Ouroboros: Symbolism and Meaning

ouroboros

The mystical and ancient symbolism of the Ouroboros, or Uroborus, depicts a dragon, worm, or serpent that feeds on its own tail.

The Greek word ouroboros literally means "tail devourer." It is one of the world's oldest mystical symbols.

Ouroboros, on the other hand, is not a Greek myth and is not an excuse for self-cannibalism. What, though, are the origins and significance of this remarkable universal and millennial symbol?

Given that this snake appears in mythology all across the world, there's a strong chance you've heard this name before without realising what it means. Or that you've come upon a portrayal of an Ouroboros that has piqued your interest.

If you want to learn everything there is to know about the Ouroboros, you've come to the perfect spot. Let's go! If you're ready to discover more about this enigmatic serpent, or dragon...

1. Etymology of the Ouroboros

First and foremost, it's vital to note that "Ouroboros" is an old Greek word that literally translates to "which bites its tail." Oura literally means "tail," and Bora means "to consume".

etymology

2. Origins and diffusion of the Ouroboros

The Ouroboros first appeared in ancient Egyptian iconographies, inspired by the ancestral Chinese Yin Yang. Through the "Magical" domain, it expanded to the West, then to the rest of the world.

Indeed, it begins in Ancient Greece and subsequently travels throughout Europe and the world through numerous mythology.

The Ouroboros is a symbol that can be found in Gnosticism (all Gnosis beliefs from the early years of Christianity) and Hermeticism in Ancient Greece.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to hermeticism:

  • An esoteric ideology based on Classical Antiquity documents.
  • A period of progress in the field of mediaeval alchemy, centred on the Renaissance. Furthermore, the Ouroboros thrived mostly in alchemy.

3. The meaning of the Ouroboros

The Ouroboros has several meanings, all of which are interwoven.

A. Cyclical nature of the universe

The snake that bites, devours, or swallows its own tail is the key symbolic. This is the Ouroboros' way of preserving its existence in an endless cycle of regeneration. As a result, he embodies the universe's cyclical nature: creation from chaos, life from death.

As a result, the Ouroboros frequently represents the never-ending cycle of life, death, and rebirth, which leads to immortality, or life in perpetuity, like the Phoenix.

Furthermore, a snake is commonly associated with the concept of regeneration, as it appears to be reborn on a regular basis, losing and regaining its skin.

ouroboros universe cycle

B. The infinite

In addition to leading to immortality, as we've seen, the Ouroboros can also take the shape of a lemniscate (a curve with the appearance of a figure eight, which is the actual symbol of infinity).

The Ouroboros can also signify the primordial unity, which is tied to something that existing before any beginning and can never be destroyed.

C. Fertility and balance

Furthermore, the snake biting its tail is a symbol of fecundity. The snake's mouth is a uterine symbol, while its tail is a phallic symbol (male sex) (female sex). As a result, like yin yang, it also reflects the universe's opposing opposites, notably harmony and balance.

D. In a nutshell

In a nutshell, the following notions can be used to summarise the meanings of the Ouroboros:

  • Time.
  • Continuity of life.
  • Completion.
  • Repetition of history.
  • Self-sufficiency of nature.
  • And rebirth of the Earth.

black and white ouroboros

4. The Ouroboros in historical mythologies

Civilizations from all over the world have used the Ouroboros. Of course, they've all used it in the context of their own views and goals.

As a result, the Ouroboros, as previously said, is a globetrotter. It's been observed:

  • In ancient Egypt.
  • In India.
  • In Japan.
  • In Ancient Greece (notably through alchemical manuscripts).
  • Among the Aztecs.
  • Among the Amerindians.
  • Among Tibetan people.
  • In Europe, from the Middle Ages to the present day,

    What's remarkable is that the Ouroboros has manifested itself in a wide range of traditions and currents, many of which have nothing in common (geographical location, time and totally different beliefs).

    It can be found in Buddhism, Hinduism, Spiritism (superstition, occult science or belief), Theosophy, Mysticism, Kabbalah, Occultism, and other religions.

    Maitreya, Hermes, Guénon... are just a few of the historical figures who have been related (or have talked) to the Ouroboros.

    The Ouroboros has been linked to a variety of symbols, including the Chinese Yin Yang, the Roman god Janus, and the serpent of the Bible's Garden of Eden.

