ARTICLE: The Potency of the Serpent: The Power in Unravelling

Hygeia by Klimt.jpg
Image: Hygeia – Detail of ‘Medicine’ – Gustav Klimt

The Potency of the Serpent:

The Power in Unravelling


(As published in The Urban Howl)


A serpent rests within each one of us, deep down. Coiled. A primordial spiral of energy that is ready to rise, ready to strike! She resides in the dark, her eyes bright. Glimmering, even as she sleeps. And she is poised and patient, she will wait for as long as it takes. Days, weeks, years…millennia! She is the guardian of the unconscious and when at last she uncoils, that which is unknown will become known. When at last she raises her head, there will be revelations! Truths will be uncovered and lies will fall away.


But not until the snake has awoken and unravelled. Not until she has unfurled from her position deep within the unconscious. Not until she is ready – until we are ready! And so she lies in a state of pre-contemplation.


A place of deep slumber.


Serpent & knowledge
Image Source:


First must come the moment of collapse. A moment of crisis when the false truths we have held on to – have gripped on to for safety – are found to be nothing but empty lies. Pleasant falsehoods. Flimsy deceptions. A time when we are flooded with feelings of defeat and of failure. Of grief! For we have loved the old beliefs and all their familiarity. We have nurtured them. We have fought to protect the comfortable lies we held close to us. We knew them as dear friends.


It is within these moments of crisis that the snake is awoken. She can sense that a time of undoing is close. She is highly attuned and can taste such sentiments with her forked tongue. Savouring them. Soon she must loosen her coils and start to move.


Soon! But not yet.


Fear follows crisis. Fear of the unknown. A horror of impeding change. Terror of the unchartered course we are hurtling towards. Ignorance has been a bed of bliss that we have long slept within. We have been lost within our torpor. Adrift inside a cloud of soft and complacent dreams. But a crisis has awoken us and we fear the darkness that now surrounds us. We want to believe we are within a nightmare, for if we are still dreaming we can find our way back to our complacency. So we cry out and we curse; we thrash our arms and legs about in order to push the nightmare away. Or we close our eyes tight shut and try to feign our sleep once more.


Ignore our terrors. Fool ourselves.


Image source: Pinterest

But deep down we know that we have awoken. We have bitten into the gleaming apple of knowledge and there is no turning back. And we begin to understand that we have a choice. Because when we fear to face the new light we also our choose to dwell in the old darkness. In our desperation to live within the sweet shadows of our night-time dreams we also choose to shut out the glorious light of the rising dawn.

Yet we fight it with all our might. We battle against this perceived foe called ‘change’. Or we lay in dread, our bodies trembling and our minds screaming – inactive and impotent. We are paralysed and unable to move at all. Our crisis is not the situation itself but our willingness to face it. And to move forward.


So we slowly unravel. Into apparent chaos, into seeming madness.


And now! Now the serpent knows that it is her time. Her forked tongue flickers, her scales glisten as her muscles glide beneath her skin – and ours. As we begin to unravel from within our place of fear – she too starts to unfurl. Stretching toward the light.


Yes, she is here to make the unconscious, conscious.


She will not allow us to go back to a place of blissful sleep, for she knows that when we are awake, we are at our most powerful. When we are conscious we can act from a place of foresight and of insight and of deep intuition. Of truth.


Her coils loosen, slowly. The process will take time. There is much work to do! She writhes up from our roots, bringing with her an ancient remembering. She is here to rise, to heal and to transform. She senses all – the deep regrets, past hurts and former transgressions. But they are the old ways. They are obsolete. And she is here to help us shed the old ways – of deception and deceit – for they are an old skin that we have outgrown. The serpent has no use for that which no longer fits her. We too have outgrown the old and she invites us to discard that which no longer serves us. To cast it aside.


It is time for renewal. For regeneration and revival.


We feel her first in our loins. In fight or flight. In self-preservation. In our hard-shell of self-protection. She is a rooted pulse, which starts to thrum and becomes an inner earthquake. She cracks us wide open. We discover that far beneath our hard-core is a magma that – now released – will run through our bloodstreams. Our senses awaken to that beyond the ego.


Next we feel her within our abdomen. Our gut – releasing all that has been knotted and gnarled in our terror. We can loosen our senseless grip on self-criticism that holds us back. On impotency that stops us acting at all. Her movements twist through our self-doubt. She whips through our feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy until they are nothing but dust – for she will not allow us to use these as excuses.


Onward and upward, she slides on her belly up our spines – the backbone of all that we are. She caresses each vertebrae and recalibrates us. Realligns. Our backs are no longer bent under the strains of our personal burdens. Our shoulders no longer yoked to our former pains.


Love B&W
Sculpture: Love – Oliver Ler Marinkoski (Source: Pinterest)


Still upward she rises to our hearts – and here we feel such pain! Such shame! Our chests have long been constricted. Too small and too compressed. In order to protect ourselves we have given meagre love and so the love we have received has also been meagre. But we are worthy of so much more and she ignites that knowledge within us. But as she moves through our heart-space the intense pain of love brings us to our knees. We must surrender to love or implode, collapsing in upon ourselves like dead stars. For this love is the source of everything!


And up, up, up! She rises forth.


With her tail still at our root, she moves through our throats, into our mouths. The primal hiss of breath is liberated from our lungs. And words that have been locked tight inside us can at last pour forth. Blazing like wildfire or tumbling like a waterfall from our tongues. We can speak the language of love – which is not just soft, saccharine words whispered into the ear of a lover nor the insipid lyrics of a shallow romance, no! It is cries of support as we express our love to those oppressed and exploited. Shouts of joy as we hold one another up. We can learn the power of ‘No!’ and also the power of ’Yes!’ when spoken from a place of Truth – alone or in unison.


And still she rises, surging upward to our minds. Our bodies are ablaze – our intuition honed, our hearts open, and our tongues loosened. And now she will un-shackle our thoughts. Free us from the grip of our biggest enemy – apathy. She stirs through the mind-fog, clearing the mists so we can start to perceive and discern. She has shaken us to our core only to gift us with her power of perception. Of inner knowledge. We can become sharp, keen and aware.


At last we are conscious and we are ready for action.


At last we are ready to rise to the challenge of the new dawn, the light of sunrise gleaming within our awakened eyes.


At last we are ready to strike forward in our sovereignty.


And now we have learned that within the profound pain of our unravelling we have gained the healing power of the high priestess. The potency of the serpent.