Return of the Serpents



These two snakes were mating on the wood pile in the sunroom all afternoon yesterday. At first I thought it was one snake, but it’s two intertwined. My photo doesn’t capture their sublime mating; they remained intertwined, moving just slightly, for hours. Last year, I saw two snakes outside mating in the shape of an infinity symbol. Seeing them is a harbinger of spring.

The snake, or serpent, is a symbol of wisdom and knowledge in traditional societies. Snakes are associated with the life giving properties of the Great Goddess; in India snakes are worshipped as gods and milk is poured over them. The Gorgons of Greek myth, Medusa for one, were snake-women, whose gaze turned flesh to stone. Quetzalcoatl, the Plumed Serpent, was the Aztec spirit of intelilgence.

Even today, we associate the snake with healing by using the Caduceus to symbolize medicine and the Bowl of Hygieia to symbolize pharmacology.

Years ago I moved out of a house because of the snakes. Now I know that there is no more effective pest control than snakes. And, while I sometimes still jump when I see them, I welcome them now. I welcome their wildness.

Peggy O’Mara  (101 Posts)

Peggy O’Mara founded in 1995 and is currently its editor-in chief. She was the editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine from 1980 to 2011. The author of Having a Baby Naturally; Natural Family Living; The Way Back Home; and A Quiet Place, Peggy has lectured and conducted workshops at Omega Institute, Esalen, La Leche League International, and Bioneers. She is the mother of four.

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