    A. In China

    According to Chinese mythology, the universe was split into two pieces at the beginning: the Earth below and the Sky above. These two, despite being diametrically opposed, created a complimentary unit.

    Reproduction was the foundation for the formation of the universe for the Chinese. Reproduction is commonly understood to be the union of two complimentary opposites: male and female.

    As a result, the Chinese believed that when Light and Darkness were combined, they generated immense creative energy.

    The Yin Yang motif was created by combining the two opposites. Chhi was the name given to their union.

    The Yin Yang symbol strongly inspired what would become the Egyptian emblem of the Ouroboros when Chinese alchemy reached Alexandria, Egypt.

    It's important to remember that the Silk Road was in full swing at the time. The varied inspirations were able to be transmitted all over the world because to the commercial exchanges.

    B. Asia: the Yin-Yang

    In Buddhism and Chinese mythology, the Ouroboros is associated with the Yin-Yang symbol and the connecting of opposites. The universe was split in Chinese civilization into two parts: the Earth (below) and the Sky (above) (above). These have given rise to the concept of opposites constituting a unified whole.

    Each of the opposites is powerful, and their eventual union is even more so. The founders imagined reproduction to design new things when they created the cosmos. Today, reproduction involves the coming together of two polar opposites: man and woman.

    The Chinese thought that when Light and Darkness, as ideal opposites, were combined, they produced creative force. Yin and Yang were the two opposites, and their union was known as Chhi. This unity is symbolized by the Chinese Ouroboros.

    When Chinese alchemy reached Alexandria, the Yin-Yang was most likely converted into the sign Ouroboros. Because it is a snake, it is a soul emblem. This Yin Yang Ouroboros' head and front section are as clear as the soul. The body is represented by the black tail and back section. Man is made up of two opposites: the soul and the body, which come together to make a whole.

    The Ouroboros is depicted in white and black here. It is the source of all creation, the cosmic soul. This symbology, which is akin to the Japanese Ouroboros, can be found in Japanese mythology and Reiki.

    yin yang ouroboros

    C. In Egypt

    The Ouroboros is a very ancient symbol. As a proof, representations of this curious animal busy chewing its own tail have been found on the golden chapels of Tutankhamun.

    As said above, the Egyptian Ouroboros, which was the first in history, was probably strongly inspired by the Yin Yang.

    Creative destruction

    The motif of the Ouroboros first appeared in the Egyptian sacred text known as the Other World. Furthermore, during the Greco-Roman period, this book was still in use.

    This strange ancestral work, which dates from the 16th century BC and was discovered in Tutankhamen's tomb, was a funeral text from Ancient Egypt (KV62).

    The Ouroboros emblem appears in a chapter depicting the underworld coupling of the Sun God Ra (Sun God) and the God of Death Osiris. This is a symbol for the creative destruction.

    The Ouroboros appears twice:

    • The first surrounding the head and upper chest of a large character (Ro-Osiris, which is the regeneration of Osiris, as Ra).
    • And the second one encircling the feet of this same character.

      These two serpents are Mehen's manifestations. Mehen defends Ra during his passage to the underworld in other tomb stories. This celestial image represents the origin and end of time in its totality.

      Chaos and self-annihilation

      He embodies the chaos that surrounds the ordered world in other Egyptian sources and in the images of various Egyptian serpentine deities. He does, however, take part in the latter's periodic regeneration.

      Because the animal is seen consuming itself, it has also been linked to annihilation and self-destruction.

      Reborth and rejuvenation

      Because the Ouroboros was so prominent on the coffins, it was assumed that it represented rebirth and rejuvenation. The protector's role was also mentioned.

      Cycle of life, time and seasons

      Time was seen by the Egyptians as a series of loops, rather than a linear entity in ongoing evolution.

      The Ouroboros was utilised to illustrate the Nile's yearly flooding at the centre of this concept. They were vital to Egyptian agriculture and, as a result, to the Egyptian community as a whole.

      For example, we note this kind of statement "the Nile flood in summer marked the beginning of the year and served as a metaphor for cyclical time, which returns to itself as a circle... allowing for renewal, repetition and regeneration".

      Sun symbol

      Similarly, the sun was thought to be the source of cyclic time since it made a nightly voyage to the waters of Nun (a kind of primordial nothingness strewn with all kinds of obstacles), from which it returned to the sky. As a result, the Ouroboros was the embodiment of the sun and its motions.

