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Twin Serpents

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Twin Serpents

Postby Arcane » Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:32 am

Been diggin around on the net and came up with some interesting tidbits.

In Celtic mythology the god Cernnunos is often depicted as being accompanied by a ram horned serpent, a symbol of virility and sexual potency as well as the otherwordly wisdom that he offers to his followers.

Cherokee myths speak of the Uktena, the rainbow colored antlered serpent who holds the sacred jewel ulun'suti between its eyes, said to give anyone who posesses it all wisdom and knowlege.

So here in one culture you have a symbol of wisdom, a force of good if you will, much like various other ancient cultures around the world and in another a demon, a force of evil, but also a giver of wisdom much like the serpent in the judeo christistian cosmology/mythos.

The Greek god Hermes, the messenger of the gods and the equivalent of Thoth in the egyptian myths is often depicted carrying the Caduceus, two serpents entwined often seen by some as a mythical representation of the double helix in our dna.

What's the deal here? Those are some pretty far fetched connections but the link is there. The mystery of the serpent appears two-fold. Any thoughts on this anyone?
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Postby Revolpathon » Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:00 pm

i don't see a way for the celtic mythology and the cherokee mythology being connected. because communication between america and great britain hasn't been established yet.

as for the celtic and greek mythology, it could be possible
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Postby Kolohe » Wed Jan 09, 2008 12:36 pm

Same with dragons, almost every culture has them although whether they are seen as good or evil varies. Remember the serpent in the garden of Eden had legs. And almost every culture has flood myth too, even those where communication seems geographically impossible. So why the ubiquitous dichotomy of the serpent/dragon as something to be feared vs. a giver of wisdom? Perhaps we fear the deep reptilian component in our brain and yet there is power in this primeval state that is normally kept in check by our very busy cerebral cortex? And why would such separate cultures have myths of serpents with horns?- that is interesting seems like an very odd anatomical feature for a snake. Thought I'd mention Kundalini yoga too- the concept of a sleeping serpent curled at the base of the spine the process of it awakening and rising through the chakras thought to bring mystical powers and illumination.

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Postby Arcane » Wed Jan 09, 2008 1:31 pm

Revo- yeah I wasn't really thinking of an anthropologicial connection between the celtic and native american myths but more of a spiritual one, something in our collective consciousness reaching out and becoming crystalized in myth.

Kolohe- Yes, the serpent curled about the spine reminds me of the great Jormungandr coiled around Yggdrasil nawing at its roots, also a reflection of the story of eden and the tree of knowlege, Odin hanging upside down to discover the runes, the crucifixion of christ the word of god made flesh. So many paralells.
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Postby Revolpathon » Wed Jan 09, 2008 4:15 pm

interesting theory, i think i wasn't thinking in the right state of mind:P sometime's i take things too scientifficly
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Postby Arcane » Wed Jan 09, 2008 4:31 pm

No thanks for pointing that out I should've been clearer in my first post. :)
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Postby jcrowfoot » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:19 pm

Cherokee and Celtic myth can't be connected?

Well.... how's this for news?

The Cherokee and the Picts come from a single tribal ancestor before the land bridge was crossed by the native people way, way back in the day. This is what a friend of mine, a physical anthropologist says. So... read the way the Celts thought of the Picts, and read about how other Native tribes thought of the Cherokee and you start seeing almost creepy parallels. The thing is, religious symbolism sticks around for an insanely long time, and it wouldn't stun me to discover that the Celts may have picked up a thing or two from the Picts. How's that for a mind blowing answer?

See, I found this out because I have ancestors in both camps... that is Picts and Cherokee. The facial structural markers of both the Picts and the Cherokee are functionally identical. So I look VERY Pictish, or VERY Cherokee. Well... except for the blond hair, but you get my drift.

Further, if you are at all into Jungian psychology, it's not out of the range of believable that certain symbols come back again and again with similar attributions... since the Collective Subconscious would contain that information.

Snakes have been symbols for knowledge (or wisdom), for good or evil, for a VERY long time.
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Postby Kolohe » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:49 pm

Couple more random thoughts. A lot of the dinosaurs had horns and frills, cobra has a frill, maybe in the distant past there was a "horned serpent." What is the symbolism of the snake swallowing it's own tail? I remember the picture but not the story behind it.

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Postby Revolpathon » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:55 pm

you mean the oroborus?

don't have any info on it, though it was used as a fanfic though i doubt he explained it correctly
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Postby [EarthWitch] » Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:07 pm

Doesn't the serpent/snake have to do with a transformation or something like that?
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Postby jcrowfoot » Wed Jan 09, 2008 9:36 pm

Wisdom and transformation. The feathered serpent for the Maya also is all about that.
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Postby Makbawehuh » Thu Jan 10, 2008 12:55 am

Minoans and, if I remember correctly, the Babylonians had snakes that were tied to Goddesses... being a big fan of the cute, cuddly things, I've noticed that you find them -everywhere- in ancient cultures.

*now must go find cute baby snake pictures to post everywhere...*

General question, before I go- Am I the only one who looks at a baby snake and melts like it's fluffy?
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Postby amunptah777 » Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:27 am

Not to downplay your search, but when it comes right down to it, a snake is a snake is a snake.

I cannot, in right contemplation, suggest you further your search for western serpent knowledge. (Hermes and Genisis and such)

The understanding you're finding is mostly Western based and yes, very dichotmous...the good/bad thing always kinda gets under my skin.

There is a wisdom there, for which I usually contemplate the Egyptian Goddess Selkhet (same poison...different form) and in India, the snake is held by several deities as a "transformer of poisons"

http://www.boloji.com/hinduism/127.htm

It is there that I suggest you continue your quest. Western thought kind of clouds the mind and puts forth the idea of "knowing" instead of "wisdom"

Good luck,
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Postby jcrowfoot » Thu Jan 10, 2008 7:46 pm

Lizards and snakes *are* cute. Look at the GEICO lizard. Isn't he CUTE? SM049

I don't think anyone can be discounted in spiritual practice for what they think is cute.

Hey, a snake is NOT a snake. Tell me the difference between a garter snake and a rattler. OR a standard rattler and a Mohave Rattler. Or a cobra and a milk snake. That is why we have different names for them. Some are agressive, some aren't. Some move fast, some don't. Some are mean, some aren't. And, some are cute.
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Postby amunptah777 » Thu Jan 10, 2008 9:06 pm

Jcrow,

Hahahaha! No, no, I wasn't saying some reptiles aren't cute...I'm a fan of all animals...even the stinky ones, the deadly ones and the one's that simply have no cuteness factor.

I work with kidz and every so often, one will ask me if I like a particular animal...I always say "I like all animals" which is invariably followed with "what about....?" The blank is usually filled in by some form of ferocious beast and I tell them.."I like lions, snakes, scorpions, spiders, sharks, etc... I just like them farther away from me than other animals...teehee :) "

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