Cobra: Wild Unknown Animal Spirit Deck

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After the epic post about the tiger, I’m hoping to keep this one a bit more condensed…  And as the cobra is a snake, we can avoid a lot of repetition by just revisiting that post.

In terms of the cobra specifically…

There’s a whole load of scientific categorising in terms of what makes a cobra but essentially, they are a group of snakes who have rear and produce hoods.  They all have hollow, fixed fangs through which they inject venom.  Remember from the snake post, most snakes aren’t actually venomous.

I think it’s likely that the cobra pictured is the King Cobra* so I’m going to focus on that.  However cobras are found in various parts of the world and have different habitats etc.  If you live in a cobra inhabited area, you may want to look more closely at that species.

The King Cobra is found in Asia, mostly in forests although they are surprisingly good swimmers.  In general they grow to 3-4 metres long.  As hunters they are swift, strong and deadly, hunting other snakes and occasionally other animals, but mostly snakes.

The cobra is reclusive and contrary to popular belief, if threatened, their first choice would be to disappear quickly and will only react aggressively if provoked.  If this is the case, they rear up, show their fangs and hiss.  The cobra on the card appears to be poised between rearing up and getting ready to strike.  This is an animal which seems to be very misunderstood.  Rumours abound about it but they don’t portray the true spirit of the cobra.  Yes, they will attack, but when provoked.  And don’t we all?  If we were all to be judged on how we react under stress, we probably would never have any friends.  Something to bear in mind when you hear gossip about other people…

Female King Cobras are dedicated parents who look after their nests of eggs until the baby snakes have hatched.  This is unusual in the snake world and again shows us that this is a loving, nurturing animal rather than an evil man killer.  However, they aren’t naive, even newly born, baby King Cobras have venom as potent as that of an adult.  The world is tough out there when everyone is afraid of you so having some self defence up your sleeve is useful.

Why is the cobra in the fire suit when the snake is in the earth suit?  Presumably this comes down in part to their speed and also their venom but definitely something for you to think about.

The cobra elicits a mixed response; they are revered, admired and feared.  They feature in mythology from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and Egypt.  I don’t want to go into great depth as there is already a lot of information about folklore etc on the snake post.  But we have a few examples which are cobra specific.

In Sri Lanka seven headed cobras have been found near ancient irrigation systems and are thought to have been used as a guardian of the water.

In Egypt, we see the cobra goddess Meretseger who was both dangerous and merciful and was the patron of tomb builders.  She would spit venom at anyone who was trying to rob tombs and if you’ve read the snake post, you’ll know that the snake is often associated with the underworld.

Still in Egypt, the uraeus, the cobra reared up as it appears in our card, was a symbol for Wadjet and represented high status beings such as royalty or gods.  For example, it features on the mask of Tutankhamun.

You might also want to check out Carrie Mallon’s video about the use of lines in the wild unknown.  In terms of our cobra, these lines are very focused and multidirectional.  Based on Carrie’s interpretation, this suggests different energies.  For me, this really emphasises the juxtaposition between the reclusive cobra and the attacking cobra.  I really feel that this cobra is probably about to attack but before leaping into action, it has taken a moment to pause.  Almost a look before you leap message.


*The scientific categories continue to confuddle me and according to the wise old wikipedia, king cobras are not in the true cobra genus but a genus all of their own…

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