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The Symbol of The Serpent

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Author Topic: The Symbol of The Serpent  (Read 4401 times)
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« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2007, 09:52:13 am »

Still Boreasi:

The Twin Swepents - Male and Female Societies

According to the old culture - where the serpent was respected as a common heritage - all people came from an original order, created by the first family of mankind. Thus all populations had a civil order, regulating the relations between us all. Braking the tradtional and herdetical legitimacy of this order was nothing but a "crime". Thus we may say that when the old, royal order was overthrown and fundamentally changed, crossing the old snake - the roots of our cultures were strecthed, carved, sliced, cut, axed or gnawn - away.

Fortunately, the old ruins, fragments and scraps can be found, still today. Every now and then we have to re-assess the major picture behind the pieces of information we have, completing archeological, biological, litteral or verbal sources of new information. Without the load of prejusdism and taboos from the mideval time we should - by today - be able to better understand the realities behind the "pagan" symbols. Especially since they all seem to deal with the nature and the impacts of biological and cultural preservance - and progression.

The Hindi culture never came to create the same kind of taboos. Thus they learned us to discuss Shiva, Krisna and Parvati - keeping a broad focus on sexuality and health (Yoga, Tantra and Kun-da-li-ni) - where "technical expressions" like "yo-ni" and "ling-am" are common. And still we seem to discuss both the ancient and the antique culture of the Egyptian, Sumerian, Greek and Roman, - without relating to Pharo`s proud ****, Astartes` besung vulva or Pan`s legendary drift.

Crossing "Pharao`s Scepter" or the "Serpent of Moses" goes to the same realities - referring to the extinction of the old customs, the royal traditions and constitutional laws - once based on the order of creation, birth and herritage -"since time origin"...

Here`s yet another omniphallos':

And a most highly esteemed, male tool;

And it`s female counterpart – the original Lotus-eaters.


Lotus-eaters are probably the female worshipping the Serpent rite. The following places mention something of the lotus-eaters;

"I was driven thence by foul winds for a space of nine days upon the sea, but on the tenth day we reached the land of the Lotus-eater, who live on a food that comes from a kind of flower. Here we landed to take in fresh water, and our crews got their mid-day meal on the shore near the ships. When they had eaten and drunk I sent two of my company to see what manner of men the people of the place might be, and they had a third man under them. They started at once, and went about among the Lotus-eaters, who did them no hurt, but gave them to eat of the lotus, which was so delicious that those who ate of it left off caring about home, and did not even want to go back and say what had happened to them, but were for staying and munching lotus with the Lotus-eater without thinking further of their return; nevertheless, though they wept bitterly I forced them back to the ships and made them fast under the benches. Then I told the rest to go on board at once, lest any of them should taste of the lotus and leave off wanting to get home, so they took their places and smote the grey sea with their oars." (The Odyssey, Book IX)

"His [Set's] favorite - some say only - food was the lettuce (which secreted a white, milky substance that the Egyptians linked to semen and was sacred to the fertility god Min), but even with this aphrodisiac, he was still thought to have been infertile."


Genuine pics;,b.htm

[ 02-26-2006, 11:59 PM: Message edited by: Boreasi ]
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« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2007, 09:53:05 am »


From Smiley, quote:
The creation of the pillars
After killing Medusa, Perseus took the head of the Gorgon with him to distant lands and reached the western end of the Earth where the sun sets - the land where Atlas the Titan resided and raised magical golden apples. Perseus wished to rest in Atlas' garden and asked him for food but Atlas - fearing that the hero would steal his magical fruit - refused and sent Perseus away. Perseus then showed Atlas the head of Medusa and the Titan turned into a giant mountain - his hair turning into a great forest, his shoulders into cliffs and his bones into solid rock.


Rich's threads/replies;

2.I'm kind of leaning towards Gaea as this snake goddess.

"It will be seen that the Minoan "Snake Goddess" may be indirectly linked through the Egyptian goddess Wadjyt with the Greek Aphrodite"

"Having identified the "Snake Goddess" as a "fertility deity"."

"when the "Snake Goddess" came to light in 1903, he not only identified her as a "goddess" but also claimed that she was worshipped by the Minoans as an aspect of the Mother Goddess. Evans thereby provided the basis for the argument that Minoans lived in a matrilineal, or even a matriarchal, society."

"Egyptian uraeus (rearing cobra snake) on the head of Hathor and other Egyptian goddesses. In particular, Evans tentatively links the "Snake Goddess" with the Egyptian Goddess Wazet (i.e. Wadjyt), the snake goddess of the Nile Delta, but does not pursue the connection. "

Minoan Snake Goddess from Knossos, Crete c. 1600 BCE;;f=1;t=000942;p=7#000250

3. Gorgon. Offspring of Typhon and Echidna and begetter, by Ceto 1 or by Poseidon, of the GORGONS [see also Medusa 1 and BESTIARY] [Hyg.Fab.151; Hyg.Fab.Pre].

