Ouroboros is an ancient alchemy symbol depicting a snake or dragon (DNA) swallowing its own tail, constantly creating itself and forming a circle. It is the Wheel of Time - The Alchemy Wheel - "12 Around 1" (*) to manifest grid programs that give the illusion of linear time allowing souls to experience emotions.
(*) Reality begins as a source of sound, light and color, resembling a pulsating orb which is a consciousness program through which 12 spiraling cones burst forth to create endless grid programs. "Cones" link with "horns" or creational harmonics and other "horn" references found in mythology, especially those linked to gods and angels. It all began with a tone and so it shall end.
Souls sparks of light spiral out from the central source, randomly moving into the grids to consciously experience programs simultaneously. This movement of souls resembles spiraling galaxies linked with creation through the eye, the lens of time, projected illusion through the looking glass, Eye of God, etc. Ouroboros is associated with Alchemy, Gnosticism and Hermeticism. It represents the cyclical nature of things, eternal return, and other things perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they end. In some representations the serpent is shown as half light and half dark, echoing symbols such as the Yin Yang, which illustrates the dual nature of all things, but more importantly, that these opposites are not in conflict.
Origins of the Ouroboros The serpent or dragon eating its own tail has survived from antiquity and can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, circa 1600 B.C.E. From there it passed to Phoenicia and then to the Greek philosophers, who gave it the name Ouroboros ("the tail-devourer").
Norse Mythology - the serpent Jormungand, one of the 3 children of Loki - the Trickster who grew so large that it could encircle the world and grasp its tail in its teeth.
"The trickster is an alchemist, a magician, creating realities in the duality of time and illusion. The trickster deity breaks the rules of the gods or nature, sometimes maliciously (for example, Loki) but usually with ultimately positive effects. Often, the rule-breaking takes the form of tricks or thievery. Tricksters can be cunning or foolish or both; they are often very funny even when considered sacred or performing important cultural tasks. In many cultures, (as may be seen in Greek, Norse or Slavic folktales, along with Native American/First Nations lore), the trickster and the culture hero are often combined. To illustrate: Prometheus, in Greek mythology, stole fire from the gods to give it to humans. He is more of a culture hero than a trickster. In many Native American and First Nations mythologies, the coyote (Southwestern United States) or raven (Pacific Northwest and coastal British Columbia) stole fire from the gods (stars or sun) and are more tricksters than culture heroes. This is primarily because of other stories involving these spirits: Prometheus was a Titan, whereas coyote and raven are usually seen as jokesters and pranksters. Frequently the Trickster figure exhibits gender variability, changing gender roles and engaging in same-sex practices. Such figures appear in Native American and First Nations mythologies, where they are said to have a two-spirit nature. Loki, the Norse trickster, also exhibits gender variability, in one case even becoming pregnant; interestingly, he shares the ability to change genders with Odin, who despite being nominally the chief Norse deity also possesses many characteristics of the Trickster. The Trickster is an example of a Jungian Archetype. The Fool survives in modern playing cards as the Joker. In modern literature the trickster survivors as a character archetype, not necessarily supernatural or divine, therefore better described as a stock character."
Hindu Mythology - the dragon circling the tortoise which supports the four elephants that carry the world. The serpent or dragon also appears in Aztec, Chinese, and Native American mythology. Christians adopted the Ouroboros as a symbol of the limited confines of this world (that there is an "outside" being implied by the demarcation of an inside), and the self-consuming transitory nature of a mere this-worldly existence following in the footsteps of the Preacher in Ecclesiastes. It could very well be used to symbolize the closed-system model of the universe of some physicists even today.
Symbology Behind the Ouroboros The ouroboros has several meanings interwoven into it. Foremost is the symbolism of the serpent biting, devouring, eating its own tail. This symbolizes the cyclic Nature of the Universe: creation out of destruction, Life out of Death. The ouroboros eats its own tail to sustain its life, in an eternal cycle of renewal. In the above drawing, from a book by an early Alchemist, Cleopatra, the black half symbolizes the Night, Earth, and the destructive force of nature, yin. the light half represents Day, Heaven, the generative, creative force, yang.
Alchemy Alchemically, the ouroboros is also used as a purifying glyph. Ouroboros was and is the name for the Great World Serpent, encircling the Earth. The word Ouroboros is really a term that describes a similar symbol which has been cross-pollinated from many different cultures. Its symbolic connotation from this owes to the returning cyclical nature of the seasons; the oscillations of the night sky; self-fecundation; disintegration and re-integration; truth and cognition complete; the Androgyny; the primeval waters; the potential before the spark of creation; the undifferentiated; the Totality; primordial unity; self-sufficiency, and the idea of the beginning and the end as being a continuous unending principle. Ouroboros represents the conflict of life as well in that life comes out of life and death. 'My end is my beginning.' In a sense life feeds off itself, thus there are good and bad connotations which can be drawn. It is a single image with the entire actions of a life cycle - it begets, weds, impregnates, and slays itself, but in a cyclical sense, rather than linear. Thus, it fashions our lives to a totality more towards what it may really be - a series of movements which repeat. "As Above, So Below" - we are born from nature, and we mirror it, because it is what man wholly is a part of. It is this symbolic rendition of the eternal principles that are presented in the Emerald Tablets of Thoth.
