Apech

Serpent Lore

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I found this old thread about frogs and snakes which has some nice pictures:

 

 

and I thought I'd use it as a jumping off point.

 

I can mostly talk about Egyptian snakes and serpents - because that's what I know a little about - but also we could cover the Nagas from Indian mythology and I'm not sure what Daoism has in the way serpents.  Then we have the old favourite of kundalini serpent power.

 

Just to kick off from the 'snakes and frogs' thread I should mention the Egyptian Ogdoad.  These are eight deities which represent primordial chaos - they are four pairs male and female of frogs and water snakes.  Their names mean 'wateriness', 'darkness', 'infinity' and 'hiddenness' and they were worshiped in Khemenu (City of the Eight) which the Greeks called Hermopolis.

 

couples-of-the-Ogdoad.jpg?itok=zCgQ6IRD

 

the word for infinite or chaos was often represented by a tadpole - you can imagine a pool full of squirming tadpoles.

 

Because they are amphibians they live on the edge between water and dry land - in fact they metamorphose from one to the other - so you can see the idea of something which originally belongs in the primordial water (soup) and emerges onto dry land as suggesting how things are energised by the infinite to create life.

 

 

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Some of the great temples o/ Egypt seem to be attempting to emulating this land water interface .   The  masses of tall pillars like reeds,  some topped with lotus, somewhat crowded together , the light streaming down through them.  I spent some time in meditation in that zone , underwater in the river here  ( with a face mask and breathing tube ) .

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQkZK_lVVPsuyl6MHINcog

 

Ya gotta luv a people that deify  primordial darkness - kek.     :)   

 

Whose female counterpart was  kauket .

 

KEK ! ....     kauket  .........................  kek .... kauket  ...............................  kek .... kauket

 

 

 

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Khemenu was called Hermopolis by the Greek because it was a place of worship for the wisdom and magic god Thoth (Hermes for the Greeks) already. Thoth was considered a Moon god, so there we may have a connection to the moist, nocturnal, "chaotic" origin of the ogdoas.

 

Moreover, the link of those eight primordial deities to infinity you mentioned is quite remarkable, as the mathematical symbol for infinity is a figure eight lying on its side. We see this symbol floating above the head of the Magician in the Tarot - most explicitly in the Rider-Waite version, but hinted at in earlier decks as well.

 

the-magician-tarot-card-from-the-rider-tarot-cards-designed-by-pamela-colman-smith-under-supervision-of-arthur-edward-waite-isolated-on-white-2B69G5G.thumb.jpg.50cfd824d000fc52d93ff813d0ebef05.jpg

 

And of course, this Magician was identified with Hermes/Thoth by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, whose teachings so many Tarot decks are (directly or indirectly) based on.

 

Furthermore, one of the most characteristic symbols of Hermes/Thoth is the caducaeus or wand with the double serpents representing the solar and lunar energy respectively.

 

depositphotos_142204810-stock-photo-caduceus-medical-symbol-3d-render.thumb.jpg.971241cdd037b3f942960f4b14e0f974.jpg

 

This symbol is related to the three channels located in the area of the spine according both to Yogic philosophy and to Tibetan Buddhism, and therefore with kundalini, 'the serpent power' (see Arthur Avalon's classic with the same title).

 

Comes to mind that there was another deity, called Shepsi,  worshipped in Khemenu from the 18th dynasty on. Shepsi had some lunar attributes as well, even though was essentially a Sun god, sometimes depicted with the solar disk on top of his head. At the time, he was attributed with having created the ogdoas in the first place.

 

It is quite fascinating to see how these various characters and symbols revolve and evolve around common themes over the course of millenia and throughout different cultures.

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11_Hour.jpg

 

Three other serpents worthy of note from Egypt conveniently shown in one illustration (11th Hour Amduat).

 

At the top left hand, the god Atum stands holding the wings of the legged serpent Neheb-kau.  Note:  winged serpent with legs = dragon.  There is also a serpent related to a constellation shown just in front - this is the 11th hour of the night so just before dawn - so this will mean those stars which indicate the sunrise.  Neheb-kau means 'Uniter of kas' - kas are expressions of energy and the serpent is the continuum of energy/awareness from which forms of existence emerge.

 

In the centre the Sun on his boat (shown as a a ram) is covered by a snake whose name is Mehen - which means coiled one.  This is the same snake which completely enwraps the soul of the sun in the 6th hour and is thought to be the origin of the symbol of the Ouroboros.  

 

Again in front of the boat the Sun's attendants carry a huge serpent on their heads - this one is called 'world encircler'  and is a form of Mehen which is said to form the boundary of all that exists and has existed.

 

 

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Fu Xi and Nu Wa are depicted as having snake legs. Also, the anguiped has this feature and is found in Greco-Roman, Indo, Persian motif and coins. Not sure what it means, but it seems widespread.

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I know little about the subject but the Lu (Skt- naga) occupy an important place in the Bön tradition. They are the focus of mythology, offering rituals, even tantric practices.

 

Here is some info -

https://ravencypresswood.com/2019/01/05/our-otherworldly-neighbors-the-lu/

 

Here is an interesting overview of various serpent related forms in various cultures -

http://www.mt-kailash.ru/english-version/a-study-of-naga-beings-as-a-global-phenomenon-and-their-relation-with-kailash-manosarovar-region.html

 

 

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I talked about this before, but I  will put it here because its  .... snakey.  When my shamanic teacher got bitten by a venomous snake, he just went away and sat down for a couple of days , not to be disturbed .   He returned, recovered , saying he now had internally transmuted the venom into a medicine  and now had  the wisdom and magic of that snake .  Apparently its happened about 3 times , so he has three different snake powers .

