Last Saturday I was sitting inside my house in Florida. There are sliding glass doors across the living room wall looking out on to the patio. I happened to glance out at the white lawn chair where the lizards play. All of the sudden I saw something black,around two feet in length slithering around the chair. On closer inspection I realized it was a snake! I had never seen one in Florida and had not even thought about them being here! Obviously I am in the tropics and anything could be lurking about. I have to say I was brought up to fear snakes. One of my mother’s biggest fears were snakes. It was ingrained in my being to think snakes are terrible creatures to be frightened of. Once while hiking with a group of women at one of my retreats in Sedona a snake crossed our path and I literally jumped into the arms of one of the participants! How embarrassing, I was supposed to be the leader. It was an automatic response to all that programming of fear!
This time was different! I had recently done a workshop that included looking at snake’s and what they represent as an animal totem. We learned about what the symbolism in several cultures of snake energy represents. The most powerful meaning to me was that of TRANSFORMATION! They also represent divine energy, power of creation,sexuality,healing,and rebirth! This began to shift my thinking about snakes. I also studied Peruvian Shamanism for several years. When we call in the four directions in rituals the direction of the south is symbolized by the snake. In that culture snakes represent the power in shedding their skin. The way I was taught the shamans believe that we like the snake have the ability to let go of that which we no longer need to hold onto with ease. If it is our true intention to release that which no longer serves us. Old wounds, fears, beliefs. They use this symbolism of the snake who effortlessly sheds their skin in one piece. This is to empower people to know they do not have to sit on a therapist couch for twenty years talking about their wounds. When the time is right, with divine intervention and true desire and intention one can shed that which they no longer need to carry. Just as the snake sheds its skin. True transformation once again!
As I was watching the black snake on my patio I began to see it’s beauty and grace. The way it moved actually fascinated me rather than repulsed or scared me. I watched it leave the patio and gracefully move across the lawn. I felt honored that snake medicine as the shamans would say had come into my space to remind and acknowledge me. I felt that this snake represented for me the powerful journey of transformation that I am on! This was a true manifestation of transmutation. Changing the form from my fear of snakes into an experience of appreciation and empowerment! Look at a fear in your own life! Something you feel ready to let go of. See if by holding it in a new light you can shed a skin of your own with ease and grace. Happy shedding!