      Until the Roman Era

      In Egypt, the Ouroboros survived until the Roman Empire. It was frequently found on mystical talismans throughout this historical period, sometimes in conjunction with other magical symbols.

      The use of the Ouroboros image in ancient Egypt was well known to the Latin Servius, one of the most scholarly men of the late fourth century A.D. He explained that the depiction of a snake biting its own body represents the year's cyclical nature (the seasons...)

      The Serpent of Atum

      The Egyptian Book of the Otherworld, often known as the Book of the Dead, contains the Ouroboros. After the Amarna period, the Egyptian Ouroboros became famous.

      According to the Book of the Dead, the sun deity Atum emerged with a snake from the rivers of chaos. Because it was recreated every morning, the animal was eternal. In its ancient Egyptian context, the Ouroboros represented repetition, regeneration, the perpetual cycle of time, and even the sun itself.

      The sign alludes to the "cycle time riddle." Time was viewed by the ancient Egyptians as a series of repeating cycles rather than a linear and continually changing entity. The Nile's inundation and the sun's passage were crucial to this concept.

      The alchemical work The Chrysopoeia, by "Cleopatra the Alchemist," includes a famous picture of the Ouroboros (an Egyptian, different from the queen goddess Cleopatra). It is a very old alchemical treatise about the Philosopher's Stone that dates from the second century in Alexandria. We'll come back to this in the alchemy section.

      D. In Greece

      The Ouroboros was taken over by the Phoenicians, then by the Ancient Greeks, after it first appeared in Egyptian mythology. Ouroboros is the name given to it by the latter.

      The total being, from Platon

      The Ouroboros was taken over by the Phoenicians, then by the Ancient Greeks, after it first appeared in Egyptian mythology. Ouroboros is the name given to it by the latter.

      He claims that this beast doesn't require eyes or hearing because it doesn't have anything else to look or hear. Furthermore, it does not require oxygen or digestive organs because it feeds itself. In fact, nothing leaves or enters the Ouroboros.

      platon

      The Ouroboros, in a nutshell, is the complete being. The beginning and the end of everything, the Alpha and Omega of the Cosmos.

      Still, according to legend, because Ouroboros need no members, the creator did not furnish it with any. He doesn't have any legs, feet, or anything else that can be utilised to walk.

      It has, nevertheless, inherited a movement that is tailored to its spherical shape. Furthermore, it is the movement that is most in tune with the soul and intelligence.

      It has been stripped of its last six movements. And, as previously said, the cosmos was created without legs and feet because circular motion does not necessitate "walking limbs."

      The legend of Sisyphus

      The Ouroboros is also linked to the Sisyphus tale. The latter is a person who has been exiled to Hades' underworld.

      Sisyphus is obliged to drag a round, yet incredibly heavy stone up an especially difficult hill, according to legend.

      The massive stone, however, flows back down every time he gets close to the top. Sisyphus has to move the stone up from the bottom every day for the rest of his life.

      E. In Alchemy

      The Ouroboros is a purifying glyph used in alchemy (graphic representation).

      The Ouroboros in Alchemy represents Mercury's spirit, which is the essence that permeates and unifies all matter.

      The Great Serpent of the World, which encircling the Earth, is also known as the Ouroboros.

      Chrysopoeia of Cleopatra

      The first account of the Ouroboros in an alchemical account can be found in the Chrysopoeia of Cleopatra manuscript, which dates from the third century and comes from Alexandria. From the 10th century onwards, it was well-known on a vast scale.

      cleopatra

      The Ouroboros motif, which represents the serpent as half light and half black, is included in Cleopatra's alchemy textbook, Chrysopoeia (gold making). Its white and black portions represent the duality of existence (all things' dual nature):

      • The conscious and the unconscious.
      • Life and death.
      • Light and darkness.
      • Man and woman.
      • Mortality and Divinity.
      • Earth and Heaven.

      In a nutshell, it's the balance of opposing forces... This looks a lot like the Taoist symbol for Yin Yang.

      The lowest black portion represents nature's destructive force, the Night, the Earth, or the yin. The Day, the Sky, or yang, represents the generating and creative energy, while the upper white section represents the generative and creative force, the Day, the Sky, or yang.

