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Snakes have been depicted eating their tails as a symbol of eternity for thousands of years. Crafted into this round shape (perfect for adornment of fingers, wrist, neck, ankle…) called the ourobourus, the snake has symbolized something in every culture and every religion on earth from ancient times to modern. According to New York jeweler, Elizabeth Doyle, “people fear snakes but they love them.” Because the snake sheds its skin, ancient people believed that it was regenerating itself, being born again, and the well-known tale of the temptation of Eve illustrates the alluring and dangerous nature of the snake.

A drawing of a snake eating its own tail was discovered in the ancient Egyptian funerary text  the Enigmatic Book of the Netherworld, in the tomb of Tutankhamun, which dates to the 14th century B.C. The Victorians loved snakes. The fashionable women of that time wore snakes in every way imaginable.

Karl Rothmuller made this one in Germany in 1898

Karl Rothmuller made this one in Germany in 1898

Egyptians thought the ourobourus represented eternal life and knowledge. Ancient Celts used the snake as a symbol of secret knowledge. The Minoans had a snake Goddess. Asclepius, the Greek God of medicine and healing, carried a staph with a snake coiled around it. Wearing snake jewelry represents a power, a danger, a meeting with temptation and knowledge.

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This double snake bracelet forming a  Hercules Knot in the center (a symbol of strength) was sold at Christie’s. It is  from the 5th Century.

This double snake bracelet forming a
Hercules Knot in the center (a symbol of strength) was sold at Christie’s. It is
from the 5th Century.

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