Mortal Medusa 1 is one of the three GORGONS, the others being the immortals Stheno and Euryale 1. The GORGONS were snake-haired, had great tusks like swine's, brazen hands, golden wings, and they turned to stone those who beheld them.

Serpent-haired monsters, offspring of Phorcus & Ceto 1.

Phorcus (Phorcys 3). Sea-deity, offspring either of Pontus (Sea) and Gaia, or of Oceanus and Tethys. By Ceto 1 he fathered the GRAEAE [see Perseus 1], the GORGONS (among which Medusa 1), Ladon 4 (the dragon guarding the golden apples of the HESPERIDES), and Echidna [see BESTIARY]. Some say that Scylla 1 is daughter of Phorcus and Hecate. Phorcus is also called father of Thoosa, mother of Polyphemus 2 [Apd.1.2.6; Arg.4.828ff.; Hes.The.237, 297, 333ff.; Hom.Od.1.71; Pla.Tim.40e].;f=1;t=001205#000009


4. Perseus 1 met the GRAEAE, who were sisters of the GORGONS and old women from birth.


"Island of Serpents, to the portion of the country which they held, in the same manner that Rhodes and Cyprus severally acquired the ancient designation of Ophiusa, from the fact of their being the residence of the Ophites, who introduced serpent-worship into Greece.[9]"

6. The Ophites claimed that Moses himself had exalted Ophis by setting up the serpent, and that Jesus also had recognized it (comp. John iii. 14).

"Serpents are grasped and offered to the believer by the Minoan Mother Goddess in many surviving small cult figures and on engraved seals. ";f=1;t=001206#000000


7. "The Gorgonean land, Kisthene. There live Phorkys' aged virgin daughters, in shape like swans ... And close to them their three winged sisters .. the snake-haired Gorgones." - Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound 791

"By him [Phorkys] she [Keto] conceived and bare the Gorgones, fearful monsters who lived in Sarpedon, a rocky island in deep-eddying Okeanos." - Homerica, Cypria Frag 21 (sourced from Herodian, One Peculiar Diction)

"On the coast of Ithaka is a certain haven, sacred to the old sea-god Phorkys (Limen Phorkynos)." - Homer, Odyssey 13.96

"The Gorgon Medousa. I omit the miraculous, but give the rational parts of the story about her. After the death of her father, Phorkys, she reigned over those living around Lake Tritonis [in Libya]." - Pausanias, Guide to Greece 2.21.5

"Trykhantes, and rugged Nedon, and all ye pits of Dirphossos and Diakria [hills of Euboia], and thou haunt of Phorkys [the Euboian coast]."- Lycophron, Alexandra 375

“[Perseus] had taken the travelling eye of Phorkys’ old one-eyed daughter unsleeping.” - Nonnus, Dionysiaca 31.13;f=1;t=001480#000000

[ 02-27-2006, 04:10 AM: Message edited by: Boreasi ]
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« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2007, 09:56:36 am »

From Heather:

The word Naga comes from the Sanskrit, and nag is still the word for snake, especially the cobra, in most of the languages of India. When we come upon the word in Buddhist writings, it is not always clear whether the term refers to a cobra, an elephant (perhaps this usage relates to its snake-like trunk, or the pachyderm's association with forest-dwelling peoples of north-eastern India called Nagas,) or even a mysterious person of nobility. It is a term used for unseen beings associated with water and fluid energy, and also with persons having powerful animal-like qualities or conversely, an impressive animal with human qualities.

In WW II, learn how inhabitants of Nagaland came to the world's attention.


In myths, legends, scripture and folklore, the category naga comprises all kinds of serpentine beings. Under this rubric are snakes, usually of the python kind (despite the fact that naga is usually taken literally to refer to a cobra,) deities of the primal ocean and of mountain springs; also spirits of earth and the realm beneath it, and finally, dragons.

In Indian mythology, Nagas are primarily serpent-beings living under the sea. However, Varuna, the Vedic god of storms, is viewed as the King of the Nagas, ie. Nagarajah.

Here we see the king and queen of water nagas worshipping Parshva, the Jain Tirthankara of the era before this one.

All nagas are considered the offspring of the Rishi or sage, Kasyapa, the son of Marichi. Kashyapa is said to have had by his twelve wives, other diverse progeny including reptiles, birds, and all sorts of living beings. They are denizens of the netherworld city called Bhogavati. It is believed that ant-hills mark its entrance.

