WHAT SNAKE TOLD ME
Tarot Card from Collective Tarot
Original Writing by Kathryn Ravenwood ...10-5-2003
During times of intense growth and change in our lives we can easily become blinded to conditions and actions that are often very apparent and obvious to others. It is as if we have lost our ability to see. This can be extremely frustrating and depressing, especially if we have come to a level of self work that has taught us how to glide through change with understanding if not ease. When times arise that have us totally blocked it is important not to give up and fall into despair.
Lately I have been experiencing a tremendous blindness in my life. I had achieved what I thought to be an expanded awareness of making choices based on that positive heart expansive feeling we get when something is “right.” I was thrilled that I had overcome many obstacles in my life and was able to come to a closer connection with my higher self - closer to enlightenment (I thought). Then, after a series of events that left me close to shattered in personal confidence and wondering who in the world I thought I was to even think I knew anything about higher consciousness, I turned to what “should” have been an obvious path from the beginning - my Guides. They see (while I did not) what is best for us in the big picture. While setbacks and obstacles may seem like defeat and the loss of personal power to us, they see the truth: we are always learning and just because we thought we “got it” at one point in our life does not mean we won’t have to “get it” again by repeating some of the old lessons. After all, we do tend to forget and cannot see how to apply what might have been familiar teachings to new surroundings or conditions.
So in a fit of despair I went into my altar room, lit one candle, started to breathe and asked to be guided to help me see my way out of my grief and desperation. I found myself out in the beautiful plains of Wyoming, a place where I have met a great Spirit Guide, Buffalo, before so I expected to see Buffalo and fall into that wonderful energy I know and love. No one came. I started to sing a little song to the Directions, thanking the Spirits of each Direction for their help, for guiding me and showing me the way. “Thank you Spirits of the East for giving me this new day; Thank you Spirits of the South for teaching me to play; Thank you Spirits of the West for taking me within; thank you Spirits of the North for your wisdom and my kin; Thank you Spirits who are above, the Sun and Moon and Stars; thank you Spirits who are below, unseen ones that You are; Thank you Grandmother Spider for the Web of Life you weave; Thank you God/Goddess for in Your Heart we all are One.” Still no Buffalo! So I drummed and sang for awhile and found myself walking over to a grouping of rocks which were hot with the heat of the sun. Then I heard the lesson.
It was Snake who talked to me and told me what I already knew, had already experienced, but completely did not see in this current situation. We all know that as snakes grow their skins do not grow with them - they only stretch to the point of having to be shed. The shedding releases the old body, so to speak, so the new, larger one can come forward. The old skin is dull, often has scales missing or is scarred or torn. When the old skin is shed it comes off all in one piece, including little snaky eyeglasses where the skin fits over their eyes. If you saw the shed skin laying on the ground it would look like the envelope of the snake - a transparent tube-reptile. The new skin comes in all shiny and beautiful making the snake feel soft and smooth.
What Snake reminded me of was this: before the old skin is shed, there is a period of time when the snake is almost completely blind. A blue film forms over its eyes. During this time of critical transition the snake is agitated, strikes out, cannot eat, and is very defensive and vulnerable. Then the blue film goes away but still the snake has not shed. Maybe the whole process was a false alarm; maybe the snake was just sick or crazy! Even experienced snake lovers can question the process. But then the magic happens and that old skin comes off. Sometimes the snake just wriggles out of it easily and quickly. Sometimes it takes more effort, even requires soaking in water to loosen where the old skin is so tightly attached it resists all efforts to release. Sometimes the snake has to rub repeatedly over rough rocks to scrape off the torn pieces. But, eventually, the shedding is done. The snake is no longer blind, is ravenously hungry, and extremely active.
Snakes do not carry around the old skin as a reminder or a personal cross to bear of their hard times and previous existence. They leave that old skin right where it came off. They don’t cry about it. They just go on. Some reptiles do eat the old skin. This can be viewed as both a nutritional opportunity and as absorption of the old into the new. As a concerned human helper we could help that snake peel off the areas where the old skin is stuck but we risk harming the new skin below. It is just something the snake has to go through in its own time and on its own.
What Snake told me, is that I am in the blind stage. My eyes are blue-filmed. I am aggressive, lost, striking out and defensive. When the shedding finally comes, no matter how long it takes or how difficult the process, I will have gone through another growth cycle, ready to go forward. I am grateful to Snake for this reminder and so feel safer in my blindness knowing it is all part of growth and becoming a new and shiny being - at least for awhile until the process repeats itself.
“After all”, says Snake, “that is the way of life.” So I wait and in the waiting it wouldn’t hurt to go find a nice pool of water to soak in……..
...Kathryn Ravenwood (written Oct 5 2003) on August 4, 2016