We found the snake skin at an old French-Romano theatre on the front row, lost in the woods and protected by tick-infested wilderness. Half taken by the grasses, not much of it still survived and I had to excavate very delicately, lest it fall apart as I untangled it from the earth. It had clearly been there quite some time, time enough for the grasses to grow through it and for its integrity to be more about my wishful thinking than its cells.
Even with the most careful untangling some of it remains still between the rocks, waiting for ghosts of actors past to play to it.
I am the outer skin of a snake who grew out of me. So much is obvious isn’t it? I like rubbing myself against the hot stones of the theatre. Nobody usually comes here so I can do my host-shedding where I can be undisturbed. You try shedding anything so restricting, so painful, so stultifying as too big a being when people are watching. Such things are done in darkness, privately. I do not choose to be observed when being peeled off, yet the act itself has an energy, an Anima that tells me what to tell the snake do. Plus I like to give such important rituals all my energy and I get seriously annoyed if I feel my host is vulnerable.
So you found the skin? Useless now to the snake and I was happily returning to the Web of Life. Half-taken by the land already? Of course. What snake grows out of and no longer needs is matter for what comes next. This skin becomes fodder for those beetles and crickets, even another snake perhaps. The grasses take energy from this skin in smaller-than bite size bits. Leachate, runoff, back to the Earth I go.
Just like an identity you once had and you held so true to, it was part of you, no, it was you. Then you grow and you need to shed it. Quite the process, isn’t it? The scratching, itching, releasing scale by scale, how smooth and new and you you are underneath.
And what of the old idea? Discarded and vanished? Oh no, not in this universe where the natural laws say nothing is lost, merely transmuted and reused. Your old identity goes into something new, someone else picks it up somehow, as ideas they feel are them, bright and shiny and perfect, until they too grow out of it and in turn they discard your old skin. And so it goes on. And all those who came before you too. You are someone else’s old skin, old ways of being who came before. Transmuted energy, see?
Which is why, by the way, it’s good to be patient with those who teach and shed and grow and change. They have given you their old skins too.
This old skin was once somesnake else’s old skin. In a different body.
My identity as-was, the ‘old me’, that had a spirit of their own? Like I was playing host to those old ideas? Yes, I see that. Buddhist philosophy says we are not our thoughts and the things we hold onto as identity do not exist as a part of us. That means that you, snakeskin, are akin to my old ways of thinking, and that my old ways of thinking are out there somewhere, waiting to transmute into new energetic patterns, just like you return into the grasses to be renewed as new living beings.
The circle is complete and so utterly perfect.
Thank you, snakeskin, for the teachings.