The Elemental Eve

She is coiled, tense like steel, before it was ever forged in the minds of men. She bites her tail, symbolising eternity. For an eternity she has been here waiting, and is waiting, still. She has been here far longer than mankind, and this alone would be reason enough to blame her.

Her skin is cold and lithe; she slithers across the hot stones, zigzagging, shunning straight lines, forever deceiving. Her eyes are cold, yellow, computing – like a cat’s eyes, with the same killer instinct clothed in the guise of a come-on. She has been called a cat, of course, a doe, a vixen. But the serpentine describes her best, because its bite is deadliest.

In the earliest of all recorded faiths, she was all-powerful, elemental: holding snakes above her head like lightning bolts, or else a maiden fair grown old with serpents in her hair and eyes that turned men into stone.

Later the patriarchal faiths appropriated these legends, and downgraded her role to that of Adam’s rib. They separated her from her totem animal in order to support their claim that she had no autonomy, but rather did the Devil’s bidding. Yet still they blamed her for the downfall of mankind. She brought men to knowledge of Good and Evil though incapable (they claimed) of independent thought: a lie that has endured millennia.

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