Thursday, 31 May 2018

Witchlines: Snake Woman

Here is the fifth creative piece I have completed as part of my Witchlines studies. 

For this prompt we were to pick one of the many deities we had read of, and to enquire a little more deeply into their story. I asked the Snake Goddess to tell me a tell me something of her tale, and this is what she said:

Snake Woman

I come from the ocean, the rivers and lakes—all the waterways that caress the earth’s sides, penetrate her caves and crevices, seeping under stones, through soil, into clay. I dwell inside the earth, underground. Yet at the dark of the moon, I emerge from below, to let starlight shimmer on my black skin. And as I slither across the surface of the ground, and the moon grows round, I shed my skin and begin to shine, silvery and studded with gems. 
I circle around myself, the earth, the waters, eating and disgorging my own body. I slide into any cranny and make it my home. I am everywhere, under your feet and spanning the sky—my rainbow bridge showing the way to the Otherworld inside me.
Two-headed, two-tongued, two bodies spiralling—black and white and every colour—I give you what grows, and I take it back, destroy and recreate, for I am never-ending. My eyes see forever, my body knows All, my tongue tastes your flesh. I lick you into shape when you are born, as I bite and swallow you down when you die. 

You walk on my skin, breathe my breath, dance in my belly.
I told the first woman, the first man: 

If you feed me—milk and honey and sweet water—I will bless you and help you to grow; protect your dwellings, as I protect all Life.
But know this: I change.
And so must you.
Yet if you keep my circle whole—despite those who would break it—you will not die, only return to me. If you allow me into your home, an honoured guest, then I will gladly welcome you home.

I am in the sky-drawn reach of a tree, in the earth-bound roots, in the autumn leaves that swirl as they fall, and spring’s budding green. I am in the curl of a ram’s horn, the span of a bird’s wings, in flowing streams and whirling winds. I am in twisting vines and gliding snakes, and the Spirit that pervades everything. I am in woman and man, in girl and boy. I am in the dance of Life, and the un-dance of Death—in the energy that coils out from the centre and back again.  

And All is in me.
Rainbow Snake, watercolours and gouache on primed paper (May 2018)


  1. snakes are so...otherworldly...for those of us who fear them (and most humans do, to greater or lesser extent), that chthonic quality is both compelling and disturbing. beautiful and frightening. commonplace and exotic. which seems a perfectly reasonable set of characteristics to expect in a deity... and who else than the snakes would know the underworld so well?

    i'm reminded of the old irish ritual words at imbolc:"today is the day of bride. the queen shall come from the hill. i will not touch the queen, nor shall the queen touch me." ( the hill being presumably either a local burial mound/barrow/ritual place, or natural hill associated with the faery realm.) and also reminded, inescapably, of kundalini, and of the serpent goddesses and rituals of india and southeast asia.

    oh, and i like the painting!

    1. Thank you!

      I think that is one of the things I love about the Neolithic Goddess—the fact that she is non-dualistic, the One who contains the multiplicity. She is life AND death, beautiful AND frightening, growth AND decay … Never one thing in isolation. I think the snake embodies these qualities so well.

      And thank you so much for that incredible video. Just wow!


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