Language Lens

A blog about life, discovery and culture through the lens of language and linguistics.

Archive for the tag “serpent”

The Snake Trail

They are not the most attractive animals, and certainly aren’t cuddly.   They technically played a part in introducing ‘sin’ to the world according to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.  Let’s face it, snakes have a negative connotation symbolically, especially in western cultures with Christian roots.  So naturally some people would look at this picture and automatically think it’s a sign of a bad ending.

I still tend to think this, but I also saw something else in this picture. Snakes shed their skin; they shed the old to make way for the new and are a symbol of rebirth and transformation.  Why couldn’t this picture depict transformation along the road, along the journey?  To many others it does depict just this.  Snakes are known for wisdom, which is even referenced in the Bible.  …Be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves. ~Matthew 10:16

Naga is a Sanskrit word for a deity or being that comes in the shape of a very large snake in Hinduism and Buddhism.  The Naga represents primarily rebirth, death and mortality, due to the shedding of its skin and then being symbolically “reborn”.  The example of the Naga is a positive use of the snake symbolically.  The king of snakes, Mucalinda, was the one that protected the Buddha as he sat in meditation.

This explanation is just hitting the surface of the many symbols and therefore meanings that serpents carry throughout the world and in different myths.  The point is that the “Snake Trail” may not lead to an awful ending as many religions have conditioned people to think.  In turn, it could lead to a beautiful ending filled with growth and transformation along the way.  It’s up to you to decide; undoubtedly you hold some meaning for a snake, as we all do.

Conclusion: Language isn’t all verbal.

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