Origin of mind sir.18 //  the symbol of snake

You see a group of symbols that are produced from a combination of mind common to all humankind and the regional cultures.

We can see the mechanism to create the culture there.  I take up the symbols of a snake.  


 そこには文化を生みだすメカニズムがあります。  一例として蛇の表象を取り上げます。

sacred Azure Dragon: 神聖な青竜  

< sacred Azure Dragon: 神聖な青竜  >

dragon dances , The festival of the shrine in Nagasaki: 蛇踊り、長崎の神社の祭り


< dragon dances , The festival of the shrine in Nagasaki: 蛇踊り、長崎の神社の祭り >

white snake, wooden votive tablet in Japan: 白蛇、祈願の絵馬


< white snake, wooden votive tablet in Japan: 白蛇、祈願の絵馬 >

sacred snakes : 神聖な蛇 


< sacred snakes  : 神聖な蛇 >

Two left figures are the symbol of a snake with which the roof and stairs of the royal palace in Bangkok in Thailand are decorated.

 The right figure is a pyramid of Chichen Itza, and the ruins of Mayan civilization in Mexico.

 The snake is thinly extended at the tip of the roof of the royal palace.  

The snake of stairs is Nage God of the India myth, and Buddhism.  

Only in the vernal equinox and the autumnal equinox, the image of a snake appears on the stairs of the pyramid.

 This is expressing the highest God.  Many the myth, legends, and symbols associated with the snake are around us.  

Furthermore, there are dragons that are considered to have developed from the snake.  

The legendary snakes are a sacred God, at other time, are a demon and a mischievous person.

 Although the interpretations to it differ in every corner of the earth, there is a clear tendency.  

For example, many red to coloring of the shrine of East Asia was used, and Cro-Magnon man applied the reddish soil to the body at the time of burial.  

Ancient Japanese and tropical indigenous people also paint on the body with the reddish soil.  

The same mechanism is working also to old taboo and the anecdote of many religion scriptures.  













The symbol of a snake : 蛇の表象


 The symbol of a snake : 蛇の表象 >

It is explained to an anticlockwise from the top central left figure.

1     A Coin of Israel: God with the leg of the snake, in about 200 BC. Rome had ruled the country. The representation is opposed to Judaism.

2   The dragon decorated with the building in Munich.

3     God of the ancient Mesopotamia: in 2200 BC. 

4      Symbol of medical god in ancient Greece: in 300 BC. This was inherited by the symbol of World Health Organization. 

5      The figure of highest God of the Mexico ancient civilization: in the first century to sixth century.

6      Hindu’s Naga God:  ante-Christum.

7      The goddess of the China myth: Before 1000 BC.

8      The mural painting in the ancient tomb in Japan: in the seventh century.


1   イスラエルのコイン:蛇足の神、前2~1世紀、ローマに支配されていた時代、ユダヤ教と対立する表象でした。

2   ミュンヘンにある建物を飾るドラゴン。

3   メソポタミアの神:前22世紀

4   ギリシアの医神アスクレピオスのシンボル:前3世紀、世界保険機構のシンボルに継承されている。

5   メキシコ古代文明の最高神の図:紀元~後6世紀

6   ヒンドゥーのナーガ神:紀元前

7   中国神話の女神:前1千年紀以前

8   日本の古墳内の壁画:後7世紀。

What does the image of the snake have?

A portion of modern person lives in a city has a snake phobia as well as a tip phobia.

Why do the humankind fear a snake?

When the howler monkey that lives on a tree makes warning sound to foreign enemies.

They used selectively the voice against a snake, an eagle, and a panther.

It is about 200 million years ago that the snake branched from the lizard. Probably, the ancestor of our ancient times feared the snake.







Some culture of indigenous peoples may distinguish an animal to a sacred thing and a thing without that right.

At this time, many cultures worship the thing similar to four-footed animal or a helpful one, and evade except it. Conversely, it may worship the latter for special regard.

Categorization and symbolization have always occurred in human cognition.

The lifestyles of snake have the big feature.

99% or more of poisonous reptiles on the earth are snakes.

Snakes have the poison are 25% or more in 3000 kinds. Therefore, the snake was feared and enough attracted attention.

The snake casts off the skin many times, lives in the waterside, and moreover it creeps out from underground, it has an eye peculiar to reptiles.

This will symbolize reproduction and non-death, the blessing of water, a good harvest, and fear, respectively.









Then, why did some different interpretation arise in the world?

There might be relations with the humankind’s farming started on 10,000 years ago greatly.

In the rice cultivation area in Southeast Asia, the submersion under water by a flood was what should welcome than dry weather.

That will be a reason in which Naga God of the river in India existed.

On the other hand, the bigger flood was a calamity for Mesopotamia had a combination of wheat cultivation and stock farming.

Furthermore, Israel was hostile to neighboring Phoenicia’s farming God. Probably, the Israel myth that gives priority to stock farming induced adversary leviathan.

In this way, the symbol and myth of the snake were developed.








Even only one symbol and idea worked a complex mechanism and arose.

The symbol of the snake that does not suit modern society continues surviving.

Next time, you touch easily about a culture and a national character.




Categories: culture+society, history+evolution, <english language, Series: Origin of mind | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Origin of mind sir.18 //  the symbol of snake

  1. Informative blog. Might I mention that the ancient Egyptian religion had a harvest goddess named renenutet. She was a goddess of fertility, harvest and a protector of pharaoh. She was in Greek times incorporated into the worship of Isis, but to this day small shrines to renenutet are left in the fields of farmers in Egypt to honor her and to insure good crops.

  2. I forgot to mention that renenutet was always depicted as a cobra!

  3. Thank you for the detailed information. I had ignored God of Egypt. This God( renenutet) did not know. Is it the example with which cobra and fertility were connected.
    Please let me know well from now on.

  4. Yes, renenutet was a goddess of fertility, harvest and more. You can find a good discriptions at touregypt.net under Egyptian gods. I have a deep intrest in all things ancient . Thanks for the reply

  5. Thank you for teaching the place that I can investigate.

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