The Pharonic Cobra
The Royal Cobra
Snakes and Ladders
The Greek noun for a ‘ladder’ is (klimax) a word also denoting ‘culmination’ (klimaxakos). In Mithraicism the ladder is divided into seven rungs of initiation traditionally identified with the seven planets of alchemy. The Greeks and Romans saw a philological connection between the ladder, the serpent (fallen angel) and initiation. For example the Hellenistic noun ‘skolex’ (worm) imbibes the Latin noun ‘scala’ (ladder) and ‘schola’ (a lecture, school, sect or followers).
In the Egyptian mystery schools the cobra’s midriff or ribcage is drawn as a ladder - a visual pun denoting ascension. The Arabic noun ‘sullam’ (a ladder) is a sign of the covenant ‘sallim’ (to submit). Theban scribes often combine the dual seraph with the ladder a motif worn by the pharaoh in conjunction with a triangular loincloth symbolic of a pyramid. The spitting cobra featured at the bottom of the loincloth is emblematic of sexual intercourse (ejaculation) equated with the serpent’s seed identified with the harem.