      This piece explores the concept of "one is all." This idea is tied to Hermetic knowledge. Furthermore, the phrases Hen to Pan appear in this document, which might be interpreted as "the full in one."

      It's not by luck that the Ouroboros appears in this passage. A chrysopoeia is a phrase used in alchemy to describe a "base" metal that has been "transmuted" into a noble metal, such as gold. As a result, this concept is inextricably linked to the search for the Philosopher's Stone, a substance linked to immortality and regeneration.

      Now, we recall that the alchemist's principal objective was to liberate the human body's constraints, which the Ouroboros portrayed brilliantly.

      Alchemy during the Renaissance

      Later in the Renaissance, the emblem of the Ouroboros is combined with those of the sun, moon, and mercury in an alchemical text titled The Aurora Consurgens, which dates from the 15th century.

      Sir Thomas Browne, an alchemist and physician, was interested in the eternal oneness of all things in the world, as well as the vital cycle: the birth and death of all things. In order to find immortality, the alchemist attempted to "free himself" from this fate, to break the endless cycle of the Ouroboros.

      Thus, for him, the mission of alchemy was to achieve "individual perfection through physical transmutation and spiritual transcendence".

      In a medical treatise sent to a fellow adventurer, Sir Thomas wrote that: "it is indeed a remarkable coincidence that the first day is the last, that the tail of the serpent returns to its mouth at precisely that moment, and that they meet again on the day of their Nativity".

      F. In Gnosticism

      The Gnostic philosophers adopted the Ouroboros in the 2nd century BC.

      Gnosticism is an ancient religious belief system that deals with knowledge and the spiritual realm. It's no surprise, then, that the Gnostics were fascinated by the Ouroboros.

      Men have Divine souls, according to Gnostic belief, which are trapped in mortal shells by an evil God.

      One of their key ideas is that the only way to find redemption is to overcome ignorance. The Ouroboros is a solid first step in this direction.

      The cyclical nature of the snake reflects the concept of eternity and the very substance of the world for Gnostics. In Gnosticism, a snake with its tail stuck in its jaws symbolised the natural cycle of life, which repeats itself. The Ouroboros is also tied to Abraxas, the Solar God, and hence signifies eternity and the soul of the earth.

      The opposite ends of the Ouroboros (tail and head) are also regarded as the Divine and the earthy in man, which live despite their disagreement. In a nutshell, the soul and the body are two separate entities that combine to become Man.

      Gnosticism

      This is a Manichean perspective. This indicates that there are no ambiguities in this philosophy, therefore everything is simply divided: good and evil, soul and body, etc. As a result, we see parallels to Farvahar's Zoroastrian philosophy. However, the latter establishes another another distinction: one part of the soul is Divine (and thus perfect) while the other is human (therefore fallible).

      In addition, the Ouroboros is represented as a dragon with twelve sections in the Gnostic work Pistis Sophia approximately 400 AD. It encircles the globe by putting its tip in its mouth.

      G. In the Middle East

      Given that the Albigensians (Cathars) originated in Armenia, where Zoroastrianism and the Mithra cult were widely practised, it's quite likely that the Ouroboros incorporated their culture through Faravahar, a Zoroastrian figure. In other depictions, he wears an Ouroboros around his waist.

      We can imagine Mithra reborn surrounded by an Ouroboros in several Mithraism traditions.

      This emphasises her cyclical and eternal nature. Even allusions that do not specifically mention Ouroboros relate to the circular form as a symbol of the soul's immortality or the cyclical nature of Karma.

      H. In Norse mythology

      Jormungandr

      In Norse mythology, the Ouroboros takes the form of Jörmungandr, a massive sea snake. The latter is one of Loki's (God of malice, discord, and illusions) three children with Angrboda (ice giant).

      This giant dragon snake, also known as the Midgard serpent, has grown so large, according to Norse legend, that it may surround the earth by inserting its tail into its mouth. This is also thought to allow him to maintain the world's balance and oneness. According to Norse folklore, when Jormungandr releases his tip, the world will end. Ragnarok will begin with this event.

      Mythologies de Ragnar Lodbrok

      In addition, the Geotian king Herraud gifts a little earthworm to his daughter Pora Town-Hart in Ragnar Lodbrok's famous mythology, particularly in the short work Ragnarssona áttr. This one develops and mutates into a large serpent that surrounds the poor girl's cradle. The snake chews the end of its tail, as is customary. Ragnar Lodbrok kills the serpent, after which he marries the King's daughter.

