Ouroboros Jar

Sale price Price $260.00 Regular price

Jar to store your herbs, grains, dried foods, etc. Or for use as a vase.

Glazed interior.

The lid is not air-tight sealed.

Can hold up to 1.7 Litres.

Measures 20cm x 20cm x 20cm high.

Studies of the Ouroboros / Oroboros symbol:

"The Ouroboros is a Greek word meaning "tail devourer," and is one of the oldest mystical symbols in the world. It can be perceived as enveloping itself, where the past (the tail) appears to disappear but really moves into an inner domain or reality, vanishing from view but still existing.

The ouroboros has several meanings interwoven into it. Foremost is the symbolism of the serpent biting, devouring, or eating its own tail. This symbolizes the cyclic Nature of the Universe: creation out of destruction, Life out of Death. The ouroboros eats its own tail to sustain its life, in an eternal cycle of renewal. It is sometimes depicted in a lemniscate shape (figure eight) as well.

The Serpent biting its own tail is first seen as early as 1600 years BC in Egypt as a symbol of the sun, and represented the travels of the sun disk. From there it moved to the Phonecians and then to the Greeks, who gave it its name, Ouroboros, which means devouring its tail.

In mythology, the Oroborus is a symbol representing the Milky Way galaxy. Myth refers to a serpent of light residing in the heavens. The Milky Way is this serpent, and viewed at galactic central point near Sagittarius, this serpent eats its own tail. Many ancients used the galaxy to calculate cosmic and earth cycles.

It is found in Gnosticism and alchemy representing cyclical natural life and the fusion of opposites. It also symbolizes the transcendence of duality and was related to the solar God Abraxas, and signified eternity and the soul of the world.

In alchemy, it represents the spirit of Mercury (the substance that permeates all matter), and symbolizes continuous renewal (a snake is often a symbol of resurrection, as it appears to be continually reborn as it sheds its skin.), the cycle of life and death, and harmony of opposites. As a symbol of the eternal unity of all things, the cycle of birth and death from which the alchemist sought release and liberation. It unites opposites: the conscious and unconscious mind. Alchemically, the ouroboros is also used as a purifying glyph.

The alchemical textbook, Chrysopoeia (gold making) of Kleopatra contains a drawing of the ouroboros representing the serpent as half light and half dark, echoing symbols such as the Yin Yang, which illustrates the dual nature of all things, but more importantly, that these opposites are not in conflict. The book is mainly centered around the idea of "one is all," a concept that is related to hermetic wisdom.

History

The Ouroboros appears in many other cultures and settings as well...the Serpent Jormungand of Norse legend, one of the three children of Loki and Angrboda, grew so large that it could encircle the world and grasp its tail in its teeth. It guarded the Tree of Life, and is often depicted as an ouroboros.

The Aztec serpent God Queztacoatl was depicted similarly, and Chinese alchemical dragons have both similar shapes and meaning.

In Hindu, you have the dragon circling the tortoise which supports the four elephants that carry the world." 

Resource: https://www.tokenrock.com/explain-ouroboros-70.html

"...

And the ouroboros is one of the most compelling, a symbol that has been the subject of awe and wonder for millennia. Literally meaning ‘tail-devourer’ in Greek, it has appeared in numerous forms in a wide array of contexts and geographies. In its original and most common variation, it depicts a snake eating its own tail in a closed circle. The ouroboros, however, isn’t Greek, and certainly isn’t a celebration of self-cannibalism. What, then, are its origins, and what does it signify?

Here comes the sun

The oldest-known ouroboros appeared on a golden shrine in the tomb of Tutankhamen – ‘King Tut’ – in Egypt in the 13th Century BC, after a brief lull in traditional religion brought about by his predecessor, Akhenaten. According to leading Egyptologist Jan Assmann, the symbol “refers to the mystery of cyclical time, which flows back into itself”. The ancient Egyptians understood time as a series of repetitive cycles, instead of something linear and constantly evolving; and central to this idea was the flooding of the Nile and the journey of the sun.

