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Old 09-19-03, 04:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
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the Egyptians and Greeks also had snakes in their beleifs. They're now dead relgions and relegated to being told as myths. You also see many similarities between egyptian, greek and christianity as one religion will borrow from another religion (specially as the religion travels)

In Greek mythology, we find the serpent guardian figure from Sumerian or Akkadian times. A great and wise serpent, called Ladon, guards the tree of the golden apples of the Hesperides. This mythic tree is guarded by an immense horned serpent which coils up around the tree, rising from a cave in the earth. (sound familiar?)

Also you have the Hydra, a multiheaded serpent or dragon which is refered to in both the stories about Hercules and Jason (and the argonauts).

And how can we mention the greeks with out Medusa?
The Medusa Gorgon was the Goddess of Righteous Wrath. In some traditions she was a serpent of the Libyan Amazons and represented female wisdom. The Greek Daemons [daemonae] were the invisible divine beings which were assigned by Zeus to every god and every important human being as sort of a guardian angel creature to give good advice and lead them properly. The Daemons (from which, of course we get our word demon) could appear as a handsome young youth or as a wise serpent.

A Goddess associated with the Serpent was the Greek Triple Goddess of the Moon, the Underworld and the
chthonic forces of the Earth Hecate, Her priestess in Greek mythology Medea.

Also connected to Medusa is Athena. She is known as a warrior Goddess as well as the Goddess of Wisdom; her symbol being the Serpent as displayed on her personal shield. (source) Her bird is the owl, also a symbol of wisdom.

"The Perseus myth was invented to explain the appearance of Gorgon Medusa's face, or mask, on Athena's shield and aegis, the image of Athena that was inherited from the pre-Hellenic period. It is not surprising to learn that the earliest images of Athena had a striking resemblance to the revered Cretan serpent-goddess-priestess. Although Athena changes, in art she is consistently associated with snakes as they appear on her shoulders and on her armor, along with Medusa's face as the central image.

The Perseus myth was also an attempt to conceal Athena's roots in the Libyan Amazon Serpent-Goddess-Trinity-Athene, (a deity that was also present in Minoan Crete). In pre-Hellenic myths Athena was said to have come from the uterus of Lake Tritonis, (meaning Three Queens), the same place that Medusa is said to have ruled, hunted and led troops in Athenian myth. The older myths are more specific, they say that Athene was born of the Three Queens of Libya themselves, the Triple Goddess, with Metis-Medusa as her destroyer aspect."

In Egyptian mytholgy we have gods and goddesses associated with snakes, such as Apep, Amon and the goddesses Buto, Meresger and Renenet. It is also very confusing because many of the gods have different names/forms.

Apep aka Horis was the Epyptian god of evil, an immense snake who nightly attempts to devour the sun, only to be defeated at dawn eternally, until the last dawn.

Buto is the chief goddess of the delta. Buto is associated with the snake. Buto is the cobra goddess. She protected the pharaoh by spiting poison on his enemies or burning them with her look. In early times her bite could kill the pharaoh. She is queen of all the goddesses. Buto is a symbol of the pharaoh's total power over the to lands.

Renenet is the goddess of children. She protects every child at birth. In pictures and statues she is a woman with a cobra's head. She is the goddess good fortune and riches.

Meresger is a snake goddess of the mountain peak overlooking the royal tombs of Thebes (modern Luxor). She was generally benevolent and had the power to cure disease, but she could also inflict sickness on sinners.

There's more examples out there and you could spend a life time on the Egyptian religions/cults/sects alone (some people have). It's also interesting to see how bits and pieces of long forgotten religions have ended up in practiced religions of today.
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