      Ragnar had a son with another wonderful lady named Kráka a few years later. In one eye, this youngster was born with the image of a white snake. This snake wraps itself around the iris and, as is customary, eats the tip. Sigurd Snake Eye was the name given to this unfortunate infant at the time.

      I. In Europe

      The Milky Way galaxy is also represented as the Ouroboros.

      According to one mythology, the heavens are home to a light snake. The Milky Way is this serpent, and it consumes its own tail as seen from the galactic centre point at Sagittarius.

      Many people have calculated cosmic and terrestrial cycles using the galaxy.

      J. Among the Aztecs

      Quetzalcoatl is a serpent god among the Aztecs. He is sometimes represented chewing his own tail, like the legendary Ouroboros, especially in Aztec and Toltec ruins.

      A circular figure of Quetzalcoatl is carved into the base of the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent, which dates from 700 to 900 AD and is found in Xochicalco, Mexico.

      It is critical to understand that Quetzalcoatl is a loving deity who bestows wisdom upon his people.

      Pre-Columbian tribes, on the other hand, practised self-sacrifice, sometimes even offering persons to satisfy the gods. As a result, there were bloodletting ceremonies.

      We can assume that the Ouroboros had a link with these macabre rituals, even if the relationship with the Ouroboros isn't clearly established. Indeed, the Ouroboros might have made it feasible to build a link between the living world and the world of the dead and/or the Gods.

      ouroboros ring

      K. In South America

      The waters around the equator are encompassed by an enormous serpent, according to the legend of the peoples of the tropical lowlands of South America.

      This massive reptile is most commonly shown as an anaconda, which crunches the end of its serpentine body.

      L. In India

      Kundalini Energy

      The nature of Vedic ceremonies is compared to "a snake biting its own tail" in a Vedic book from the classic Aitareya Brahmana, dated from the first millennium BC.

      The Kundalini is represented by the emblem of the Ouroboros. Kundalini is a vital, spiritual, or cosmic energy.

      According to the text of the medieval Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad: "Kundalini shines like the stem of a young lotus. Like a snake, coiled upon itself, it holds its tail in its mouth and lies half asleep as the base of the body.

      Shiva

      On the other hand, we frequently see references to this fascinating symbol in Indian culture. They frequently manifest as the features of an entity that turns something around. The God Shiva was constantly mentioned.

      The latter, like the Ouroboros, represents the duality of life. Shiva frequently appears in a circle, symbolising life's cycle:

      • Death and rebirth.
      • Creation and destruction.
      • And eternity in general.

      Foundation of the earth

      The Ouroboros is also a dragon in Hindu cosmology, encircling the turtle that supports the four elephants, who in turn sustain the Earth. As a result, the Ouroboros is considered one of the earth's foundations by Hindus.

      M. In West Africa

      The snake is a revered animal in many West African ancient cultures and faiths. Aido Hwedo, a demi-god, frequently assumes the form of a snake chewing its tail.

      The Ouroboros' symbolism can be seen in the images of the Fon or Dahomean people, as well as in the Yoruba people's iconography under the name of Oshunmare.

      N. For Christians

      For Christians, the Ouroboros is a symbol of the planet's physical limits.
      It also emphasizes how fleeting and all-consuming mere existence is in this world.

      O. In Haiti

      Under the leadership of Alexandre Pétion, the Republic of Haiti issued its first locally coined currency in 1812, with the image of a snake biting its tip.

      P. In Islam and the Zoroastrian Farvahar

      The Albigensians (Catholics, not to be confused with the Albigensians who live in the French city of Albi) were originally from Armenia. Zoroastrianism (an ancient Iranian monotheistic religion) and depictions of the Iranian divinity Mithra were common in this area.

      Albigensians

      The Zoroastrian Farvahar's insignia, which in certain instances clearly displays an Ouroboros at the waist rather than a simple disc, may have introduced the Ouroboros into their imagery.

      Mithras being reborn is sometimes represented in cults as being enveloped in an Ouroboros, emphasizing his eternal and cyclical nature. Even writings that do not specifically mention these creatures emphasize the circular shape as a symbol of the soul's immortality or the cyclical nature of karma.

