I read an interesting excerpt today about snake superstitions that I thought I'd share in the blog. I'm not a superstitious person at all but the irony is that I happened to speak with someone today who was extremely big on superstitions. I told him to say a few "good luck" spells for all the ball python eggs in my incubator because I don't want anymore "Cyclops" ball pythons hatching here again (see my blog entry on 05/22/06 entitled "Life finds a way to live..."). :)
Here's the excerpt, enjoy.
from "Cassell Dictionary of Superstions" by David Pickering
Superstition has always regarded snakes with fear and respect,
crediting them with various supernatural powers. Snake cults have
thrived in many different parts of the world and snakes occupy a
prominent, if not always healthy, position in many of the world's
religions, including Christianity. Christian snake-handling sects
exist in the modern USA, practitioners believing that their faith
protects them from a venomous snake's bite. The idea of the snake
being in some way protective is shared by many traditions; tattoos,
for instance, often take the form of a snake pattern, and hanging a
snakeskin from the rafters will protect a house from fire. Killing
the first snake that a person sees in the year, will, meanwhile,
guarantee them victory over any foes over the next twelve months.
Snakes are also widely interpreted as a phallic symbol and are
therefore strongly associated with various forms of sex magic.
Superstition has cherished a number of misconceptions about snakes.
These include the widespread beliefs that all snakes hypnotize their
prey; that they inject their venom via their forked tongue; that
they can all spit their venom and that, according to US
tradition, `hoop snakes' can roll in the form of a hoop at their
enemies by seizing their tail in their own mouth. Another popular
idea has it that snakes cannot die until the sun goes down.
Seeing a snake crossing one's path is unlucky, as are dreams about
snakes; a pregnant woman who is frightened by a snake may give birth
to a child with a constricted neck (though it is also said that
snakes will never bite pregnant women). Tying a snakeskin around the
waist of a woman in labor will ease childbirth, while carrying a
snakeskin is generally supposed to be beneficial to health,
effective against headaches and in extracting thorns from the skin.
In the USA it is said that women in labor who are fed a drink made
from the powdered rattle of a rattlesnake will have an easier time.
Carrying a snake's tooth will ward off fever, and one may be carried
for luck in gambling. Other uses of snakes in folk medicine include
an old English treatment for swollen necks, which requires a live
snake to be drawn across the affected part three times and then
buried alive in a bottle.
Superstition recommends a host of animal and plant preparations for
the treatment of snakebite. Among the more bizarre is one which
claims that rubbing crocodile blood into the bite will negate the
effects of the poison. Another course is to tie the dead body of a
snake around the wound. To avoid getting bitten by a snake in the
first place the simplest course is to wear an emerald.
I am going to comment on the QUOTE
"Fabled-HOOP SNAKE. There is a snake that was prolific in our area White Hall,Il.
My husband was an eyewitness to a Fabled Hoop Snake when he was six years old when he and his friend Mr. Newton(84yrs) were taking a walk they scared the snake and it grab its tail and rolled downhill and hit a tree and buried its tail in said tree and both the snake and the tree died. now don't tell me there were no HOOP SNAKES.
the snake doesn't look normal, no such snake exist in this world. Looks like a mythical one. It didn't disturb me.
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