Rev. Warlock DRACONIS BLACKTHORNE (dblackthorne) wrote,

Latest acquisitions...

Ouroboros Pentagram | Pentagon Baphomet

Being a collector of occult arcana, memento moris, Pentagrams & Baphomets, and diabolical objects d' art, I was pleased to add these to My collection. As a side note...

The Ouroboros (also spelled Oroborus, Uroboros or Uroborus) is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon swallowing its own tail and forming a circle. An ancient symbol, it has been used to represent many things over the ages, but it most generally symbolizes ideas of cyclicality and primordial unity. The ouroboros has been important in religious and mythological symbolism, but has also been frequently used in alchemical illustrations. In the last century, it has been interpreted by psychologists such as Carl Jung as having an archetypal significance to the human psyche.

The name ouroboros (or, in Latinized form, uroborus) is Greek (οὐροβóρος), "tail-devourer". The depiction of the serpent is believed to have been inspired by the Milky Way, as some ancient texts refer to a serpent of light residing in the heavens. [citation needed]


Plato described a self-eating, circular being as the first living thing in the universe-- an immortal, perfectly constructed animal.

"The living being had no need of eyes when there was nothing remaining outside him to be seen; nor of ears when there was nothing to be heard; and there was no surrounding atmosphere to be breathed; nor would there have been any use of organs by the help of which he might receive his food or get rid of what he had already digested, since there was nothing which went from him or came into him: for there was nothing beside him. Of design he was created thus, his own waste providing his own food, and all that he did or suffered taking place in and by himself. For the Creator conceived that a being which was self-sufficient would be far more excellent than one which lacked anything; and, as he had no need to take anything or defend himself against any one, the Creator did not think it necessary to bestow upon him hands: nor had he any need of feet, nor of the whole apparatus of walking; but the movement suited to his spherical form was assigned to him, being of all the seven that which is most appropriate to mind and intelligence; and he was made to move in the same manner and on the same spot, within his own limits revolving in a circle. All the other six motions were taken away from him, and he was made not to partake of their deviations. And as this circular movement required no feet, the universe was created without legs and without feet."[1]

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. In alchemy, the ouroboros symbolises the circular nature of the alchemist's opus, which unites the opposites: the conscious and unconscious mind. It is also often associated with Gnosticism, and Hermeticism.

The Ouroboros often represents self-reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, and other things perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they end. It can also represent the idea of primordial unity. The Jungian psychologist Erich Neumann writes of it as a representation of the pre-ego "dawn state", depicting the undifferentiated infancy experience of both mankind and the individual child. [2]

The Ouroboros could very well be used to symbolize the closed-system model of the universe of some physicists. The organic chemist August Kekulé claimed that a ring in the shape of Ouroboros that he saw in a dream inspired him in his discovery of the structure of benzene. As noted by Carl Jung, this might be an instance of cryptomnesia.

Historical representations

The Ouroboros is one of the oldest mystical symbols in the world. The serpent or dragon appears in Aztec, Chinese, and Native American mythologies, among others.


The serpent or dragon eating its own tail can be traced back to Ancient Egypt, circa 1600 BC. However the pig dragons of the Hongshan culture (4700–2200 BC) of China are older. From ancient Egypt it passed to Phoenicia and then to the Greek philosophers, who gave it the name Ouroboros ("tail-devourer").

Norse mythology

In Norse mythology it appears as the serpent Jörmungandr, one of the three children of Loki, who grew so large that it could encircle the world and grasp its tail in its teeth. In the legends of Ragnar Lodbrok, such as Ragnarssona þáttr, the Geatish king Herraud gives a small lindorm as a gift to his daughter Þora Town-Heart after which it grows into a large serpent which encircles the girl's bower and bites itself in the tail. The serpent is slain by Ragnar Lodbrok who marries Þora. Ragnar later has a son with another woman named Kráka and this son is born with the image of a white snake in one eye. This snake encircled the iris and bit itself in the tail, and the son was named Sigurd Snake-Eye.


Christianity adopted the ouroboros as a symbol of the limited confines of the material world (that there is an "outside" being implied by the demarcation of an inside), and the self-consuming transitory nature of a mere "worldly existence" of this world, following in the footsteps of the preacher in Ecclesiastes.


It is also present in some Hindu folk-myths, as the dragon circling the tortoise that supports the four elephants which support the world on their backs.

Aztec religion

The god Quetzalcoatl is sometimes portrayed as an ouroboros on Aztec and Toltec ruins.