      5. In secret societies

      Knowing that the Ouroboros sign is very spiritual, has more or less "coded" meanings, and can be interpreted in a variety of ways, it's only natural that secret organizations would latch onto it. It can be found in mythologies and esoteric sciences in this way.

      A. In the Tarot and Watermarks

      During the 14th and 15th centuries, the Ouroboros appears in the watermarks (a drawing on particular materials when viewed through a window) of Albigensian prints.

      The Ouroboros symbol can also be seen on a variety of playing cards and tarot cards from the early 14th and 15th century.

      Watermarks resembling those of the Albigensians can also be discovered on the first printed playing cards. As a result, it's possible that the Albigensians had ties to the tarot deck's creators.

      On the other hand, one can legitimately wonder if the traditions about the Ouroboros being a figure associated with secret organizations are not the work of the Albigensians.

      Indeed, the Albigensians are strongly associated with the humanist movement, which will later evolve into the Enlightenment thought, which will eventually lead to the French revolution. The Albigensians were most likely subjected to the Catholic Church's inquisition during the time.

      B. In Freemasonry

      The appearance of the Ouroboros can be seen on many Masonic seals, frontispieces, and other artwork (mainly from the 17th century).

      In fact, the Ouroboros symbol appears on the Declaration of Man's and Citizen's Rights in 1789. The Ouroboros is thus a part of the history of all French people, in addition to being used by Masonry!

      C. In the Theosophical Society

      The Ouroboros, as well as several other classic symbols, can be found on the Theosophical Society's seal. On November 17, 1875, the Theosophical Society was founded in New York.

      D. The Ouroboros and the Albigensians

      The Ouroboros emblem can be seen in Albigensian printed watermarks from the 14th and 15th centuries, as well as playing cards and tarot cards.

      Albigensian watermarks usually feature an ace of cups encircled by an Ouroboros, a famous ancient symbol.

      Ouroboros and Albigensians

      Because the Albigensians were closely involved with the humanism movement and the inquisition it created, it's possible that this is the foundation of certain urban legends associating this sign with secret societies.

      E. An Illuminati Ouroboros?

      The image of the coiling snake first emerged centuries before the Illuminati was formally formed.

      The Ouroboros depicts the circle of life in Illuminati initiation rituals: humanity's progression through generations that begin and terminate in a constantly repeated loop. It depicts the road of physical death, the unavoidable truth that every life begins with nothing and finishes in the same place where it began. All beings are made of dust, and all humans will return to dust...

      F. Ouroboros, Satanists and Occultism

      Some Satanist rituals include the Ouroboros. They distort its main meaning in order to turn it into a Satanic Ouroboros and extract the evil potential from it. Because it represents both good and evil, this snake has an esoteric element as a sign of balance.

      As a result, it can be found in incantations to Satan's and demons' glory. Hexagram Ouroboros or Leviathan Ouroboros is then used to represent the devil. He's shown on pentagrams, Sigils, and pentacles that are said to go to the underworld. But also in a variety of esoteric magical ceremonies.

      6. In the modern world

      Now that we've looked at the ancient traditions that gave rise to the Ouroboros, it's time to see what legacy this dragon (or snake) that bites its own end has given us. It is still a powerful symbol that has been employed in a variety of cultural works.

      A. Used by researchers

      Scholars and academics in modern culture use the phrase Ouroboros when discussing mythology, history, and ancient religion.

      When describing the cycle of life and death, as well as cosmic harmony, New Age spirituality, alchemy, and astrology may use the term Ouroboros.

      B. Astrology

      The Ouroboros is also an astrological emblem for the Milky Way in ancient European myths. The tale speaks of a "Constellation Ouroboros," a luminous serpent who resides between the stars in the heavens. This snake, according to cosmic traditions, would eat its own tail.

      Constellation Ouroboros

      It is, in reality, the constellation of Ophiuchus, commonly known as Serpentarius, which lies between Scorpio and Sagittarius. This constellation is visible between 80° North and 80° South, according to Ptolemy's Almagest. A man with a snake in his hand is depicted.

      C. Art, Literature and Music

      That's not all, though. In art, literature, and music, the Ouroboros is frequently invoked. This includes everything from Eric Rücker Eddison's fantasy classic The Worm Ouroboros (1922) to Ruby the Hatchet's 2012 song "Ouroboros."

