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Ouroboros

Ouroboros

Overview

The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent
Serpent (symbolism)
Serpent in Latin means: Rory Collins :&, in turn, from the Biblical Hebrew word of: "saraf" with root letters of: which refers to something burning-as, the pain of poisonous snake's bite was likened to internal burning.This word is commonly used in a specifically mythic or religious context,...

 or dragon
European dragon
European dragons are legendary creatures in folklore and mythology among the overlapping cultures of Europe.In European folklore, a dragon is a serpentine legendary creature. The Latin word draco, as in constellation Draco, comes directly from Greek δράκων,...

 eating its own tail. The name originates from within Greek language; οὐρά  (oura) meaning "tail" and βόρος (boros) meaning "eating", thus "he who eats the tail".

The Ouroboros often represents self-reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return
Eternal return
Eternal return is a concept which posits that the universe has been recurring, and will continue to recur, in a self-similar form an infinite number of times across infinite time or space. The concept initially inherent in Indian philosophy was later found in ancient Egypt, and was subsequently...

, and other things perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they end (the mythical phoenix
Phoenix (mythology)
The phoenix or phenix is a mythical sacred firebird that can be found in the mythologies of the Arabian, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, Indian and Phoenicians....

 has a similar symbolism).
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The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent
Serpent (symbolism)
Serpent in Latin means: Rory Collins :&, in turn, from the Biblical Hebrew word of: "saraf" with root letters of: which refers to something burning-as, the pain of poisonous snake's bite was likened to internal burning.This word is commonly used in a specifically mythic or religious context,...

 or dragon
European dragon
European dragons are legendary creatures in folklore and mythology among the overlapping cultures of Europe.In European folklore, a dragon is a serpentine legendary creature. The Latin word draco, as in constellation Draco, comes directly from Greek δράκων,...

 eating its own tail. The name originates from within Greek language; οὐρά  (oura) meaning "tail" and βόρος (boros) meaning "eating", thus "he who eats the tail".

The Ouroboros often represents self-reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return
Eternal return
Eternal return is a concept which posits that the universe has been recurring, and will continue to recur, in a self-similar form an infinite number of times across infinite time or space. The concept initially inherent in Indian philosophy was later found in ancient Egypt, and was subsequently...

, and other things perceived as cycles that begin anew as soon as they end (the mythical phoenix
Phoenix (mythology)
The phoenix or phenix is a mythical sacred firebird that can be found in the mythologies of the Arabian, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Chinese, Indian and Phoenicians....

 has a similar symbolism). It can also represent the idea of primordial unity related to something existing in or persisting before any beginning with such force or qualities it cannot be extinguished.
The ouroboros has been important in religious and mythological symbolism, but has also been frequently used in alchemical
Alchemy
Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose early practitioners’ claims to profound powers were known from antiquity. The defining objectives of alchemy are varied; these include the creation of the fabled philosopher's stone possessing powers including the capability of turning base...

 illustrations, where it symbolizes the circular nature of the alchemist's opus
Great Work
The term Great Work is a term used in Hermeticism and in certain occult traditions and religions such as Thelema.-In Hermeticism:...

. It is also often associated with Gnosticism
Gnosticism
Gnosticism is a scholarly term for a set of religious beliefs and spiritual practices common to early Christianity, Hellenistic Judaism, Greco-Roman mystery religions, Zoroastrianism , and Neoplatonism.A common characteristic of some of these groups was the teaching that the realisation of Gnosis...

, and Hermeticism
Hermeticism
Hermeticism or the Western Hermetic Tradition is a set of philosophical and religious beliefs based primarily upon the pseudepigraphical writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus...

.

Carl Jung
Carl Jung
Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and the founder of Analytical Psychology. Jung is considered the first modern psychiatrist to view the human psyche as "by nature religious" and make it the focus of exploration. Jung is one of the best known researchers in the field of dream analysis and...

 interpreted the Ouroboros as having an archetypal
Archetype
An archetype is a universally understood symbol or term or pattern of behavior, a prototype upon which others are copied, patterned, or emulated...

 significance to the human psyche
Psyche (psychology)
The word psyche has a long history of use in psychology and philosophy, dating back to ancient times, and has been one of the fundamental concepts for understanding human nature from a scientific point of view. The English word soul is sometimes used synonymously, especially in older...

