Uroboros (often ouroboros, sometimes ourovoros) is a transliteration of the Greek oúρoβóρoς (oúρηβóρoς). It has appeared in Latin as ourovorax. Uroboros is a composite word meaning “devouring its tail.” It is also synonymous with δρáκωv (dragon) and occasionally őϕiς (ophis). Whereas the gnostic Ophites and even contemporary snake handling sects within Pentecostal Christianity (originating in Appalachia) continue to exist sporadically throughout the Southern United States, these are perhaps more derivative of Minoan snake goddess cultic worship than uroboric devotion.
A Powerful Primordial Symbol
Uroboros means “tail devourer.” Devouring the tail indicates the eating of one’s own flesh (without swallowing – yet). Tertullian (1989) and Chrysostom (1989) remark of the “autocannibalism” within the Eucharistic meal, the Lord’s Supper, wherein Jesus instituted the bread and cup of wine as his body and blood which his followers are to take, eat, and drink in anamnesis of him....
- Aland, B., et al. (1998). ‘Aπoκάλuψις’ Iωávvou [Revelation of John]. In Greek-English New Testament (8th rev. ed., pp. 632–680). Stuttgart: Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft.Google Scholar
- Berthelot, M., & Ruelle, C.-É. (1888). Collections des anciens alchimistes grecs (Vol. 3 Vols). Paris: G. Steinheil.Google Scholar
- Bion, W. R. (2000). Emotional turbulence. In F. Bion (Ed.), Clinical seminars and other works (pp. 295–305). London: Karnac. (Original work published 1977).Google Scholar
- Charbonneau-Lassay, L. (1991). The bestiary of Christ (Abridged Ed.). (trans: Dooling, D.M.). New York: Parabola.Google Scholar
- Charlesworth, J. H. (Ed.). (1985). Odes of Solomon (trans: Charlesworth, J.H.). In Old Testament pseudepigrapha: Vol. 2. Expansions of the “Old Testament” and legends, wisdom and philosophical literature prayers, psalms, and odes, fragments of lost Judeo-Hellenistic works (pp. 725–771). Garden City: Doubleday.Google Scholar
- Chrysostom, J. (1989). Concerning the statutes. In P. Schaff (Ed.), A select library of Nicene and post-Nicene fathers of the Christian church (pp. 317–489). Grand Rapids: William. B. Eerdmans.Google Scholar
- Joyce, J. (1967). Finnegan’s wake. New York: Penguin. (Original work published 1939).Google Scholar
- Lacan, J. (2004). Le seminaire x: L’angoisse (J.-A. Miller, Ed.). Paris: Éditions du Seuil.Google Scholar
- Mead, G. R. S. (2005). Pistis sophia: The gnostic tradition of Mary Magdalene, Jesus, and his disciples. New York: Dover. (Original work published 1921).Google Scholar
- Scharfstein, B. (Ed.). (1968). פרקי אבות [Pirke Avot-Sayings of the fathers]. New York: Ktav.Google Scholar
- Tertullian. (1989). On the resurrection of the flesh. In A. Roberts & J. Donaldson (Eds.), Latin Christianity: Its founder, Tertullian (The ante-Nicene fathers) (Vol. III, pp. 549–596). Grand Rapids: William. B. Eerdmans.Google Scholar