OK, I know that sounds like a come on line, but anyway – Happy Chinese New Year of the Water Snake!
I was born on the cusp of the Years of the Dragon and Snake. More on that tomorrow just how friggin old I will be then, lol. But I have always loved snakes and they seem to have an affinity with me.
When I was younger and swimming in the river or streams water snakes used to come up to me all the time and scare me, and I still cannot swim properly, not out of fear of them, but just fear of drowning.
By Solongo Monkhooroi?
In later years I had a gf who had a 6 foot boa named Sheesha and I kept her for about a year when she could not house her, and used to turn her loose in the yard to play. She even slept in bed with us at times. One time she got loose in her trailer and we could not find her for a month until finally she was spotted above the warm back of her refrigerator and boy was she hard to get down. Snakes are nothing but muscle. I have no fear of large snake until they get around 8 feel long and their head is as big as my fist. One time I had her in her cage and did not feed her for about 3 weeks (once a month is normal) so she could be handled by people at a Halloween party. I had bought a rat to feed her later which was in a box under the cage, and though that was the bad part about owning a boa I can tell you death was quick. Of course we were drinking and on ganja and she was hungry and probably smelled the rat, so I was stupid and I opened the cage to get her out and saw nothing but a big mouth strike at my hand with her jaw totally dislodged to swallow me. Man did all those sharp cartilage teeth hurt like hell and that oval bite lasted for a week or so! She soon disconnected and I learned my lesson. When I could not longer stomach buying live animals to feed her we donated her to a local wildlife museum where I am sure she was treated well and enjoyed by the children and lived out her days in happiness. I have also been out in the woods in the spring when the blacksnakes were coming out of their den all sluggish and warming in the sun and was able to handle them easily.
One of my yogic names is Nagesh which means Serpent of Shiva. The serpent is my totem and my body is covered in blue woad tattoos, most of them of snakes and dragons, the rest small magickal symbols, so I do not need to wear any jewelry, except the sterling silver snake bracelet a friend made for me of a solid thin bar of silver 40 years ago which I have worn ever since. Of course like a fool I gave it to a girlfriend one time and when we broke up almost had to cut it off her wrist to get it back. And they made me take it off for MRIs even though it is not ferrous metal.
I have a nice collection over the decades of Nagas and Naginis and Nagaraja deities from the Himalayas, and so puja to them frequently. I live near a mountain stream that comes up really fast and high when it rains hard for a few days, so I throw gifts into the water to placate the raging nagas so my cellar does not get flooded. But mostly they are peaceful and beautiful, like mermaids.
I am not going to get into all the religious and magickal symbolism of the snake, but it can take on any shape from straight phallic to curled yonic. And they seem to represent all the elements since they climb in air trees, strike like fire lightning and warm up in the sun, swim in the water, and live in the earth underground.
Here is a Chinese astrology page where you can go through all animals and attributes. And here is the blogger Mommy Mystic’s Meaning in the Year of the Snake which is a recent post. And this just posted by Karmapolice on the meaning and practices for this celebration.
Most of these pictures I got off the www and none had artists listed, except the last picture is my own of my NagaKanya statues.