Meaning of Ouroboros

What is Ouroboros:

The ouroboros, also called uroboros, is a sign that represents a snake or a dragon in a circular shape in order to bite its tail.

The word ouróboros comes from the Greek ουροβóρος (ouroboos) which means "snake that eats its own tail."

Its meaning refers to the cyclical nature of things and the idea of ​​eternal return. In this sense, both interpretations refer to the conception of existence as a cycle that always begins again, and whose continuity consists of a constant rebirth, such as, for example, what is observed in the cycle of the seasons of the year.

Hence, the ouroboros is also associated with the cyclical nature of time, where the present instant is eternally devoured by the future instant, constituting an infinite sequence of moments that die and are reborn at every moment.

Ouroboros and history

The antiquity of the ouroboros symbol is traced back three thousand years in human history.

In Ancient Egypt, for example, testimony of ouroboros is kept in a hieroglyph in the burial chamber of the pyramid of Unis. Likewise, similar expressions of ouroboros are found in Ancient Greece or in Norse mythologies.

In this sense, a myth related to that of ouroboros is that of Sisyphus, a character in Greek mythology condemned to the underworld, whose punishment consisted of the painful task of pushing a rock uphill, to the top of a mountain, which, when he was at On the point of reaching the top, he rolled again to the foot of the mountain, forcing Sisyphus to start his work again, like this for all eternity.

The ouróburos was also used by ancient alchemists to represent their quests for eternity, such as in the desire to find the universal panacea or the philosopher's stone.

Ouroboros in tattoos

As a tattoo, the ouroboros is usually represented with a snake or a dragon whose fundamental characteristic is the act of swallowing its own tail and, in this sense, drawing a closed circle with its arched body, where the beginning and the end meet.

The symbol, as such, is associated with the idea of ​​eternity and infinity, the cyclical nature of existence and the idea that living is constantly being reborn. In this sense, the ouroboros symbol underlies multiple mystical interpretations that have made it a very popular tattoo motif.

Aztec Ouroboros

The iconographic symbolism of the oroboros as such is present in all ancient cultures. In the case of the ouroboros in pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica, the serpent / dragon animal is replaced by Quetzalcóatl, the feathered serpent worshiped by the Mayan, Aztec, Olmec and Toltec civilizations.

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