Snakeskin

How’s it going for you these days? If you’re like me (ie. a human being) you may be running the scales of the emotional instrument, finding tones and shades, sounds and range that maybe hadn’t been heard before.

These days goals can be thrown out the window in favour of the moment - sometimes easily, sometimes reluctantly. Close to the end of this week, I was sensing that I have to change to meet whatever is coming, and I don’t know what is being shed to make that new thing visible and knowable to me. “Ahh, snakeskin world,” a friend told me by text.

So maybe those scales I mentioned are referring to something other than music. (Ah but I hear the chorus call out: is there ANYTHING other than music?) I digress…

Allegorical reference to the caduceus of Mercury in the hand of Rhetoric.

The snake. Is it the wise kundalini in the spine, the tempter in the garden wound round the tree, the hypnotized cobra swaying up from its basket, entranced by the flute? Or is it the necklace encircling Siva’s throat or the Caduceus snake symbol for health and medicine?

All this, and gambling, too! Snake eyes! And beware the snake pit - both the Indiana Jones version or the horrors of Olivia de Havilland in the movie of the same name.

This alchemical image from Aurora Consurgens shows the kind of thing that happens when you stay inside

I’m leaning more toward Orouboros, circling with Möbius tendencies. It can range from larger than anyone can imagine, to smaller than we can conceive. Snakes, the beings who live underground, flashing out through the bush or swamp or whatever, in colours and patterns like beadwork. I remember souvenir beadwork belts we had as kids that said “Calgary” on them.

Why was I going a little snakey this week? Inside myself the shifts are big. The old snakeskin can be hard to shed, it gets stuck to the new scales. I have to shuffle a little, find something to rub it against - the walls, people, ideas - while urgently waiting (if there is such a thing) for it to move a bit, letting the old skin slough off to be left behind.

Snakeskins from the day before are littering the apartment - shed in the night, shed in the morning or the day before. Wow, look at that! It’s perfect, translucent, the scale pattern is still visible as a delicate tracery, and it’s almost as if I could read it. Yes, I can see it now that it isn’t encasing and confining me, constricting my growth. Don't get me wrong, I’d love to keep wearing it. I confess that sometimes I’ve picked up a part of an old one, tried to fit back into it, found out that didn’t work (of course it wouldn't) tossed it out and moved on. Each old skin is very familiar and I almost believe that it’s my own self, except that I know better.

Of course, the joke’s on me. I’m fundamentally changing into who I’ve always been, just a little more so.

Now in the demand of this time and intensity, the coverings are moving off more quickly as I get ready to face the reality of life now, today. I’m not putting on more armour to meet the requirements of each new day. It is not the time to restrict agile movement. I let fall all those old embedded armoured patterns.

Perhaps it is the same with the world, shedding the old forms while we are inside incubating another way of life.


Years ago when I was talking with our Tibetan friend Lama Kaldan, I told him about some people who I’d met and liked very much, saying, “They’re just like us.” He raised his eyebrows and replied, “Oh, you mean human beings?” (ouch)


Happy celebration of renewal and spring this weekend! Whatever you are doing at this time is shared in concert with all, known and unknown to the world.


I’ve been a rampant magpie today, picking up images from the web and dropping them here without much attribution. Here’s what I know so far: The Calgary belt was on Etsy, the photo of Lama Kaldan was from the meditation centre he founded in Edmonton, the allegory of Rhetoric was on wikipedia, the Alchemy tv series was something I made years ago - sources lost, while the Aurora Consurgens pic was on BBC.

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