Temptation – Sin – Evil
In Christianity, the snake has always represented Satan and evil. The snake has tempted Eve to eat the fruit and it is therefore also viewed as a symbol of temptation and sin.
Chinese Zodiac Symbol
The snake is one of the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac associated with the following years: 1905, 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, and 2013. According to the Chinese, it does not represent evil and danger, but instead it symbolizes gracefulness, wisdom, perceptiveness, gentleness and calmness.
Different snakes can cause death within minutes, and with just one lethal strike. For this reason, they have also always represented the symbol of poison, as well as of hate, death and danger.
This is one of the snake’s positive symbols. The healing god Asclepius has always wielded a rod with one single snake wrapped around it, and since then, this wand has become a symbol of medicine and healing.
However, many other cultures all over the world also associate snakes with healing powers.
Rebirth and Renewal
Snakes have the ability to shed off the old skin and reappear new and shiny, up to a few times a year. This act of shedding and renewing represent transformation, rebirth, regeneration, as well as a new start.
Snakes are also considered protectors of the underworld in Greco-Roman ideology, as well as protectors of the sacred knowledge of numerous priests and priestesses. As symbols of protection, they were also wrapped around the sun-disk that some Egyptian Gods and Goddesses wore.
Owing to its phallic shape, snake has long been considered as the symbol of fertility. This is also due to the fact that many snakes mate in large balls of intertwined individuals, and within these breeding balls one female may have as many as 100 males around her!
Life and Death
The symbol of life and death is linked to poison. Snakes often represent that brief moment between life and death, due to their ability to take away someone’s life in matter of seconds. While doing it, they look directly into your eyes, or to put it better, into your soul. In this way they also represent power.
Snake’s venom and the snake’s bite are therefore symbols of life and death in many myths and legends throughout the world.
Circle of Life – Cycles of the Universe – Eternity
Snake is often depicted curled into a circle, or hoop, while eating its own tail. This represents the circle of life, as well as the symbol of eternity. In other words, it shows the cyclical nature of the Universe, which is constantly changing and flowing.
Many ancient civilizations associate snakes with wisdom, probably due to their incredible ability to ponder their actions and movements, as they prepare to attack.
The shedding of their skin indicates their power to transform themselves, and this shows the wisdom they possess.
If you already have, or would like to get, a snake tattoo, please share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments below. We’d love to learn more about snake tattoos!
Cover photo: ankooru.deviantart.com