Last year my friend and I were driving through Zululand, South Africa; it was a hot summer’s day and we were driving home when I caught a liquid black movement just up ahead on the side of the road.
A large Black Mamba was about to cross the road, and from it’s reaction, we both spotted each other at the same time, because as I slammed on the breaks the Mamba raised three quarters of it’s body up into the air and then flicked itself backwards –and then it was gone.
Despite growing up in the area, I had never seen a Black Mamba in the wild before! I looked at my friend and she giggled at me wide eyed– it was a first for her too.
We were so exhilarated on the drive home we couldn’t stop talking about it. It had been a mature snake, at least 6 ft, and the speed and strength it had displayed getting itself out of danger was incredible.
For those of you who don’t know, the Black Mamba is considered to be one of the most dangerous snakes in the world – not just for it’s deadly poison, but because it’s one of the only snakes that’s territorial, which means that it does not run away like other snakes but rather, often attacks and chases people and animals away from it’s nest. Legends and stories abound throughout South Africa detailing the frightening experience of being chased down by a Black Mamba.
As soon as I got home I told my husband all about the snake. He listened to my story and then he became thoughtful. My husband has more than just a bit of the Shaman in him and the first thing he said was, “What’s the message?” At first I didn’t understand, but he clarified, “What message is the snake trying to convey to you?” I didn’t know.
A week later I had a dream that I was being chased by a big black snake. It eventually bit me in my Achilles heel and I remember feeling horrified for a moment that I would die and then feeling very calm as I decided that I would be fine. I woke up shortly after this but the feeling and the dream lingered with me all day.
I eventually spoke to my husband about it and he said the same thing as before, “What’s the message?” Again, I didn’t know but this time I really was curious and so I Googled it.
Snakes, it seems, are deeply symbolic animals in the spiritual realms. They represent change and healing and the shedding of the skin equates to letting go of the old and damaged and allowing in the new. I liked this meaning – my life was very stuck at that point and change seemed like a nice idea.
However, it also symbolises transmuting poisons- but this meaning didn’t excite me as much – especially since I’d been bitten in the dream and so I was suspicious that this part of the meaning was also true for me in some way.
My friend, who had seen the Black Mamba with me, phoned me the next morning to tell me that she had just seen another Black Mamba as she was walking to work. She sent me a photo – another big boy! That was two Black Mambas in two weeks – changes were coming for my friend too!
But as I looked into it and thought about it, I realised that the changes were going to be huge- a Black Mamba is a powerful symbol.
Within the month, both my friend and I had to suddenly move out of our respective homes. She moved to a whole different city, started a new job and basically had to start her life over from scratch.
Me and my little family had to leave our little home and move in with my mom as my husband’s company floundered and I wasn’t bringing in a real income to speak of. A few weeks after we’d moved in, just as I was starting to settle in, I found out I had breast cancer.
I remembered the snake dream and the part about transmuting poison and I told myself to calm down. This then, I believed, was what the message had been about: a warning that I had to change myself, my choices and habits, not just my environment or I was going to die.
After six months of intense life-style changes with the help of Cannabis oil, the cancer was healed – I successfully transmuted the ‘poison’ and I am stronger and healthier for it. I also shed 20 kg’s of toxic fat; changed how I ate and started a life-long love affair with yoga.
For me, the Black Mamba represents the forced shedding of habits and beliefs I had been too lazy or too stubborn to let go of before. It was a polite ‘head’s up’ before the wave of change crashed over me and swept me off on its life-changing tide.
So, I guess the symbolic message of the Black Mamba is that important changes are coming but like the Mamba, we are capable of rising to meet these challenges if we are willing to shed habits and behaviors that no longer serve us.
For my story go to: Cannabis Oil and Me
How to make cannabis oil in South Africa: https://kitchencures.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/how-to-make-cannabis-oil-in-south-africa-updated/