Have you ever wondered about the power of the snake? Why do YOU think the snake bites?
For the longest time, I believed the snake bites for protection. Today I learned otherwise.
Nearing the end of an intensive program I’ve been teaching about dragon power and snake medicine of the Faery people and Serpent Mother, it would seem snake still had one powerful lesson to impart:
The snake bite is not about protection. It bites to remind you of its power and reclaim its boundary that you have clearly overstepped.
This occurred to me as I watched my cat, Miko, play. Racing across the yard, he hopped, skipped and dive-bombed a hole that harbored some unsuspecting creature. Unable to see what it was (or if there was anything even there at all), my first thought was one of fear:
“What if it’s a poisonous snake and it bites him?”
Before this very moment, I would have never considered myself afraid of these beings. Because I like watching them; I enjoy how their skin feels to my touch; and they fascinate me to no end.
But I’d become too COMFORTABLE with them!
And thus the boundary of respect needed to be restored.
Oh sure — I would have argued that I DID respect them — but perhaps I’d crossed the boundary of respect into the realm of over-familiarity.
It’s as if they wanted to say, “We are not cute and cuddly! We are beings of great regenerative and transformative power. Don’t make us into what YOU can understand. Instead meet us on our terms.”
Just as unwise, perhaps, is to make us humans into what we are not. For we are not creatures of ONLY “love and light” as watered down spirituality would have you believe. Nay, we are forces of both light and dark. To know one without the other is to know NEITHER at all!
In the garden with Miko I learned that snakes don’t bite to protect themselves. Not really. They bite to remind you of what you’ve forgotten.
“My dear sir (or madame), you’ve forgotten yourself.”
Ever heard that phrase? It’s when someone gets a little too comfy or chummy and steps out of line.
Because it’s when we get carried away that we run the risk of overstepping the boundary of another. Sometimes a quick slap or sting is in order – not in malice, but to restore the boundary that has been crossed and take back our power.
And that is what I learned from snake today.