The Worm Oroborus
The Wurm Oroborus (Uroborus) [oro- mouth; uro- tail]: This symbolic image (found in a variety of cultures) presents in animal form the circle as an embodiment of "eternal return" and suggests that for - indeed, in - every end there is a new beginning, in a cycle of endless repetitions. Along with the symbolic associations already present in the "constantly rejuvenated" snake, the "closing of the circle" through its body offers an expressive metaphor for cyclical repetition, for the sequence of "ends of the world" and restorations of it, for death and rebirth - and, by extension, for eternity (like the simple circle). In the symbolism of alchemy, the oroborus symbolizes a closed, cyclical process in which the heating, evaporation, cooling, and condensation of a liquid helps to refine or purify substances. In this (the alchemic) oroborus, the single snake is often replaced by two creatures, each biting the tail of the other, the upper one a winged dragon (a symbol of volatility).

[From, Dictionary of Symbolism, by Hans Biedermann, Meridian 1994.]

{TV trivia: In an X Files episode, Scully gets a tatoo on her back of a wurm oroborus.}

[The following is an excerpt from an article that appeared in Paranoia, issue 32, Spring 2003, entitled "That Which has Fallen" by Boyd Rice.]

In some versions of the Leviathan tale, Leviathan is described as a dragon who encircles the Earth biting his tail, and is said to represent the "world soul."  In The Book of Enoch, Leviathan is described as a monster that resides in the ocean, and is female.  The apocryphal Acts of Thomas characterizes Leviathan as a dragon who lives beyond "the waters of the Abyss," and says he is "king of the worms of the Earth, whose tail lies in his mouth.  This is the serpent that led astray through passions the angels from on high; this is the serpent that led astray the first Adam and expelled him from Paradise."
     Elsewhere in the Acts, one of the sons of Leviathan states that he is, "the offspring of the serpent-nature and a corruptor's son.  I am the son of he who...sits on the throne and has dominion over the creation beneath the heavens...who encircles the sphere...who is around the ocean, whose tail is in its mouth."  A similar theme shows up in the Pistis Sophia, in which it is said that, "The outer darkness is a huge dragon, whose tail is in its mouth."

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