Snake medicine people are very rare. Their initiation involves experiencing and living through multiple snake bites, which allows them to transmute all poisons, be they mental, physical, spiritual, or emotional. The power of snake medicine is the power of creation, for it embodies sexuality, psychic energy, alchemy, reproduction, and ascension (or immortality).
The transmutation of the life-death-rebirth cycle is exemplified by the shedding of Snake’s skin. It is the energy of wholeness, cosmic consciousness, and the ability to experience anything willingly and without resistance. It is the knowledge that all things are equal in creation, and that those things which might be experienced as poison can be eaten, ingested, integrated, and transmuted if one has the proper state of mind. Thoth, the Atlantian who later returned as Hermes and was the father of alchemy, used the symbology of two snakes intertwining around a sword to represent healing. Complete understanding and acceptance of the male and female within each organism creates a melding of the two into one, thereby producing divine energy.
This medicine teaches you on a personal level that you are a universal being. Through accepting all aspects of your life, you can bring about the transmutation of the fire medicine. This fire energy, when functioning on the material plane, creates passion, desire, procreation, and physical vitality. On the emotional place, it becomes ambition, creation, resolution, and dreams. On the mental place it becomes intellect, power, charisma, and leadership. When this Snake energy reaches the spiritual plane, it becomes wisdom, understanding, wholeness and connection to Great Spirit. If you have chosen this symbol, there is a need within you to transmute some thought, action, or desire so that wholeness may be achieved. This is heavy magic, but remember, magic is no more than a change in consciousness. Become the magician or the enchantress: transmute the energy and accept the power of the fire.
If you have drawn this symbol in the reverse, you may have chosen to mask your ability to change. Look at the idea that you may fear changing your present state of affairs because this may entail a short passage of discomfort. Does this discomfort keep you from assuming the viewpoint of the magician within? Is the old pattern safe, reliable, and a rut? In order to glide beyond that place which has become safe but nonproductive, become Snake. Release the outer skin of your present identity.
Move through the dreamlike illusion that has insisted on static continuity, and find a new rhythm as your body glides across the sands of consciousness, like a river winding its way toward the great waters of the sea. Immerse yourself in that water, and know that the single droplet which you represent is being accepted by the whole.
Feel Snake’s rhythm and you will dance freely, incorporating those transmuting forces of the universe as a part of your sensual dance of power.
Excerpt from “Medicine Cards” by Jamie Sams & David Carson