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ophidian

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ophidian

Postby gailr » Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:09 am

ophidian
Merriam Webster wrote:Pronunciation: O-'fi-dE-&n
Function: adjective
Etymology: ultimately from Greek ophis
: of, relating to, or resembling snakes
- ophidian noun


etymonline wrote:"pertaining to snakes," 1883, from Gk. ophidion, dim. of ophis "serpent," of unknown origin. Hence, ophiolatry "serpent-worship" (1862), and the 2c. sect of the Ophitæ, who revered the serpent as the symbol of divine wisdom. Also ophiomancy (1683), the ancient art of divination by the movements of snakes.


Natural symbols for death and rebirth, snakes have had a love-hate relationship with people throughout history. They got off on the wrong...foot...in Genesis but are redeemed (although only if "brazen") in Numbers. Things rapidly go downhill for them again in the NT, and end somewhat wildly in Revelation.

The Minoans cranked out votive figures of serene, snake-wielding females. The Greeks immortalized Medusa's really bad hair day, Hercules' labor with the Hydra, and gave us the tattoo-friendly eternity symbol Ouroboros.

The Norse envisioned the world snake as Jormangund, a sort of living equator which will bite back at Ragnorak. Nidhogg was a lesser menace, threatening Yggdrasill, the world tree, although he did not have apple issues.

My personal faves, the classical Egyptian myths, show the serpent Apophis menacing Ra's boat of millions of years (although he's getting better hours these days as a stock villain on SciFi's SG1, which only seems like it's run for millions of years).

In parts of Asia the serpent was associated with rains; many first nations people associated them with rainbows and fertility. Quetzalcoatl was a redeemer figure for the Aztecs. The Buddhist and Hindu nagas could be either good or evil; Muchalinda is remembered as the living umbrella over the meditating Buddha.

Ophidian came to mind when I saw the ten-zillionth commercial for Snakes on a Plane. I can't help but notice the similarity of the movie icon to the caduceus. Amazing coincidence or subliminal warning/ophiomancy that these passengers are about to shuffle off the mortal coil?

-gailr
whose rose-colored glasses conceal her ophidian gaze...
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Re: ophidian

Postby skinem » Wed Aug 16, 2006 10:15 am

Natural symbols for death and rebirth


Well, THAT explains the caduceus! I've always wondered what snakes had to do with docs.
Very good, informative post Gail.

Skinem-who doesn't understand the "love" part of "love-hate relationship with snakes."
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Postby Bailey » Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:14 am

you Wusses! I have lots of snakes uin my yard/garden none of which do anything but startle me. :lol:
I cannot believe the big bad guys whom I've seen whacking away with shovel, on a pitiful garden snake. I like themn Much bretter than their favorite menu item...mice! :o

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Postby skinem » Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:34 am

I agree Bailey. Never understood the fear thing about snakes--they're great to have around. (My father-in-law disliked snakes so much he couldn't stand to see even pictures of them!)
The only ones I'll kill around here are the once-a-year copperhead that comes around the house. We have copperheads, rattlesnakes and cottonmouths on our property (sounds like a paradise, doesn't it?) and the only time I'll bother them is around the house. The rattlesnakes are pretty shy, the cottonmouths are most aggressive, but generally I only find them down by the spring. The copperheads are middling agressive and I can find them anywhere on our place, so they are the usual poisonous snake I'll have to dispatch.
So, not askeered of them. But...I've still never understood the attraction some folks have to 'em. Anything that'll cause man to get thrown out of the garden is to be avoided!
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Postby Bailey » Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:54 am

poisonous stuff is bad, but we have no poisonous ones here. I think I'll kill the poison ones, but....
I work in the yard a lot- I'll lift a pot, see a small one coiled underneath, I carefully replace the pot, I saw one in the zucchinis yesterday and one in the compost pile. YAY!

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Postby Stargzer » Thu Aug 17, 2006 12:18 am

skinem wrote: . . . Anything that'll cause man to get thrown out of the garden is to be avoided!


Well, let's say anything reptilian. I'd hate to have to avoid someone like gailr or Huny. :wink: Twouldn't be no fun in that!
Regards//Larry

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-- Attributed to Richard Henry Lee
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Postby Huny » Thu Aug 17, 2006 2:03 am

Stargzer wrote:
skinem wrote: . . . Anything that'll cause man to get thrown out of the garden is to be avoided!


Well, let's say anything reptilian. I'd hate to have to avoid someone like gailr or Huny. :wink: Twouldn't be no fun in that!


Geezer, have I told you lately how intuitive you are? He-he. But, I must admit, I am the sign of The Scorpio http://www.astrology-online.com/scorpio.htm ( and so is my Mom, my best friend, and both my ex-mother-in-laws) and as you all know by now, I have the sting to go with it. But I can also turn on the huny when needed. :wink: Disclaimer: I will neither confirm nor deny any traits that are listed in the above link as my own...well, maybe just a few... :oops:

Gailr, wonderful post. There is a lot of information to reap from it. Although this California city girl has had a bad run-in with a cotton mouth while living in Arkansas, I have no fondness for them. That will be the last time I ever take a stroll down a country dirt road in this lifetime. Let us just say, Jesus can walk on water, Huny can run on air. :shock:
"What lies behind us and what lies ahead of us are tiny matters compaired to what lies inside us." R.W.E.
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Postby Perry » Thu Aug 17, 2006 9:04 am

Once while training in the Negev Desert, I threw myself on the ground (it was a fire off 3 rounds while running then hit the dirt, repeat, etc. kind of drill) to reload, only to discover that I was an inch away from a viper's nest; replete with about 6 baby vipers in residence. I was awfully grateful that the mother snake was out for a stroll at the time!
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
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Postby Stargzer » Thu Aug 17, 2006 2:47 pm

Perry wrote:Once
. . . I was awfully grateful that the mother snake was out for a stroll at the time!


She was probably out on maneuvers with Hamas or Hezbollah . . . :twisted:
Regards//Larry

"To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them."
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Postby Perry » Thu Aug 17, 2006 4:15 pm

It was in 1980. More likely the PLO or George Habash.
"Time is nature's way of keeping everything from happening all at once. Lately it hasn't been working."
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Postby Bailey » Thu Aug 17, 2006 6:25 pm

he looks like an Amalakite to me,

mark

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