Ancient word of the day: Adder

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Snakes, serpents, vipers, adders – they all convey ancient power of life over death, of emerging in ones full power to take back what belongs to them, of transformation and return. A potent ancestral spirit and augur from the Land of the Dead.


The Adder Vipera berus is the only venomous snake in Britain.

Valiant, ephipanic and terrifying, snakes flare up and out of the earth, or from under leaf litter, or the dark waters of rivers, out of the darkness of the psyche.

But never met this Fellow

Attended or alone

Without a tighter breathing

And zero at the bone.

~A Narrow Fellow in the Grass, Emily Dickinson

The snake is a form for countless deities including Zeus, Apollo, Persephone, Hades, Isis, Kali, Shiva.

The underworld realm of the dead that snakes mythically inhabit is also the fecund ground from which new life emerges, a place of healing…

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