Several decades ago, I was studying various kinds of psychic development under several, mainly 2, teachers. During one of these sessions, I was seeing my long Path on this life leading to a wonderful place eventually. But along a large portion of it, in fact it was along everywhere I could see at the time, and to each side of the Path were many snakes that frightened me. My teacher told me not to stop and talk to them or they would bite me. At that time, I thought they represented people in my life. I know now they could represent anything, situations, thoughts, desires, people or anything else that came along to distract me off of my Path.
As I follow a very conscious Spiritual Path, these ideas are very real and understandable to me to a certain extent And as I learn and progress more all the time, these seemingly simple ideas contain much more information than I had originally known when I first had this revelation. In fact, as I progress farther along my Path, I can find I learn more about them all the time.
One confusing and challenging idea is the fact that sometimes the experiences I am having may seem that I have stepped off the Path and thus gotten “bitten” by a snake. Yet other times, it may seem I am still on the Path and the experience is a learning situation that is there to help me. Trying to distinguish between these two situations is what has been a tremendous challenge for me every since. And in order to learn the difference between the two experiences, I have read, studied, lived and developed many, various spiritual teachings over the years though I continue my central Spiritual Tradition as a Pagan, with Shamanic Wicca as my Spiritual Path. I know, at some deep level, however, that I will find the answers to all of this, at least enough to complete this worldly incarnation that I now know is going to be a very long one. (Obviously, you who are much younger than I, age 62 presently can test me on this prophecy I have of living a long life.)
Experiences can be either one of the two ideas I just mentioned walking along that "staight" Path or wondering off to talk to the "snakes"; but perhaps there are many more various ones. This would go along with the idea that we can change a Path at any time, or “step off” our current one and try something else. It would seem that is the more common one as so many of us become “dabblers” in many areas rather than perfecting just one. I have done this time and again, though I do take time to perfect certain chosen skills, focusing usually several years upon an area of interest in order to more fully develop it.
And perhaps there are Paths for different areas of our lives. Perhaps there is a Path for our Work, one for our Personal family lives, and others for various leisure pursuits. (Perhaps there is a "weight management path" for those of us thus challenged). On the contrary, we may, as many have stated, already designed a full life for ourselves before our present lifetime began during the time between lives. Some teachers explain the déjà vu experiences we have as a reminder that we are “on tract” with what we had planned to reassure us we developing according to plan during times of confusion.
The snake is a symbol of many things and is it what came to me one lovely spring morning recently as I walked my dog. It sat on paved road near the railroad tracks as I walked along with my dog. It didn’t budge as we walked near but only looked up at me with one of its large eyes. I was so taken aback by that sight, I had to walk far around it and kept looking back to see if it moved, if it was real. Indeed as I threw a pebble near it, not to hurt it but to check if is was ‘real’, it lowered its head but continued to maintain its place on the road. I remember at that time the vision of the Path with the Snakes. And I thought that I had indeed stepped off my Path recently. I allowed my challenges with people, to make me feel uncertain of myself. I can see now how I allowed those people to do this to me rather than me be the victim of them. When we allow self-doubt to limit our actions, this attracts the bullies (or snakes) around like a magnet. I realize we always have a choice of how to allow ourselves to feel. For example if someone attacks us, do we feel bad about ourselves? Some people will, of course, but most will realize that it was the fault of the person who attacked not the victim of the attack. I realized now I allowed my experiences with snakes to define who I am. And I punished myself based on those snakes’ bad but mistaken opinion of me! I actually was “talked into” stepping off my Path by a “snake salesman.” I have chosen to learn from this and consciously to step back on my chosen Path. I expect now to have a reprieve from it all, at least for awhile, until it is time for the next lesson. And in the mean time, I thank Goddess for all the many blessings and accomplishments I have to date.
So what are your experiences with these kinds of things? Have you been talked off living a great life by a “snake salesman”? Remember, you can always get back on again as it is only you that decides which steps you will take.