Serpentine entities tend to make themselves manifest when you begin working with them, and I was reminded of this earlier today whilst working on a curse rite for a client.
Do not be surprised if you see the same in response to your efforts. ;)
The more I dig into Serpent Magic in this context, the more revelations come to the surface and make their indelible mark on me and mine. This is to be expected & it speaks to the nature of these teachings.
No teachings should remain stagnant, nor should they have be without impact...if they are to make that scratch upon you, they require teeth. Serpents most definitely have teeth.
As you work with these beings, know that they'll lead you to a place of healing, but it won't always be what you expect. Sometimes, the place of healing is selfish and counterintuitive, but you feel it in your bones and the bones of the serpents you hold. That resonance leads to the ability to create echoing change.
Expect that your deepest, darkest fears will be brought to light and that you'll need to work through them. Expect that your dreams and visions will become more potent and present, and that they will show you what you need to see, not what you want to see.
Serpents & shadows intertwine. This is the way of things.
As a follow-up to my last post, the more one digs into the topic of working with spirits, the more obvious it becomes that there are layers upon layers of aspects to these interactions. They're intensely nuanced and quite individual, which is logical given the comparative age of serpentine beings. They're a powerful totem, and they hail from a primal point of development in prehistory, stretching back quite a ways.
The earliest known serpents are somewhere around 167 million years old, while we are quite young by comparison (I've seen articles dating us to around 300,000 years). That is quite the numbers difference, so when you tap into these beings, recognize that there's a distinctly primal aspect to their attitudes and manifestations that then inform and direct your work. This might seem counterintuitive, but there's a marked shift in perspective to be had in working with them, and this is part of that which changes our points of view.
The nature of the beings that you work with, too, will make quite the difference. Working with a common garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis) is going to have a different outcome from working with a Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis), and they'll differ from working with Naga and the like.
The approach and the nature of it matters, so be aware that these beings aren't "safe", strictly speaking. Rather, they can teach you an enormous respect for the land and all of the hidden things on it. They can help you to find treasures and truths you never thought you'd come to understand, and it will modify strongly how you interface with the world.
This is a healthy thing, but it can be a bit jarring. Hell, I've been working with these beings for many years now, and I learn something new every time I break out the bones.
Now that we've discussed some of the different aspects of Serpent Magic and the nature of this totem, we can discuss actually working with beings of this kind in more detail.
One of the first things one learns about working with serpents is the locality of it all. There's a certain timeliness and temporality of it all, as while these spirits tend to loop back in upon themselves, they do so because it is their nature. They're everywhere, but these entities don't necessarily travel everywhere, so the versions you interact with are local and lensed through both natural phenomena and your own mindset as you delve into workings with them.
The materials you bring to the table matter, and this applies to both your emotional state and the literal physical goods present. If you're interested in endeavoring to connect with such beings, there are some materials worth considering:
Things to stay away from:
Endeavoring to make use of the above will be a matter of intention, dedication, focus, and your ability to get into the headspace involved in working with these beings. If you haven't done this kind of work before, you will probably have several failures before you start to anchor yourself into the shift that occurs in working with these beings. If you want to work with them, you need to be able to follow them and their thought process, so if you're particularly rigid in your views & tendencies, you're going to have a bad time.
Its part of the challenge in interacting with beings of this sort, but this challenging nature is part of the spiritual weightlifting I've mentioned prior.
If you wish to approach the serpents of your area in ritual, take note of the above suggestions and create blends of herbs and spoken spells that resonate with you. Use them in combination with rootwork and candle magic to draw these powers to you. If you're successful, the doors will be flung wide open for you and you'll begin to have greater bouts of creative experience. It may be a bit alarming at first, but do lean into it.
Their essence can be rather intoxicating, so use some sense and set aside time enough in your schedule to do this properly.
The teachings of serpents have their twists and turns, and they can be quite confusing. When working with these beings, be aware that you may find yourself circling back around to what you started off with as an introduction to this process. This is frustrating and a bit confusing at times, but its also natural & a part of the process. When I find myself getting back to that state or topic, I pay careful attention to what's changed, be it the circumstances themselves or my perception of them, as that shift is exceedingly important. The nature of those changes then direct what happens next and how you handle the problems in front of you.
This seems an appropriate forewarning to share, as it will happen quite a bit at first. Later, as you've proved yourself worthy of delving deeper and gained some self-confidence, you'll find yourself improving beyond these loops. It'll still happen, just at a different pace and to a different extreme, and that too becomes a part of the growth.
This likely doesn't make a whole lot of sense now, but it will. Its a simple enough lesson, though difficult to grasp.
With snake spirits, it all comes down to flow. The trickle of inspiration and intent as it becomes something more, winding its way from a simple drop to a roaring tide. This momentum & the course it carves through the land and all things attached to it the Flow to which I refer, and learning to harness it for yourself is key.
As Lao Tzu once said, "Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. Byt water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong."
This teaching very much applies where Serpentine Educations are concerned, for coming to understand when softness is needed is a part of the Flow. There are times where you must insist upon a specific outcome, and there are times where the opposite is true. Learn when yielding is necessary and learn where rigidity is more practical, as the proper balance of these things allow you to stay in the proper Flow.
