Today we are going to talk about a very popular symbol in Viking culture, the legendary "Ouroboros". When the Ouroboros is depicted, it is a dragon or snake biting its own tail, often drawing a circle. The word "Ouroboros" means "biting its own tail".

In the Nordic Mythology, we find a lot of stories and legends talking about Giant snake like Jörmungand the son of Loki or Nidhogg the dragon of the tree of life. You will have understood then the importance of a symbol representing a dragon for the Scandinavian people.

Let's discover together the different interpretations that are given to the Ouroboros.


Ouroboros and the Repetition

The shape of the Ouroboros inspires a cycle that repeats itself, the head bites the tail, the tail is eaten by the head... In short, it goes round and round! We all have the image of a dog trying to catch his tail, but unfortunately for him it will spin for a long time..

Ouroboros at the origin of the beginning of the world

Some people give the Ouroboros a divine dimension, it would then be at the origin of the birth of the world. When looking at him, many see a dragon who creates matter, starting by creating himself by spitting his body out of his mouth.

He is then the one who unfolds all things, what must exist is released and shaped by a giant Ouroboros, this symbol would then be a kind of map of the universe.

The snake taking the form of a circle, we assimilate it to a cosmic egg, or a rampart of protection, we would find the different worlds in the middle and the body of the dragon defined the borders of the universe.

If we want to go a little further in this interpretation, we could say that a giant Ouroboros encircles Yggdrasil, the tree bearing the nine worlds of Norse mythology. While accepting the idea that it was this giant serpent that created the tree of life.

Ouroboros the cycle of life

One of the best known and appreciated interpretations of the Ouroboros is that it is the symbol of starting over. By following the body of the dragon, we will always end up starting again, this would symbolize the cycles of life which are an eternal restart.

As soon as we reach the head and tail, we start a new cycle.

These cycles can also be associated with nature, which grants itself a cycle of regeneration like the Ouroboros by biting its tail.

The idea of rebirth is given to the snake quite naturally, because by moulting, the snake offers itself new beginnings several times in its life. To represent a symbol of renewal, the snake was therefore the obvious choice to be the actor. This gives us the Ouroboros.

Ouroboros symbol of infinity

An Ouroboros alone is enough to interpret the repetition and the eternal restarting, but if you put two of them, to form the famous 8 which falls. You obtain the universal symbol of the infinite.

We leave you with this video that speaks a little of the snake that bites its tail, even the voice is unbearable.

Ouroboros and Psychism

There are other interpretations of the Ouroboros perhaps a little less known, but still worth exploring.

Ouroboros and sexuality

The Ouroboros can be seen as a symbol of fertility, a sort of pledge, a blessing. Indeed, according to some interpretations, the tail of the dragon is a phallic emblem (the male sex) while the mouth of the dragon represents a uterine symbol (the female sex). In this way, the Ouroboros becomes an emblem of fertility and accomplished fertilization.

This interpretation fits perfectly with that of the cycle of life, this fecundity naturally leading to a form of restart with the child to come.

Ouroboros unity and duality

The head biting its tail is a junction between two basic opposites. We see through it, a perfect harmony and unity between two parties that nevertheless everything opposes and at the same time, it is a meeting between two parties that do not have the same initial function.

Like the Ying and the Yang, many see in the Ouroboros an objective of balance. Find in oneself, the capacity to reconcile one's hardships, one's emotions, one's personalities. One would then hear the Passive and the Active talking to each other and acting together in a common interest.

One then grants to Ouroboros a meaning of harmony to be reached, where the whole finds its meaning and its place.

bracelet jormungand

Ouroboros in spiritual alchemy

In the community of alchemists, it has a very important place. It is the "One-All" which in fact represents all the ideas that are already treated in the previous paragraphs.

However, as stated above, the alchemists also give it a cyclical interpretation and carry in their hearts the serpent whose venom is full of surprises.

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"Courage is nothing more than the will to fight despite fear."

- Ragnar, Vikings -

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