|Minoan Snake Goddess|
I find this fascinating because I love snakes. Maybe it's because growing up, there were no snakes in Hawaii. I only ever saw them on TV and once in Las Vegas. I find them mysterious, beautiful and quite frankly, frightening. You cannot deny the lure they have. Whether they're at the zoo, in a cage, slithering along the highway or draped on someone's shoulders, people stop and look. The same could be said about women. If there's a beautiful woman around, people will stop and look.
Now I do not claim to know everything. I've tried my best to be as accurate as possible with names, cultures, events etc... As they say in Hula, "A'ohe pau ka 'ike i ka halau ho'okahi." or "Not all knowledge is found in one school/source." I'm sure there are many variations and other stories or legends as well. My intention is not to offend anyone either. If you have any stories, please share them in the comments below!
So what are these similarities?
We women are complex creatures. A vast and deep ocean of thoughts, emotions, character, charms and mystery. As Oscar Wilde so wisely said, "Women are meant to be loved, not understood." We are creators and the bearers of life.
|Aboriginal "Rainbow Snake"|
|The Gorgon, Medusa|
However, where we are the creators we are also the destroyers. The Gorgons, in Greek mythology, were beautiful snake women. The most famous and recognized was Medusa. Cursed after angering the Goddess Athena, her gaze could turn any man to stone. In Judeo-Christian belief, Eve was tempted by the snake in the Garden of Eden to eat the forbidden fruit of knowledge, therefore responsible for the fall of man. Was Eve tempted or just willing to listen to a creature we are thought to be so connected to? Maybe we'll discuss that one some other time....
We are tempting and dangerous. I think few would disagree, except maybe my male gay friends, that there is nothing as tempting or beautiful as a woman. There is no question that we have a certain sensual aura and power around us. A women's sensual appeal has inspired the poets for centuries. George Washington once said, "When once the woman has tempted us and we have tasted the forbidden fruit, there is no such thing as checking our appetites, whatever the consequence might be." Forbidden fruit, the serpent and Eve...maybe we are one in the same.
|Beautiful & Dangerous|
We understand that our sensuality is like a force of fire. Depending on it's use, can either warm our beds and relationships, light up a dark room or burn our house down. We have a constant ebb and flow of sensual energy that flows through our heavenly curves and radiates outward. Some women may not know it, or have not "tapped" into it yet, but believe me it's there.
Knowledge & Power
|Lord Shiva & Quetzalcoatl|
|A Nagini Princess|
|A fierce guardian and protector|
A farmer in India, while tilling his field, manages to kill a nest of young serpents. The mother, on her return, sees the dead snakes and becomes furious. She bites the farmer, his wife and their children in their sleep, killing them all. The farmer's eldest daughter, already married and living out of town takes some time for the mother serpent to get to. When she finally arrives, she finds the daughter in the middle of worshiping an image of a snake, asking for forgiveness for mistakes made by her family. Seeing this, the mother snake feel sorry for what she did and left her in peace. The daughter's prayers were so powerful her family was brought back to life. This was the beginning of Nag Panchami, an annual Hindu festival in which snakes are venerated and worshiped by hundreds of people, seeking protection from their wrath. Snakes are bathed in milk and fields are forbidden to be plowed. There are also many other variations to the origins of Nag Panchami.
|Nag Panchami in India|
We are healers... and poisoners. While a woman, with all her compassion, affection, love, patience and kindness, can also be cunning, spiteful and vindictive. "Hell hath no fury, like a women scorned." -William Congreve. Another one of my favorites, hehe. Snakes were also thought to be sneaky, spiteful, even cunning. It's natural for most people to think of snakes as poisonous. Truth is only about 10 percent of snakes worldwide are actually poisonous. Their venom has the power to poison or heal, like a woman's.
|"Cobra Wine, anyone?"|
|Snake blood and bile|
On the other side of the spectrum, to Westerners, snake consumption is not as accepted. Only thought as necessary to survival.
Unfortunately there aren't any stories or myths about snakes in Hawaiian culture as we do not have snakes on our islands. Although we do tell tales of Mo'o or lizards, who ironically, were mostly women. I will definitely write about those legends soon!
Throughout the history of mankind, snakes have been the familiars of women. Mysterious, beautiful and sensual. Maidens and mothers. Poisoners and healers. Clever and wise. Tempting and dangerous. Sneaky and terrifying. Familiar yet exotic. Whether it be the hypnotic way we move or the sensual outline of our curves. Our skin cool like water and our fiery tongues. Or perhaps it's just the ability we have to terrify men. Whatever the case, snakes don't scare women, because they are women. (figuratively)
|My beautiful friend, Diana and Chuy|
|Modeling with a snake|
|Bollywood actress, Priyanka Chopra|
|The late singer, Aaliyah|