At its core there is a duality embodied in the Snake.
On the one hand it is seen by many as a personification of evil (thanks to the Garden of Eden* story), while on the other it has long been associated with health, regeneration and renewal. In fact, even today the Snake is used as a medical symbol by many healthcare organizations, represented by the Caduceus (twin snakes wrapped around a winged staff) and more appropriately the Rod of Asclepius (a single serpent-entwined rod).
This same duality is evident with respect to the Snake itself, with some species being poisonous while others are not. And in healthcare, where many medicines which aid healing can also prove fatal if taken improperly.
Throughout this dynamic tension of opposites, however, the Snake remains grounded.
It comes to remind us that things are not always how they appear to be on the surface. And that a healthy way forward in life is found by attentively following the “mean between extremes” as it unfolds from moment to moment.
“Do not be bewildered by the surfaces; in the depths everything becomes law.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Some questions to guide your meditation:
- Is there some aspect of your life which requires a closer examination right now?
- If you are currently suffering through a health issue, have you considered getting a second (or third) opinion or exploring a different treatment option?
- If you are feeling “stuck” in a certain situation, what might need to be released or renewed?
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* Interestingly enough even the Garden of Eden story highlights duality, since the Serpent urged Eve to “eat the fruit from the tree of good and evil.”