Picts – Type of experience - Snake and z-rod [general]
Type of Spiritual Experience
This symbol combines the symbol for a zigzag with that of the snake.
line is a symbol for lightning. Symbolically the connection between heaven and earth is via thunder as the voice and lightning symbolising the connection itself. Anyone capable of having frequent spiritual experiences thus carries a ‘thunderbolt’ in his hand. All zig zag or wavy lines in pictures, rock art or cave painting then symbolises spiritual experience.
Whilst serpents are a more generally universal symbol of energy, snakes are specifically human related symbolism.
A Dictionary of Symbols – J E Cirlot
If all symbols are really functions and signs of things imbued with energy, then the serpent or snake is, by analogy, symbolic of energy itself – of force pure and simple; hence its ambivalences and multivalencies. Another reason for its great variety of symbolic meaning derives from the consideration that these meanings may relate to the serpent as a whole or to any of its characteristics – for example ………. to its sinuous movements ,…….., the undulating pattern of its body……….,its threatening tongue, the undulating pattern of its body, its hiss, its resemblance to a ligament, its method of attacking its victims by coiling itself around them and so on. Still another explanation lies in its varying habitat; there are snakes that inhabit woods, others which thrive in the desert, aquatic serpents and those that lurk in lakes and ponds, wells and springs.
Snake on Pictish stone with rod
The combination of the snake with the z rod on Pictish stones thus denotes a place of high potent energy sufficient to be able to produce a spiritual experience of some sort.
A description of the experience