The naga-Varuna connection is retained in Tibetan Buddhism, where Varuna, lord of weather, is known as Apalala Nagarajah.

As a category of nature spirit:

"Nagas [kLu] are a class of beings (often snake-like in form) that dwell in a variety of locations ranging from waterways and underground locations and also in unseen realms. These beings have their own perceptions and vary in their enlightened level as do humans and other beings. Nagas are susceptible to suffering created by mankind's carelessness and basic ignorance of proper conduct in nature and disrespectful actions in relation to our environment. Therefore Nagas often retaliate towards humans when they behave in such ignorant manners. The expression of the Nagas' discontent and agitation can be felt as skin diseases, various calamities and so forth.

Additionally, Nagas can bestow various types of wealth, assure fertility of crops and the environment as well as decline these blessings. For this reason the practice of Lu Sang has been developed or arises as a natural method to increase prosperity, and assist the Nagas by preserving the positive qualities of their natural environment." ~ Tsewang Ngodrup Rinpoche

The bodhisattva Manjushri, in wrathful form, can appear as Nagaraksha (Tib: jam.pal lu'i drag.po).

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« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2007, 09:57:29 am »

More Heather:

Nagas and Water

Water symbolizes primordial Wisdom and in psychoanalysis, the storehouse that is the unconscious mind. However, to paraphrase Sigmund Freud commenting on the interpretation of symbols in dreams, "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." That is, the water in naga lore is really wet.

In the language of Kashmir, the word for "a spring" is naga and, in fact, nagas are considered the earliest inhabitants of that region. In a sense this is borne out by geology since that valley was once

"a vast span of water, similar to a huge dam, walled in by high mountains. The Nilamatapurana records how the valley was elevated out of water and left under the care of the Nagas, of whom Nila, the son of Kashyapa, was the chief." Kashmir is named after Kashyapa where "the term ‘naga’ stands for spring; 'chesmah,' and 'negin' for small spring. Springs are the main source of water in Kashmir." And "the auspicious and famous river of Kashmir, the Vitasta (Jhelum) originates from a spring near Verinag and is responsible for the water supply to most parts of the valley. The religious significance of the river is established by the Nilamata Purana [Myth of the Indigo Goddess] when it records the entire land of Kashmir as the material manifestation of Uma and describes her as the divine form of the Vitasta."

"A large number of temples were built near springs and were dedicated to the worship of nagas." and "These places have become great centres of religious pilgrimage. The place names of certain areas, e.g. Verinag, Anantnag and Seshanag even today remind one of the intimate relations between the valley and the popularity of the Naga cult. The Rajatarangini of Kalhana mentions Sushravas and Padma Nagas, who were tutelary deities connected with the Wular lake. The Dikpalas of Kashmir are believed to be four nagas, viz. Bindusara in the east, Srimadaka in the south, Elapatra in the west and Uttarmansa in the north."

Many Kashmiri festivals relate to Naga worship, "for example during the first snowfall, Nila, the Lord of Nagas, is worshipped. The Nagas are also propitiated in April and are related to Iramanjari Puja and to Varuna Panchmi, which is organised in July-August." And "in the darker half of the month of Jyeshtha, when a big festival is organised to propitiate the king Taksakyatra. The Nilamatapurana listed 527 Nagas that were worshipped in Kashmir. In the account of Abul Fazal, the court historian of Akbar, there are references to seven hundred places sacred to serpents."

The purana also points to the association of the cult of Nagas with that of Shiva. In the Mahabharata and Harivamsa texts, Shesha was considered the son of Shiva. A lesser relation was developed with regard to Vishnu as in his sheshashayi form which links the primal waters with the sleeping Vishnu. Also, Balarama who is Krishna's elder brother is the personification of the snake, Ananta.

Kashmiri names such as Vishnasar and Krishnasar are Vaishnavite ones where the suffix sar means 'reservoir.' Even though Kashmir may be Muslim-dominated in contemporary times, a spring is "understood as naga and enjoys the respect of every religion."

"The prosperity goddess, Lakshmi, is said to have taken the form of the river Visoka (now known as the Vishov) to purify the people of Kashmir. Most probably, treating springs and rivers with great reverence wittingly or unwittingly resulted in the ecological balance necessary for a healthy and natural interaction between the environment and man."

" . . . every naga has a snake as its guardian deity. Fishing is prohibited in these springs, though the fish which come out of the main garbha [den, lair] of a naga can be caught. Restrictions on fishing have definitely helped to some extent to preserve water ecology."

"Hindus still propitiate these nagas. At Martanda Naga even srada is performed. Water is offered by Hindus to the Sun God and to their ancestors (purvaj). Before having darshan of the snow linga at Amarnatha a holy dip is essential in the Seshanaga. A person suffering from a skin disease is said to be cured after having a bath in Gandhakanaga (sulphur spring) at Naghbal, Anantnag."