Born from this symbolic notion, there are many different cultures which share this great dragon-serpent symbol (the serpent Jormungandr, from the myth of Yggdrasil, is just one). There are some cultures that see the image as not being beneficial, but evil - like Satan. These more specific re-interpretations will be spoken of later. It is of interest to mention that a symbol such as that of the
Ouroboros is something which Carl Jung refers to as an archetype, it seems to makes its way into our conscious mind time and time again in varying forms. The 19th century German chemist named Kekule dreamed of a snake with its tail in its mouth one day after dosing off. He had been researching the molecular structure of benzene, and was at a stop point in his work until after waking up he interpreted the dream to mean that the structure was a closed carbon ring. This was the breakthrough he needed.
"All Is One!" Cries This Ouroboros From Alexandrian Egypt.
There is another mention of the Ouroboros laying at the edge of "the sea which surrounds the world," called Pontus. The Ouroboros encircles the Universe; everything known and unknown is encompassed in its embracing coils, supporting and maintaining the earthly balance. It injects life into death and death into budding life. Its form suggests immobility with its locked jaws upon itself, yet at the same time it pushes the insistent message of perpetual movement through its twined coils. The first clues to this symbol go back as far as 1600-1700 BC in Egypt. Through the years the serpent moved on to the Phoenicians and the Greeks - who were what gave it the name "Ouroboros." The Greek translation means, "tail eater."
"The Serpent Ouroboros" from Ancient Egypt.
Papyrus of Dama Heroub Egypt, 21st Dynasty
The zodiac as a tail-eating snake (Ouroboros) symbolizes the eternity of Time and the boundary of the universe. Below it, the double lion Routi ('Yesterday and Tomorrow'), the agency of resurrection, supporting the newborn Sun God. It has a strong relation to what is known as the Androgyny. The androgyny is the united male and female principles together. This is the prime primordial end to human endeavor, the reunion which births totality and creation. It is not unlike the idea of androgyny, which is a duality complete.
"A return to wholeness."
Seven-segmented Aztec Ouroboros.
This is an Aztec Ouroboros (with proportions that even Hermes would have found pleasing) originally from: Project Ouroboros at the University of Minnesota, which has a large and diverse selection of these impressive archetypes. The following commentary from this source links with what has already been said and also adds further points of interest: 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 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 principal as signified by the bird (a synthesis which can also be applied to the dragon). Ruland contends 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 Yin-Yang 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). As a symbol of the eternal unity of all things, the cycle of birth and death from which the alchemist sought release and liberation, it was familiar to the alchemist/physician Sir Thomas Browne. In his A letter to a friend, a medical treatise full of case-histories and witty speculations upon the human condition, he wrote of it:
The Ouroboros is believed to have been inspired by the Milky Way as some ancient texts refer to a serpent of light residing in the heavens.
Sagittarius - The Archer is in the heart of the summer Milky Way.
The Milky Way (a translation of the Latin Via Lactea, in turn derived from the Greek Galaxia Kuklos) is the galaxy in which the Earth is found. When viewed from the Earth and its environs, it appears in the night sky as a hazy band of white light (hence "milky") across the celestial sphere, formed by stars within the disc of its namesake galaxy. It is also simply known as the Galaxy, as the Earth's solar system is a part of it. The Milky Way appears brightest in the direction of Sagittarius, where the galactic center lies. Relative to the celestial equator, the Milky Way passes as far north as the constellation of Cassiopeia and as far south as the constellation of Crux. This reflects the fact that the Earth's equatorial plane is highly inclined to the galactic plane, as is the ecliptic (the plane in which the Earth and the other significant planets orbit the Sun). The fact that the Milky Way divides the night sky into two roughly equal hemispheres reflects the fact that the solar system lies close to the galactic plane.
To put the Milky Way into perspective, if you made it 130 km (80 mi) in diameter, our solar system would only be 2 mm (0.08 in) in diameter. Also, if a beam of light were to be shot around the Milky Way, it would take almost 250,000 years to complete its journey.
The Milky Way Galaxy is the inspiration for the symbol of the Ouroboros. Myth refers to a serpent of light residing in the heavens. The Milky Way is this serpent, and viewed at galactic central point near Sagittarius, this serpent eats its own tail. The Milky Way galaxy keeps a great time cycle that ends in catastrophic change. The sign of the Suntelia Aion is the sun rising out of the mouth of the ouroboros, which will occur on the solstice December 21, 2012 which links with the Mayan Calendar as a symbolic date the evolution of consciosness in the alchmey of time. This also goes to Quetzcoatl and accelerating Earth changes in the Ring Of Fire.
The Greeks called this time End of the Age the Suntelia Aion. Ancient historians and especially Plato referred to a cycle of catastrophe at the End of the Age. The AION was symbolized by the Ouroboros.
The galactic center of our Milky Way Galaxy is 26 degrees 54 minutes Sagittarius. It approaches 27 degrees 0 minutes in the year 2010. In the year 2012 the galactic center is 27 degrees and 1 minute. 27+1=10=1+0=1 = New Beginnings