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The Saga of Naga Meaning

naga meaning
Nagas protecting a Thai temple

Secret Life of Nagas and Naga Meaning





If you’ve been following my work for any length of time, you might notice I get jazzed about snakes.  For a myriad of reasons, snakes have always been my source of inspiration and wisdom. Perhaps it has to do with their symbolism of duality.  A staggering collection of cultural myths consider the serpent a symbol of contradiction like: light vs. dark, creation vs. destruction, good vs. evil, etc. I dig that.

The simple answer to ‘what is a naga?’ is this : It is a serpent.  Yep, naga meaning translates to ‘snake’.  But that’s where simplicity ends. Various forms of nagas are found all across Asia and India.  Each naga tells a different tale according to its location.

In India, snakes have been honored for centuries.  To prove my point about duality, Hindu belief identifies the snake as having two distinct personalities.  In this culture, nagas are both holy and maniacal, divine and devilish.

But in cultural symbolism, there is a reason for this two-faced aspect.  Almost universally, snakes are typically feared or revered. They are the epitome of mystery.  The serpent has wrapped its tail around countless legends throughout human history.  Inevitably, there is a silver lining to a snake’s evil action.  Vice versa, there is a consequence to a serpent’s good deed.  Let’s break it down…

The Dark Side of Naga Meaning

To understand the dark side of naga meaning, we have to understand their behavior is not random.  If a serpent lashes out, there is almost always a cause.

Let’s take the tales of nagas poisoning people.  In almost all cases, these powerful serpents are not spewing venom for the fun of it.  Nope. More often than not, the recipient of naga poison committed some kind of crime or misdeed.  This scenario serves as a great moral in children’s fables.  It’s a great teaching method encouraging children to be good – or else the naga will unleash their deadly spit. Yikes!

Nagas have an obsession with glittery goodies like gems, gold and other treasure.  Woe be to anyone who came close to their hoard of sparkly collection of precious bits.  Naga’s were known to squeeze the bejeebers out of anyone who attempted to go near its treasure. Who can blame the serpent for that?  I’d be pretty cranky if someone tried to steal my vintage-mint-in-box Pee Wee Herman doll. lol.



naga meaning
The Naga, or serpent, has a long history in Hinduism

Okay, I confess, I’m an advocate of serpents.  Snakes, including nagas are often villainized.  It just seem unfair.  It’s true, most times serpents of legend have a reason to be nasty.  But I must say…sometimes a wicked naga is just plain wicked.  For whatever reason, naga’s are known to seduce an unsuspecting folks.  Once lured in, the naga struck, killing the poor being who crossed the serpent’s path.  Some naga’s are just bad eggs, I guess.

The Light Side of Naga Meaning

Now for the good stuff.  The symbolic meaning of serpents (and the naga) often revolves around renewal and regeneration.  In the case of Hindu naga lore, the serpent represents infinity and creation. This has to do with the snake’s ability to shed it’s skin. Out with the old, in with the new.  After shedding, the snake is shiny and reborn. This theme is seen in many legends in Indo-Asia.

Another redeeming quality of the naga is protection.  Extreme protection. As mentioned, you don’t mess with naga treasure.  Often myth depicts the naga  protecting booty not for themselves, but for the royalty of the land.  If you ever tour around Asia or India, take a look at the temples.  Odds are, you will find carvings of serpents wrapped around stairs and columns.  This reinforces the aspect of fierce protection the naga provides.

Nagas are also associated with water and the underworld in Hindu belief.  As such, they influence behavior of rainfall, rivers, and lakes. Not only is this vital in hot climates, it is essential for successful agriculture.  In this sense, the naga is a positive symbol of provision, generosity and fertility.

There is another Hindu legend that states the naga showed kindness to Buddha.  One day while Buddha was meditating, a torrential storm blew in, pummeling the Buddha with wind and rain.  The nagas saw this and came to the Buddha’s aid.  They used their hoods (similar to cobra hoods) like an umbrella to protect Buddha from the rain.  Then they wrapped their bodies around Buddha to keep him warm from the chilly wind.

Closing Thoughts on Naga Meaning

See, so the serpent naga is not all that bad.  I think the symbolic lesson here is this:  If something seems scary or intimidating, there might be a positive side too.  I’ll admit, snakes aren’t everybody’s favorite creature, but when we take a look at serpents through the eyes of different cultures – it gives us insight into new perspectives.

I hope you enjoyed this post on naga meaning.  If you enjoyed this article, please be sure to check out the links below for related information.  As always, thanks so much for reading.

Symbolic Meaning of Snakes

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It’s Not Easy Being a Girl. The Real Gorgon Meaning of Medusa

gorgon meaning
The real gorgon meaning behind Medusa

 Setting the Record Straight on Gorgon Meaning and Medusa





Did you ever see the 1981 version of Clash of the Titans? I did, and you know what? It wasn’t the Kraken that rang my bells.  It wasn’t the Minotaur that made me go bonkers. Nope.  It was Medusa.  That scene with her luminous eyes and slithery snakes left me breathless.  To me, she was majestic .  Forget Marilyn Monroe – for me, Medusa was the ‘it’ girl.

