Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Snakes in history and culture

Think about most people's reactions to snakes today...fearful. Filled with hatred, even malice. You might never have thought humankind could like snakes. You may have believed that snakes were always identified with evil. You might have given up your dreams because you thought nobody would appreciate them. But then peek back many years and uncloak mankind's reactions to snakes, to find the diamonds in the rough. But if you turn back the clock, you find wonderful things...snakes as gods, such as the Egyptian Wadjet and Renenutet. They were protectors of the pharaoh, his children, and the harvest. There are many temples in India dedicated to the worship of cobras, even today. While the Ouroboris, a snake with its tail in its mouth, represents life, death, and rebirth, causing a connection between snakes and immortality. In modern times, the festival Nag Panchami every year worships cobras in India. The symbol of the healer is a snake coiled around a pole to this day...snakes have been demonized by Christianity, which made them symbolic of evil. But think about those years, those years where serpentine gods were common, and when mankind did not have the hatred he has today...just think about those years.

Uraeus cobras from Ancient Egypt, image from Wikipedia.

1 comment:

  1. You might enjoy this new book that's about to come out on reptiles and amphibians in folklore: http://archive.today/zfO2p