Part of the Sky Above Earth Below Oracle Deck I created in 2014. Mixed Media
Snail (Androgyny, Patience)
Snail slides slowly through the world. Snails can be found in a wide range of environments. They can generally be separated into land (which may be somewhat amphibious) and marine varieties. Most snails are herbivores, eating plants or algae; rarely some are slightly omnivorous. Land snails have a muscular ‘foot’ which they use for locomotion. They will secrete mucus all over their bodies to help prevent them from drying out. This mucus also aids in mobility. Despite the aid of mucus, which helps lower friction, snails are still incredibly slow movers; as slow as 1 millimeter per second. This easily links them to the trait of patience. The vast majority of land snails (and many marine snails) are hermaphroditic. This means each snail will have both sexual organs, as well as produce both egg and sperm, making them representative of androgyny. Some land snails produce love darts, a sharp dart to stab into their partner. This dart may contain hormones to help the breeding process but does not carry sperm or eggs. Snails will inseminate each other and then each will carry fertilized eggs they will later lay on their own. Mating among snails is complex and can take hours.
Snails are eaten as cuisine in several cultures, particularly in Europe and regions of North Africa. The love dart used by some land snails has a great parallel in the arrows of love used by Cupid/Eros in Roman/Greek mythology. The spiral of a snail’s shell was often linked to the moon. They were thought of as representing fertility and cycles as well. Any symbolism featuring a spiral could easily be applied to the snail and its spiral shell. For Ancient Egyptians the spiral was about the progression of life, evolution, and expansion. Some cultures, especially in Europe, associated snails with rain because of the way that a snail’s eye stalks, or ‘horns’, would poke out before and after it rained. This trait also linked snail to agricultural cycles.
When snail slides into a reading it may be time to employ patience. In what ways is patience helping or hindering you? Are you ready to go slow if needed or do you need to pick up the pace? In what ways are you balancing masculine and feminine qualities? Snail is linked to either water (marine snail) or earth (land snail) elements. A study of the moon card may give extra insight.
Stars and Constellations
Shelter, Prime your Path, Perseverance, Intricate Beauty, Intimacy