Serpents in the therapy
Serpent in the therapy appear frequently. Its meaning can only be recognised from the effects it produces.
The serpent evolved about 165 million years ago. Modern serpents have adapted to their surroundings perfectly. They can be found in most countries. Physically serpents vary widely by their size, habitat, speed and way they move, how quickly they digest their food, and how they protect themselves from predators. They have an acute sense of smell and hearing. They have adapted to different ways of seeing. Their bodies have a large number of tactile receptors.
Serpents have many predators. They use colouring as their primary protection. They bite only at last resort to protect themselves.
The serpent is one of the oldest and most versatile mythological symbols that have been found. The serpent has been and is worshipped in Europe, Africa, North and South America, Asia and Australia. The worship of serpents occurred as early as 70,000 BC.
Similar occurring themes of serpents appear around the world. Many of the world’s creation stories include the serpent as part of creation and as being one of the primal forces. Ouroboros, Nagas, the tree of life and the serpent coiled around the wand is also a common theme in many cultures. The richness of serpent fairy tales around the world also indicates the importance of this symbol. Serpents demonstrate transformation, manifestation of self and spiritual awakening by introducing supernatural powers in these fairy tales.
Freud, Jung, and Kalff acknowledged the importance of serpent symbolism. For Freud, the serpent symbolised fantasies of sexuality. For Jung, the serpent is one of the archetypes. He associated it with connection between with heaven and earth. The Jungian serpent was also a libido and whole process of psychic power. Dora Kalff saw the serpent as an indicator of transformation and protection, but sometimes representing negative energy.
The serpent is associated with myriad meanings. They can represent the union of opposites. They can offer a means of communicating with the divine. They represent healing, wisdom, immortality, rejuvenation, love, sensuality, sin and death. They can be demons of earth, darkness and evil. Serpents can be symbols of transformation and renewal, or gods and goddess.
The Serpent has a significant role to play in our modern world. People adorn themselves with serpent skins, wear serpent jewellery and tattoo serpents onto their bodies to project an image of extra power and strength. Serpent symbolism is used in wars, advertising and names of products.
Essential, for many, the serpent plays an important part in their quest of healing and becoming whole.