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DESIGN | Symbolism | Snake


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.



DESIGN | SYMBOLISM | SNAKE | Serpent Drawing, Digital, Vector, Tattoo, Illustration, Printmaking

The word snake is derived from Latin ‘serpens’, a crawling animal or snake. It is one of the oldest and most widespread mythological symbols. It carries diverse & contradictory meanings of good and evil.

Symbolism of the snake includes; renewal, protection, transition, mystery, defence, magic, infinity, sexuality, hidden, grounded, transformation, fertility, secret, birth and rebirth, symbol of dual power, eternity, healing, death and wisdom.

There are lots of contradictory meanings attributed to the snake, e.g.  evil V healing, cunning V wisdom.

Symbolic values frequently assigned to serpents

| Fertility or creative life force | 

In some cultures snakes were fertility symbols, for example the Hopi people of North America performed an annual snake dance to celebrate the union of Snake Youth (a Sky spirit) and Snake Girl (an Underworld spirit) and to renew fertility of Nature. During the dance, live snakes were handled and at the end of the dance the snakes were released into the fields to guarantee good crops. "The snake dance is a prayer to the spirits of the clouds, the thunder and the lightning, that the rain may fall on the growing crops. 

In other cultures snakes symbolised the umbilical cord, joining all humans to Mother Earth. The Great Goddess often had snakes as her familiars - sometimes twining around her sacred staff, as in ancient Crete - and they were worshiped as guardians of her mysteries of birth and regeneration.

| Ouroboros | 

The ouroboros symbols depicts a circular snake eating its own tail. The snake is a symbol of eternity and continual renewal of life


| Sexual desire | 

In the Garden of Eden, the serpent represents sexual awareness (leading to covering themselves with fig leaves) . In Hinduism, Kundalini is a coiled serpent, represents desire. It is also considered to be a phallic symbol. 

| Double snakes | 

Have powerful meanings of balance, duality, and joining opposing elements for the purpose of unification and enlightenment. This can be seen in ancient alchemy. | Protection |  They are considered protectors of the underworld in Greco-Roman ideology, and are often seen in funerary art to convey guardianship over burial sites. Countless ancient cultures recognise snakes as protectors of abstruse mysteries, and that is why we see snakes commonly adorn magical personalities through history. Whether a priestess like Pythia or a sage like Hermes, when we see a snake associated with powerful archetypes of deep (esoteric/occult) wisdom, it is a symbol of protecting sacred knowledge.

| Guardians |

Serpents are represented as potent guardians of temples and other sacred spaces. This connection may be grounded in the observation that when threatened, some snakes (such as rattlesnakes or cobras) frequently hold and defend their ground, first resorting to threatening display and then fighting, rather than retreat. Thus, they are natural guardians of treasures or sacred sites which cannot easily be moved out of harm's way. At Angkor in Cambodia, numerous stone sculptures present hooded multi-headed nāgas as guardians of temples or other premises

| Poison and medicine | 

Snake's venom has the power to either heal, poison or provide expanded consciousness. Asclepius, the God of medicine and healing, carried a staff with one serpent wrapped around it, which has become the symbol of modern medicine.


| The Divine | 

It's divine aspect combined with its habitat in the earth between the roots of plants made it an animal connected to the afterlife and immortality.

| Vindictiveness | 

This connection depends in part on the experience that venomous snakes giving an unannounced and deadly strike. 

| Mexico | 

Mexican mythology indicates the snake is a symbol of veneration, worship and honour.  Often a symbol of great power, resurrection and rebirth, the snake continues to be a powerful emblem of renewal and transition. Further, the snake is recognised as a symbol of humanity as a whole.  The Mexican perspective provides hope for mankind to aspire to great heights as it correlates the shedding of the serpent’s skin to man’s ability to change his own circumstances and overcome adversity.

| Mythological serpents |  There are lots more mythological serpents E.g. the hair of Goddess of Medusa was made of snakes and was originally a sign of her immortality, wisdom and sacredness. 

| Female Power | It is one of the oldest symbols for female power, being held in the hand of the priestesses on Knossos as a symbol of their power and wisdom

| Hindu | 

Hindu scriptures mention Nagas, who are a class of demigods or semi divine beings who live in the subterranean world, known as Patala. They protect the treasures hidden in the earth and have the ability to assume human form. By nature they are good, but they can become destructive and vengeful if disrespected or not treated well. Hindus believes that certain types of curses and spells arising from aggrieved snake deities can result in death, sickness, misfortune, loss of progeny, or childlessness, for which one has to perform purifying and expiatory rites.


Note | This post contains a small amount of information on the symbol of the snake . It may not contain all symbolic meanings /


| ART | Featuring Snakes |

Head to the link to see a collection of tattoo flash which feature snakes (you can purchase them as an instant download)

Visit the GALLERY page to see art which feature snakes

To search the site for art featuring snakes, use the search menu or this link



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

Inky love x




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