I had a very special encounter today… a blue-eyed serpent friend and I stopped each other in the garden!

Snake medicine is about healing and evolution. These unique beings remind us that we must outgrow ourselves repeatedly, shedding our old skin and emerging as a fresh and raw new version of us.

The blue eyes on my visitor indicate that he or she is actually beginning the shedding process right now. At this stage she is mostly blind and so quite a bit more vulnerable than usual.

Sightless eyes in folklore are often associated with a different kind of seeing… with heightened awareness of other senses, awareness of spirit, or of seeing with the third eye. And yes, snakes have a pineal gland.

I was creating quite a rumble dragging an orchard ladder along the ground when I spotted her. We were both very still for a few minutes. Once the snake felt safe enough to continue toward cover I curled my finger under her belly and her muscles contracted their way over me. She paused for a moment… the heat must have been a stark contrast, and then carried on.

So how do you work with animal messengers? How do you know what the message is? How do you know when they have a message for you versus all those times they are just minding their own business? Having an existing relationship with the land is a good start. Dropping out of your thinking, judging, clinging mind is also helpful. Once we listen to the heart and gut we can usually get a sense of it… it might FEEL like a visit. Is it a surprise? Is it announced by birds or others in some way? Is the visitor taking an extra moment to hold your attention or making eye contact?I have worked with this particular land for more than 4 years now and have never once seen a snake. (Nevermind a blind snake!) So I wish her (or him) courage and protection while she sheds, and for myself, the same!

(Photo by Liz Mackney)