Shedding And Alchemy: The Magic Of Snake Medicine

Snake drum in my office

Snake drum in my office

One of the many powerful aspects of Snake as a teacher is its ability to shed its skin as it grows. Shedding what no longer serves us is vital for our own growth and development. Some of the things we’ve experienced that have been traumatic or painful, become limiting, binding, and restrictive if they remain attached to our emotional and energy body. Shedding and releasing them is liberating and freeing.

Snake Medicine represents the Fire Element, which is the element of purification, alchemy, and transmutation. Alchemy has been described by Taoist Master Yuen as ” the redemption of Spirit from Matter.” People with Snake as a Totem animal naturally gravitate towards an internal alchemy as a way of life, seeking to step directly into the fire of the heart to burn away all that is not a part of the authentic self. They make incredible healers, supporting others fearlessly, since they embody the alchemical principle.

The ability to shed is a part of life. Most living things shed in some way as they grow, humans included. Conscious shedding can be done using intention work, affirmations, visualization, working with stones, herbs, or essential oils. ( My favorite stones to use to connect to Snake Medicine are Fire Agate and Charoite. The herbs would be Sage, Prunella, Mugwort, and Wormwood. The essential oils would be Helichrysum and Vetiver. )

Snake has been represented in many different cultures, dating back to the Egyptians. Depictions of the ourobouros, the snake swallowing its own tail, were found in the tomb of Tutenkhamen. It represents infinity, the endless cycles of life, and regeneration. The Caduceus is another example of snakes representing healing, two snakes intertwined upon a staff. The Nagas are sacred deities in Hinduism and Buddhism, said to be able to transform from human to snake at will, seen as guardians and protectors of humanity. The Egyptian Goddess Sekhmet has the body of a woman and the head of a lioness, with a cobra at her Third Eye Chakra. She represents the power of the Sacred Fire to cleanse, purify, or destroy. In Toltec mythology, the Eagle and the Snake are seen as different aspects of each other, which is also the case in Taoism. Snake is seen as residing in the Root Chakra in Hinduism, the Kundalini, or ” Sleeping Serpent” that spiritual cultivation activates, ascending up the spine through all of the other Chakras, reaching the Crown Chakra, awakening and enlightening us.

Healers with Snake Medicine often specialize in dealing with the aftermath of abuse, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Bearing witness to the atrocities some people have suffered, and bringing the light of the Sacred Fire to bear on those atrocities is not for everyone. In addition, Snake Medicine people are often Empaths. They contain within themselves a natural immunity to evil, an inborn antivenom, which binds the traumatic residues to itself, neutralizing and releasing them, forcing the trauma out and returning it to the Void. This alchemical process of binding is combined with shedding, which is extremely important for Empaths. Holding on to other people’s trauma and suffering is toxic for an Empath. Shedding needs to become a part of life, natural, reflexive, and automatic.

Anyone can call upon the wisdom of snake as a teacher, especially when navigating through difficult circumstances. Snakes are supple and flexible. They can teach us many things. Snakes are patient hunters, they can teach us how to be patient, and flexible. A good affirmation for this energy might be: ” I am always, in every moment, bathed in the Sacred Fire of Divine Love, which resides within me. All energies which are not an emanation of love and compassion, and that are foreign to me, are now neutralized and removed, sent back into the nothingness from whence they came. ”

I hope this brief teaching on Snake as an ally is helpful. I send my love and gratitude to the Nagas who guide me, and to the Rattlesnake who lives within my heart. I am alive today because of you. Thank you for saving me. We are one heart. Blessings, Judith