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DESIGN | Symbolism | Ouroboros


All my work is packed with symbolism, whether it be hidden or in a more obvious form.

Here is one that you will find in my art.



The Ouroboros (Greek for tail devourer) is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail.

• The symbol is constantly re-creating itself. As such, it is a symbol of renewal & rebirth (especially since the snake sheds its skin)

• It has been important in religious, spiritual and mythological symbolism.

• It often represents renewals cycles of eternal change, the cycle of life and death, the cycle of seasons, the cycle of time

• It also represents the harmony of opposites.

• It also represents self-reflexivity & motion.

• It is sometimes represented as a dragon, rather than a serpent. Both creatures are closely connected & often guard treasures.

• It originated in ancient Egypt (around 1600 BC) However it is likely to be much older than this. In Egypt it was a symbol of the sun, and represented the travels of the sun disk.

• In Gnosticism, it was related to the solar God Abraxas, and signified eternity and the soul of the world.

• In Norse mythology, the great serpent Jormungandr is so large that he can hug the planet & still be able to grasp its tail within its teeth.

• It appears in Hindu mythology as the serpent Goddess Nahusha, which created the world.

It has also been frequently used in alchemical illustrations, where it symbolises the circular nature of the alchemist's opus.

• The serpent is a creature of the earth, close to the ground.

• In alchemy, the ouroboros represents the spirit of Mercury (the substance that permeates all matter), and symbolises continuous renewal (a snake is often a symbol of resurrection, as it appears to be continually reborn as it sheds its skin. It also represents purity, wholeness & infinity , in Alchemy.

A double ouroboros (two creatures swallowing one another) in alchemy signifies volatility. Spiritually, it signifies the balance of the upper and lower natures. It can also be seen as an infinity symbol, the serpents twisting into each other.

• Sometimes, it is meant to symbolise the joining of opposites, similar to the yin-yang, heaven & earth. It is suggestive that opposites not only coexist but are also related in a cyclical manner. It is sometimes depicted as half light and half dark.

• The circle is a symbol of completion & spiritual perfection.


Please note; The information is brief & you may want to research your own information.


| FLASH ART | Featuring Ouroboros |

Click on this link to see a collection of tattoo flash which feature owls (you can purchase them as an instant download)

Visit the TATTOO GALLERY page to see designs which feature ouroboros



Thank you for taking the time to look at my blog.

Inky love x




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