Be Ye Wise as Serpents: A Short Meditation onOphidian Botany
By Frederick R. Dannaway
Dedicated to the scholarship of Blaise Daniel Staples“You have drank Fire from the immortal potion.”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in thegarden'?"
There is a truly ancient connection between serpents and esoteric plants that isuniversal in scope. Snakes crawl into the infernal regions and return and shed their skin ina bold display of rejuvenation. Serpents have mystical associations that inspire wonderand fear as they slither along the earth and herbs and disappear or strike, perhaps withdeadly venom. Snake and serpent lore is immense and universal associations withmagical, psychoactive or entheogenic plants abound. This paper will explore the contextof snake and serpent legends with plants that become symbolic to a widespread “cult of immortality” as well as digressions on serpent-entheogen links.