Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Fiery Ones

Not long ago I was reading in a gnostic text how Jesus was talking to his followers about how Moses "raised the serpent" in the desert.  I thought this was curious and decided to check it out. 

It turns out that despite all of the demonizing of the serpent in the Judaic-Christian traditions, there is also what appear to be remnants of the old knowledge base where serpents represented spiritual power and illumination.  Moses was commanded (voice in his head) to create a seraph that he was to set up where all could see.  This seraph was a fiery serpent that was to be made of a metal that looked like the sun.  This serpent or seraph was to twine itself around a central post and those who gazed upon it could be healed, the account goes, from snake bites.  This takes place in the Old Testament Numbers 21:4-9

This led to looking into the etymology of seraph.  The Seraphim were those angels who had direct communication with God.  These Seraphim were said to surround the deity with their wings and that these Seraphim also had six wings in one account. The Serpahim were "fiery ones" and it is this phrase that serves to begin to knit the serpents and the angels together.  

Some have sought to make a connection between this serpent and Jesus many years later, explaining that God commanded Moses to raise the serpent as a way for people to atone for their sin.  In this case, God sent fiery serpents to the people to bite them because of how much they were complaining about being out in the desert. I find the fiery serpent mention interesting and I wonder if this was not instead a reference to kundalini awakenings....that in fact god was sending awakenings to the people so that they were "bitten" by the power of the seraph or the fiery ones.  Could this story be one that is more metaphorical than literal?  It seems a little silly to me that God would send snakes to bite people because they were complaining, you know?  It seems more fair to consider that if you were undergoing an awakening that gazing upon an image of the snake rising could help you to visualize the serpent fire rising in your own being, which would help to alleviate suffering that is common in kundalini awakenings.  In the Hindu tradition the process is not complete until the serpents are allowed to rise into the crown. Until then, the energy channels are still being cleansed, and if the individual resists this climb they are also resisting the cleansing of what the Hindu call the nadi (pronounced "nardi") which are energy channels that carry emotional knots, energy knots that resist the full flow of the divine force.  Having an image in the mind of something flowing upwards could serve as an important way to help ease the pain from the "bite" of the awakening. it may also be that Moses himself had awakened kundalini.  When there is one who is awakened, that person can often help others to awaken in a similar fashion.  Clearly this was happening with Jesus when you look at the hidden gospels of Philip, Thomas, Mary, and others which were discovered in the desert of Nag Hammadi in 1945. 

What is described in Numbers is how a serpent cast out of brass or bronze was shown to be moving up a central post.  This image is the same image as the Rod of Asclepius who was the Greek God of healing. it is also very similar to the Caduceus which is a representation of kundalini.  I do wonder, though, if the Rod of Asclepius isn't the same as the serpent that Moses raised in the desert, and if both Caduceus and the Rod of Asclepius aren't versions of the same idea.  That these are tied to healing are not far off the mark as kundalini is itself a very healing energy, a kind of universal righter of wrongs that get expressed as disease in the body.  Physician, heal thyself!

If connected, all of this places serpents much more closely at the doorstep of the Judeo-Christian tradition than some may have realized and may also help to pull back the curtain on a collective belief that the serpent was a universal symbol for transcendent spiritual power and presence.  The seraphim, the fiery ones the fiery all merges back into an older root.

To read more about the serpent connection, read the very popular post on Quetzalcoatl on this blog HERE.  

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