The official interpretation of serpent symbolism is that it means wisdom, but as I will explain in this article, the symbolism has a deeper and much more complex meaning. It essentially relates to the complex nature of the human psyche, energy and our body chemistry.
The serpent is an expression of our higher and lower consciousness.
Given the serpent was used by ancient cultures the width and breadth of the earth for thousands of years, its importance cannot be ignored.
As with all symbols, the snake has positive and negative connotations, but its very meanings are central to understanding human consciousness and the psycho-biological process of mankind
In actual fact, the serpent/dragon is one of the keys to understanding transcendence to higher states of consciousness and how we tend to fall foul of our sub-conscious mind. But through the serpent, we can find wisdom to overcome our lower conscience self and discover the higher self – that aspect of our personalities that religions call ‘God.’
Rebirth and renewal
At its deepest level, the serpent is a symbol of rebirth and renewal. Just as a snakes sheds its skin, humans have the capacity to defeat old values that no longer serve us and develop improved values.
We are able to do this by using the power of our innate wisdom which enables us to attain self-knowledge and reach enlightenment.
The snake is often associated with the underworld and depicts the demonic side of our nature – our base instincts that have been shaped by our experiences and arise from the sub-conscious mind.
But depending where it is placed within esoteric iconography and myth, the serpent also denotes our higher conscious state. In Hindu and Buddhism for example, it is common to find a seven-headed serpent, the Naga, above the heads of the Devas. This denotes enlightened beings – Buddhas.