Sunday, February 28, 2021

Snakes in the grass

The dream

I was with some friends (not sure who exactly) and we were climbing a very steep grassy hillside. More of a cliff, really, but covered with grass. Up above me on the cliff, I spotted a greenish lizard, maybe a foot long, of the skink type but with a forked tongue, with a juvenile of the same species next to it. Mother and daughter, I thought. Knowing (in the dream) that such lizards were highly venomous -- basically snakes with legs -- I kept a safe distance as I pulled out my phone and snapped a photo of the pair.

Then I looked around at other parts of the grassy cliff and noticed for the first time that the grass was positively crawling with squamata -- some legged and skinkish, others legless and viperine, all green, all very obviously venomous.

I alerted my friends to the situation, and, picking out steps carefully, we retreated to lower ground.

We were now on a flat grassy plain, which turned out to be similarly infested. We were not overly worried, though. So long as you see the snakes and avoid stepping on them, they won't bother you. I was also wearing a fairly snakeproof outfit, including heavy boots and a long outer garment similar to what Neo wears in The Matrix.

One of my friends suddenly jumped back, and I soon saw the reason. I little red viper, quite different from the green reptiles, had suddenly lunged out at her. Then it did this again. It was too far from her to be any real threat, though, so we just laughed at her overreaction and made comments like, "Aggressive little guy, isn't he?"

Then the aggressive little guy suddenly jumped at me -- and when I say jumped, I mean it took a flying leap, launching itself into the air, aiming for my unprotected midsection. I jumped straight up an spun around, making the skirt of my outer garment flare out around me like a dervish's. The snake struck only this fabric and fell to the ground.

As soon as we were both back on the ground, the little red viper came straight at me again. "Dude, it's actually chasing you!" someone said. I executed the same maneuver as before, making the snake strike the skirts of my robe rather than my body -- and this time when I landed, I landed on the snake, crushing it under my boot.

"Good thing you were wearing that robe!" someone said.

"Yeah," I said. "Next time I think I should wear a duster."


Waking thoughts

Upon waking and mulling over this imagery, I thought first of the Bible, then of the Book of Mormon, and then of the Tarot of Oswald Wirth.

In Genesis, the serpent apparently has legs in the beginning, since it is later cursed to go on its belly. The dream, too, begins with legged snakes and ends with a legless one. The other two parts of the curse are that the serpent will eat dust -- alluded to at the end of the dream, with the plan to make snakes strike a duster next time -- and that a man will crush its head.

In the Book of Mormon, Ether 9 describes people being pursued by serpents and fleeing before them -- not normal snake behavior, but matching that of the viper in my dream. The redness of the viper, and its leaping attacks, also seems to connect it with the "fiery flying serpents" mentioned in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

Finally, Oswald Wirth's Hermit card features a man in a long robe and a red snake in the grass.

2 comments:

No Longer Reading said...

Interesting dream. Also, this is the 121st post with "The highway is for gamblers."

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

I just put my music on random shuffle and got a song by the Carpenters, then one by the Petersens. Thinking in anagrams as I sometimes do, I immediately thought: The Carpenters, The Petersens = The serpent races the serpent. No idea what that means, but the ease with which it came to mind seems noteworthy.

Nothin' but mammals

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