. The Jungian psychologist Erich Neumann
Erich Neumann (psychologist)
Erich Neumann , was a psychologist, writer, and one of Carl Jung's most gifted students.-Career:Neumann was born in Berlin. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Berlin in 1927. He later moved to Tel Aviv. For many years, he regularly returned to Zürich, Switzerland to give lectures at the...

 writes of it as a representation of the pre-ego "dawn state", depicting the undifferentiated infancy experience of both mankind and the individual child.

Egypt


The Ouroboros is contained in the Egyptian Book of the Netherworld
Book of the Netherworld
The Book of the Netherworld, or Book of What is in the Underworld, is an important Ancient Egyptian funerary text of the New Kingdom.-Enigmatic Book of the Netherworld :...

. The Ouroboros was popular after the Amarna period
Amarna Period
The Amarna Period was an era of Egyptian history during the latter half of the Eighteenth Dynasty when the royal residence of the pharaoh and his queen was shifted to Akhetaten in what is now modern-day Amarna...

.

In the Book of the Dead
Book of the Dead
The Book of the Dead is the modern name of an ancient Egyptian funerary text, used from the beginning of the New Kingdom to around 50 BC. The original Egyptian name for the text, transliterated rw nw prt m hrw is translated as "Book of Coming Forth by Day". Another translation would be "Book of...

, which was still current in the Graeco-Roman period, the self-begetting sun god Atum
Atum
Atum, sometimes rendered as Atem or Tem, is an important deity in Egyptian mythology.- Name :Atum's name is thought to be derived from the word 'tem' which means to complete or finish. Thus he has been interpreted as being the 'complete one' and also the finisher of the world, which he returns to...

 is said to have ascended from chaos-waters with the appearance of a snake, the animal renewing itself every morning, and the deceased wishes to turn into the shape of the snake Sato ("son of the earth"), the embodiment of Atum.

Greece


Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 described a self-eating, circular being as the first living thing in the universe—an immortal, mythologically constructed beast.
The living being had no need of eyes when there was nothing remaining outside him to be seen; nor of ears when there was nothing to be heard; and there was no surrounding atmosphere to be breathed; nor would there have been any use of organs by the help of which he might receive his food or get rid of what he had already digested, since there was nothing which went from him or came into him: for there was nothing beside him. Of design he was created thus, his own waste providing his own food, and all that he did or suffered taking place in and by himself. For the Creator conceived that a being which was self-sufficient would be far more excellent than one which lacked anything; and, as he had no need to take anything or defend himself against any one, the Creator did not think it necessary to bestow upon him hands: nor had he any need of feet, nor of the whole apparatus of walking; but the movement suited to his spherical form was assigned to him, being of all the seven that which is most appropriate to mind and intelligence; and he was made to move in the same manner and on the same spot, within his own limits revolving in a circle. All the other six motions were taken away from him, and he was made not to partake of their deviations. And as this circular movement required no feet, the universe was created without legs and without feet.


In Gnosticism
Gnosticism
Gnosticism is a scholarly term for a set of religious beliefs and spiritual practices common to early Christianity, Hellenistic Judaism, Greco-Roman mystery religions, Zoroastrianism , and Neoplatonism.A common characteristic of some of these groups was the teaching that the realisation of Gnosis...

, this serpent symbolized eternity and the soul of the world.

India


Ouroboros symbolism has been used to describe Kundalini
Kundalini
Kundalini literally means coiled. In yoga, a "corporeal energy" - an unconscious, instinctive or libidinal force or Shakti, lies coiled at the base of the spine. It is envisioned either as a goddess or else as a sleeping serpent, hence a number of English renderings of the term such as 'serpent...

 energy. According to the 2nd century Yoga Kundalini
Kundalini yoga
Kundalini yoga is a physical, mental and spiritual discipline for developing strength, awareness, character, and consciousness. Practitioners call Kundalini yoga the yoga of awareness because it focuses primarily on practices that expand sensory awareness and intuition in order to raise individual...

 Upanishad, "The divine power, Kundalini, shines like the stem of a young lotus; like a snake, coiled round upon herself she holds her tail in her mouth and lies resting half asleep as the base of the body" (1.82). Another interpretation is that Kundalini equates to the entwined serpents of the Caduceus
Caduceus
The caduceus is the staff carried by Hermes in Greek mythology. The same staff was also borne by heralds in general, for example by Iris, the messenger of Hera. It is a short staff entwined by two serpents, sometimes surmounted by wings...

