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Author Topic: Snakes and Deity  (Read 2189 times)

savveir

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Snakes and Deity
« on: October 23, 2013, 12:48:23 pm »
Do you work with, or know of, any Deities associated with snakes?
What's that association like?

Despite snakes being a common motif for me, I personally don't know much about this topic, so I was hoping I could learn more.
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Materialist

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Re: Snakes and Deity
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2013, 01:25:44 pm »
Quote from: savvy;126549
Do you work with, or know of, any Deities associated with snakes?


The only things that come to mind are Cernunnos from Europe, and the nagas, divine snake people, from India.

dionysiandame

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Re: Snakes and Deity
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2013, 01:58:50 pm »
Quote from: savvy;126549
Do you work with, or know of, any Deities associated with snakes?
What's that association like?

Despite snakes being a common motif for me, I personally don't know much about this topic, so I was hoping I could learn more.

 
Both Dionysus and the Morning Star are associated with serpents. In the case of Dionsysus one myth states that Zeus placed a crown of serpents on his head when he was "reborn" from his thigh. And since the serpent, in some cultures, has been linked with ressurection (through the shedding of his skin) that could also lend another level of symbolism to the association. Artwork of Maenads sometimes includes them wearing crowns of snakes, or carrying snakes either in hand or wrapped around the thrysus.

Though there is no Biblical connection between Lucifer and the serpent in the garden of Eden, it is written that a serpent convinced Eve to eat the fruit of the tree of Knowledge and Good and Evil. Some link this event with the development of "free will" and Lucifer, as a Promethean deity (only to some) is also a guardian of free will and man's freedom from authoritarianism.

I see the serpent not as an actual animal in that story but a metaphor of the mental struggle between blind obedience and choice. I also see it as a representation of the role wisdom, through hardship, would come to play in later Biblical stories.

I consider both of my "patrons" (I use that term loosely since it's the best I've got right now) to be head-masters of the schools of hard-knocks. And what creature has been more reviled in modern Western society than the snake?

My personal associations have serpents as relevant to both deities because they are often "hidden" from view and are only sought out by those who have a basic respect and understanding of them. Snakes don't only represent regeneration and wisdom to me but the occult and the mysteries. These two subjects, like a snake, seem to slide effortlessly into small and hidden spaces and stumbling upon either could be a moment of discovery and wonder or a painful trap.

Hopefully this jumbled mess gave you a few ideas. Please bear in mind my Christian mythology might be a bit off so double check me on everything and here *hands you some organic Hawaiian black salt*
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Tay Redgrave

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Re: Snakes and Deity
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2013, 02:57:01 pm »
Quote from: savvy;126549
Do you work with, or know of, any Deities associated with snakes?
I've seen Loki being associated with snakes, and I believe it's because of a) his binding and b) because of his child, Jormungandr (The Midgard Serpent/World Serpent) but there could be more reasons I'm overlooking.

Another deity whom is associated with snakes is Lucifer, but he was already mentioned by dionysiandame.

Those are the only two I know of, though.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2013, 02:58:09 pm by Tay Redgrave »

Shefyt

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Re: Snakes and Deity
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2013, 02:58:48 pm »
Quote from: savvy;126549
Do you work with, or know of, any Deities associated with snakes?
What's that association like?
Despite snakes being a common motif for me, I personally don't know much about this topic, so I was hoping I could learn more.


A number of Kemetic deities appear as snakes or snake-headed humans, either in their main form or in more obscure theophanies: Wadjet, Nehebkau, the female half of the Ogdoad, Renenutet, Meretseger, Wenut. (I'm sure I'm forgetting some.) And of course there's the uraeus, the rearing cobra on the brow of gods and kings, which is associated with the Eye of Ra. I've had some contact with Wadjet and Wenut (the latter better known as a hare-headed goddess, but She does have snake imagery as well), but I'm not quite sure what you want to know RE what the associations are like. ^_^

-Shefyt
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Jack

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Re: Snakes and Deity
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2013, 03:08:47 pm »
Quote from: savvy;126549
Do you work with, or know of, any Deities associated with snakes?
What's that association like?

Despite snakes being a common motif for me, I personally don't know much about this topic, so I was hoping I could learn more.

 
Veles~~
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Baketamun

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Re: Snakes and Deity
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2013, 03:49:42 pm »
Quote from: Shefyt;126570
A number of Kemetic deities appear as snakes or snake-headed humans, either in their main form or in more obscure theophanies: Wadjet, Nehebkau, the female half of the Ogdoad, Renenutet, Meretseger, Wenut. (I'm sure I'm forgetting some.) And of course there's the uraeus, the rearing cobra on the brow of gods and kings, which is associated with the Eye of Ra. I've had some contact with Wadjet and Wenut (the latter better known as a hare-headed goddess, but She does have snake imagery as well), but I'm not quite sure what you want to know RE what the associations are like. ^_^

-Shefyt

 
Atum has a serpent-headed form, as well.

dionysiandame

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Re: Snakes and Deity
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2013, 04:26:21 pm »
Quote from: Jack;126572
Veles~~

 
You don't say...*jots that down*
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Valentine

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Re: Snakes and Deity
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2013, 05:03:13 pm »
Quote from: savvy;126549
Do you work with, or know of, any Deities associated with snakes?
What's that association like?

Despite snakes being a common motif for me, I personally don't know much about this topic, so I was hoping I could learn more.

 
I've had some contact here and there with Echidne, the She-Viper who couches at Arima beneath the earth, who's very snakey in personality and also associated at times with other crawling and clicking and burrowing things.  Lilit, too, somewhat through syncretism with Echidne/Lamia and somewhat through Midrashic and post-Christian connections to the serpent in Eden, also has some snakey associations going on, though Her primary animal referent is owls.  