Aurora Consurgens, a 15th-Century alchemical manuscript, features the ouroboros, linked with the symbols of the sun, moon, and mercury (Credit: Zentralbibliothek Zürich)

Aurora Consurgens, a 15th-Century alchemical manuscript, features the ouroboros, linked with the symbols of the sun, moon, and mercury (Credit: Zentralbibliothek Zürich)

The flooding of the Nile in summer marked the beginning of the year, and served as a metaphor of cyclical time, flowing “back into itself like a circle … [enabling] renewal, repetition, and regeneration,” as Assmann says. Similarly, the sun was believed to be the source of cyclical time, undertaking a nightly journey to the waters of Nun (a sort of primordial void), fraught with all sorts of obstacles, whence it would find its way back to the sky. As such, the ouroboros in its original Egyptian context symbolised repetition, renewal, and the eternal cycle of time.

Known as the oldest allegorical symbol in alchemy, the ouroboros represented the concept of eternity and endless return

Like the sun, the ouroboros underwent a journey of its own. From Egypt, it found its way to the Greek alchemists of Hellenistic Alexandria. In the Chrysopoeia (transmutation into gold) of Cleopatra, the ouroboros appears slightly differently. A pictorial alchemical papyrus from the 3rd-Century AD, it dealt with the creation of gold, and the ouroboros appears among the mysterious symbols and images encircling the Greek words ‘One is All’.

Known as the oldest allegorical symbol in alchemy, the ouroboros in this context represented the concept of eternity and endless return, as well as the unity of time’s beginning and end, rather than the Egypt-specific journeys of the sun and the Nile. Elsewhere on the papyrus, in a double ring, appears the complete maxim, of which ‘One is All’ is only a part: ‘One is All, and by it All, and for it All’, it reads, ‘and if it does not contain All, then All is Nothing’.

The ouroboros appears in the classic alchemical study, Atalanta Fugiens (1617), by the physician to Emperor Rudolf II, Michael Maier (Credit: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin)

The ouroboros appears in the classic alchemical study, Atalanta Fugiens (1617), by the physician to Emperor Rudolf II, Michael Maier (Credit: Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin)

The ouroboros was also of significance to the Gnostics. From a Gnostic viewpoint, the opposing ends of the ouroboros were interpreted as the divine and earthly in man, which, despite being at odds with one another, existed in unison nonetheless. In this sense, it is comparable to the Chinese yin and yang, depicting the harmony of contrary forces, as well as the cosmic dichotomy of light and darkness in Manichaeism and the Zoroastrian philosophy of the farvahar, which first posited that each soul was composed of a pure, divine component, as well as a human one.

The ouroboros also appears in other ancient traditions. In Norse mythology, the serpent Jörmungandr encircles the world with its tail in its mouth, while in Hinduism, the ouroboros forms part of the foundation upon which the Earth rests. In the more widespread Roman variant of Iranian Mithraism, Zurvan, symbolising ‘boundless time’, is depicted with an ouroboros entwined around his body, while the Mesoamerican deity Quetzalcoatl is often seen in the form of an ouroboros.

The ouroboros is part of Hindu iconography, as in this drawing of a tortoise supporting elephants upon which the Earth rests, enclosed by the serpent, Asootee (Credit: Alamy)

The ouroboros is part of Hindu iconography, as in this drawing of a tortoise supporting elephants upon which the Earth rests, enclosed by the serpent, Asootee (Credit: Alamy)

As if this weren’t enough, the ouroboros went on to enjoy much popularity among Renaissance alchemists. Again representing the infinite nature of time and the eternal, it was seen in the eyes of the alchemists as the ultimate obstacle to be overcome in the Magnum Opus, their incessant struggle; for to become immortal – their chief aim – meant to break the incessant cycle of the ouroboros once and for all. That they would also come to possess, through their experiments, the prized ‘philosopher’s stone’ that would bring them all the bling in the world, was mere icing on the cake.

Resource: https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20171204-the-ancient-symbol-that-spanned-millennia