, the entwined serpents representing commerce in the west or, esoterically, human DNA.

Mexico


The god Quetzalcoatl
Quetzalcoatl
Quetzalcoatl is a Mesoamerican deity whose name comes from the Nahuatl language and has the meaning of "feathered serpent". The worship of a feathered serpent deity is first documented in Teotihuacan in the first century BCE or first century CE...

 is sometimes portrayed biting its tail on Aztec
Aztec
The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.Aztec is the...

 and Toltec
Toltec
The Toltec culture is an archaeological Mesoamerican culture that dominated a state centered in Tula, Hidalgo in the early post-classic period of Mesoamerican chronology...

 ruins. A looping Quetzalcoatl is carved into the base of the Pyramid of the Feathered Serpent, at Xochicalco, Mexico, 700-900 AD.

Middle Ages



The Ouroboros symbol appears in both 14th- and 15th-century Albigensian-printing watermarks and is also worked into the pip cards of many early (14th-15th century) playing cards and tarot cards. Watermarks similar to those used by the Albigensians appear in early printed playing cards, suggesting that the Albigenses might have had contact with the early authors of tarot decks. A commonly used early symbol—an ace of cups circled by an ouroboros—frequently appears among Albigensian watermarks. It is conceivable that this is the source of some of the urban legends associating this symbol with secret societies, because the Albigenses were closely associated with the humanist movement and the inquisition it sparked. Because the Albigenses came from Armenia, where Zoroastrianism and Mithra worship were common, it may be that the symbol entered their iconography via the Zoroastrian Faravahar
Faravahar
Faravahar is one of the best-known symbols of Zoroastrianism, the state religion of ancient Iran. This religious-cultural symbol was adapted by the Pahlavi dynasty to represent the Iranian nation....

 symbol, which in some versions clearly features an ouroboros at the waist instead of a vague disc-shape. In Mithran mystery cults the figure of Mithra being reborn (one of the things he is famous for) is sometimes seen wrapped with an ouroboros, indicating his eternal and cyclic nature, and even references which do not mention the ouroboros refer to this circular shape as symbolizing the immortality of the soul or the cyclic nature of Karma, suggesting that the circle retains its meaning even when the details of the image are obscured.

In Norse mythology
Norse mythology
Norse mythology, a subset of Germanic mythology, is the overall term for the myths, legends and beliefs about supernatural beings of Norse pagans. It flourished prior to the Christianization of Scandinavia, during the Early Middle Ages, and passed into Nordic folklore, with some aspects surviving...

, it appears as the serpent Jörmungandr
Jörmungandr
In Norse mythology, Jörmungandr , mostly known as Jormungand, orJörmungand , or Midgard Serpent , or World Serpent, is a sea serpent, and the middle child of the giantess Angrboða and the god Loki...

, one of the three children of Loki
Loki
In Norse mythology, Loki or Loke is a god or jötunn . Loki is the son of Fárbauti and Laufey, and the brother of Helblindi and Býleistr. By the jötunn Angrboða, Loki is the father of Hel, the wolf Fenrir, and the world serpent Jörmungandr. By his wife Sigyn, Loki is the father of Nari or Narfi...

 and Angrboda
Angrboda
In Norse mythology, Angrboða is a female jötunn . In the Poetic Edda, Angrboða is mentioned only in Völuspá hin skamma as the mother of Fenrir by Loki. However, she is also mother of Fenrir's siblings, Jörmungandr, the Midgard Serpent, and Hel...

, who grew so large that it could encircle the world and grasp its tail in its teeth. In the legends of Ragnar Lodbrok
Ragnar Lodbrok
Ragnar Lodbrok was a Norse legendary hero from the Viking Age who was thoroughly reshaped in Old Norse poetry and legendary sagas.-Life as recorded in the sagas:...

, such as Ragnarssona þáttr
Ragnarssona þáttr
Ragnarssona þáttr, Þáttr af Ragnars sonum or the Tale of Ragnar's sons is a short story on Ragnar Lodbrok and his sons.-Ragnar Lodbrok:When Sigurd Ring dies, Ragnar succeeds him as the king of Sweden and Denmark...

