When Benjamin Franklin created this image, rattlers were common to the then colonies. Great Britain was sending their convicted criminals to the new world. The stolen labor of stolen men and women were making settlement in America possible. There had been an original people doing just fine, side by side with rattlers before any of the European people arrived with their pestilence. We have chosen to believe and teach these stories in particular ways over the years, but it is time to recognize the living breathing truths of the people in front of us. I declare 2017 to be the year of the snake.
If we are all to persist in this land that we love, we have some work to do. We are well aware it won’t be easy. It requires a shifting of priorities and attention that takes vigilance and self care. It requires a transfer of the powers that be to the hands of many and with that a willingness to converse and cooperate. It requires a faith that though the end result cannot be known, it is possible to create a beautiful and loving place in which to raise our children and grow old ourselves. To be able to do this work requires a personal softening to the fact that you may die at any moment. And a willingness to do so.
One mythological meaning of the snake is of physical and spiritual health. As in the Greek caduceus of western medicine. Also in the Kundelini of awakening in yoga. I grew up with the snake from the garden of Eden. It was taught to me as the symbol of temptation and I was to see Eve as responsible for the fall of mankind.
Now that I understand the uses of stories better, I question the utility of that interpretation.
Here is yet another symbol:
Ouroboros is the ancient image of a snake biting its own tail. It symbolizes introspection, the cycle of birth and death, and the process of always recreating itself, therefore infinity.
I have been buoyed by the recent activism of my sisters and I am determined that to be of help. I will make continued and consistent efforts in dismantling the white racial frame that allows the power that be to maintain the single story of our United States of America. I will continue my efforts in role modeling alternatives to the stories that have maintained the status quo.
My sisters and I have woke. This will be a sustained effort. We will look out for one another. We will speak out for one another. We will acknowledge that the one true privilege we have is of working side by side together with our lives in our own hands. We will no longer believe that the system hasn’t been rigged in favor of the white male minority for many years. And we shall begin the systematic dismantling of it right now.