There's also the Minoan snake-goddess Whose name we don't really know, and who I can't say much about.  Python might be relevant, and via Python/the Pythia/Delphi, Apollo.  Aesclepios, the Greek healer-God, has the snake as His sacred animal.  Quetzalcoatl, of course, is associated with serpents as well.  Let's see...other people have mentioned the naga...there's Rainbow Serpent in Australia, and the Chinese architects of creation, Fuxi and Nuwa, Who're generally represented as serpentine, Ophion, Who I know very little about...basically, you've got a lot of options here.
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baduhmtisss

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Re: Snakes and Deity
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2013, 05:18:58 pm »
Quote from: savvy;126549
Do you work with, or know of, any Deities associated with snakes?
What's that association like?

Despite snakes being a common motif for me, I personally don't know much about this topic, so I was hoping I could learn more.

 
This is mostly a UPG based thing, but I associate Ptah with snakes. Snakes to me represent creation. As simplistic as it sounds, he doesn't mind it and has given me positive feedback for it, thought I couldn't tell you if there was any historical resources that say this. I do know that Ptah was the main god of Memphis, and (I may have this wrong, so please correct me if I do) he was their creation god. I know he had a lot to do with metal working and the creation of things using mallable materials, thus shaping and molding what existed already. (Right?)

I can't really offer much else, though. Sorry.
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OfSunlight&Shadows

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Re: Snakes and Deity
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2013, 09:28:15 am »
Quote from: savvy;126549
Do you work with, or know of, any Deities associated with snakes?
What's that association like?

Despite snakes being a common motif for me, I personally don't know much about this topic, so I was hoping I could learn more.


Hopefully I won't repeat deities mentioned already.

Manasa (a goddess, Hindu)
Shesha (a god, Hindu)
Shiva - often has a snake around his neck, he also swallowed snake venom
Garuda - he's in the form on a bird-man, but is considered the enemy of serpents and snakes and is often shown killing them.

According to Theoi-
Ares:
SNAKE POISONOUS: SACRED ANIMAL The poisonous serpent was sacred to the god Ares. Several of his groves are described in myth guarded by these beasts, and in sculpture and art he often bears a serpent or serpent device.

Demeter:
SERPENT: SACRED ANIMAL The serpent (a creature which represented rebirth in nature and the fertility of the earth) was the animal most sacred to Demeter. A pair of winged-serpents drew her chariot.

Herakles is you look at his incident as a baby, killing the snakes.

Serpents are around Hermes' caduceus, too.

Angitia, an Italian goddess as associated with snakes.

The Agathos Daimon often has a serpent appearance.

Mami Wata, is often pictured with snakes.
Damballah, too.

I remember reading the Baltic Saule has house/grass snakes as sacred to her.

There's the Mayan Q'uq'umatz, Feathered-Serpent.

Coatlicue, the Aztec goddess. Her name means, "the one with the skirt of serpents."
She may be the same or different from Cihuacoatl "The Lady of the serpent."

Many Kemetic deities were already mentioned. There are tons with snake associations!

Hope this helps! :)

savveir

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Re: Snakes and Deity
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2013, 09:43:39 am »
Quote from: Jack;126572
Veles~~

 
...for some reason, that one just didn't occur to me. Even though I knew about the association on some level.
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savveir

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Re: Snakes and Deity
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2013, 09:45:08 am »
Quote from: Valentine;126597
I've had some contact here and there with Echidne, the She-Viper who couches at Arima beneath the earth, who's very snakey in personality and also associated at times with other crawling and clicking and burrowing things.  Lilit, too, somewhat through syncretism with Echidne/Lamia and somewhat through Midrashic and post-Christian connections to the serpent in Eden, also has some snakey associations going on, though Her primary animal referent is owls.  

There's also the Minoan snake-goddess Whose name we don't really know, and who I can't say much about.  Python might be relevant, and via Python/the Pythia/Delphi, Apollo.  Aesclepios, the Greek healer-God, has the snake as His sacred animal.  Quetzalcoatl, of course, is associated with serpents as well.  Let's see...other people have mentioned the naga...there's Rainbow Serpent in Australia, and the Chinese architects of creation, Fuxi and Nuwa, Who're generally represented as serpentine, Ophion, Who I know very little about...basically, you've got a lot of options here.


Oooh lots of topics to read about. Thanks :)
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Pteranotropi

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Re: Snakes and Deity
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2013, 02:40:03 pm »
Quote from: savvy;126549
Do you work with, or know of, any Deities associated with snakes?
What's that association like?

Despite snakes being a common motif for me, I personally don't know much about this topic, so I was hoping I could learn more.


Wadjet and Apep are great examples, being, well, snakes themselves.


In greek thought, snakes seem to be the "generic sacred animal", having connatations with water, the underworld, sun rays, the soul and whatever you can find use for them.

In my case, I use the snake as a symbol of light, as I worship primarily the Sun. Helios is occasionally depicted with a chariot pulled by draconic beings - and gave one such chariot to his granddaughter -, some of his daimones have snake faces, Wadjet is a serpent goddess that represents the destructive side of the Sun, and seraphs are serpentine angels.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2013, 02:41:45 pm by Pteranotropi »

veggiewolf

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Re: Snakes and Deity
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2013, 11:20:25 am »
Quote from: Pteranotropi;127186
Wadjet and Apep are great examples, being, well, snakes themselves.
...

 
Bolding and strike-through are mine.

Apep is not something I'd recommend people worshiping.
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