      Ouroboros is sometimes referred to as "the self-eating serpent" in speech and writing. It's an academic or metaphorical expression for infinity, cyclicality, or other looping occurrences, which are frequently self-destructive.

      D. Ouroboros Tattoo

      The image of a snake, dragon, or lizard eating its own tail is known as the ouroboros. Since the beginning of time, it has been growing, shedding, and consuming its own skin. It first appeared as a hieroglyph in Egypt, but it quickly spread to other civilization's cradles. It's become one of mankind's most recognised symbols.

      Ouroboros tattoo meaning

      The serpent has been associated with a variety of topics over thousands of years, including reflection and the act of creation, but it's most generally considered as a metaphor for the universe's never-ending cycle of life and death. The ouroboros gradually slithered into the world of tattoos due to its profound meaning.

      The ouroboros is depicted in a variety of ways in the world of tattoos. Some artists twist its body into designs like the infinity symbol, while others retain it circular but add additional symbols and iconography to the center. Regardless of how the ouroboros is shown in body art, the self-cannibalizing serpent always connotes the idea that everything is inexorably linked and will eventually come full circle.

      E. Chemistry

      The Ouroboros is a popular tattoo as well.

      As a result, it appears as a tattoo in Fullmetal Alchemist. The spiritual implication is never far away here, though.

      ouroboros alchemist

      In the X-Files, Dana Scully got an Ouroboros tattooed on her back, which she believes reflects the development of her life.

      "I was sitting, writing on my book, but the work was not progressing, my thoughts were elsewhere. I turned my chair towards the fire and dozed off. Again the atoms were gambolling before my eyes. This time, the small groups remained modestly in the background. My mental eye, made sharper by repeated visions of the kind, could now make out larger structures of varied conformation: long rows, sometimes more closely packed together; all coiling and twisting in a snake-like motion. But look! What was that? One of the snakes had grabbed its own tail, and the shape swirled mockingly before my eyes. It was as if a bolt of lightning had awakened me, and this time I spent the rest of the night pondering the consequences of this assumption."

      F. Psychology

      The Ouroboros were the models that served as the cornerstone, the basic mandala, of alchemy, according to Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung during the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

      We moderns know less about the nature of the individuation process than the alchemists did. It is, according to Jung, the process through which a person develops into a psychological individual, or an autonomous and indivisible unit.

      According to him, the Ouroboros' ancestral perception includes the idea of a latent longing to be consumed and regenerated indefinitely.

      Even the most astute alchemists could see that the prima materia (original matter) was man himself.

      The Ouroboros is the symbol of eternal life. The Ouroboros, it is believed, kills and sets itself in motion, fertilizes and gives birth to itself. It's a sign for the One, who takes part in the clash of opposites. As a result, it is the secret of the prima materia, which indisputably emerges from man's unconscious.

      With his study on schizophrenia in 1940, English psychiatrist Helton Godwin Baynes, a friend and translator of Jung, introduced the Ouroboros in England. The uroborus, he claims, symbolizes our psychic connectedness with the immemorial past.

      G. Cosmos

      The Ouroboros was created by Martin Rees, a British scientist and astronomy professor, to depict the various scales of the universe. Its length ranges from 10-20 cm (subatomic) at the tail to 1025 cm (supra-galactic) at the Ouroboros' head.

      snake jewelry

      The intimate linkages between the micro-world and the cosmos, indicated by the tail and head of the Ouroboros, come together to complete the circle, according to this British scientist.

      7. The Double Ouroboros

      The double Ouroboros is not to be confused with the single Ouroboros. Because it is made up of two entwined snakes chewing each other's tails, it is a more complicated symbol.

      It is unknown who created this emblem, also known as Ouroboros Auryn, or when it was created. However, a double ouroboros was already present in the symbols that made up Pharaoh Ramses III's regal cartouche.

      According to some experts, the mathematical lemniscate (infinity sign) is derived from the double Ouroboros. It was also used by ancient alchemists, who used it to represent an element's alchemical volatility.

      The Endless Story's Ouroboros is also a double. The "amulet of the morning" is, in fact, at the heart of the film's plot. The two snakes biting each other's tails became a symbol sought after by tattoo artists after the film's success in 1984.

