Our past

Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience. –   Emerson

Snakes can remind us of shedding our past like they shed their skin. 

The snake meaning of transformation came from the shedding of its skin and made the snake a powerful symbol of rebirth and renewal. The snake can represent many aspects of ourself and our life as it grows and changes.  The snake can be a symbol of wisdom, healing and initiation.

As a snake grows, its skin becomes stretched and worn. A point is reached when it cannot accommodate further growth, so a new skin grows underneath.  When this is complete, the old skin will be discarded and the new skin retains the same patterns and colors as the old.

Along our journey, there are times when we realise we need to grow and can longer keep doing what we have always done.  The shedding can be of old emotions and beliefs and there are many layers of change that can happen overtime, transforming us into a deeper understanding of life and of who we are.

In ancient and christian traditions as well as modern times, snakes are symbols of healing powers and opportunities. In the Greek mythology, Asclepius, the god of medicine, is featured with two snakes climbing up a rod, the symbol of what is known today as the Caduceus, which symbolizes balance, equanimity, union and regeneration.

Interestingly, snakes will not normally eat in the days leading up to shedding and will tend to hide, as they are vulnerable at this time.   This is also true during change and healing for us, as we can feel vulnerable and need time alone when we are letting go and moving forward out of our pain.

Change can feel uncomfortable during these stages and yet, it is necessary if we want renewal and expansion in the way we see and understand our journey.  Sometimes old patterns and the way we react in life no longer serve us and this gives us an opportunity to allow change, and allow transformation and healing.


32 thoughts on “Our past

    1. Maybe the Snake is your totem Diana? If the information belows suits your personality it might be. The beautiful colorful snake is a “California Red Sided Garter Snake”, apparently their saliva is poisonous but not to humans.

      If Snake is your Animal Spirit Totem…

      People with snake as their totem are often finding that they are going through constant changes in their lives that they usually move through smoothly. They have a natural ability to balance energy and often Snake totem people are gifted healers.

      You are very charming in social situations, and very good at holding people’s attention, there is something mysterious about about your gaze, your intensity, and your ability to sense what other’s are thinking or feeling. Tied in with this charm is a confidence and self assurance that many people find alluring. Snake people can slither in and out of conversation with ease and grace, and are often flexible and open minded.

      I can see your personality in some of this!! 🙂 🙂

      1. hmm I don’t know what my totem is. I’ve thought it was wolf in the past, can’t remember why… Although I do see some of the above qualities in me too…

        A Garter snake? The colours are sure different from the Quebec Garter snakes I grew up with and scared my mom with. 😉

  1. Karen, great post.
    The symbol of the snake is so appropriate for the topic.
    The things of our past are two-fold; one being things that need to be evaluated, then discarded; the other to be secured as we move forward toward perfection.
    We are all a work in progress. Yet while on the road of progress, sadly, we too often leave the best of who we are behind.

      1. The best is left behind, because in modern philosophy traditional practices, that still fall under the umbrella of common sense, get in the way of the modern narrative. (i.e. the road of progress)
        The stability of society rests largely upon the stability of the family. However, big business and big government is willing to sacrifice that stability, for their own self interests and preservation of power. For a stable family is in need of neither.
        All one simply needs to do is follow the money for proof.

  2. I wish I had literal skins that I could save, and pin on a bulletin board, and point to as proof of all I’ve been through. Maybe we’d treat each other with more kindness if we could see those skins hanging in each other’s homes.

    1. I love your comment Jay. It would indeed help us to be more compassionate towards those others who have led a very tough life. Everyone has a story about shedding their skins and we need to remember that. Thankyou.

  3. What an outstanding analogy esp. the snakes hides during shedding and how it’s the same with us. I used to be a person who is so not receptive to change because I’m a type of a person who clings. I think I’ve learnt to embrace change when a long-time girlfriend broke up with me. Plus, I also got used to change being that I always move around so much because of work. I also think that it’s human nature that we always think we don’t change but deep within we know we do.

  4. “Interestingly, snakes will not normally eat in the days leading up to shedding and will tend to hide, as they are vulnerable at this time. This is also true during change and healing for us, as we can feel vulnerable and need time alone when we are letting go and moving forward out of our pain.”

    So true, indeed. Excellent piece. Snakes are a beautiful analogy for this change, indeed. They truly are exquisitely beautiful, mysterious and elusive creatures. I am always so honoured to meet one in the wild, clambering up a tree, sniveling down a limb, watching me quietly through the greenery. The sense of stillness and peace they exude is so attractive in the snake.

    Wonderful write. Really enjoy your blog and am so grateful to have found it. Best wishes,

    smiling toad

  5. Yes, like the snake we should shed our skin.. There is a wonderful parable about a snake: The parable is called: “the snake that lost his hiss”.. I should re-write the story on my blog.. Thanks. eve
    p.s. the parable? we might lose our bite, but not our hiss. very important to keep naughty people away.. lol

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