"Muslims show their respect for these nagas in many ways. They offer sacrifices and organise fairs on many festivals such as Id, [e]ven they do not catch fish in these nagas. Their faith in nagas can further be established by an example from Anantnag district, where during days of water scarcity or extra rainfall, people offer sacrifices to the Vasuk Naga (the water of which remains in the valley during summer only and disappears in winter.) They have full faith that offerings to Vasuk will bring rain or stop it as desired."

~ B. Malla, Water Resources and Their Management in Kashmir

In Thai symbolism, naga and makara are closely linked.
Catalogue of nagas, their names and attributes, from the Nilamata Purana.
Ulupi became Udupi in some Asian languages: Visit the land of the Nagas.
Thai myth, legend and fact: Paya Naga, fireballs and fresh water naga. Times Asia, "Secret of the Naga's fire"

Glycon, [image is at foot of linked page] the white naga once worshiped at Tomis (now in Romania) on the Black Sea.
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« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2007, 09:58:46 am »

Still more:

Naga Mythology

Vasuki [also Basuki,] the naga king, has the gem, Nagamani, on/in his head. It is a universal panacea [cure-all] and is a bestower of fortune.

Manasa Devi, the serpent goddess, is Vasuki's sister. She is mostly identified with the cobra, but she can cure any snakebite; indeed, any adversity. A popular Indian film shows Manasa coming to visit a man in his prison cell. She drinks his offering of milk, then leaves, opening the cell for him on her way out.

Now the maternal naga ancestor, Kadru, once enslaved Vinata, mother of birds. To ransom her, the Garuda stole amrita, the elixir of immortality, from the gods. Before the serpents could even have a taste, Indra stole it back again, however, a few drops of amrita fell to earth. The serpents slid through it which is why their skin now has the capacity of renewal.

The grass upon which the nectar fell explains why serpents have forked tongues. Although they did not get to drink the amrita, the split in their tongues caused by the sharp-edged dharba [or, durva] grass provided them a blessing in disguise. According to Kurt Schwenk, ("Why snakes have forked tongues," Science vol. 263, 1994) the evolutionary success of advanced snakes is partly due to their special tongues. The forked tongue allows the snake to simultaneously sample two points along a chemical gradient, which is helpful in instantaneous assessment of trail location. It may also play a role in mating.

Naga and Fertility

Because of its shape and its association with renewal, the serpent is a phallic symbol. This powerful emblem of fertility is thought to bring plentiful harvests and many children -- images of nagas adorn houses and shrines and temples. It is said that when a king once banned snake worship, his kingdom suffered a drought, but the rains returned once the king himself placated Vasuki.

Above is a naga stone erected in anticipation or in gratitude for blessings received.

Role of the Naga in Buddhism
Nagas are said to have raised their hoods to protect the Buddha, and other jinas [spiritual victors] like the Jain saint Parshva. However, at least 1500 years before Buddha Shakyamuni's enlightenment when Ananta or Muchilinda with his many heads sheltered him, the mythic image of nagas doing homage to a great yogi was well-known.

Many examples of the naga association with the Buddha appear on the walls and along an avenue leading to the temple of Ankhor Wat in Kampuchea (formerly, Cambodia) and also in Buddhist temples in Shri Lanka (formerly, Ceylon.) See a Thai naga as conceived by S. Dhumphakdi & Sons Publisher, Bangkok, Thailand (10 Perfections series.)


The Indian mahasiddha, Nagarjuna, received his illuminating insights and tantric empowerment with the help of the nagas in the lake beside which he meditated. Nagarjuna is one of the main champions of Buddhist philosophy, and is traditionally portrayed with a sunshade or halo formed by a multi-headed serpent. He is called the Second Buddha, partly in tribute to his having established the Madhyamaka [Middle-Way, ie. neither materialist nor nihilist nor idealist] school of philosophy.

See the Buddha's protector-naga in the process of transforming into Nagarjuna unsheathing the sword of wisdom at the Asian Art web site.

As there are serpents in Tibet, and nagas known as kLu play a role in the symbolism of Himalayan Buddhism and in Tibetan mythology, so Nagarjuna is known as Lu-trub.

The tradition of Sera Monastery holds that when Sakya Yeshe was on his way back from visiting China, it so happened that the set of Tengyur (Buddhist scriptures) donated by the emperor fell into the water while the party was fording a river. The travellers could see that the texts were hopelessly lost and so, distraught, they continued on their way back to Sera.

When the caravan finally got back, the monks told them that just before their return, an old man with attendants had visited Sera and presented a set of scriptures to the monastery. He said that he was delivering it for Sakya Yeshe. It was believed that the old man was really a Naga king, for when the texts were examined, it was found that they were still a bit damp.