      8. The Ouroboros for which animal?

      A. The Most Famous Ouroboros Snake

      The serpent eating itself is a symbol seen in Greek and Egyptian cultures. It's no surprise that the Ouroboros is shown as a snake because it symbolizes cyclical rebirth due to its ability to shed its skin.

      There have been numerous reports of actual snakes consuming their own tails. This is due to two factors:

      • Snakes have tiny brains and prefer to react rather than plan. As a result, they can misinterpret their own tail's quick motions as prey.
      • Snakes are poikilothermic, which means their body temperature varies depending on their surroundings. They may become disoriented if it is too hot.

      They falsely believe they are hungry and begin to crave food at any costs. They may end up swallowing their own tail as a result of this.

      Unfortunately, the snake cannot quit biting its own tail once it has done so. It may not be able to devour itself whole, but it can perish trying. And you'll end up with a real-life Ouroboros snake.

      B. The Ouroboros Dragon

      The Ouroboros is depicted as a dragon in certain cultures. This creature frequently assumes the appearance of a dragon-snake. It has a lengthy shape and does not resemble wyverns or vouivres, which are gigantic European dragons with large wings.

      Ouroboros Dragon

      The dragon Ouroboros Jörmungand is depicted in Norse mythology as girdling the globe by biting its tail.

      C. A Lizard Ouroboros?

      Ouroborus Cataphractus, often known as the Armadillo Lizard or Cordylus Cataphractus, is a saurian species found in the South African desert. Its unique feature is its scale armor, which completely covers it. When threatened, this lizard folds up on itself, resembling an Ouroboros.

      The rest of its body acts as a shield for its vulnerable belly once it is in this position. The Ouroboros lizard can spend up to an hour in this position. It is secure from predators such as snakes and mongooses thanks to its unusual protection.

      Despite its intimidating scales, this Ouroboros-reptile is completely harmless to humans. Poaching and illegal trading, however, pose a hazard.

      9. What is the meaning of the Ouroboros?

      The Ouroboros is a symbol for the universe's endless cyclical nature: the eternal cycle of life and death, creation and destruction. In an endless cycle of rejuvenation, it consumes its own tail. The concept of eternity and everlasting change is symbolized by the Ouroboros. The Ouroboros is a symbol for a continuous cycle.

      This symbol represents the belief that life is a never-ending cycle of rebirth. There is no true death, but there is life. This is why there is a connection to time's cyclical nature: the future devours the present, resulting in an endless cycle of moments that die and reborn at every moment.

      The Ouroboros also represents equilibrium. It is the key to the cosmos' harmony. The primal and anarchic dynamism that precedes its genesis and the emergence of order is symbolized by this symbol. It's similar to the Chinese yin and yang symbol, which depicts the balance of opposing energies such as fire and water, light and darkness, good and evil, and so on.

      It plays a significant role in many civilizations' religious and mythical symbolism. The Ouroboros is also a symbol in alchemy. It symbolizes the alchemist's work's circular nature. Gnosticism and Hermeticism are frequently related with its meaning.

      A. Eternal Cycle

      The Ouroboros serpent, without getting into a religious discussion of the subject, relates to the concept of unity. That is to say, its circular shape represents the idea of an unending cycle. Birth, Death, and Rebirth are the three stages of life.

      The most powerful principle driving it is that of renewal. Death would ultimately be a figment of the imagination. The human being would be trapped in a never-ending cycle of birth, death, and rebirth. It's a bit like the seasons, which keep repeating themselves.

      Ouroboros eternal cycle

      B. Infinity

      The concept of infinity, and so of eternity, is also tremendously powerful. When a snake (or dragon) bites its tail, it makes a loop that is not continuous. As a result, it's not always easy to tell where it starts and where it ends. Because it pertains to the concept of the human soul, this is also highly spiritual.

      A soul capable of transcending the confines of time and unaffected by the death of the individual. In a nutshell, it represents eternal life.

      C. Harmony of opposites

      As we've seen, the Ouroboros also represents the balance of opposing energies, similar to yin and yang.

      The Ouroboros dragon's mouth and head are two separate beings at opposing ends of its body, but they compliment each other. So it applies to the rest of the cosmos as well: men and women, winter and summer...

      D. Esotericism

      One of the earliest esoteric symbols is the Ouroboros. It would so carry a message that would let whoever deciphered it to unlock further doors.