Themes :

Imagery of snakes and serpents often appear in sacred poetry and art. This can cause confusion because Christian iconography focuses so heavily on the image of the serpent in the Garden of Eden as an expression of evil or the Devil. But among Eastern spiritual traditions (as well as pre-Christian traditions in Europe), snakes represent the Divine Feminine. And in Yogic terminology the snake is the sacred Kundalini Shakti, the energy of spiritual power found within each individual as well as the power of manifestation in the universe.

In most individuals this energy is coiled up and dormant at the base of the spine. Through spiritual practice and stillness of mind, or occasionally through trauma, the Kundalini is awakened and it rises up the spine to the crown.

Sometimes this rising of the Kundalini serpent can be so powerful that trembling or, in extreme cases, convulsions and unconsciousness result. Spiritual practice and increasing familiarity with the energy minimizes these more disruptive expressions.

Although initially overwhelming, the awakening of the Kundalini is a profoundly blissful, liberating state of awareness that beautifully clears the mind. Reality is perceived directly, without the coloring of our "normal" mental filters. Everything is new and alive in a way not perceived before.

When you allow yourself to go deeply into the awakening of the Kundalini, your normal sense of identity, the little self, the ego, disappears. There is no "you" left, just the radiant state of Being.

The shift in consciousness is so profound that it is often compared with waking up after a deep sleep. It is the initiation of spiritual enlightenment.

Snakes and the Kundalini also represent specifically women's power. Although the shape of a snake is phallic, its serpentine movement and ability to shed its skin bring to mind the cycle of seasons and the moon -- feminine expressions in nature.

The Kundalini itself is considered a Goddess or an expression of the Goddess energy within Hindu traditions. It is the feminine aspect of the (apparently) divided spiritual energy. When it is awakened and rises, it rejoins the masculine aspect of the Divine (Shiva) which resides at the crown (the mountaintop).

Poems with the theme of Snake

  Abil-Kheir, Abu-Said On Unity's Way
  Andal O great deep ocean
  Attar, Farid ud-Din The Valley of the Quest
  Avaiyar Vinayagar Agaval
  Blake, William Auguries of Innocence
  Govindasvami Holy sixth day
  Granger, Ivan M. Medusa
  Hanh, Thich Nhat Contemplation
  Hirshfield, Jane The Envoy
  Holderlin, Friedrich All the Fruit...
  Hsuan Chueh of Yung Chia / Yoka Genkaku Roll the Dharma thunder (from The Song of Enlightenment)
  Hsuan Chueh of Yung Chia / Yoka Genkaku [17] The incomparable lion-roar of doctrine (from The Shodoka)
  Hsuan Chueh of Yung Chia / Yoka Genkaku [27] A bowl once calmed dragons (from The Shodoka)
  ibn Gabirol, Solomon Before I was, Thy mercy came to me
  Jayadeva You rest on the circle of Sri's breast (from The Gitagovinda)
  Lowitz, Leza Waiting
  Milosz, Czeslaw A Song on the End of the World
  Mirabai The Music
  Nasimi, Imadeddin At love's most sumptuous feast was I with love made drunk
  Pampattic Cittar Dance o snake
  Pampattic Cittar Like the drops of water that will not adhere to the leaf of the lotus
  Ramprasad (Sen, Ramprasad) Kulakundalini, Goddess Full of Brahman, Tara
  Ravidas When I existed
  Roethke, Theodore In a Dark Time
  Rosenstock, Gabriel snake unwinding
  Ryuzan Clear in the blue, the moon!
  Shih Shu Emptiness is a long story
  Solovyov, Vladimir The Sign
  Soseki, Muso Buddha's Satori
  Soseki, Muso Old Creek
  Trungpa, Chogyam Purifying and Invoking the Four Directions
  Tukaram Smaller than the smallest atom
  Yun, Hsu Feelings on Remembering the Day I first Produced the Mind