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Transformative Serpent Wisdom
Category: The Inner Shaman Written by Alberto Villoldo PhD
The journey through the wisdom wheel begins in the South, where you learn to shed your past like a serpent sheds her skin.
By doing this, you can become unencumbered by family drama, no longer fated to develop the physical ailments that your family of origin suffered or repeat old psychological patterns related to them. But shedding the past is not easy. The tragic stories and ailments do not go away by magic. They have to be burned and consumed by an inner fire generated by awakening the power of the coiled serpent: the Kundalini power.
You must acquire serpent wisdom if you want to use this inner fire for warmth rather than for burning the house down. That doesn’t mean disowning your past; it means no longer being owned by it. It means shedding your excuses for why your life isn’t working as you would like it to. When you truly shed your past and all its stories, you are no longer the product of only your upbringing or your tragic family tales or stories of fortunes lost and love betrayed. With serpent wisdom, the deepest healing of the old wounds, including the wounds of your family and people, begins.
The serpent knows the ways to the depths of your psyche and the hidden places in your soul where you must heal your deepest wounds and find your greatest treasures. She knows how to lead you to the innermost sacred feminine, which she represents, and the stories you would rather forget that became hidden beneath the ones you told yourself to feel in control of your personal narrative. She leads you into a deep dive into the mysterious, dark depths of the Great Mother Earth, where you are stripped of everything that is not of your authentic self. If you are fortunate, she will swallow you whole. Her bottomless love and terrifying presence will set your life on fire to begin to clear the way for you to experience your interconnection with all that exists. She will remind you of who you really are beyond your limited ideas about your identity, which have been shaped by your family legacy.
With the help of serpent, you can see that yours was neither a happy nor an unhappy childhood. The gift is the ability to accept that what happened was what happened and not attach any stories, positive or negative, to your memories. Attain serpent’s gift and you will feel much less compelled to tell people your personal tale of what you have suffered and overcome. You’ll find you’re less interested in what was then in “What now?” and “What might be?” and “Who might I become?” You will not forget what happened as a result of doing the work of the serpent, but your memories will live differently within you, no longer restricting you to live according to the fate that was preselected for you when you were born into your family and began adopting its patterns.
The deepest work of the South requires that we encounter the mythic serpent, known as a naga, and its fierceness. According to legends of India and Tibet, a naga is a great sea serpent from the depths of the river or the oceans and a keeper of treasures and wisdom. In Hindu lore, nagas are deities that can assume any form they wish, particularly human and serpent forms. They dwell in an enchanted underworld, serving as guardians of precious treasures. Their preferred abodes are the lakes, rivers, and oceans, and they are believed to have such power and venom that they are particularly dangerous to humans. The nagas urge you to let go of who you thought you were and what limitations you have so that you can find hidden treasures—strengths, opportunities, ideas, and wisdom. Nagas are not pleased when you hold on to the past and your fear of the unknown.
Will you meet the naga’s challenge? Will you muster the courage that Eve had to accept the fruit of the tree of knowledge, despite suspecting the consequences?
Alberto Villoldo PhD is a medical anthropologist who has spent the last 30 years investigating the healing practices of the shamans of the Amazon and the Andes. He is the founder and director of the Four Winds Society, and author of Shaman, Healer, Sage, Mending the Past and Healing the Future with Soul Retrieval, The Four Insights and Yoga, Power and Spirit. Alberto is founder of the world-renowned Four Winds Society and of the Light Body School. In his teachings and writings, he shares the experience of infinity and its ability to heal and transform us, to free us from the temporal chains that keep us fettered to illness, old age and disease.
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