Author Topic: The Symbol of the Serpent  (Read 932 times)

merytseth

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The Symbol of the Serpent
« on: May 23, 2017, 12:53:10 pm »
Since the Serpent is the symbol of our own order, I thought it would be good to begin a discussion of the Serpent as a symbol in various religions and cultures.

To begin with, the most obvious example is, of course, the Genesis Serpent.  After being warned that if they eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil they will "surely die," the serpent tells Eve (or Chava, as I prefer the Hebrew names) that she will not die, but rather that they will become like god, and god does not wish that to happen.  Sure enough, once the fruit is eaten, the Angel says "Now he is like us."  In this, arguably the central myth of the Judeo-Christian mythology, the Serpent tells the truth, and God lies.  Genesis makes no attempt to obfuscate it.  This makes it clear to me that the Genesis Serpent is not intended to be a stand-in for evil, but rather is used as the Serpent is often used in mythology and symbolism, to represent knowledge and wisdom and, in the case of the Genesis myth, as the supplier of isolate consciousness and self awareness; to place it into our own terms, the guardian of Xeper, and the custodian of the path to godhood.

There are many other examples of the Serpent as a symbol for wisdom.  The Caduceus and Rod of Asclepius are two more well known examples.  

The Egyptian netjer Wadjet takes the form of a Serpent, and is the protector of Lower Egypt, associated with other netjeru including Bast, Sakhmet, and Mut (the World-Mother).  In this role she takes on a solar aspect, as Bast and Sakhmet are Eyes of Ra, but Wadjet is also associated with the eclipsing binary star Algol (meaning "The Demon," appropriately enough), which represents the eye in the severed head of Medusa in the modern constellation Perseus.  I've been interested in Wadjet as a stellar netjer for a while and may put together an essay on the subject.

What are some other favorite instances of the Serpent in mythology?
« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 01:15:23 pm by merytseth »

Xepera maSet

Re: The Symbol of the Serpent
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2017, 01:19:26 pm »
There's the Draco constellation of course, the Sumerian primordial servant Tiamat, Moses' staff...
AKA: Three Scarabs, 1137

"You look up into the night sky - whether as a child or an adult - and if you open yourself honestly, then it is a gateway to mystery, to the unknown."

merytseth

  • Guest
Re: The Symbol of the Serpent
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2017, 01:49:54 pm »
There's the Draco constellation of course, the Sumerian primordial servant Tiamat, Moses' staff...
The staff of Moses, another instance of the Serpent in connection with Egypt (and Rameses II, no less).  There is also the Nehustan, the bronze serpent that heals the ancient Hebrews after god sends "fiery serpents" to kill them.  I'd forgotten about that one.

merytseth

  • Guest
Re: The Symbol of the Serpent
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2017, 02:32:08 pm »
I ran across this paper on the Serpent in Ancient Egypt, which to my surprise had some references to Setian philosophy and the Black Flame.  It turns out to be written by Joan Ann Lansberry, author of Images of Set.  I'm linking it here and plan to put together a commentary once I've read it more thoroughly, but it seems a good addition to the conversation.

http://www.joanannlansberry.com/other/s-power2.pdf

Setamontet

Re: The Symbol of the Serpent
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2017, 02:41:45 pm »
Yes, I remember Adept Joan Lansberry, a good friend to me in my Temple of Set days. 

"Arise in your glory, behold the genius of your creation, and be prideful of being,
for I am the same - I who am the Highest of Life." - The Word of Set

Xepera maSet

Re: The Symbol of the Serpent
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2017, 02:42:38 pm »
PDF warning: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=http://rbedrosian.com/Egypt/Cooper_Serpent_Egypt.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwiRmPW34obUAhUKjFQKHe3aCI8QFggkMAM&usg=AFQjCNE_0dFQ_iKeBr71DbwSffLDvfYDag&sig2=O1SOoIyBWiXFrEX-QMpPnA

I also love Lansberry. 
AKA: Three Scarabs, 1137

"You look up into the night sky - whether as a child or an adult - and if you open yourself honestly, then it is a gateway to mystery, to the unknown."

Xepera maSet

« Last Edit: May 23, 2017, 07:32:35 pm by Xepera maSet »
AKA: Three Scarabs, 1137

"You look up into the night sky - whether as a child or an adult - and if you open yourself honestly, then it is a gateway to mystery, to the unknown."

Setamontet

Re: The Symbol of the Serpent
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2017, 08:24:47 am »

The Statement of Leviathan
From the Diabolicon


Before God or Angel, Daimon or man, there was Leviathan alone, Principle of continuity and ageless existence.  By relation and time I have oft been sought, but Leviathan shall yield to none other than the final Master of the Universe.


Leviathan is the Absolute, man, and if thou would presume to realize what neither Heaven nor Hell may effect, know that when thou behold the presence of Leviathan, thy end hath been attained.


Only through obliteration of the Universe that is may man seal his Mastery of the Black Flame, for only thus may he know that he is not subject to a greater Will.


Heaven must perish, Hell must perish, and man alone must remain ere the Black Flame becomes Red in the glory of its perfection.