, the Geatish king Herraud gives a small lindworm
Lindworm
Lindworm in British heraldry, is a technical term for a wingless bipedal dragon often with a venomous bite.-Etymology:In modern Scandinavian languages, the cognate lindorm can refer to any 'serpent' or monstrous...

 as a gift to his daughter Þóra Town-Hart
Þóra Town-Hart
Þóra Town-Hart or Þóra borgarhjörtr was the daughter of Herrauðr, the earl of Götaland and wife of Ragnar Loðbrók....

 after which it grows into a large serpent which encircles the girl's bower and bites itself in the tail. The serpent is slain by Ragnar Lodbrok who marries Þóra. Ragnar later has a son with another woman named Kráka and this son is born with the image of a white snake in one eye. This snake encircled the iris and bit itself in the tail, and the son was named Sigurd Snake-in-the-Eye.

Alchemy


In alchemy
Alchemy
Alchemy is an influential philosophical tradition whose early practitioners’ claims to profound powers were known from antiquity. The defining objectives of alchemy are varied; these include the creation of the fabled philosopher's stone possessing powers including the capability of turning base...

, the Ouroboros is a sigil
Sigil (magic)
A sigil is a symbol created for a specific magical purpose. A sigil is usually made up of a complex combination of several specific symbols or geometric figures, each with a specific meaning or intent.- Name and origin :...

. Swiss psychologist Carl Jung saw the Ouroboros as an archetype and the basic mandala
Mandala
Maṇḍala is a Sanskrit word that means "circle". In the Buddhist and Hindu religious traditions their sacred art often takes a mandala form. The basic form of most Hindu and Buddhist mandalas is a square with four gates containing a circle with a center point...

 of alchemy. Jung also defined the relationship of the Ouroboros to alchemy:
The famous Ouroboros drawing from the early alchemical text The Chrysopoeia of Cleopatra dating to 2nd century Alexandria
Alexandria
Alexandria is the second-largest city of Egypt, with a population of 4.1 million, extending about along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea in the north central part of the country; it is also the largest city lying directly on the Mediterranean coast. It is Egypt's largest seaport, serving...

 encloses the words hen to pan, "one is the all". Its black and white halves represent the Gnostic duality
Dualism
Dualism denotes a state of two parts. The term 'dualism' was originally coined to denote co-eternal binary opposition, a meaning that is preserved in metaphysical and philosophical duality discourse but has been diluted in general or common usages. Dualism can refer to moral dualism, Dualism (from...

 of existence. As such, the Ouroboros could be interpreted as the Western equivalent of the Taoist Yin-Yang symbol.

The Chrysopoeia
Chrysopoeia
In alchemy, the term chrysopoeia means transmutation into gold , although it is also symbolically used to indicate the philosopher's stone as the completion of the Great Work....

 Ouroboros of Cleopatra
Cleopatra the Alchemist
Cleopatra the Alchemist , was an Egyptian alchemist and author. The dates of her life and death are unknown, but she was active in Alexandria in the 3rd century or the 4th century....

 is one of the oldest images of the Ouroboros to be linked with the legendary opus of the Alchemists, the Philosopher’s Stone.

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 was familiar to the alchemist/physician Sir Thomas Browne
Thomas Browne
Sir Thomas Browne was an English author of varied works which reveal his wide learning in diverse fields including medicine, religion, science and the esoteric....

. In his A letter to a friend
A Letter to a Friend
A Letter to a Friend , by the 17th century philosopher and physician Sir Thomas Browne is a medical treatise of case-histories and witty speculations upon the human condition.-External links:*...

, a medical treatise full of case-histories and witty speculations upon the human condition, he wrote of it:

It is also alluded to at the conclusion of Browne's The Garden of Cyrus
The Garden of Cyrus
The Garden of Cyrus or The Quincunciall Lozenge, or Network Plantations of the Ancients, naturally, artificially, mystically considered is a Discourse written by Sir Thomas Browne. It was first published in 1658, along with its diptych companion, Urn-Burial...

