Likeness of the Snake: A Shapeshifting Ritual for the Hedge Witch
Snake crawls on the earth, rubbing its belly over soil, plant, and stone. It is a creature of the underworld and a guardian of mother earth, as well as healing and regeneration. When our souls leave our bodies to journey the astral realm, they often take on the form of snake. This happens spontaneously during sleep and dreamtime, but you can learn how to become the likeness of the snake for trancework, astral travel, dreaming, spells and rituals. Shapeshifting is a skill many hedge witches seek to learn and can master with time, study and practice. Here’s our method of shapeshifting into the likeness of the snake.
Snake Magic & Medicine
What are some reasons the hedge witch would shift into the likeness of the snake? Besides being able to easily transition to the astral realm, here are some examples of magic and medicine of the snake: regeneration, transformation, healing, wisdom from the gods, connection to Yggdrasil / the World Tree, seduction, kundalini. Shift into the snake to connect with serpent deities like Cliodhna, Damballah, Wadjet, Apep, Mami Wata, Lilith, and Hecate.
To Become the Likeness of the Snake: First, Craft the Snake Powder
First, the hedge witch crafts a snake powder to wear on person while performing the shapeshifting ritual. Substitute herbs for others if need be. But make sure they are plants with a direct link to snakes or serpents, otherwise the ritual won’t be as effective. With any shapeshifting ritual, the witch or shaman always holds or wears a piece of that creature to create a physical and spiritual link to that animal. For example – when shifting into the deer, shamans wore headdresses with antlers. To become the likeness of an animal, one must be the animal.
Snake Powder Ingredients:
- Snake skin (collected personally is best)
- Dried apple skin: what’s the first plant you think of when someone mentions a serpent? Many of us think of the serpent in the Garden of Eden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil which is often depicted as an apple tree.
- Black snakeroot: the name should be a dead giveaway. Snakes hide in the roots.
- Horsetail (aka Bottle brush): historically used for calling snakes
- Hibiscus (substitute for any ground cover plant or bush in which you’ve seen snakes use as a hiding place or home)
- Mortar and pestle (or herb grinder)
- Small glass vessel (a necklace vial is perfect!)
- Optional: jojoba oil
Snake Powder Instructions:
- Add a pinch of all ingredients to a mortar and pestle or grinder.
- Began grinding all the ingredients together in a clockwise fashion until it becomes a powder. This takes some time and effort so be patient.
- While grinding the powder, visualize the world from the eyes of a snake. Visualize what the snake can do for you magically. Keep your intention for shapeshifting in mind.
- Once the powder is ready, add it to the small glass vessel and seal it.
- Alternatively, you can add the powder to an oil like jojoba or sunflower and anoint your power points when ready to use in astral travel, dreamwork, shifting rituals and more.
How to Become the Likeness of the Snake
You have your powder in the glass vessel in hand or on your person. Enter your alpha state of mind (be it through breathing technique, meditation, etc.) Shamanic drumming music is helpful but not required. It’s also helpful to have a photo of a snake or a live video on replay in front of you, if you have a hard time visualizing. (Though, if you’re attempting a shapeshifting ritual, you should have visualization technique down pat.)
Think of yourself as the snake. See yourself in nature. It can be a forest, the desert, a meadow. Visualize yourself sleeping on the ground. Then see your soul leaving your body through your mouth in the form of a snake. You are the snake. You’ve left your human body behind. Feel what it’s like to have the earth rub against your belly. Feel the cold blood pumping through your slender, flexible body. The scales covering your body are your protection in the other realm. Chant/repeat the following throughout your shapeshifting ritual:
Scale of skin
Body of earth
I am snake
I am serpent
Allow yourself time to explore your surroundings as the snake, as well as get used to the feeling of being a snake. To return to your body, reverse the ritual. Picture your snake body returning to your physical body and re-entering through the mouth. Slowly come back to reality and be sure to ground your energy once complete by eating a piece of bread, drinking tea, or with a grounding technique.
To Be Clear…You’re Still You!
This shapeshifting ritual is for hedge witches who want to learn how to shapeshift and specifically want to work with the magic and medicine of the snake. You’re not inviting a spirit outside of yourself to enter your body, you’re projecting your own astral body into the astral realm in the likeness of the snake. So when the snake returns to your body, it is actually still you. I recommend practicing this ritual a few times to get a feel for your snake likeness before attempting full magical workings in snake form.