A bronze naga-king from Densatil monastery, East Tibet, undergoing transformation.

The traditional life-story [Tibetan: namthar] of Niguma, the female companion of Naropa, begins during the time of one of the earliest Buddhas in a region covered by water ruled by a great Naga King. This Naga was an accomplished and compassionate disciple of that Buddha and gave his permission for the miraculous drying up the water for the purpose of erecting a great temple and monastery. A bustling city grew up around these which acquired a certain reputation, and came to be called The Land of Great Magic. This is the place that Niguma was born.

Niguma developed the powerful tantric techniques referred to as the Five Dharmas of Niguma. The best known is called the Dream Yoga of Niguma. Her disciple, Naljor, is considered the head of the Shangpa Kagyu denomination of Tibetan Buddhism.


Jain: Adherent of a religion whose teachings emphasize the absolute sanctity of all living things and asceticism in most aspects of life. The Buddha opposed its extreme nature.

Lu Sang: Smoke offered to the nagas.

darshan: viewing of an object or person that is considered to bestow a powerful blessing.

lingam: short pillar or phallic symbol standing for Shiva as creative Imagination. In the Himalayan cave at Amarnath, a special icicle is formed that is considered a manifestation of the deity.
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« Reply #20 on: February 02, 2007, 10:00:38 am »

Serpents in Eastern Mythology

The Great Serpent of mythology is often depicted as half human, half snake. It may also take the form of a many-headed cobra like the one thought to have sheltered the great spiritual champions such as Buddha Shakyamuni and Mahavira, of the Jains.

In Buddhism

The Chapter of the Snake [Uragavagga] is the first section of the Sutta-Nipata [Collection of Discourses]. Its title comes from its very first part called Uraga Sutta [On the Snake’s Skin] that is about a monk who discards all human passions like a snake that has shed its skin.

The snake features as one of 3 friends in Nagarjuna's teaching on the Prajnaparamita. Here, the snake represents the dehumanizing effects of poverty:

Once there were three friends that lived happily together in a pool -- a snake, a turtle and a frog. When the water dried up, Snake who had been Devadatta, the Buddha's nemesis, in a former lifetime asked Turtle to send for Froggie. The frog is wise to the snake's motivation and refuses to go. He tells Turtle the reason:

Encountering poverty and destitution,
One loses one's firmest fine resolution.
We forget our principles,
Thinking of victuals.

Sudden Death

Upasena was a disciple of the Buddha and the younger brother of Shariputra -- both children of Rupashari, a Brahmin. As a member of that caste, he learned the Vedas by heart, but when he heard the Buddha preach, he joined his order.

After only a year, he ordained another bhikkshu, but when the Teacher heard of this he rebuked him for this hasty procedure. In the desire to earn his guru's praise, he devoted himself to the practice of insight meditation and achieved arhatship. He became also, a practitioner of various austerities dhutanga and himself had many followers after only a short time. Buddhaghosa says that Upasena was famed as a clever and eloquent preacher.

One day while Upasena was sitting mending his outer robe after his meal, being fanned by the gentle breeze in the shadow of his cave's entrance, two young snakes were playing in the vines above. One fell on his shoulder and bit him, and the venom spread rapidly. He called to Shariputra and the others who were nearby, and requested that he be taken outside to die.

When this was done, his body was disposed of and scattered right there and then "like a handful of chaff.”

Upasena's experience is not all that unusual in many parts of the world. In India alone, thousands die each year from snakebite.

Like an Illusion
In an environment where there are cobras and kraits, the fear of meeting with a snake is not just another neurotic preoccupation. That reality lends great impact to the famous Buddhist parable about the nature of Mind:

When someone walking along a narrow forest path sees that unmistakable shape lying on the road in front of him, he naturally freezes. Perhaps he backs up as smoothly and noiselessly as possible, maybe even turning aside to hide behind a tree. There, his heart pounding, he waits for the way to become clear. After a while, he ventures a look from behind the trunk and widens his eyes as if to see more clearly. He bends forward, sticking out his neck and squints into the shifting patterns of light and dark. There is no movement.

Finally he gingerly ventures back to that spot on the path and stares down at the snake. There is no snake.

It's only a bit of coiled jute rope. With a deep sigh of relief, he reaches down and picks it up, and as he pulls it taut it untwists. All worn out from usage and exposure to the elements, it separates into a thatch of fine hairy strands, and then he is left holding . . . nothing.

There are poisonous vipers in Tibet eg. Trimeresurus tibetanus Hoang, not found below 2700 metres, and also the Indian cobra naja naja.]