(1658) as a symbol of the circular nature and Unity of the two Discourses:

Freemasonry


The ouroboros is displayed on numerous Masonic seals, frontispieces
Book frontispiece
A frontispiece is a decorative illustration facing a book's title page. The frontispiece is the verso opposite the recto title page. Elaborate engraved frontispieces were in frequent use, especially in Bibles and in scholarly books, and many are masterpieces of engraving...

 and other imagery, especially during the 17th century.

19th century Haiti


In 1812, the Republic of Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

 under President Alexandre Pétion
Alexandre Pétion
Alexandre Sabès Pétion was President of the Republic of Haiti from 1806 until his death. He is considered as one of Haiti's founding fathers, together with Toussaint Louverture, Jean-Jacques Dessalines, and his rival Henri Christophe.-Early life:Pétion was born in Port-au-Prince to a Haitian...

 issued its first locally minted coinage which featured an image of a serpent biting its own tail.



Theosophy


The Ouroboros is featured in the seal of Theosophy
Theosophy
Theosophy, in its modern presentation, is a spiritual philosophy developed since the late 19th century. Its major themes were originally described mainly by Helena Blavatsky , co-founder of the Theosophical Society...

, along with other traditional symbols.

Non-western traditions


Snakes are sacred in many West African religions. The demi-god Aidophedo uses the image of a serpent biting its own tail. The Ouroboros is also seen in Fon
Fon people
The Fon people, or Fon nu, are a major West African ethnic and linguistic group in the country of Benin, and southwest Nigeria, made up of more than 3,500,000 people. The Fon language is the main language spoken in Southern Benin, and is a member of the Gbe language group...

 or Dahomean
Dahomey
Dahomey was a country in west Africa in what is now the Republic of Benin. The Kingdom of Dahomey was a powerful west African state that was founded in the seventeenth century and survived until 1894. From 1894 until 1960 Dahomey was a part of French West Africa. The independent Republic of Dahomey...

 iconography as well as in Yoruba
Yoruba people
The Yoruba people are one of the largest ethnic groups in West Africa. The majority of the Yoruba speak the Yoruba language...

 imagery as Oshunmare
Oshunmare
In Yoruba mythology, Oshunmare is a divine serpent which is believed to create the rainbow, both male and female, and is a symbol of creation, human procreation and the link between the world of the mundane and that of the ancestors. This idea is more a part of worship in the Americas than it is...

.

It is a common belief among indigenous people of the tropical lowlands of South America that waters at the edge of the world-disc are encircled by a snake, often an anaconda, biting its own tail.
The Kirtimukha myth of Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 tradition has been compared by some authors to Ouroboros.

Modern



The figure of the Magician (Suit of Trumps, card 1) in the 1909 Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the deck upon which most modern Tarot
Tarot
The tarot |trionfi]] and later as tarocchi, tarock, and others) is a pack of cards , used from the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play a group of card games such as Italian tarocchini and French tarot...

 decks are based, features an ouroboros at his waist instead of a belt.

In the television series Red Dwarf
Red Dwarf
Red Dwarf is a British comedy franchise which primarily comprises eight series of a television science fiction sitcom that aired on BBC Two between 1988 and 1999 and Dave from 2009–present. It gained cult following. It was created by Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, who also wrote the first six series...

, episode "Ouroboros", the word Ouroboros gives Dave Lister the clue that, through time travel
Time travel
Time travel is the concept of moving between different points in time in a manner analogous to moving between different points in space. Time travel could hypothetically involve moving backward in time to a moment earlier than the starting point, or forward to the future of that point without the...

, he is his own father.

The homunculi in the series "Fullmetal Alchemist" all have an Ouroboros tattoo somewhere on their body, representing the neverending circle the homunculi are in, where they can never die, but aren't really alive either.

Ouroboros was the name of the regional effigy from Austin, TX that was burned at the 2011 Burning Man festival in Nevada. It was a wooden structure, depicting the snail eating its tail.

Science

  • The organic chemist
    Organic chemistry
    Organic chemistry is a subdiscipline within chemistry involving the scientific study of the structure, properties, composition, reactions, and preparation of carbon-based compounds, hydrocarbons, and their derivatives...

