Last week students asked me how come iphigeneia was turned into a deer; just as isac turned into a Ram. Shapeshifting, and change in general seems to be something mythical. Though in dreams and myths,it is a common thing.
A very interesting one is our interpretation of the word Demon, the demonic. The demonic is a greek word and it refers to the dynamic of life. And maybe we are so against the dynamic of life, that we turned it into a devil. Just like the serpent, in christianity, is considered to be the devil.
The serpent represents the dynamic of life, that loses its skin to be born again. Ancient mesopotamians, on the contrary, just like navajo people and the maya’s, considered the animal to be holy and shapeshifting as real.
The maya’s worshipped snake deities, like Kukulcán. The pyramid for his worship is in Chicén Itza and during the equinoxes the shadow cast by the angle of the sun and the stone serpent head carvings create the illusion of a massive serpent descending the pyramid. The giant snake has a fresh guise every time.
Maybe we should embrace change again, and see the leaves from daphne’s toes and fingers as symbols of growth. Let’s go shapeshifting!