The ouroboros is a symbol consisting of a serpent or dragon eating its own tail, forming a circle. It originates from ancient Egyptian iconography and was adopted by the Greeks and other cultures. It represents cyclical renewal and the eternal cycle of life, death, and rebirth. The ouroboros embodies the concept of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return, and also stands for the idea of primordial unity related to something existing in or persisting from the beginning with such force or qualities it cannot be extinguished.

Ouroboros in Dreams

In dreams, the ouroboros might signify personal development, self-reflection, and the cycle of life and consciousness. Psychologically, it could represent the dreamer’s introspection, leading to self-discovery and renewal. It may also indicate the need to resolve something within oneself to move forward, symbolizing the dreamer’s journey of self-transformation that is both ending and beginning anew.

Ouroboros in Myths and Folklore

The ouroboros appears in various mythological and religious contexts beyond its Egyptian origins. In Gnosticism, it is a symbol of the world’s enveloping and self-consuming nature. In Norse mythology, the serpent Jörmungandr encircles the world and bites its own tail. In alchemy, it represents the fusion of opposites and the transcendence of the physical to achieve enlightenment. The ouroboros is also seen in fairy tales and legends as a symbol of infinite wholeness, encapsulating the essence of the mystical and eternal nature of the universe.

Reviewed by Olex Lys, enthusiastic in the field of symbolism research, and in the psychological interpretation of dreams.


Encyclopedia of Symbols

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Symbolopedia is an encyclopedia of symbol meanings. Although we tend to favor a scientific explanation of symbols, it's important to keep in mind that symbols operate within the realm of the subconscious, leaving room for a touch of imagination to persist. Our articles include sources for further learning about each symbol.

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