The Serpent is a Powerful Spiritual Symbol or Metaphor

By Sandra Weaver

The serpent or snake is revered worldwide. It's shown over and over again as a potent deity. The snake is associated with both the negative and positive duality, even in Christianity. This is shown in the Bible in the story of Adam and Eve.

Another motif is rebirth or renewal. This creature has the ability to shed its old skin when it grows it. The casting off of this skin metaphorically, represents the release of old ways of thinking that don't work in our lives. The fresh new skin found underneath is rebirth and new beginnings...purification.

To many cultures the power of the serpent is in its representation of vital energy. This energy remains coiled within at the base of our spine in the sacrum, a triangular bone. There it sits dormant until it's ready to move. The movement of the kundalini is the final joining of the masculine and the feminine through the heart. The heart represents balance and cannot be bypassed or the kundalini energy will bring death instead of freedom.

Suppression and denial of our own feminine side (our own feeling sides or intuition) keeps us from experiencing this balance. It's played out as the reflection in the world by rules, judgments, expectations, guilt and finally denial of these feelings especially against women.

What's happening out there is what's happening within. Movement or acceptance of these long suppressed emotions and inner knowing is being experienced by those getting in touch with their feminine. It isn't always easy to feel these long held feelings but it is necessary. Healthy movement in the kundalini and enlightenment will be the reflection.

The god Quetzalcoatl or feathered serpent is a representation of this kundalini energy within us.

The serpent and its meaning in ancient cultures

The Mound Builders

The "Great Serpent Mound" in Ohio, U.S.A. is one of the largest serpent effigies. The mound is a quarter mile long and five feet high. It was probably much higher in its day. It shows the serpent with a coiled tail and an egg in its mouth. This egg in mouth motif is representative of the potential of actualization through Second Birth or rebirth.

The Hopi Indians

The Hopis worshiped a horned or plumed serpent called Awanyu, which is pictured all over Pueblo art. Awanyu is the guardian of water a precious resource of the Hopi. It is usually rendered as a zigzag that suggests flowing water or lightning...a giver of life and renewal. This serpent strongly resembles the plumed serpent of the Aztec culture.

Some scholars have noted a resemblance between the Quetzalcoatl legend and the myth of the Pahana held by the Hopis of Northern Arizona. In fact, scholars have described many similarities between the myths of the Aztecs and those of the American Southwest.

The Hopi describe the Pahana as the "Lost White Brother," and they expect his eventual return from the east. Upon his return, the true Pahana is prophesied to bring the missing section of a sacred Hopi stone that was possessed by the Fire Clan. It is also said he will destroy the wicked and begin a new era of peace and prosperity. Could this missing piece be our feminine or feeling side? 

Hopi tradition maintains that they also considered the Spanish conquistadors as the Pahana. It didn't take them long to realize the Spanish were not their savior when they arrived on the Hopi mesas in the 16th century. The Hopi's didn't suffer the fate of Mesoamerica, because the Spanish couldn't find any gold so they left.

The Hindus

In the Hindu regions of Asia the serpent or naga is considered a nature spirit. It is the protector of springs, wells and rivers. Serpents bring rain and thus fertility. But, they can also bring floods and drought. The Hindus believe that how the naga treats humanity is representative how we treat the snake and its environment. Serpents also carry the elixir of life and immortality...vital energy.

Pictured: Kurma Avatar of Vishnu, below Mount Mandara, with Vasuki wrapped around it, during Samudra manthan, the churning of the ocean of milk.

What is vital energy?

Vital energy is our true essence. It's our pure and perfect spirits...the joining of our masculine and the feminine energy dancing a perfect dance of harmony and balance. Once we close this gap, we will no longer have limitations or need for physical sustenance, because God's Light will then reach us and sustain us.

It's amazing how cultures who never crossed paths can be so similar in their beliefs. Mystics around the world are familiar with vital energy or kundalini. This energy is known as prana in Sanskirt, chi in China, ki in Japan, and gal in Galic. To the Maya coyopa, translated to "lightning in the blood," represents this vital energy.

