Colm Holland’s 40 Days of Alchemy Meditations at home.
DAY 26 - The Snake
On day 7 of this series of meditations I talked about the importance of personal Omens or Signs when we are committing to a particular course of action in our daily lives. They can encourage us to move forward along a chosen path and can come directly to nature around us.
Today I was thinking about whether I should write about the symbol of The Snake in the story of the encounter between Santiago and the alchemist in Paulo Coelho’s book: The Alchemist. With that thought in mind I went into my garden where I have started growing vegetables and inside the glass house I was greeted by a snake - a harmless species thankfully.
It’s not often I receive an omen so instantaneously unless I am promoting the truths about personal transformation toward true empowerment - in which case whenever I ask the question, ‘Am I on the right path?’ - they do tend to appear quickly. I have written several accounts of instant omens here if you want to join my facebook group to read them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ColmHollandAlchemistsGroup/
I took the omen of the snake as a sign to write today's blog on the topic because it holds an extremely important truth about our personal transformation.
‘In his hand, the alchemist grasped a snake by the tail...with his scimitar he drew a circle in the sand, and then he placed the snake within it. The serpent relaxed immediately. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho.
The alchemist is looking for a sign that Santiago is ready to be shown how to use his newly found power in his world. As they charge into the desert on horseback, Santiago’s horse slows as if sensing something in the ground. Santiago tells the alchemist the animal knows there is life here and then the alchemist puts his hand into a hole and pulls out the snake.
The circular snake is a prominent symbol in ancient alchemy. Professor Carl Jung, the great interpreter of the symbols of the ancient alchemists - who he believed knew more about personal transformation than most - said they expressed the paradox of the duality of our hearts through the symbol of the circular snake called the Ouroboros - the snake that eats its own tail.
The snake in the circle is a symbol of our hard won personal integration and wholeness.
For Jung, the symbol represents the integration and assimilation of the opposites within our psyche, that leads to the integration of our ‘shadow self’ to form the ‘new self’. This is the Philosopher's Child.
The alchemist now had the sign to take Santiago on as his apprentice - he needed this Omen because to move forward into action without having reached a level of inner wholeness could destroy the boy’s hope of ever reaching his treasure.
Love will never take you beyond what you know into danger but will constantly encourage you toward your true destiny. Colm Holland - The Secret of The Alchemist
The Love I need to move forward into action is already within me.
Remember I have asked Love to give you everything you need to be the Alchemist in your world - and it all begins with a thought.
Colm Holland is a writer, mentor, speaker, alchemy trainer and adventurer.