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Join Date: 22 Jan 2006
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
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Ohh! I just lost everything I typed!

Let's see if I can quickly recap it!

This is an interesting site that gives us different examples and interpretations of the serpent. A good read!

http://www.endicott-studio.com/rdrm/forbiser.html

In western culture the diametrically opposed meanings of the snake -- what I call the phenomenon of "the binary serpent" -- is not all that different from what I experienced as a child in Korea. The contradictions are perhaps not quite as overt in the way they play out in the surface of everyday life, but they are there -- and deeply rooted, suggestive of the ancient Goddess traditions upon which the Judeo-Christian culture built itself. What's especially interesting for me is to discover that tracing the source of the serpent symbol, regardless of whether one begins in the east or west, leads to essentially the same sources.

It is easy to get to the primary image of the serpent in western culture. In the Book of Genesis, which the Judaic and Christian religions share as a primary text, the serpent is responsible for the temptation of Eve and Adam and their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. The Lord permits Adam and Eve to eat from any tree in the Garden, but he is explicit in his prohibition: "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." The serpent, in tempting Eve actually reveals to her -- albeit indirectly -- that God has deceived her; he says, "Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

As we all know, Eve eats the fruit and also convinces Adam to eat it, and they do not immediately die. God soon discovers their transgression, but it is the serpent he punishes first. He says, "Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed . . . upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed." Thus the continued enmity between snakes and humans, what biologists suggest is a reference to the instinctive fear humans have of reptiles from back in the days when our hominid ancestors were competing with snakes on the African savannah. As a legacy of our biological heritage and God's curse on the serpent, we still have figures of speech like "snake," "snake in the grass," "pit viper," and "snake eyes" -- all negatively charged labels linked with danger, deceit, and death.

But who, exactly, was the serpent? Genesis doesn't reveal the serpent's identity. (In fact, even the serpent's gender is an odd mystery: we assume it to be male, but in a large number of paintings that depict the temptation of Adam and Eve, the serpent coiled around the tree has breasts -- another indication of the underlying Goddess culture.) From common understanding of Biblical texts, we can gather that the serpent is Satan, a name which means "adversary" in Hebrew; but through a problem in translation, he is also erroneously associated with one of God's Archangels, none other than Lucifer (variously "Son of Morning," "Morning Star," and "Bearer of Light"), who is the highest of the high among the angelic hosts. "Lucifer" was originally meant to be the Latinized rendition of "Helal, son of Shahar," a reference to a Babylonian king, but the name became associated with Satan, and his story (which is the central narrative of John Milton's Paradise Lost) is the one that has survived in the popular imagination. Lucifer is the Archangel who tried to usurp God's place in heaven and was cast down into hell as punishment. We can make much of this translation error, but this mistake and its resulting associations between the Devil, Lucifer, Satan, and the serpent of Eden reveal something far more significant and interesting about symbols and culture.

Over time, by a logic greater than the intention of any single person or even the combined intentions of a series of people, societies cause meaningful symbols to become what are called "summarizing symbols," images that economically represent layers and layers of collected meaning -- sometimes even meanings that are contradictory. The binary serpent is a classic example of this phenomenon. Consider that in the Genesis story, the serpent (also known as Satan, Prince of Lies) actually tells Eve the truth about the fruit; he exposes God's lie (what we might call a "white lie"). What's more important, in eating the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, Eve and Adam have learned to judge both God and the serpent. God feels quite threatened, now that the fruit has opened the humans' eyes and made them like gods; out of fear that they will also eat from the tree of life and become immortal, He casts them out of Eden and posts the flaming sword to keep them away.

This is what I wrote to get a feel for this symbol.

Psst, said the snake, looming towards the man and the woman, Come here, I have something to tell you, something of great importance, if you listen and heed my teachings, both of you, a transition will occur, a dimensional shift. Buried deep inside you are all the answers. To know this and achieve this you must believe what I am to tell you.

The man was wary of the snake. The woman was in awe and humbled by it. This independent creature definitely had a vivid curiosity to life…..it did not seem happy or content to be still. Change and movement It was in fact a very smooth and sensuous character and quite convincing.

The snake wound its body round and round, looping around on itself to get comfortable. And to look at these people eye to eye.

All that you have been told up to now has been distorted, you have been lied to. You have idolized one who you believe can do what you cannot. I say this is untrue. When you look at me, you look in fear, but in truth I do not wish to scare either of you, my wish is only to inform you. You are not here without a purpose, you both have free will! and an ability to express and create your own realities. Escape this illusion, this world of nonexistence and make up for your wasted times and opportlunities.

I think this symbol says, don't take everything to heart that you hear and see, literally. Never stop learning or understanding a thought or an idea, as things are constantly moving and changing. The snakes intention was to awaken the knowledge within us....now it's up to us to discover the intensity and richness life has to offer. But to do this we need wealth and richness of our emotions. Emotions allow energies to unite, fuse and bond together....without emotions, that bond would not be!

The snake of course represents our sexuality...it represents a transition from the ordinary level of consciousness to a much higher level...emotionally.

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