The Indian sub-continent is home to several dangerous serpents including the deadly krait, as well as the cobra and some others. It is not surprising that the animal plays an important role in the culture. For example, in South India curved paths are a feature of the layout of a compound since it is believed that they will prevent the entry of snakes into the dwelling. The attitude is a somewhat ambivalent one though, since the animal is associated with many powerful deities whose presence is certainly welcome in the house.

In Nepal and the surrounding areas, there is a deity associated with snakebite whose name is Janguli and whose province extends to poisoning generally. Since the snake will strike a human being when it has been startled or feels threatened, in fundamental images such as the Wheel of Samsara it appears at the hub with the **** and the pig as an apt symbol for unprovoked and/or uncontrolled anger.

In Tibetan Buddhist iconography, the serpent or snake appears most often as a symbol of anger, one of the 3 defilements or veils. The others are attachment and ignorance. It is therefore considered the appropriate ornament of the wrathful deities. For example, Vajrakila or Vajrakilaya [Tib. Dorje-purba] who is also called Benzarkila, has his hair tied up in a white snake. In his ears are a pair of yellow ones, and around his neck is a red one. Green snakes form his anklets and bracelets, while a black serpent serves as a sautiere or waist-length necklace.
The identities of some of these snakes are: blue Ananta, red Takshata, striped Kulika, white Padma, yellow Shankapala, green Jaya, nectar-coloured Vasuki, white Mahapadma.

The wrathful deity of purification, Vajrakila, holds a p'hurba [Tibetan,] a "spirit nail" or spirit dagger with entwined snakes on its triangular blade.

Is the Iron Pillar of Delhi the ultimate p'hurba ?

The famous Chinese opera Baishe Zhuan usually called in English, The Legend of the White Snake tells how two snakes or nagas, a white one and a green sometimes called blue or black, and variously described as White Snake's mate, son or handmaid descend from their heavenly abode in the mountains or the depths of West Lake to the land of mortals. Following the usual demon-lover motif or "werewolf" story, a man falls in love with Madam White Snake only to suffer dire consequences. A Taoist priest tries to remove the enchantment but fails and calls upon his friend the Buddhist abbot who succeeds in pinning her under a "thunderbolt" pagoda while she is in her human state. Her shed skin is burnt in the fire.

Read a view of the evolution of this myth by Whalen Lai as published in Asian Folklore Studies, April 1992, v. 51 n.1 51-66.

The details of the story vary considerably in the different popular versions which include comic books, films and several different theatrical and operatic productions. One of the more common accounts has the naga bewitched by a festive drink of alcohol. A highlight of many operas has a reconciliation scene at Broken Bridge symbol of the link between the realms.

According to one novelization.
A 1993 film called The Green Snake.
Aaron Shep's excellent collection of resources.

Wisdom of the Ages
In the New Testament, Matthew 10:16 reported that Jesus once advised: "Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." It was believed, in the Roman world, that snakes lived forever; that they therefore knew all there was to know having lived since the beginning of Time. The evidence for this belief was that they shed their skins as they aged, continuously renewing themselves.

Indian mythology tells how Vasuki the eldest son of Kashyapa, ancient Tortoise-father who is the earth's foundation and Kadru ancient Garuda-mother served as the rope Mount Mandara or Meru served as the paddle by which the gods churned the Milky Ocean at the beginning of time to get amrita.

The serpent, Karkotaka, is worn like a necklace around the neck of the Eternal Yogi of India, Lord Shiva. As decorations, snakes denote eternal wisdom, since they are believed to be extremely long-lived. Snakes are worshipped on Nag Panchami, the fifth day of the waxing moon in Shravan, during the time of the rains. Some say the ritual is a protective measure against the increased likelihood of snake bite, for the animals abandon their flooded dens at that time of the year.

Putting an end to the serpent sacrifices nag yajna.

Vishnu sleeps on the coils of the serpent Shesha Duration who is also called Ananta Endless on whose hoods rests the earth. This serpent or naga king serves also as the bracelet of Lord Shiva and can function as his bowstring or his chariot axle. He became the primordial sustainer who holds up the earth on his head. Every now and then, he must relax his head and neck and shift position which is what was believed to be the cause of earthquakes.

See Krishna dancing on the heads of Kalinga. In The Jungle Book, Kipling calls the cobra, Kaa.

One of the first three forms that a child first makes playing with modeling clay is the long thin noodle produced by rolling the palm against a flat surface. Even when the child has never seen a snake, that is what she will call it.

Carl Gustav Jung, the founder of one of the schools of psychoanalysis [1875-1961] thought that there are certain meanings associated with form that are consistent across all cultures and all times. For those symbols, he coined the word archetype [ancient universal model.] It is a concept that is no longer accepted with total certainty, but if there is one single animal that is representative of such an archetype, it is certainly the snake.

