Kingsnake: Master of self-defense

Young Prairie King Snake.

One day when we were still living in our old farmhouse in central Illinois I saw a snake in the tall grass in back of the house.

It was large – very large. Must have been at least 4 feet long. The sinuous body was covered with shiny scales arranged in a stunning pattern of brown on tan. I couldn’t see the head but when I took a step closer the end of the tail came in sight. I froze as the tail shook and vibrated, making a rattling sound in the grass. How strange – it wasn’t much of a rattle. I wondered if something had bitten off the end of the tail.

And yes, I was freaked out.

Later I caught sight of it a couple more times and got a good look at the head. Hmm. Not your typical triangular rattler head. But it DID so resemble a rattlesnake…

Intrigued, I looked up Illinois snakes. It soon became clear that we had nothing to fear. This was a Prairie Kingsnake.

There are quite a few species of king snake, and all are beautiful. Many come in vibrant colors and

king snake
This Kingsnake closely resembles the deadly Coral Snake. Just remember: red touching black is a friend of Jack (Kingsnake); red touching yellow will kill a fellow (Coral Snake).

striking patterns. They are non-venemous, and are often kept as pets because they are docile and easy to keep.

However, the Kingsnake is no wuss. In fact, it is one of the few creatures that will routinely eat rattlesnakes. It has immunity to the venom so can swallow them fearlessly.

As a Power Animal, I can’t think of a better symbol for protection and self-defense than the Kingsnake. Like a master martial artist, it seems to have prepared itself for nearly any type of assault, judging by this list of the Kingsnake’s defensive devices (courtesy of desertusa.com):

  • Angry hiss to bluff attacker.
  • Vibrate its tail amidst dry leaves to mimic a rattlesnakes rattle.
  • Roll into ball and play dead.
  • Strike and bite (non-venomous).
  • Discharge a evil-smelling musk to discourage attacker.

And my favorite:

  • Smear fecal matter on enemy.

This guy clearly means business!

Kingsnake teaches us that when we have several defense strategies to fall back on, and are willing to take a no-nonsense attitude, we will usually pass through life unmolested.

Also, there is great symbolism in the way it eats its rattlesnake prey. The Kingsnake is a constrictor, literally hugging its prey to death. So when toxic energy comes your way, remember the Kingsnake and the power of love to negate it.

painting with snakes
This is a piece I started a while back and put aside. Probably time to dig it out and finish it, eh? The snakes featured are all venomous snakes. The Kingsnake would consider them lunch.

 

 

Prairie Kingsnake photo credit: Tsst! via photopin (license)

Scarlet Kingsnake photo credit: Kingsnake via photopin (license)

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Root Chakra Power Animal Meditation Painting: Badger & Snake

Another new painting in the Chakra Power Animal series:

Root chakra meditation painting

This Root Chakra Meditation Painting is next in the Power Animal Chakra Meditation Series after my Bee Power Center painting. (No, I’m not doing them in order.) It’s intended to help balance and open up your root chakra. Root chakra issues include anxiety, fear, & lack of confidence; feeling ungrounded, spacey or disconnected; and feeling insecure in your wealth/prosperity space.

The root, in its position at the base of the body, supports all the other chakras. When they are all in balance, there is a direct open line of energy from your Root all the way up to your Crown chakra (connection to the Divine) and even further, to your Higher Self. So you can see how important it is to nurture your root!

This connection is symbolized in this painting by the snake’s reaching upwards and by the white stripe running from the tip of the badger’s nose all the way down his back to his tail. Both animals hug the ground and are wonderful carriers of Root/Grounding energy. Badger especially is very secure and confident in his being. If you are unsure of yourself, it is good medicine to imagine yourself as a Badger!

Badger is also a good totem for those who live a nomadic life or who have moved a lot. Badgers keep many burrows, and unless they are raising a litter they typically spend only a night or two in any one before moving on to the next. Moving can be very ungrounding, so look to Badger to learn how to stay in your grounded space no matter where life takes you.

You might try using this image as a meditation aid along with African or Native American drumming or drum music. Imagine yourself sending your roots deep into the ground, and drawing the nourishing energy of Mother Earth back up through them. Lift your arms and let that energy flow up and through your fingertips and the crown of your head. THen imagine it falling again as rain, seeping back into the earth for you to soak up some more. Doesn’t that feel grounding and refreshing?

(Be sure to nosh on something red afterwards – beet chips or pomegranate juice would be perfect!) 🙂

What have you done to ground yourself today?

Did you enjoy this post? Anne