Deep in the jungle, they remain perfectly still, waiting hours or even days until the perfect moment. In the dark savannah of Africa, they wait hidden in comfortable dens beneath the ground the earth and strike upward at unseen prey. In the caves of Cuba, they even hang upside down to catch flying bats out of thin air in total darkness.
How do they sense the perfect moment to strike? What special senses do they have that allow them to judge distance, force, angle, and the path of their prey? Serpents often hunt in near or total darkness or emerge from hiding to strike at prey they haven’t yet seen—and they have no ears. Yet despite this, when an enticing meal happens by, Serpents rarely miss their prey.
Over the years, people have created hundreds of stories and myths about the supernatural powers these creatures possess. Western scientists believed snakes were completely deaf for centuries, despite the experiences of keepers around the world who knew serpents possessed a profound yet unusual sense of hearing. And only in the past 50 years have we begun to understand how Serpents are able to see in the dark!
Serpents ‘see’ their prey as a heat signature—the living energy of their warmth rather than their appearance. This special energetic vision allows them to look through ‘solid’ objects so long as they are inert—stones, plants, and water—to single out the life force of the creatures they seek. They themselves are also invisible to such infrared vision, meaning they are doubly invisible when they need to be.
As for hearing—snakes may lack external ears and earholes, but they are far from deaf. In fact, it appears that most Serpents sense sound as vibrations, received through nerves connected to their jawbone as it rests on the ground. These nerves connect to a full inner ear structure similar to our own. So, Serpents hear much as we do, but they listen to the Earth instead of the Air. Try this—the next time you’re at the beach, put your ear to the sand and close your eyes. You can hear a person approaching from meters away, while your other ear hears nothing! This is how snakes are able to hear through layers of leaves or sand to strike with perfect accuracy in total darkness.
In fact, the sense of hearing of some Serpents, including the royal pythons of our Sanctum, is so acute that they can also hear the vibrations of sound in the air. They are especially attuned to low notes such as those produced by a cello—contrary to popular belief, low bass and high pitched noises do not seem to affect them. However, little is known about the full senses of Serpents, and some scientists believe that the sense organs present in their skin allow them to detect vibration with their entire bodies, both from air and earth!
Serpents have much to teach us about connecting to the Earth, sensing energy, and listening in new and powerful ways. Perhaps someday, we too will be able to gain new and valuable wisdom by listening with our whole bodies, and can begin to see the warm hearts around us as clearly as these cold-blooded yet sensitive and sensual teachers.