In ancient Greek mythology, the warfare between the newly incarnated soul into the flesh was symbolized in the myth of the two giant serpents and Hercules. The story relates that while the half-man and half-god Hercules was an infant in his cradle, the Greek goddess Hera (Roman Juno – protector and special counselor of the state) had sent poisonous serpents to kill the child, but he instead strangled the two great snakes that were seeking to devour him.
Hercules was known as a God of heroes, sports, athletes, health, agriculture, and fertility to name a few. Behind this great immortal story of him as an infant, is one of the secret keys to alchemy and health, in which every man and woman is threatened by the devouring jaws of the serpent at the very movement of their incarnation. It also shows the role in which the state aids the snakes, and how we must be wise as serpents and strong as the God of health, Hercules in order to outsmart and kill these man devouring creatures.
I have written on this subject before, how in ancient mythology the serpent and dragon often symbolized the worms that inhabit all humans on earth. Heroes such as the child Hercules killing the two great serpents were stories of the health of man, conquering the animal flesh and outwitting the state to ensure that the worm does not conquer you to lead to an early death.
The Russian leader, Catherine the Great had commissioned the President of the Royal Academy of Arts in London, Joshua Reynolds in the year 1785 to paint her a picture on any historical subject he desired. Leaving the choice of the theme completely to Reynolds, he ultimately selected to base his painting below on the story of the infant Hercules strangling the snakes.
This decision would emphasize the role that the state plays in such health matters. I think that we can safely say this is more true today than it has ever been in the past.
May you be strong in health like Hercules in order to conquer your own worms.
Moe is the founder of GnosticWarrior.com. A website dedicated to both the ancient and modern teachings of Gnosticism.