the universe, Yggdrasil, will meet its end at the insatiable maws of the serpent brood who tirelessly consume its root.