Ouroboros, Snake/Dragon, Symbol Of The Eternal Cycle
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A very old symbol present throughout the world, the Ouroboros is a dragon biting its tail.
Description and symbolism of the Ouroboros
Although one can often think that the Ouroboros is a creature, it is above all one of the oldest esoteric symbols in the world, representing a dragon or a snake in a circle, biting its tail. It takes its name from the Greeks or named Uroborus in Latin, meaning who bites his tail.
It is the symbol of the eternal cycle of nature, of time that is constantly repeated, having neither beginning nor end and visible through the seasons, the day-night cycle etc...... It is the beginning and the end, because even if death or destruction interrupts the destiny of certain people or things (such as stars), it is not an end because others continue their lives or begin it. It is the hope for a permanent rebirth of the world.
Its representation would come from six thousand years ago from the Chinese dragons pigs. There were creatures in their myths with pig heads and snake bodies that were made into jade statues where their bodies were wrapped in a circle.
One thousand six hundred years ago in Egypt, a similar symbol was found in places dedicated to Tutankhamun as well as on papyrus, coffins and other objects. It is assumed that the Phoenicians learned it from the Egyptians and passed it on to the Greeks, who gave it its significant name, which bit its tail off. However, it is not only found in these civilizations but in many others, making it a universal myth.
Still in Europe, among the Nordics, the giant snake Jormungand surrounds the world to hold back the oceans and can bite its tail. It is also found among Aztecs in representations of the snake god Quetzalcoalt and among Indians, where it surrounds the turtle that supports the four elephants that support the world.
In the cults
In addition to mythologies, we can also see the Ouroboros in religions and mystics. For Satanists, it is more like a snake that, by biting its tail, inoculates itself with its own venom and soaks up like that. It then symbolizes the acquisition of knowledge from the bottom up, i.e. by what we have in ourselves. For the Gnostics, he is associated with the demon-god Abraxas who represents eternity. In alchemy it is the symbol of the unity of all things, that nothing is created, nothing disappears but is transformed.
- Role-playing games: RuneQuest (Mongooze Publishing)
- Comic book: Thorgal (J. Van Hamme)
- Animated and manga: Fulmetal alchemist (H. Arakawa)
- Video games : Soul Reaver (Eidos)