What does the Bible say about reptiles
Snake mysticism - snakes have many faces
Patron saint of the clouds
In India snakes are revered as so-called "Nagas". These are beings who lived as ordinary snakes, as snakes with several heads or as a hybrid of snake and man and are said to have worked with the gods.
They are considered to be the patrons of water and clouds, but they can also lead to floods or periods of drought. In Buddhist teaching they are mentioned as Buddha's helpers who give him gifts and profess his teaching.
An ancient healer
In ancient Greece the snake was considered the protector of the underworld, it symbolized the religious connection with the depths of the earth. Their skinning stood for rebirth, eternal youth and immortality.
But snakes were also given fortune-telling abilities. It is said that a snake made Asclepius, the Greek god of healing, aware of the effectiveness of the various medicinal plants. Some even believe that he himself was an earth god in the form of a serpent. The Aesculapian staff, around whose shaft a snake winds, has been the symbol of pharmacists and doctors ever since.
Snake cult in ancient Rome
The Aesculapian cult came to Rome when the god Asclepius supposedly appeared as a savior in the form of a snake because of a plague in 293 BC. During the Roman Empire, Asklepios was one of the most revered gods. Numerous temples were dedicated to him, in which Aesculapian snakes were kept, and which were visited by many sick people as places of pilgrimage.
The symbolic snake was probably brought into the occupied territories of Germania by the Romans. The Aesculapian staff is still worn today as a badge on the sleeves and epaulets of the medical troops of the Bundeswehr.
The role of the cunning seductress in the biblical fall made the serpent a symbol of falsehood and evil par excellence. After the insidious being succeeded in persuading Eve to eat the forbidden fruit, God cursed Adam, Eve, and the serpent. From then on the snake was supposed to crawl on its belly and eat dust.
Without them, however, humanity would never have attained the ability to know. The snake became a symbol of healing in Christianity through a biblical incident in the Old Testament. When the people were suffering from a plague of snakes, Moses, at the behest of God, set up the brazen image of a serpent and thus saved the people from death. A symbolic healing process that was taken up in Western art well into the Middle Ages.
Author: Pia Prasch
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