 

Errrmmmmm ......  I dont feel I am ready for  that  yet !   :o

 

I have found that not only do I have a real like and affinity with diamond python ( rainbow serpent )  but also with people that have  this snake as their totem .  . . I feel comfortable with them . 

 

 

ut7azdpg2fo41.jpg

Edited by Nungali
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2 hours ago, Nungali said:

I talked about this before, but I  will put it here because its  .... snakey.  When my shamanic teacher got bitten by a venomous snake, he just went away and sat down for a couple of days , not to be disturbed .   He returned, recovered , saying he now had internally transmuted the venom into a medicine  and now had  the wisdom and magic of that snake .  Apparently its happened about 3 times , so he has three different snake powers .

 

Errrmmmmm ......  I dont feel I am ready for  that  yet !   :o

 

I have found that not only do I have a real like and affinity with diamond python ( rainbow serpent )  but also with people that have  this snake as their totem .  . . I feel comfortable with them . 

 

 

ut7azdpg2fo41.jpg

 

That's an awesome story, Nungers! Reminiscent of the Shamanic teaching that the  very demons that torment the initiate turn into a source of power once (s)he gained control over them. A principle that is applicable to so-called negative emotions in general - consistent with what I shared regarding the Hermetic way of transforming emotions in Apech's other current thread "Emotions are the Path".

 

Lovely pet you have there, BTW. :wub:

Edited by Michael Sternbach

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On 9/26/2020 at 3:56 AM, Apech said:

11_Hour.jpg

 

Three other serpents worthy of note from Egypt conveniently shown in one illustration (11th Hour Amduat).

 

At the top left hand, the god Atum stands holding the wings of the legged serpent Neheb-kau.  Note:  winged serpent with legs = dragon.  There is also a serpent related to a constellation shown just in front - this is the 11th hour of the night so just before dawn - so this will mean those stars which indicate the sunrise.  Neheb-kau means 'Uniter of kas' - kas are expressions of energy and the serpent is the continuum of energy/awareness from which forms of existence emerge.

 

In the centre the Sun on his boat (shown as a a ram) is covered by a snake whose name is Mehen - which means coiled one.  This is the same snake which completely enwraps the soul of the sun in the 6th hour and is thought to be the origin of the symbol of the Ouroboros.  

 

Again in front of the boat the Sun's attendants carry a huge serpent on their heads - this one is called 'world encircler'  and is a form of Mehen which is said to form the boundary of all that exists and has existed.

 

 

Thank you, Apech This pic is such a gift, describing an initiation that I had the privilege of participating in while passing through one of the earth gates.

 

 

The Amduat (Ancient Egyptian: jmj dwꜣt, literally "That Which Is In the Afterworld", also translated as "Text of the Hidden Chamber Which is in the Underworld" and "Book of What is in the Underworld") is an important ancient Egyptian funerary text of the New Kingdom of Egypt.

https://www.google.com/search?q=Amduat&rlz=1C1OKWM_enUS873US873&oq=Amduat&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i60l2&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Edited by mrpasserby
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10 hours ago, steve said:

I know little about the subject but the Lu (Skt- naga) occupy an important place in the Bön tradition. They are the focus of mythology, offering rituals, even tantric practices.

 

Here is some info -

https://ravencypresswood.com/2019/01/05/our-otherworldly-neighbors-the-lu/

 

Here is an interesting overview of various serpent related forms in various cultures -

http://www.mt-kailash.ru/english-version/a-study-of-naga-beings-as-a-global-phenomenon-and-their-relation-with-kailash-manosarovar-region.html

 

 

There is also the Red Garuda (Khyung mar) in Bön, a yidam that is connected to the nagas in various ways according to customs -

 

https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?title=Garuda

 

 

 

https://www.quora.com/If-Garuda-and-Nagas-are-enemies-why-does-he-hold-some-of-them-like-Vaasuki-on-his-body

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8 hours ago, Michael Sternbach said:

 

That's an awesome story, Nungers! Reminiscent of the Shamanic teaching that the  very demons that torment the initiate turn into a source of power once (s)he gained control over them. A principle that is applicable to so-called negative emotions in general - consistent with what I shared regarding the Hermetic way of transforming emotions in Apech's other current thread "Emotions are the Path".

 

Lovely pet you have there, BTW. :wub:

 

 

Yep.  There are 3 main 'spooks' in that area  , and most of the people there are really scared of them .  Uncle Lewi tells me how they are his guardians and look after him, one can detect a real emotional fondness in his voice when he speaks of them .

 

That snake was a random internet pic  ,  put up because  I liked it  :)   I was looking for a picture of 'Gelati' a hybrid python with near fluorescent multi colors , but couldnt find one .

 

Here is  the type more likely to  be a pet here ,   diamond python / rainbow serpent , here the north and south species and  make a natural hybrid  - as  a few other animals can  (  which often make them hard to identify ) .

 

Morelia spilota spilota

 

6330961229_d0cd63b2e3_b.jpg

 

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTwg8rwBeuDtbhUBpHk1QW

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