Serpent Day (February 1st)
The serpent is renown for many things and, depending on the culture or superstition, the snake may represent virtuous qualities or induce terrorizing fear.
One virtue of the snake is the changing of its skin. The regenerative nature of shedding the old, purging and being renewed makes me envious. The idea of a fresh start is appealing. However, in the case of the snake, it is the bodies covering only, which, is renewed. All of the characteristics, traits, tendencies, instincts and behavior patterns do not change. A snake is a snake is a snake. Humans, on the other hand, have the opportunity to learn something new (new to us), everyday.
The snake never learns a new trade. Its job is the same day in and day out. Its character cannot be expanded. Our character is enhanced with every new sensation because we expand knowledge and understanding with each new experience. The snake, arguably, does not. It does not develop in characteristics or intelligence as we do. There are many types of beginnings for us and, many ups and downs, once we begin. Marketers use consumer behavior algorithms to track our patterns, consuming habits and tendencies during the course of normal events and occurrences to determine the best investments. We are fairly easy to read, apparently, because, there are some whom, do not fail to amass fortunes, banking on the masses predictable performance. Yes, like it or not, we can be predictable. We are creatures of habit and give repeat performances. This cycle has us working our way up, falling down, shaking it off and heading up again. Like the serpent, it’s all, new to us even though, it may be history repeating, as far as patterns or human nature and instinct go, though technology may have advanced and we may debate whether, culturally, we have advanced or declined. We are distinguished by the time we live in… it’s… our time.
In Chinese culture, proverbs suggest the snake is wise. You could say much of our wisdom is drawn from the same experience, that of crawling and slithering upon the earth and cunningly devouring what is in the path. We may not be on our bellies, however, from the dust of the earth we come and to the dust we go, toiling all the way, to and fro. Nourished with the experience of triumphs and pitfalls despite our best laid plans is the crux of learning, discernment and wisdom. We are slave to the earthly dust we toil in. Gravity keeps our heels in the dirt regardless of our dreaming of reaching higher ground (a higher status). Sometimes, these cycle of changes, as we perceive them, can be terrifying because we fear the unknown. It might help to think of change as the old tired you receiving a makeover… receiving a fresh wardrobe. What we want the world to see is a cleverly cloaked image and receiving an update is a healthy way to keep learning. It’s a way to keep up with the times, though we cannot ever escape the old us underneath the latest fashion, gadget, acquired intelligence or latest scientific fact we so eagerly strive to attain.
Our desire is to, strike it rich and we are continually striving to that end, as is, the serpent preparing to strike at the perfect moment to consume its prey. We strike to consume our prize, in anger or strike out and miss the boat altogether. This isn’t our strategy; however we do not always land on fortune or, maybe we do… what we do not receive may teach us as much as what we do, in that, it keeps us wanting, thus, keeps us toiling for the prize.
Serpent Day observers reflect and self examine. When we look in the mirror; while we take note of our current updated status, we also see a reflection of our past; those traces of former versions of ourselves. Our impression melds with our newly acquired attributes and station in life; but perhaps, not seamlessly. The issue with reflection is, what is seen cannot be unseen until, it is shed (removed), from our perspective; until our view is different and it is no longer what we see. Echoes of the former, perceptions considered and patterns replicated are difficult to unlearn and un-memorize or to modernize.
We are encouraged to focus on what is currently before us (be present; live in the now). For us, part of how to do this is, to reflect on our past by remembering how we were while blending to what we are. Realizing there has been a change and learning to unwrap ourselves from the past and coil ourselves up in the present circumstance, which, always involves planning for and looking into our future because we continually have desires for something to attain; something to shoot for; a goal based on our current predicament. The snake has an easy time being, present; yet it too, plans for its future (It is intent on its next meal.). It is said to be cunning and is continually waiting and preparing to strike at the most auspicious prize at precisely the right moment; keeping it’s eyes open and tongue out; always observing and feeling the current environment, as to be, informed… made wiser for it… wiser, according to Chinese proverb.
While change can be scary, it can be just as scary thinking we have been left behind or, it can be unbearable feeling the anguish of not attaining what we desperately want. We cannot help but shed parts of ourselves and set our sights (focus) on our next meal. Circumstance plants the seed. Nutrients and resources are sought after to propel us toward what we think will be striking it rich; in whatever form that takes. So go ahead and make plans; think of starting something new or new ways of doing the same old thing. There is no time like the present; there was no time like the past, and there will be no time like the future!
Though, Serpent Day is not related to National Freedom Day, they share the same calendar day and a feeling of freedom, from an old way of thinking and being to, making way for new opportunities. Shake off and leave behind the scaly, spotted, dry snakeskin. It is inevitable to exfoliate and begin again, moist with nourishment by refreshing your skin in the greatest fashion, i.e., experience; taking in your surroundings; they are a resource for compelling you to your next level of being… yourself, as you are, and where you are which, is the perfect place for your next strike. Your destiny is to keep doing the same old thing… seeking. We all end up shaking it off and moving forward even when it’s slow and steady, or seems that way.
Chinese culture states the snake comes by riches easily. Patience and perseverance are virtues of the snake and can be ours as well. Practicing them can result in a great payoff, which, may come in various forms. For the serpent, reward is limited to a big gulp, that’s it… done.
In biblical stories, the serpent of old, represents, Satan, a fallen angel, not just any angel; he was once Lucifer, deemed Gods most precious and spectacular angel. Now fallen, his destiny is to be left with no hope of redemption. One forever tainted by misperception. He doesn’t get a do over and what he sees cannot be unseen because he is in an eternal form. The misperceptions clouding his spirit will torment him endlessly. Through his qualities and deceptions, we are given an example of transformation and are promised, to be transformed into something much greater than what we comprehend. We are to become higher than the greatest of angels and become rooted in the highest and richest of families, Gods family, an ever expanding family with endless branches of opportunity for spiritual growth. This comes after the shedding of our fleshly bodies (a covering, which, dries out, to a lifeless, formless, dwelling). We will be made anew, full of life and given a nutrient rich, forever nourished (now-our- is-shed) spiritual body of delight (body of the-light).
Our destiny is to seek , which, is what we do, day after day. We are promised seek and you shall find.