6

I have seen several early Jewish sources (e.g. Midrash Tanhuma, Beshalah 18) refer to the idea that a snake can kill a bird by just looking at its shadow. Has this ancient belief been documented elsewhere and what other sources are there to such an idea?

  • 1
    Very interesting! Please link the passages if you get a chance. – DukeZhou Apr 19 '17 at 17:27
  • The source I cited can be found here: books.google.co.il/… but it's a bunch of different Jewish sources as well. – Reb Chaim HaQoton Apr 20 '17 at 6:40
  • 1
    My bet here is it is a remnant of the fairly usual fight between sky deity and chtonian deity. There is some form of thsi reminiscent in the Bible with the "snake' "aka a "chtonian creature" bringing down the plan of god "a heaven like" creature. chtonian deity, especially in their "chtonian' part are generally not so good. – Gibet Apr 20 '17 at 7:25
2

I think this is a really really great find! I did some research and found nothing. South American myths contains a lot of kinds of Snakes, but this quite new for me. I think we will be waiting for someone reveal some other source.

But here is why makes sense to me: I think it's old knowledge for the universal and ancient questions of the "opposites". You can find this duality - snake and birds, skane and eagles - in many works like the Nietzsche's Zaratustra and Marriage of Havean and Hell from William Blake. In both cases you can see this transcended duality, with the junction of opposites represented as the eagle and the snake. In Blake's work the snake can see better been carrying by the eagle. In Zaratustra, Nietzsche claims in the beginning of the work the friendship of the eagle that carries the snake in its neck. Again, the opposites are together. The bird and snakes are symbols to represent the opposites, the most earthly animal and the most aerial animal.

I will make a guess, using a alchemical proposition: so above, as below. the most earthly animal (or the Devil, as judaic representation) can be view as the "Shadow" in some cases pointed in Carl Jung studies. So, taken this representation, the Devil is a fallen angel, he knows very well the "Shadow" of the higher - higher as the spirit. So anyhow, he is the shadow, he has control of the shadow, the animal instinct, he knows the dark side, so in this case, he knows the weakness of a higher being, like birds. Because he once was a like aerial being. It makes sense? lol

Hope it helps someshow.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.