The Fascinating History of Snakes and Serpents
Snakes and serpents have been a part of human culture since the dawn of time. They have been revered, feared, and even worshipped in many cultures around the world. From ancient Egypt to modern-day India, snakes and serpents have been a source of fascination for centuries. But what is the difference between snakes and serpents? And why are they so important to us?
To answer these questions, we must first look at the history of snakes and serpents. Snakes are believed to have evolved from lizards over 100 million years ago. They are found on every continent except Antarctica, with some species living in deserts, forests, mountains, and even in water. Serpents are a subgroup of snakes that includes cobras, vipers, boas, pythons, and other species.
The Symbolic Meaning Behind Snakes and Serpents
Snakes and serpents have long been associated with symbolism in many cultures around the world. In ancient Egypt, they were seen as symbols of royalty and power. In Hinduism, they were seen as symbols of fertility and rebirth. In Christianity, they were seen as symbols of evil or temptation.
In some cultures, snakes were also seen as symbols of healing or protection from harm. The Greek god Asclepius was often depicted with a staff entwined by two snakes – a symbol that is still used today to represent medicine or healing. In Native American culture, snakes were seen as messengers from the spirit world who could bring knowledge or wisdom to those who sought it out.
The Role Of Snakes And Serpents In Mythology
Snakes and serpents also play an important role in mythology around the world. In Greek mythology, there is the story of Medusa – a woman with hair made up of writhing snakes – who could turn anyone who looked at her into stone. In Hindu mythology there is Shesha – a giant serpent who supports the world on his coils – while in Norse mythology there is Jörmungandr – a giant sea serpent that encircles Midgard (the realm inhabited by humans).
In many myths around the world, snakes are also associated with wisdom or knowledge – such as when Athena gave Hercules a magical staff entwined by two snakes which allowed him to understand animals’ language; or when Quetzalcoatl – an Aztec god – gave humans knowledge about agriculture after emerging from a giant snake’s mouth; or when Odin hung himself from Yggdrasil (the World Tree) for nine days before being gifted with wisdom by two giant serpents at its base.
The Role Of Snakes And Serpents Today
Today, snakes still play an important role in our lives – both literally and figuratively. On one hand they can be dangerous predators that can cause harm if not handled properly; on the other hand they can be kept as pets or used for their medicinal properties (such as venom for medical treatments). They also continue to be used as symbols in art or literature to represent danger or mystery (such as JK Rowling’s Basilisk), while their presence in popular culture continues to fascinate us (such as Disney’s Kaa).
Ultimately it seems that despite our fear or fascination with them; despite their symbolic meaning; despite their presence in mythology; we will never truly unravel the mystery behind these fascinating creatures: Snakes & Serpents!