Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Snakes are big symbols. One of my dream interpretation books says they symbolize friendship. My other dream interpretation book says that the snake represents people in your life who are callous, ruthless and not to be trusted. For the Pagans, snake represents wisdom, rebirth, initiation and resurrection. The serpent tempted Eve in the garden of eden.

I guess it's all a matter of perspective.

During summer in our neck of the woods, we see a few snakes. Snakes that are way up there on the list of the 'Worlds Most Dangerous'. Brown snakes, Tiger snakes, Red bellied black snakes and others. If they bite you and you don't get treatment quickly, you'll die. The key words there are 'bite you'. They are not (like falling from a building or a lung full of water) inherently dangerous. They can live along side you and you won't die. They can slide across your feet - and they have - and you won't die. You don't die by looking at them.

I love looking at them. I think they're cool. On top of their coolness, venomous snakes offer a nice animal kingdom experience of 'staring death in the face'. There aren't many of those left in my backyard. I guess I could swim with sharks or crocs, throw stones at elephants (not that I would, but hey), hand feed lions. If I scare the willies out of myself it helps me feel mortal and part of the world. I think it's the same thing that happens on the rides at theme parks and why some like them and others don't.

I've never been able to reconcile that human need to kill everything in the world that poses a threat. 'This one time ... at band camp ... a bear came ...' There are a lot of potential human-killers on the endangered species lists.

The snake in the picture is a Tiger. It turned up in the sink in the shed and I flipped it into an esky (cooler) and let it go in the bush. I was frightened. It was good.

My hope is that one day, snakes will symbolize our ability as humans to feel our fear and still respect every living thing.

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