Serpent of the North: The Overlook Mountain/Draco Correlation (cont.)
By Glenn M. Kreisberg, New England Antiquities Research Association (NEARA)
DRACO AND MYTHOLOGY
From antiquity, Draco (the dragon) has long been known as the “serpent” or “snake constellation”. For a period in Human history, the star Thuban in Draco marked the north point in the sky, as Polaris does now. This is a significant fact we’ll take a closer look at that later in this paper.
Ophiolatreia, the worship of the serpent, next to the adoration of the phallus, is one of the most remarkable, and, at first sight, unaccountable forms of religion the world has ever known. Until the true source from where it sprang can be determined and understood, its nature will remain as mysterious as its universality. It is difficult to reconcile mans worship of a creature which is generally found repulsive. Yet there is hardly a country of the ancient world, where it cannot be traced, pervading every known system of mythology, and leaving proofs of its existence and extent in the shape of monuments, temples, and earthworks of the most elaborate and curious character.
Babylon, Persia, India, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), China, Japan, Burma, Java, Arabia, Syria, Asia Minor, Egypt, Ethiopia, Greece, Italy, Northern and Western Europe, Mexico, Peru, America---all yield abundant testimony to the same effect, and point to the common origin of “Pagan” systems wherever found. Whether the worship was the result of fear or respect is a question that naturally enough presents itself, and in seeking to answer it we’re confronted with the fact that in some places, such as Egypt, the symbol was that of a good deity, while in India, Scandinavia, and Mexico, it was that of an evil one, a paradox that no doubt speaks to the struggle between good and evil in humans and a duality pervasive in their nature and the nature of the universe.
Draco in mythology is most commonly depicted as a coiled snake.
Snakes, Dragons and other similar creatures often played a role in creation myths. In these stories the gods would often battle such creatures for control of the Earth. When defeated, the serpents were flung up into the skies. To the Babylonians, Draco was Tiamat, a dragon killed by the sun god in the creation of the world. To the Greeks, Draco guarded the Golden Apples of the Sun in a magical garden.
In many early cultures the Serpent and the Sun were strongly connected in their belief systems. Native American oral tradition relates how at one time men worshipped reptiles but were later compelled to recognize the Sun, Moon and other heavenly bodies as the only object of veneration. It’s said the old Gods were secretly entombed in earth works built to symbolize and represent the heavenly bodies.
LEFT: Serpent wall/snake effigy. 1 of 2 that are part of the Overlook Mountain Petroform,
RIGHT: Serpent effigy crafted in rock outcropping on the authors driveway.
Serpents are a common feature in the art of the Late Prehistoric Period (900 A.D. to 1650 A.D.). As already mentioned, many American Indians of the Eastern Woodlands believed the Great Serpent was a powerful spirit of the Underworld. Serpent Mounds and snake effigies may be a representation of these beliefs and hold a connection to the cosmos through the constellation Draco.