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Ouroboros Meaning and Symbolism : The Eternal Cycle of Renewal

The Ouroboros, an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail, has carried multiple layers of meaning since its inception in ancient cultures. The intriguing design of our handmade sterling silver Ouroboros necklace embodies this timeless symbol, offering both a fashionable accessory and a rich emblem of self-reflexivity and the cyclical nature of life.


What's Ouroboros?

The Ouroboros is a compelling symbol that dates back to ancient times. It represents the infinite cycle of life's creation and destruction, symbolizing eternity and the eternal return.


What Does Ouroboros Symbolize?


The Ouroboros is a potent emblem with a multitude of meanings, each as profound and encompassing as the symbol’s global reach. At its core, the Ouroboros symbolizes rebirth—the endless cycle of life’s renewal, much like the phoenix rising from its ashes. It represents immortality and eternity, a continuum that defies the very concept of an ending, as well as the boundless nature of infinity, where beginnings and endings merge seamlessly.

This ancient icon also stands as a guardian of protection, encircling the spiritual and physical realms it holds within its coil. It teaches us the importance of self-reliance, as it sustains itself in an eternal cycle, relying on nothing but its own body to thrive and continue its existence.

Moreover, the Ouroboros embodies the very essence of nature’s cycles—the turning of the seasons, the rise and fall of tides, and the orbits of celestial bodies. It encourages a harmonious view of life, one that respects and acknowledges the intricate cycles of our natural world.

In broader strokes, the Ouroboros represents unity and wholeness, the idea that the universe is a closed loop where everything is interconnected. It is also found in the vibrant colors of rainbows, a natural phenomenon that echoes the Ouroboros’s theme of cyclicality and renewal after a storm. Similarly, the mesmerizing display of aurorae—the polar lights—reminds us of the cyclical solar winds and geomagnetic storms, which like the Ouroboros, are both beautiful and eternal.

Through each of these interpretations, the Ouroboros remains a powerful reminder of the continuity of life and the inherent wisdom in the cycles all around us.


Where Did The Ouroboros Originate?

Historical records trace the origins of the Ouroboros to ancient Egyptian iconography. It swiftly permeated various cultures, each interpreting the symbol in a unique yet harmoniously similar way.


Is Ouroboros Evil Symbol?


Contrary to some misconceptions, the Ouroboros is not an evil symbol. Rather, it is one of hope and endless potential, representing the undying force of nature and the resilience of life.


Nature Symbolism and Geomythology


The Ouroboros often emerges in geomythology, which interprets natural phenomena through the lens of myth. This symbol has been associated with the recurrence of seasons, with archaeological evidence of calendar systems aligned with Ouroboros imagery. For instance, the circular Dendera Zodiac in Egypt, dated to the 1st century BCE, showcases constellations in a loop, reflecting the Ouroboros' cyclic nature.


Ouroboros Symbol in Mythology

Mythological narratives from various cultures feature the Ouroboros. It’s a motif that archaeologists find in numerous ancient sites, like the serpent Jörmungandr in Norse myth, which was carved on the Viking runestone of Alstad, dated to the late 8th century.

Mythological narratives from various cultures feature the Ouroboros. It’s a motif that archaeologists find in numerous ancient sites, like the serpent Jörmungandr in Norse myth, which was carved on the Viking runestone of Alstad, dated to the late 8th century.


  1. China: Chinese mythology, rich with dragon lore, often illustrates dragons in an Ouroboros-like loop. Artifacts from the Han Dynasty (206 BCE - 220 CE), for instance, show dragons chasing or holding their own tails, symbolizing the cycle of life and the harmony of Yin and Yang.

  2. Egyptian Ouroboros: The oldest known Ouroboros depiction comes from the tomb of Tutankhamun in Egypt, dated to the 14th century BCE. The serpent encircling the sun god indicates the eternal cycle of life and death, a key concept in the Egyptian understanding of the afterlife. ouroboros in egpyt

  3. Africa: Prehistoric rock art in South Africa, estimated to be 2,000 years old, depicts serpentine figures in closed loops, which some scholars suggest could be early representations of the Ouroboros concept, denoting the cyclical nature of existence.

  4. Ouroboros Symbol in Greece: The ancient Greek text “Chrysopoeia of Cleopatra” from the 2nd century CE contains one of the earliest alchemical images of the Ouroboros. It's a metaphor for the cyclical nature of alchemical work—transmutation and unification of opposites.

  5. Ouroboros in Alchemy: In medieval alchemy, the Ouroboros came to symbolize the philosopher's stone and the alchemical opus with texts such as "The Book of the Holy Trinity", from the 15th century, featuring detailed illustrations of the Ouroboros.

  6. Ancient Rome: In Roman culture, the Ouroboros was an emblem of eternal renewal. Pliny's "Natural History", written around 79 CE, refers to the serpent as a widespread symbol amongst philosophers, emphasizing its connotations of eternity and the cyclical nature of the cosmos.

  7. Ouroboros in Judaism, Christianity, and Gnosticism: In Jewish mysticism, the Ouroboros represents the cyclic nature of Torah study, where the end of one reading leads to the beginning of another. In Gnostic Christianity, the serpent biting its tail symbolizes the soul's journey and the unity of all things. Ancient Gnostic texts, such as those found in the Nag Hammadi library, date to the 3rd and 4th centuries CE and depict the Ouroboros in their cosmologies as a boundary of the material world.

  8. Ouroboros Symbol in Norse Mythology: The Ouroboros appears as the Midgard Serpent, Jörmungandr, in Norse mythology, which was thought to encircle the earthly realm, Midgard. This serpent's imagery is prominently displayed in the Norse Jelling stones, erected in the 10th century CE, representing the cycle of life and death in Viking belief.

  9. Ouroboros in Hinduism: Hinduism interprets the Ouroboros through the cosmic serpent Ananta, who circles the world. This theme is evident in ancient Hindu scriptures and artwork, particularly within the iconography of Vishnu resting on Ananta, which signifies the eternal cycle of birth, preservation, and destruction.

  10. Indonesia: In Indonesian mythology, particularly within the Balinese tradition, the Ouroboros is present in the form of the serpent Basuki. Temple carvings dating back to the 15th century CE often depict Basuki as a guardian of the underworld, encircling the Mount Meru, symbolizing the balance of the world.

  11. Mesoamerica: The Ouroboros concept parallels the serpent imagery found in Mesoamerican cultures. For instance, the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl is sometimes depicted as a serpent devouring its tail, representing the duality of life and an eternal cycle. Archaeological sites like El Tajín (600-1200 CE) have yielded artifacts with such depictions.

  12. Ouroboros Symbol in South America: Among South American tribes, the serpent is a prevalent symbol of time and continuity. The Moche culture of Peru, which flourished between the 1st and 8th centuries CE, produced ceramics that featured serpents in closed loops, indicating a regional variant of the Ouroboros symbol.

  13. Ouroboros Symbol in Modern Times: Today, the Ouroboros has been adopted by various modern movements, representing the concepts of recycling, sustainability, and the circular economy. Its image is frequently seen in popular culture and literature, serving as a versatile symbol for an array of new and traditional interpretations.


In the craftsmanship of the Ouroboros necklace, we honor the tradition of this ancient symbol with our exclusive handmade sterling silver design. This unique piece not only serves as a stunning accessory but also connects the wearer with the rich tapestry of cultural history behind it. To ensure the perfect fit, every product page on our site provides detailed sizing information for your convenience.

Explore the symbolic journey of the Ouroboros with our exquisite ouroboros necklace, and embrace a piece of history artfully crafted to suit the modern aesthetic.

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