Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Snake

Most images in art of a woman and a snake are Eve, and the snake is a force of evil.  Which is all a bit hard on the snake... and the woman.  About the only other female figure in art shown with a serpent is Hygieia.

Hygieia is the daughter of the god of Medicine, Asklepius--Goddess of preserving health and leanliness. Like Asklepius she is often pictured with the snake, and also a medicine bowl.  Because snakes dwell in the earth they were seen as representing the soul and the wisdom of ancestors dwelling in Hades (the sleeping place of all the dead, not the Christian place for punishing the non-righteous.)

In my opinion we need fewer portraits of Eve, and more of Hygieai.

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