“The Serpent Symbol in Tradition” by Charles William Dailey

"The Serpent Symbol in Tradition" by Charles William Dailey

"A study of traditional serpent and dragon symbolism, based in part upon the concepts and observations of René Guénon, Mircea Eliade, and various other relevant researchers.

Serpent and dragon symbolism is ubiquitous in the art and mythology of premodern cultures around the world. Over the centuries, conflicting hypotheses have been proposed to interpret this symbolism which, while illuminating, have proved insufficient to the task of revealing a singular meaning for the vast majority of examples. In The Serpent Symbol in Tradition, Dr. Dailey argues that, in what the symbolist René Guénon and the historian of religions Mircea Eliade have called ‘traditional’ or ‘archaic’ societies, the serpent/dragon transculturally symbolizes matter, a state of being that is constituted by the perception of the physical world as chaotic in comparison to what traditional peoples believed to be the ‘higher’ meta-physical source of ‘nature.’

Beyond purporting to resolve some of the mystery of the ancient and varied symbolism of the serpent/dragon, The Serpent Symbol in Tradition strives to interpret the symbolic meanings of premodern artifacts and narratives as well as provide a study of the origination, and ancient human awareness, of the mentioned state of matter."