In alchemy, the ouroboros is a purifying sigil. Swiss psychologist Carl Jung saw the ourobouros as an archetype and the basic mandala of alchemy. Jung also defined the relationship of the ouruboros to alchemy:

The alchemists, who in their own way knew more about the nature of the individuation process than we moderns do, expressed this paradox through the symbol of the uroboros, the snake that eats its own tail. In the age-old image of the uroboros lies the thought of devouring oneself and turning oneself into a circulatory process, for it was clear to the more astute alchemists that the prima materia of the art was man himself. The uroboros is a dramatic symbol for the integration and assimilation of the opposite, i.e. of the shadow. This 'feed-back' process is at the same time a symbol of immortality, since it is said of the uroboros that he slays himself and brings himself to life, fertilises himself and gives birth to himself. He symbolises the One, who proceeds from the clash of opposites, and he therefore constitutes the secret of the prima materia which [...] unquestionably stems from man's unconscious. [3]

The famous ouroboros drawing from the early alchemical text The Chrysopoeia of Cleopatra dating to 2nd century Alexandria encloses the words hen to pan, "one, the all", i.e. "All is One". Its black-and-white halves represent the Gnostic duality of existence.

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:

"[...] that the first day should make the last, that the Tail of the Snake should return into its Mouth precisely at that time, and they should wind up upon the day of their Nativity, is indeed a remarkable Coincidence,"

It is also alluded to at the conclusion of Browne's The Garden of Cyrus (1658) as a symbol of the circular nature and Unity of the two Discourses.

"All things began in order so shall they end, so shall they begin again according to the Ordainer of Order and the mystical mathematicks of the City of Heaven".

Ouroboros in modern culture

Film & Television

The movie Adaptation., directed by Spike Jonze and written by Charlie Kaufman also makes some references to Ouroboros. It would be the basic symbol for Donald's movie, The 3, in which a killer, the cop and the victim are all the same person. The fun part is: in Adaptation, Donald is Charlie Kaufman's twin brother, actually meaning he is a part of Charlie's real life persona, who dies midway across the movie (i.e.: the snake devours its snake, becoming itself).

The Ouroboros is featured prominently in other movies such as Darkness. In the anime Noein, the Ouroboros is the embodiment of the time dimensions that resonate with each other. The Ouroboros' existence makes events happen again and again ad infinitum. There is also a memorable scene in the Beatles' Yellow Submarine, in which the swallowing act is carried beyond its logical extreme, long after the creature had devoured every animal in the Sea of Monsters.

The "Worm of Ouroboros" crest is also seen in the anime Full Metal Alchemist. It is seen on different parts of the all of the Homunculi. All the Homunculi, named after the Seven Deadly Sins, have the Ouroboros Crest on them on different parts of their bodies. Wrath has one on his foot, Pride on his eye, Lust on her chest (just above her cleavage), Greed on his hand, Gluttony on his tongue, Sloth on her left breast, and Envy on his thigh. The alchemical signifigance applied in this instance is that each of these beings is a construct that consumes themselves (the philosopher's stone each is created around) for their power.

The Ouroboros is Featured as the logo for the TV show Millennium (TV series).

It is also the title of an episode of Red Dwarf in which Dave Lister creates his own destiny.


E. R. Eddison wrote a fantasy novel titled The Worm Ouroboros, referring to the end of the story's return to its opening, and also to the "summoning of the worm" by the evil King of Witchland.

In Robert A. Heinlein's time travel story "—All You Zombies—" the Bartender wears a ring depicting the Ouroboros which is heavily symbolic to him. His later book The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, also references the Ouroboros.

Mark Fabi's Wyrm, features serveral chapters which revolve directly around the meaning of the Ouroboros. The plot of the storyline also revolves around the Ouroboros and shows itself at the climax of the novel.

~ Source

* Ouroboros Pentagram: To Me, this symbol signifies The Third Side, resonant with Yin-Yang contained by Chi. The Analytical and the Imaginative comprehensions joined together as one, complimenting one another. Magically, both potentials in one whole, ergo, "Magic used to help or hinder". Also signifies Leviathan encircling the pentagram, and Power contained with the wisdom to know when to utilize it, and the knowledge to realize how, all symbolized by The Serpent remaining of itself, and recycling energies {as infinity}.

* Pentagon Baphomet: Besides its unique design and the known properties of The Pentagram and Baphomet, this configuration represents the Power of The Will and Force of The Mind acting in a highly dynamic manner with its sharp angles, yet with daemonic geometrical grace.

Tags: acquisitions, possessions

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