The Serpent as Opponent
Moses, as related in Exodus, competed with the magicians of the Egyptian court and transformed his staff into a snake with God's help in order to persuade Pharoah to liberate the Israelite slaves. Despite that unique incident where the snake stands for God's intercession, in Judeo-Christian and Islamic societies snakes are invariably associated with the one in the Garden of Eden who encouraged Eve to taste the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Eve's her Hebrew name actually means Source of Life acceptance is viewed as the cause of, and the first case of, sinfulness. Women in many cultures are viewed with suspicion because of Eve's curiosity and her willingness to investigate every aspect of nature. By her association with the serpent, she is considered by Christians to have committed the original sin. She is also considered to be an embodiment of the "nine parts of desire" an Islamic phrase that is a threat to the virtue of men.

In the Zoroastrian [pre-Islamic Persian] cosmogony, Azidahaka, the serpent-demon defeats Yima, the first mortal, cutting him in two. Yama and Yami are the cosmic twins of Indian mythology, and Yama becomes Lord of Death.

Serpents feature prominently in Egyptian mythology. For example, the goddess Sati was a snake who preyed upon the dead. [In Hindu mythology, Sati is Shiva's first wife who is usually thought of as a beautiful teenage girl.]

Apep, the cosmic serpent, was the adversary of Ra, god of light and life in ancient Egypt. He was the one who chased Ra through the skies, finally conquering him in the evening. Dawn arrives when Ra emerges from the body of Apep. At the temple of Nut, the sky goddess, at Heliopolis, Apep was finally buried having been slain by Ra who had taken the form of a cat.

The snake as archetype of darkness is older than Egypt, since the goddess of primeval waters known to the Babylonians as Tiamat was pictured as a great sea serpent. When her cult was replaced with that of a sky god, Bel Marduk, she became the adversary whose bloody corpse provided the matter out which a new creation was formed.

<Baal, or Bel Marduk

In Japan, too, the snake has negative associations. It is thought of as malicious and vengeful, but this may be an interpretation of its changeable naga-nature, since it often transforms itself into a dragon.

In Norse/Teutonic mythology, at the root of the World Tree, Yggdrasil, is the serpent Nidhog whose gnawing at its roots which makes its stability uncertain. A symbol then, of chaos, this world-encircling Midgard serpent is seen as an opponent of Thor.

Changing Perceptions
The loathing for snakes was considered normal in the Western world until very recently. The satirical television cartoon The Simpsons, pokes fun at it this prejudice in the show about a Springfield tradition thought to have been initiated by the town's founder, Jedediah Springfield.

On Whacking Day, every person's duty was to go out and beat snakes to death, preferably with a ritual Whacking Stick. This episode, featuring Lisa's successful campaign against the mindless destruction of serpents, challenges the doctrine of a person's right to kill an animal for ritual reasons.

Earth Spirit
Though the snake in the Biblical story found in "Genesis" is a tree-dweller, the archetypical serpent is, according to Jung, ". . . a being of primordial, dark, earthbound, underworld ways."

Classical Greek mythology with its deities of the sky and stars, provides clues to an earlier culture that had focused upon the earth. These early earth gods are known as the chthonic deities, and they usually appear merely as nasty animals in the mythology of younger civilizations. For example, the child Herakles [Hercules to the Romans] strangled two giant serpents.

Later in life, he killed the 9-headed serpentine Hydra in one of the labours imposed by King Eurystheus. We can recognize in this serpent a typical naga.

The conflict between two different mythologies appears thinly veiled in the story of the beautiful girl, Medusa, fairest of the Gorgon sisters who was cursed by Athena.

And the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, where the motto was Know Thyself, was situated upon the site of an ancient serpent temple. Legend held that the god of healing, reason and music had vanquished the monstrous python called Typhon, who had determinedly stalked Leto, mother of Artemis and Apollo, even before she delivered her twins.

Later, the special female oracle at the Apollonian shrine continued to be known as the Pythia [pythoness] in commemoration of the subjugation of the great serpent that was perhaps a naga.

Like Thor, storm god of the Norse, who struggled with the world-encircling Midgard serpent that formed the barrier to chaos, the Hindu god Krishna also killed serpents. In this kind of myth, the serpent embodies a certain energy or force of nature that cannot be subdued by the powers of mind alone. To experience this energy or benefit from it, we have to make use, not only of physical but mental, and also psycho-physical means.

"Serpent Power"
In the tantric or yogic system, psycho-physical energy is called Kundalini [Sanskrit: coil of rope.] It is a form of energy that is referred to as if female, and it is described as having the thickness of the hair of a boar, and coiled 3-1/2 times around a symbolic lingam at the base of the spine where it is in an almost dormant state.