Maybe that makes me a sicko.  I mean, the term gorgon in Greek translates to ‘dreadful’ or ‘beastly.’  But in my defense, I happened to have some background history on gorgon meaning and Medusa before seeing the movie.

Did you know Medusa was once a breathtaking, bombshell of a woman? Yep, her beauty was legendary.  That is, until one day Athena turned her into a gorgon.

Picture it, ancient Greece, a lusty Poseidon lays eyes on the ravishing Medusa.  Unable to contain his libido in the presence of such loveliness, Poseidon makes a move on Medusa.  She refuses his advances.  She was quite chaste.  As a matter of fact, her name Medusa means ‘to protect’ – and legend states she was quite protective of her purity.

Wanting to keep her virginity, Medusa resists Poseidon as best she can. As a last resort, she runs to Athena’s temple (who happened to be the virgin goddess who held purity in the highest regard).  Poseidon eventually wore down Medusa, and forced himself upon her.  Athena witnessed the tail end of the violation – not knowing Medusa was a victim.  Instead, Athena assumed Poseidon and Medusa laid together in mutual consent, which was certainly not the case.

It was a slap in Athena’s face to see the two together within her temple of virginal purity. Enraged and insulted (not to mention quick to judge), Athena smote Medusa with the curse that made her into the so-called monster we see today.

The big crime here is that before Medusa’s gorgon days, she was quite a sweet girl.  She was said to be generous, thoughtful, bright and beautiful.  Sometimes nice girls just can’t catch a break.  But the irony is, Medusa became quite a bad as* while living as a gorgon and even after her death.



 Vengeance, Defense and Gorgon Meaning

Understandably, Medusa became pretty bitter about the whole turning into a monster thing.   Part of gorgon meaning deals with a certain kind of seduction with the result being the death of whomever she woos.  A gorgon was able to pluck a viper from her coiffure and command it to do her bidding.  Sometimes this meant a killing strike upon an unsuspecting passerby.   Was she playing dirty pool? Maybe, but maybe she had her reasons.

Another fact of gorgon meaning deals with the whole turning folks into stone bit.  Rather than seeing stars, looking into Medusa’s eyes made a body see granite. Yep, meeting Medusa’s gaze turned a body into a boulder.

If you ask me, these are the most epic defense systems a beautiful woman scorned could have.  But alas, poor Medusa met her fate when Perseus beheaded her.  He did so by seeing her through the reflection of his shield, thus avoiding becoming a rigid rock.

gorgon meaning medusa
Surprisingly, gorgon meaning deals with generosity as Medusa kept on giving after her death.

The Legacy of Medusa – Gorgon Meaning That Won’t Quit

Okay, so Medusa’s plight continues to become more tragic after her death. Interestingly, death doesn’t staunch Medusa’s core spirit of generosity.  Beneath that gorgon exterior, Medusa was still a giving being.

Even through an incredible, unwanted assault, Poseidon’s attack upon Medusa wasn’t entirely disastrous.  Their union caused Medusa to become pregnant. Immediately after Perseus murdered Medusa, she gave birth to Pegasus, the magical winged horse who contributed much to Greek myth.

But that’s not Medusa’s only contributions after death.  Here are a few contributions credited to Medusa, even after her beheading.

♦ A grand coral reef was said to be created in the Red Sea when Medusa’s blood trickled into the waters after Perseus set her head down on the shore.

♦ Medusa thwarted an unwanted marriage between Perseus’ mother and Polydectes when Perseus revealed Medusa’s gaze upon Polydectes, turning him to stone.

♦ Medusa had a part in creating the Atlas mountains. While traveling through Africa, Perseus was attacked by a Titan.  After revealing Medusa’s stony stare, the Titan was transformed into the Atlas mountain range.

♦ To this day, Greek art depicts the image of Medusa. These pieces are thought to be protection against enemies and bad energy.

Pretty interesting that Medusa’s name means ‘to protect’ – she seemed to do a lot of that after her death.

Closing Thoughts on Gorgon Meaning and Medusa

In the end, I think the moral of Medusa’s story is this:  Even the most awful so-called ‘monsters’ serve unexpected purposes.  Therefore, it might be a good idea to think twice about the ugly, cranky, outcasts in our lives.  I think gorgon meaning is intended to make us reconsider that which is ‘abnormal’ or ‘freakish.’

Look at all Medusa accomplished.  Unfortunately, her path was a tragic one, and her greatest hits were celebrated after her death.  Nevertheless, her legacy lives forever.

I hope you enjoyed this article on Medusa and gorgon meaning.  If you liked this post, please check out the links below for related information.  As always, thanks for reading!

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