Ten Snakes Slithering
On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love (the creative spirit) sent to me:
Ten Snakes Slithering
Nine Screeching Cockies
Eight Green Turtles Ambling
Seven Platypus Swimming
Six Numbats Digging
Five Satin Bowerbirds Decorating
Four Australian Fur Seals Frolicking
Three Tasmanian Tigers barking
Two Superb Lyrebirds Mimicking
and a Kookaburra up a Gum Tree
The Rainbow Serpent or Rainbow Snake is an immortal being and creating God in Aboriginal Mythology. It is a popular image in the art of Aboriginal Australia. It is the shape of a rainbow and a snake.
The connection between snake and rainbow suggests the cycle of the seasons and the significance of them and water in human life. When a rainbow is seen in the sky, it is supposed to be the Rainbow Serpent traveling from one waterhole to another.
This is meant to explain why some waterholes never dry up when drought strikes. There are countless names and stories connected with the serpent. They all illustrate the importance and dominance of its presence within Aboriginal traditions.
It is said to be the giver of life, due to its connection to water, however it can be a destructive force if enraged.
The Rainbow Serpent (Snake) has a significant role in the beliefs and culture of the Aboriginals in western Arnhem Land. Today it is associated with ceremonies about fertility.
Aboriginals in the Kimberley regions believe that the Rainbow Serpent places spirit-children throughout waterholes in which women will become impregnated if they wade in the water.
Snakes can see, hear and smell quite well. Snakes primarily use scent receptors on their tongue to aid in smelling for prey and new situations, this is why they often flick their tongue. Snakes move via contracting and releasing their muscles. They shed their skin seasonally. As reptiles, they are dependent on sunlight to fuel their movement. Snakes in Australia lay eggs, or give birth via live birth. Some of the more well-known snakes in Australia are the mulga, brown, tiger snake, python, taipan and the dugite. Read more at Wild Speak
Snakes are a symbol of fear and evil worldwide, as they are also revered and worshipped as a symbol of rebirth and transformation. As Snake sheds his skin we are reminded of our ability to change our old skin and grow something new; perhaps this could relate to an attitude or way of living. It’s always an inevitable change, and it requires a time of slowing down and resting.
It might be time to clarify what you perceive as your life purpose – do you know what this is? Defining your personal “reason” for being can be used as a touchstone for staying on target and in harmony with your ideals. It’s a purpose that can shift and change, it isn’t static as the Rainbow Serpent’s journey wasn’t a static event in the past but a thread weaving through all time.
As the creator of the landscape of your life, it is up to you just where your songline leads you… consciously defining your purpose and seeing this as the current in your life can add perspective and a sense of direction which bypasses perceived failings and in a literal sense, being snake biting its own tail. Source – Native Symbols.