It seems vertebrates, people included, do have a vestigial "brain" at the lower end of the nervous system which is a structural throwback to earlier evolutionary forms. This is the same neurological nexus that, in decapitated chickens, allows them to live sometimes for several months.

Kundalini can be accessed and stimulated, using certain techniques of sound and breathing with meditation and visualization, to progress upwards until it reaches the top of the head. On its way, it engages or stimulates the chakras which are networks, usually described as discs or wheels. These 5 [or 7] chakras are centers corresponding to levels of awareness. An experienced practitioner may be able to direct it to any one chakra, or to all of them progressively; even out through the top of the head.

It is not a good idea to experiment with this energy except under the guidance of an experienced teacher since the results can be unpredictable.

One person shares the kundalini experience.

All About Nagas: Is there a distinction between serpent and naga?
More about the Good Snake
David Icke's catalogue of snake in myth and symbol Reptile Resources
Learn and guess the species of snake

Snake Attack

First Aid for snake bite.

If you have a pet snake or other reptile, don’t go for it suddenly when it is hungry, or when it has been basking in the sun or is coiled on its heat rock -- especially when it is about to shed and cannot see well. When the snake or lizard's body temperature is at its upper limit is when they seem to be the most aggressive.

Try to control your impulse to hit or " discipline" your pet. There is no point, and it might make it fearful of you creating, more aggressive behaviour. If your snake is "stuck" to you, remember its fangs are curved and you need to get them out the same way they curved in. Firmly hold the head without dragging or pulling and "unhook" yourself evenly, so that you do not injure one of the fangs or tear your skin..

Snakes and lizards can have dangerous bacteria like salmonella in their mouths and the puncture wounds caused by their teeth can drive these organisms deep into your tissues.

Wash immediately after being bitten for at least 10 minutes in hot, running water using an iodine or other antibacterial soap. Then pour hydrogen peroxide over the wound. It does not sting or damage tissues like alcohol does. Then call or see a doctor, who may decide to prescribe antibiotics as a preventive measure.


Owners of pythons, boas and other constrictors should always have several mirrors around their place so that should the snake coil itself around you, you will be able to locate its tail. Unless you grasp the tail as well as the head, there is little chance you can unwind it -- and you can't get hold of something that you cannot see to find.

Try to figure out why it happened later, so there will be less of a chance of it happening again.
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"He who controls others maybe powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.” - Lao Tsu
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Using rocks and minerals to heal the earth and us.

« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2007, 01:20:11 pm »

From the Boreas posting above is a reference to "Lotus-eaters".  In Felice Vinci's Homer in the Baltic, he identifies the term merely to mean "vegetarians".   This was an unusual practice at the time.  I will search for more of his explanation.
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Thus ye may find in thy mental and spiritual self, ye can make thyself just as happy or just as miserable as ye like. How miserable do ye want to be?......For you GROW to heaven, you don't GO to heaven. It is within thine own conscience that ye grow there.

Edgar Cayce
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Posts: 1688

Using rocks and minerals to heal the earth and us.

« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2007, 12:46:31 pm »

Calyx krater, Lucania, South Italy, 400 BC. Detail of the final scene from Euripedes' Medea with Medea fleeing in a chariot drawn by crested serpents, following the murder of her children. She is dressed in an ornate robe and Phyrgian tassled helmet, the chariot surrounded by a "solar mandorla".

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Thus ye may find in thy mental and spiritual self, ye can make thyself just as happy or just as miserable as ye like. How miserable do ye want to be?......For you GROW to heaven, you don't GO to heaven. It is within thine own conscience that ye grow there.

Edgar Cayce
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Posts: 441

« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2007, 09:55:00 pm »


The **** of The Bronze Serpent
(Numbers 21, 4-20)

4 They traveled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea, [c] to go around Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the desert? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!"

6 Then the LORD sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, "We sinned when we spoke against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take the snakes away from us." So Moses prayed for the people.

8 The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live." 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived."

From there they continued on to Beer, the well where the LORD said to Moses, "Gather the people together and I will give them water."

17 Then Israel sang this song:
"Spring up, O well!
Sing about it,

18 about the well that the princes dug,
that the nobles of the people sank—
the nobles with scepters and staffs."
Then they went from the desert to Mattanah, 19 from Mattanah to Nahaliel, from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20 and from Bamoth to the valley in Moab where the top of Pisgah overlooks the wasteland.


21:8 And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.

21:9 And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.
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Gens Una Sumus
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« Reply #24 on: July 06, 2007, 10:23:30 pm »

Could have to do with the Alpha-Draconian (Saurian) infiltration of the planet Earth and how they hold political offices around the world.

See David Icke and Alex Collier on
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