Ouroboros – Symbols and Symbolism


This is Greg Stewart with FreemasonInformation.com
Symbols and Symbolism Ouroboros
This symbol appears principally among the Gnostics and is depicted as a dragon, snake
or serpent biting its own tail. In the broadest sense, it is symbolic of time and of the continuity
of life. It sometimes bears the caption Hen to pan—’The One, the All’, as in the
Codex Marcianus, for instance, of the 2nd century A.D. It has also been explained as
the union between the chthonian principle as represented by the serpent and the celestial
principle as signified by the bird (a synthesis which can also be applied to the dragon).
Ruland contends that this proves that it is a variant of the symbol for Mercury—the
duplex god. In some versions of the Ouroboros, the body is half light and half dark, alluding
in this way to the successive counterbalancing of opposing principles as illustrated in the
Chinese Yang-Yin symbol for instance. Evola asserts that it represents the dissolution
of the body, or the universal serpent which (to quote the Gnostic saying) ‘passes through
all things’. Poison, the viper and the universal solvent are all symbols of the undifferentiated—of
the ‘unchanging law’ which moves through all things, linking them by a common bond.
Both the dragon and the bull are symbolic antagonists of the solar hero. The ouroboros
biting its own tail is symbolic of self-fecundation, or the primitive idea of a self-sufficient
Nature—a Nature, that is, which, à la Nietzsche, continually returns, within a cyclic pattern,
to its own beginning. There is a Venetian manuscript on alchemy which depicts the Ouroboros
with its body half-black (symbolizing earth and night) and half-white (denoting heaven
and light).

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2 thoughts on “Ouroboros – Symbols and Symbolism

  1. I shit you not ever since i was a child ive always wanted a tattoo of 2 snakes biting each others tail in an infinity sign. Also a tattoo of a half sun and moon. So strange

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