The serpent is the archetypal animal of the South direction on the Q’ero medicine wheel. It is a universal archetype symbolizing knowledge, sexuality, and healing. Physically and metaphorically, the serpent stays low to the ground so it sees the world from the perspective that everything is exactly as it seems to be. A rose is a rose, a cloud is a cloud, and an obstacle is something to be merely navigated around. It sheds its skin when it grows out of it and leaves it behind to grow into the next version of itself with no thought of what it is releasing, only what the next action is in front of it.
On an energetic level, the serpent is about literal, day-to-day functioning. We acquire knowledge, make to-do lists, solve logistical problems, and move through our lives mechanically at this level.
Serpent - Sachamama
The serpent is our connection to the divine feminine. It is the place from which passion is born, the place where mystery is allowed to be exactly that - the unknown. The sexuality of the serpent is not about sex, but about creation and connection - the things that bring purpose to our day-to-day actions. We may not know what something is about, but we know we are belly to belly with an empowered path.
The serpent is universally associated with healing. The Western medicine caduceus is two snakes wrapped around a staff. Nearly every culture has associated the serpent with physical healing. When we intervene at the level of the serpent we are working with the physical body. Everything from exercise to massage to diet to surgery is serpent-level healing.
The serpent is associated with the first chakra, or the root chakra. It is the Kundalini energy of Eastern traditions that is the coiled serpent at the base of the spine - our physical foundation. The first chakra, or energetic center, is about survival and procreation. It is concerned with food, shelter, safety, and the ability to provide for oneself.