"The other roots of "KUNDALINI" are KUNDALIN, serpent, and KALA, time or death. The symbol of the snake has many meanings: ignorance, energy, unhappiness or happiness(duality), death, time and change. In Indian mythology Lord Vishu rests on a thousand-headed snake and sends out the first vibration (Sphurna), from which the entire Universe evolves." Paramhans swami Maheshwarananda, The Hidden Power in Humans, Ibera Verlag

Vibration or movement is the feminine energy. Without it to open the space, there is no creation.

In Sanskrit from India, the serpent power is feminine. She is coiled up three and a half times at the base of the spine. Her mouth engulfs the bottom of the Sushuman nadi or vital force energy channels through which the Shakti energy flows. It's important to realize that this belief is mirrored by many more cultures and religions.

So why did I give you this little history lesson on serpents?

It's the rising upward of this vital energy that was predicted by the Maya for us. This energy rises because our level of consciousness and understanding has risen, causing movement upward through the seven different chakras. 

It's time to release this old denied charge that has built up within us, and becoming a whole person, who not only "thinks" but "feels." It's about bringing the masculine and feminine energies together at the heart and closing the gap that separates them. It's realizing we are only complete when we have both energies working together instead of against each other.

"To be Quetzalcoatl or Kukulcan is to know the seven forces (seven chakras) that govern our body - not only know them but also use them and understand their intimate relationship with natural and cosmic laws. We must comprehend the long and short cycles and the solar laws that sustain our lives. We must know how to die and how to be born." The Secrets of Mayan Science/Religion, Hunbatz Men.

The Codex Nuttall a Post-Classic Mayan manuscript says, Quetzalcoatl was to return to Earth by way of a break in the heavens. He was to emerge from the cavity of the Earth and be met by four shamans from the East. The East represents new beginnings. The Four shamans could be the four cardinal directions. 

The Maya believed the earth itself would rise in spiritual consciousness in 2012. Since humans are part of the earth they could also rise. The changes are still taking place and escalating even though 2012 has past. The chakras of the earth are mirrored by the seven chakras in our own bodies.

"Quetzalcoatl is the nawal or alter ego, counterpart and natural complement of Ometeotl. His mission is to establish communication between Earth and heaven and to unite humanity with God...The essence of his teachings is that human existence must strive to transcend the world of forms that conceals ultimate reality. The means of advancing along the path to spirituality is purification, the only weapon powerful enough to penetrate matter." The Hidden Maya, Martin Brennan


For years before the beginning of the next Great Cycle and years after, we have been asked to take on the values of new age, also know as the Age of Aquarius. A lot of pain is usually experienced during this transition, because we fight the change and the emotions that need to be felt.

It's about shedding that "skin" like the snake to experience rebirth or renewal at a different level of consciousness. We are all aware of our present economic, environment and social chaos. This debacle will intensify, till the cleansing or shedding is complete.

The values of Age of Pisces, which has just passed are money, power and control. They don't work in the present age. Rebirth will come when we internally embrace and practice the values of the new age of love, brotherhood, unity and integrity. The children of today, were born with some of these qualities already in tack.

I see these ancient stories or myths metaphorically. The return of enlightened beings like Quetzalcoatl and Jesus may not be a "physical" returns at all. Instead we may at last become aware of the vital power within us. It would be OUR rebirth to a higher level of consciousness as predicted by the Maya. It's at this level of consciousness we just may realize...

WE are the saviors we've been waiting for. The power is within us and always has been.

The Hidden Maya, Martin Brennan 
The Fourth World of the Hopis, Harold Coulander 
The Secrets of Mayan Science/Religion, Hunbatz Men 
Maya Cosmogenesis 2012, John Major Jenkins 
A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary 
Esoteric Astrology Seminar, Dehyana Lim Lee, Anchoring the Light 
The Right Use of Will, received by Ceanna DeRohan

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Copyright (c) 2008-2014. Sandra (Musser) Weaver, - All rights reserved

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