View Full Version : Ophidiophobia

05-20-2012, 08:10 PM
Hey there,

Much appreciated are sources dealing with the subject, in deepest possible ways (be it straight-ahead alchemical tradition, or any adjacent sphere - e.g. psychology, religion, culture - just about any more or less serious research on this subject - the fear of snakes).

Thank you!

05-20-2012, 08:36 PM
The book 'Childhood's End' by Arthur C. Clarke gives an extremely interesting psychological/religious/cultural perspective, not specific to snakes per se, but to certain archetypal reptilian features.

From another Archetypal standpoint, the snake represents the most feared and the most desired in one (they tend to coincide on many occasions).

The base nature (reptilian brain), as well as what can happen when this raw power is taken to higher levels of expression.

To illustrate the analogy: The Astrological Sign of Scorpio can be represented by either a Scorpion, an Eagle or a Dove - depending on the level of advancement.

This an be applied to the fear of snakes as well - the sneaky and (often) poisonous nature, as opposed to the higher healing and initiatory powers. There is little Archetypal difference between Poison and Remedy.

This is what I can come up with for now... I'm sure others may have plenty more to add... very interesting question/topic...

05-21-2012, 12:24 AM
Greatly appreciate your input!
In fact, I mean that deepest level you refer to: both the desire and aversion to what you call a reptilian nature (I believe you mean the oldest regions of the brain/cognition).

Although somewhat speculative, but I also believe there should be a link between the decline of what we call 'gnostic' christianity and the condemnation of the 'serpent' per se (just like how 'Lucifer' became cognate to 'Evil', and well - here 's still the Saint Lucifer's day celebrated - on May, 20th BTW :)

Again, having such a rich depiction of serpents among the esoteric tradition...

There should be a kind of social neurosis related to the subject, although I failed to find even anything Jungian on the subject. And, this is when they tell that this is the second fobia among the most common (like fear of falling)!

Thanks for your suggestion, and let's see to what others can point to :)

solomon levi
05-21-2012, 07:45 AM
The belief in past lives offers an explanation that would answer a lot of fears.
We may fear snakes because we have been killed by them before.
Same for spiders. Same for mice/rats (they spread disease/plague).
Claustrophobia may have been buried alive before...