Totem Talk

Working With The Animal Totems

Spirit of the SNAKE: Transmutation, Transformation, Rebirth, Sexuality, Healing, Kundalini Energy, Symbol of Eternity


COBRA: Soul Guide, Memory of the Soul World, Transmutation of the Soul, Past Life Memories, Wisdom of the Goddess, Freedom from Religious Persecution, Power over life & death, eternity.

Used by the Ancient Egyptians to designate royalty because of its power over life and death. Since, when coiled, its tail disappears, it is also a fitting symbol for eternity. The Greeks called the serpent oura, or "tail", whence the "Uraeus", which is the Greek word for the cobra-shaped crown worn by kings and gods alike. To demonstrate its "eternal" aspect, the Greeks depicted the serpent devouring its own tail (Ouroboros "tail-devouring"). The Egyptians believed that the cobra was so deadly that it merely had to "breathe" on someone to inflict its venom. Now, since we already know that the "king" cobra was associated with royalty, its not surprising that the Greeks should call it, in their language, "the little king" or basilisk, bringing along with the word the Egyptian version of its natural history. By the time we reach the Middle Ages in Europe, the basilisk (since cobras don't exist in Europe) had turned into a fabulous beast with wings and a fiery breath fatal to every living thing.

Cobra's Wisdom Includes:

* Soul guide
* Memory of the soul world
* Transmutation of the soul
* Past Life memories
* Wisdom of the Goddess
* Freedom from religious persecution

SNAKE: (general) -- Universal symbol of the exploration of the mysteries of life. Because the snake represents the unveiling of the sacred mysteries many repressive belief systems have linked snake to evil ideas. (The legend of St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland is one example of these repressive systems using the snake as symbol of evil that had to be eradicated.) The snake is a totem which appears as protection from religious persecution. Throughout history the snake has been the subject of legends linking it to creation, fertility, transformation and sexuality. The snake is fire medicine, the medicine of transmutation and it is the symbol of transformation and healing. (The image of the snake is found on the "Caduceus", the symbol of medicine.) The snake must shed its old skin in order to survive, symbolizing death and rebirth. (The image of a snake swallowing its own tail is a symbol of eternity) The shedding of the skin is also associated with astral travel and out of body experiences, thus in shedding your skin, the snake symbolically guides you along the path of transformation. Which is the true meaning of the meeting of the snake with Eve in the Garden of Eden*. Once she had eaten the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, Eve then transmuted the energy of wisdom in a symbolic shedding of her old skin, thus her newly discovered "nakedness". {*Some "Eden" scholars suggest that the snake depicted in the story was actually 'Lilith' , the first wife of Adam, who had rejected the domination of Adam and left Eden, but returned to awaken Eve to the power within her.} The snake is cosmic consciousness, the ability to experience all things without resistance, and the knowledge that all things are equal in creation. It signals a great transition in life through new opportunities and changes. Native American Totem Animal for "Scorpio"

* Copperhead -- Serious but not fatal, an encounter that will leave a scar, hiding in the leaves that fall

* Cottonmouth / Water Moccasin -- At home in the water, aggressive action, will stand their ground, showing teeth to intimidate, shut your mouth quickly

* Garter Snake -- Different colored stripes are the messengers of jealousy and deceit, beware of dishonesty

* Rat Snake -- A time for movement and progress no matter what situation you are in. Be aware of danger when the air does not “taste” right.

* Rattlesnake -- Rebirth, renewal, transformation, primitive energy

* Taipan -- Letting go of offensive tactics. Goddess energy. Initiation. Back off. Serpent energy. Strong reputation. Shyness and vulnerability. Scaring others away.

* Constrictors (Anaconda / Boa / Python) -- Becoming the vine, swallowing whole, gorging and then abstaining, a constricting situation


Snakes are fascinating creatures that deserve respect. Throughout history the snake has had many legends associated with it linking them to creation, fertility and transformation.

In Israel the snake was regarded as the earth mother and played a beneficial role in fertility. In Egypt the cobra was known for its ability to expand the upper neck into a disc shape by spreading its ribs which symbolized immortality. In Christian lore the snake is seen rising from the chalice of St. John wound around a cross sometimes portrayed with a woman's head to symbolize lust and temptation. In Eastern cultures a snake rising up through the spine represents the kundalini, or life force being awakened.

One of snakes most noticeable characteristics is the regular shedding of its outer skin as it grows. Once the skin is shed, the old inner layer becomes the new outer layer and a new inner layer of skin begins to develop. Crawling out of its old skin is very significant for those with this medicine. It is a metaphor for how we shed old ways and habits as we grow into higher spiritual energy symbolizing the death and rebirth process. It is also associated with astral travel and out of body experiences.

The eyes of a snake are always open protected by immobile transparent scales. Prior to shedding its skin the snakes markings become obscure and the eyes appear opaque or blue. This gives it a trance like appearance as if it is looking right through you. Learning how to see into the hearts of others is part of what it teaches us.

Snake has been a symbol of life and sexuality for thousands of years in many cultures. It is a totem of power, renewal and transmutation. Soundless in motion and invisible at rest snakes are unable to produce their own body heat. They are often seen lying in the hot mid day sun. The suns warmth coupled with the snakes behavior regulates their body temperature. Not relying on the energy of food to generate body heat, they can survive on meager diets for extended periods of time. Those with this totem need very little food to energize themselves. They are usually cold and prefer warmer climates. Their body temperatures are often lower than normal.

Snakes lack eardrums and external ear openings but have small bones in the head that conduct sound. They are able to hear low frequency sounds and sense vibrations that travel through the earth. This links them to the underworld where secrets are stored.

The snake symbolizes healing on a cellular level. Because their bodies are lightweight and flexible they have speed and agility. When they enter into your world expect swift changes to sweep through your life. These changes signify a death of the old and a birth into untapped power, creativity and wisdom. Snake is a powerful totem to have. Only those with a high degree of spiritual training, be it past or present, will be awarded this totem. It is the guardian of sacred places and the keeper of hidden knowledge.

Snake asks you to shed your old ways and transmute into the New You. A new cycle is about to begin and your new growth is at hand. Embrace the wisdom snake has brought your way. It may be time for a change.

Views: 21083

© 2018   Created by Terri Benning.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service