The Serpent

Serpens Constellation

The Brighter Stars of Serpens

The Story

The Serpent Handler

The Serpent is held by Ophiuchus, the Serpent Wrestler. Ophiuchus is the God of Health and Healing, Asclepius, who was the son of Apollo. The association probably arises from the connection with the serpent. Because the serpent sheds its skin each year, the serpent became a symbol of rebirth.

The Serpent Bearer

The Serpent's Secret

Asclepius acquired the secret of rebirth from the serpent. He accidentally crushed a serpent with his foot. A second serpent appeared, bearing an herb its mouth, which it gave to the dead serpent. The dead serpent revived. Asclepius took a bit of the serpent's herb and through this acquired the secret of rebirth.

Since the Olympian gods generally in myth had the power over life and death, you do have to wonder why the god Asclepius had to get the secret of life and death from a serpent!  


Copyright © 1998 - 2010 by Arnold V. Lesikar,
Professor Emeritus
Dept. of Physics, Astronomy, and Engineering Science,
St. Cloud State University,St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498

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