Then the Red Magus shall behold only Leviathan, and he shall recognize that he has become the perfect mind, who shall remake the Cosmos in the eternal glory of his Setian Will.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2017, 11:14:15 am by Setamontet »

"Arise in your glory, behold the genius of your creation, and be prideful of being,
for I am the same - I who am the Highest of Life." - The Word of Set

Blackwulf

Re: The Symbol of the Serpent
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2017, 11:01:31 am »
In Norse mythology there are various serpents/dragons.  You of course have the Midgard Serpent, son of Loki, but  there is also Fafnir and Nidhoggr.   Odin himself becomes a Serpent when he is trying to recover the Mead of Poetry/Inspiration from the giant Suttungr.  He basically tunnels through a mountain in that form to break into the giant's home.  
   

merytseth

  • Guest
Re: The Symbol of the Serpent
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2017, 08:14:41 pm »
While researching this I have had something of a revelation regarding the serpent as a representation of the sacred feminine, originating with Wadjet in Egypt and proceeding via Minoan culture into the Hellenic realm, and arguably echoed in Mesopotamian and Hebrew myth.  I will have more to say on this in the coming weeks, but I am finding the connections stirring and profound.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2017, 08:16:40 pm by merytseth »

Xepera maSet

Re: The Symbol of the Serpent
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2017, 06:50:24 pm »
I think that Draco is certainly a serpentine feminine deity, and Set or whatever his equivelent is simply her child. Indeed, Set was originally the sole son of Nuit, Goddess of the Stars, and associated with Taweret if we remember the findings of my Taweret project a few months back.
AKA: Three Scarabs, 1137

"You look up into the night sky - whether as a child or an adult - and if you open yourself honestly, then it is a gateway to mystery, to the unknown."

W_Adam_Smythe

Re: The Symbol of the Serpent
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2017, 10:52:34 am »
I like Damballah.

merytseth

  • Guest
Re: The Symbol of the Serpent
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2017, 01:46:10 pm »
Very nice!  Since I've been reading about alchemy lately, I'm growing rather fond of the Ouroboros.


Kapalika

Re: The Symbol of the Serpent
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2017, 03:56:35 am »
Shiva is pretty much always depicted with a snake chillin on his shoulder, it's tail wrapped around his neck.

No idea what it means, other than he likes snakes. Hm. Why don't I ever think about these kinds of things? Time to search...

Okay, some internet searching tells me it's called Vasuki which was "the Serpents' king". There seems to be some mythology behind this as well as more symbolism but that's all Purana stuff and so I ain't interested in that.

Something else that came up is that it represents Shakti energy of the Kundalini. Now we are talkin'! It also seems that the serpent represents Shiva's mastery over fear and death. Which is also very fitting IMO, and even reminds me of some of the most hardcore LHP Shaiva paths... hmm...
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My religion is Satanism & Trika via Vāmācāra (Left Hand path)
"God and the individual are one, to realize this is the essence of Shaivism.” - Lakshman Joo

Deidre

Re: The Symbol of the Serpent
« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2017, 09:57:27 pm »
Since the Serpent is the symbol of our own order, I thought it would be good to begin a discussion of the Serpent as a symbol in various religions and cultures.

To begin with, the most obvious example is, of course, the Genesis Serpent.  After being warned that if they eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil they will "surely die," the serpent tells Eve (or Chava, as I prefer the Hebrew names) that she will not die, but rather that they will become like god, and god does not wish that to happen.  Sure enough, once the fruit is eaten, the Angel says "Now he is like us."  In this, arguably the central myth of the Judeo-Christian mythology, the Serpent tells the truth, and God lies.  Genesis makes no attempt to obfuscate it.  This makes it clear to me that the Genesis Serpent is not intended to be a stand-in for evil, but rather is used as the Serpent is often used in mythology and symbolism, to represent knowledge and wisdom and, in the case of the Genesis myth, as the supplier of isolate consciousness and self awareness; to place it into our own terms, the guardian of Xeper, and the custodian of the path to godhood.

There are many other examples of the Serpent as a symbol for wisdom.  The Caduceus and Rod of Asclepius are two more well known examples. 

The Egyptian netjer Wadjet takes the form of a Serpent, and is the protector of Lower Egypt, associated with other netjeru including Bast, Sakhmet, and Mut (the World-Mother).  In this role she takes on a solar aspect, as Bast and Sakhmet are Eyes of Ra, but Wadjet is also associated with the eclipsing binary star Algol (meaning "The Demon," appropriately enough), which represents the eye in the severed head of Medusa in the modern constellation Perseus.  I've been interested in Wadjet as a stellar netjer for a while and may put together an essay on the subject.

What are some other favorite instances of the Serpent in mythology?

Bolded by me. I'm so glad I came across this thread, because this is exactly what I'd hope to learn - why is the Christian view of the serpent in the garden, 'evil?' As a former Christian, I'd say that one of the main tenets of faith, has to do with not being self-important. To be concerned with self, to want to care for ourselves independent of a god, would be considered sinful. The truth though is, self awareness is empowering, and positive. It's not evil. It's not negative. But, the Christian slant is that it negates the need for a god to guide our lives, if we think that we can control our own thoughts and actions.

As a former Christian, I remember thinking that the story was absurd and that anyone who would take it literally, was gullible. But, Christianity also passes the serpent off to be god-like. On the same par with God. Which when we think about it, that makes no sense, really. If I'm self aware, I'm god-like? But, God from the stories I've read in the Bible, is thought to be omniscient and omnipotent. So, how could eating the forbidden fruit turn us into almighty powerful gods?

The story at best, is an allegory for morality, or perhaps, to scare Christians into thinking that if you disobey God, horrible things will happen. Any way we view this story, it sounds ridiculous at the least, and horrifying at its worst. Genesis was where I lost my respect for Christianity, and that's what would be the beginning of the end for me, with religion in general.

The serpent was telling the truth, that is mind blowing for someone like me, who always was taught that the serpent was the liar of the story.  :rolleyes:
"Don't look for riches, look for rich experiences." - Lucian Black


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