That proper Flow can then bring to you awesome things, and it can bring you to incredible realizations. When you've reached this Flow, you'll feel it. Then, you must stay within it.
As a continuation of the Serpent’s Education series, we are today to speak on justice & vengeance.
As you’ve been reading along, you’ve come to understand how prismatic and multifaceted the insights of serpents are. They are not your traditional morality, nor are they particularly unjust - selfish, but only in a practical sense. This applies to their dispensations, both prophetic & poisonous.
When you’ve truly been wronged by a person, there is a need to come to grips with that trauma in order to move forward with your life. For some, these things can be forgiven, overlooked, forgotten, or due recompense can be received. There are, however, times at which these more peaceful means are not satisfactory. They are not enough.
It is in times like these where justice must be meted out as a means of coming to grips with the pain & suffering involved. If you’ve tried the above steps and been left wanting, consider working curses to work out your frustrations.
This is not a suggestion to be taken lightly. Instead, it’s a serious topic with serious ramifications to be discussed with far more than a perfunctory dip of a toe into a pool. It is with the gravest respect for & understanding of this topic that I approach this podium.
If you’ve analyzed your situation and attempted to rectify the damage done & come to the understanding that more pernicious delivery mechanisms are required, the tone changes. Take up the mantle of enforcement, do your research and work your execrations wisely. Don’t make it personal. Become detached from the outcome as you work this, and make it into something fair & just, deserved & detrimental.
If you've done this work appropriately, your anger and resentment will lessen as those who've wronged you learn their lessons. Work your Will and then walk a-way. That is how a Serpent’s Justice is fulfilled.
As a step away from the Serpents and their lessons, I’ve got something of a side tangent to discuss. It all loops in as snake teachings are wont to do, so don’t worry about getting off-track.
Part of interacting with spirits productively is learning to understand them & derive useful understandings from your interactions with them. The closer to them you become, the more you understand, the more of their wisdom you can apply within the scope of your life.
Where you’re able to do so, be practical about any prophetic interactions you have. Use the divinatory tool of your choice to connect with these beings and understand them. Not all of them will be able to use English, but they can learn to communicate with you through your tools & this can make for an extremely helpful means of engagement.
To start this process, converse with your spirits and tell them what you’re up to. What you’re planning to do and how you’re planning to do it. Listen for their answers and perform readings to get their thoughts. Do this every single day without fail & you’ll notice that what is immensely confusing at first becomes extremely cogent and easy to understand.
There’s an added benefit: if you’re accustomed to doing this constantly, you’ll have a greater ease when the chips are down and stresses come up in your life. This makes it easier for you to navigate when you’re feeling bound up, and it generally increases your ability to maneuver over, under, around and through obstacles that arise & you’re giving your spirits a practical, accessible way of helping you.
That’s what makes for Practical Prophecy. It’s simple, and simple is a very good thing here.
Continuing the line of thought around Leviathan and Serpent Magic, it seems appropriate to discuss some of the wisdom that comes through these beings.
Theirs is the school of hard truths. The understanding that healing can often hurt more than the damage felt at the start & recognizing that many cures feel a whole lot like poison are both wisdom from a serpent's point of view. We improve through duress and difficulty, becoming stronger and more viable as a direct response to whatever duress we feel and act upon.
When you feel like you're being forced to shed one skin and begin anew, that's an act of embracing serpent's wisdom. You're going through the very same destruction and renewal process that keeps them fresh and you'll find that it keeps you healthy and whole in return. When these things come up, lean into them, draw from the experiences and let them renew you. As much as they might suck, these are sacred things.
Have the experience, take the bitter pill and learn from it. The path of purpose has some resistance to it. ;)
On the back of my post about Leviathan, it seems appropriate to discuss a related subject in brief: serpent magic.
Snakes are a much-maligned totem within magic and it’s practice. They’re often associated with liars and cheats and venemous tongues, but never for their practicality, their ability to heal, and their talent for understanding. In all my years working with serpentine spirits like Leviathan, Vasudeva, and Snake Mother, I’ve come to understand that they are often rather maternal in their presence, but calculatedly so. They seem to readily reflect the status quo as a means of coming to master it and its subtleties. As such, they are very water & earth-based, with a focus on reading the waters’ flow and how it connects ports and poets alike.
If you seek to work with serpents, you seek to work within the cosmic flow. In so doing, they will mandate that you rectify what is wrong within your life. This is not a moral attachment, but rather a judgement of levelness according to the cosmic balance. This is where Karma is made manifest, but also the means of appropriate action by way of which such causes and effects occurs harmoniously.
The more harmoniously situations can unfold, the less pain and frustration there is to be had overall. Learning to work in this way has its frustrations, to be sure, but it’s also about learning your limitations and steadily, consistently pushing out beyond them as a means of achieving growth.
It’s a kind of weight training for the soul. The spirits who engage in such things are demanding, but they’re demanding because they know what’s what. Working with those rigors can be immensely beneficial and instructive if you're willing to fully engage with these beings and their teachers.
Food for thought.
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This blog serves as an extension of my day to day magical works. A journal, if you will.