     August Kekulé
    Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz
    Friedrich August Kekule von Stradonitz was a German organic chemist. From the 1850s until his death, Kekule was one of the most prominent chemists in Europe, especially in theoretical chemistry...

     claimed that a ring
    Circle
    A circle is a simple shape of Euclidean geometry consisting of those points in a plane that are a given distance from a given point, the centre. The distance between any of the points and the centre is called the radius....

     in the shape of Ouroboros that he saw in a dream inspired him in his discovery of the structure of the benzene ring
    Benzene
    Benzene is an organic chemical compound. It is composed of 6 carbon atoms in a ring, with 1 hydrogen atom attached to each carbon atom, with the molecular formula C6H6....

    .

See also



  • Apep
    Apep
    In Egyptian mythology, Apep was an evil god, the deification of darkness and chaos , and thus opponent of light and Ma'at , whose existence was believed from the 8th Dynasty onwards...

  • Armadillo Lizard
    Armadillo Lizard
    The Armadillo Lizard is a lizard endemic to desert areas of southern Africa. It is also known as the Typical Girdled Lizard, Armadillo Girdled Lizard, Golden Armadillo Lizard, and Armadillo Spiny-tailed Lizard.-Description:The Armadillo Lizard can be a light brown to dark brown in coloration...

  • Auryn
  • Borromean rings
    Borromean rings
    In mathematics, the Borromean rings consist of three topological circles which are linked and form a Brunnian link, i.e., removing any ring results in two unlinked rings.- Mathematical properties :...

  • Caduceus
    Caduceus
    The caduceus is the staff carried by Hermes in Greek mythology. The same staff was also borne by heralds in general, for example by Iris, the messenger of Hera. It is a short staff entwined by two serpents, sometimes surmounted by wings...

  • Endless knot
    Endless knot
    The endless knot or eternal knot is a symbolic knot and one of the Eight Auspicious Symbols. It is an important cultural marker in places significantly influenced by Tibetan Buddhism such as Tibet, Mongolia, Tuva, Kalmykia, and Buryatia...

  • Ensō
    Enso
    Ensō is a Japanese word meaning "circle" and a concept strongly associated with Zen. Ensō is one of the most common subjects of Japanese calligraphy even though it is a symbol and not a character. It symbolizes the Absolute enlightenment, strength, elegance, the Universe, and the void; it can...

  • Hoop snake
    Hoop snake
    The hoop snake is a legendary creature of the United States and Australia. The hoop snake appears in the Pecos Bill stories; although it is his description of hoop snakes with which most people are most familiar, stories of the creature predate those fictional tales considerably. Several sightings...

  • Infinity
    Infinity
    Infinity is a concept in many fields, most predominantly mathematics and physics, that refers to a quantity without bound or end. People have developed various ideas throughout history about the nature of infinity...

  • Jörmungandr
    Jörmungandr
    In Norse mythology, Jörmungandr , mostly known as Jormungand, orJörmungand , or Midgard Serpent , or World Serpent, is a sea serpent, and the middle child of the giantess Angrboða and the god Loki...

  • List of cycles
  • Mandala
    Mandala
    Maṇḍala is a Sanskrit word that means "circle". In the Buddhist and Hindu religious traditions their sacred art often takes a mandala form. The basic form of most Hindu and Buddhist mandalas is a square with four gates containing a circle with a center point...

  • Rainbow Serpent
    Rainbow Serpent
    The Rainbow Serpent is a common motif in the art and mythology of Aboriginal Australia. It is named for the snake-like meandering of water across a landscape and the colour spectrum caused when sunlight strikes water at an appropriate angle relative to the observer.The Rainbow Serpent is seen as...

  • Rotating locomotion in living systems
  • Shesha
    Shesha
    In Hindu tradition, Shesha or Sheshanaag is the king of all nagas, one of the primal beings of creation, and according to the Bhagavata Purana, an Avatar of the Supreme God known as Sankarshan. In the Puranas, Shesha is said to hold all the planets of the Universe on his hoods and to constantly...

  • Tsuchinoko
    Tsuchinoko
    The literally translating to "hammer's spawn," is a legendary snake-like cryptid from Japan. The name tsuchinoko is prevalent in Western Japan, including Kansai and Shikoku; the creature is known as in Northeastern Japan....

  • Vrtra
  • Zahhak
    Zahhak
    Zahhāk or Zohhāk is an evil figure in Iranian mythology, evident in ancient Iranian folklore as Aži Dahāka, the name by which he also appears in the texts of the Avesta...

    or Azhi Dahaka