Artwork by Jessica Perlstein
Serpent comes winding across the path
makes herself known
and a swift runner stops to meet her eyes
black diamonds of shivering fire.
The seeker within stirs its sleepy coils.
Receiving this dark sight, the runner asks of Serpent
Why am I afraid?
If you bite me…Won’t it excite me?
Won’t I learn the secrets of this life?
Serpent, what strange medicine do you bear?
Serpent’s bite is blinding, the seeker crawls away.
Heart-stopping, skin-crawling venom works within.
Serpent watches and waits patiently
while each breath brings the seeker closer to Life
every cell awakening to Her call.
Inside the seeker, the venom reveals the Mystery.
Poison can be transmuted, old skin shed.
Perhaps, this means that I AM dead?
The seeker finds a stillness at the center of things
and surrenders with a final breath
only to open fresh newborn eyes
on a world transmuted and alive with magic
as the guardian of the path
slides back into the shadows.
The seeker smiles, and turns within again.
Serpent, you open my heart.
What more can I say?
Was that me or was that you?
I am open to heaven on earth, I am exposed.
The shedding of skin. Let it begin.
Layer upon layer. Transmuting to LOVE.
I will heal again, again and again
in service to Life itself.
The medicine of the Serpent is Transmutation.
Carriers of snake medicine have traditionally been those who have survived multiple snake bites and thus gain the gift of transmuting all poisons—be they physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual—into power and greater life. The power of Serpent is the power of creation, embodied through healing sexuality, potent psychic energy, alchemy, reproduction, and ascension (or immortality).
Transmutation comes through being willing to experience all things willingly and without resistance. It is the knowledge that all things are equal in creation, and that those things which might be experienced as poison can be eaten, ingested, integrated, and transmuted if one has the proper state of mind. The medicine of the Serpent reminds us that Being is Universal.
I AM THAT I AM, says the Serpent.
Do not forget it.