Beginning to unravel the mystery of the serpent in the Bible: It must be remembered that the serpent is responsible for Adam and Eve leaving the garden. According to the Bible it is the “fault” of the serpent that Adam and Eve ate the fruit which causes their expulsion. But think about this? The tree is Eve’s tree. The tree is named after her. It is the tree of life. The name Eve means life, making it in actuality the tree of Eve. She doesn’t need the permission of the serpent, a deity or anyone to eat from her own tree. It is her right. It is more than her right, it is an expression of her essence. In fact, if she doesn’t eat from the tree, she would never leave the garden of Eden bringing herself/ her life essence to fruition here on Earth. If it is the serpent who midwifed this process, then the serpent as well is responsible for bringing/birthing life here on Earth as we know it today. This is not a curse at all, but a precious blessing.
The way that the serpent is best known in the Bible is as the cunning traitor who convinces Eve to eat the “forbidden fruit.” But there are other representations that are less well known. There are serpent priests, a feathered serpent, a healing serpent and a wise serpent. (Chapter 13 in When Eve Was a Goddess). The serpent priests are the Levites, the feathered serpent is a seraph (Isaiah 30:6), the healing serpent is the fiery serpent that Moses carries on a pole (Numbers 21:8) and the wise serpent appears in Matthew 10:16 “Be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” Why, then, is the serpent so reviled? Could the image of the serpent be a Biblical reversal of even more ancient teachings?
The name Eve, in Hebrew means “life.” There is a tree in the Garden of Eden also named “life.” In fact, its name is the “Tree of Life.” Rather than forbidden fruit, this tree is the Tree of Eve. It was only later in translation that humankind in general and Eve specifically was forbidden access to Her Tree. (Discussed in When Eve Was a Goddess chapter 14, and in more depth in ONE GODS, chapters 10 and 11).
Eve is the Hero of the Garden of Eden (chapter 3 from When Eve Was a Goddess): The Hebrew name of Eve is Hawwah. This word means both life and breath. Without Eve there would not be any life (with its precious breath) here on our Earth.
The Bible as we know it today is actually a mishmash of translations, from ancient Hebrew into Greek and Latin and, from there, into English and a host of other languages. What began as oral lore became written verse, which in turn became holy text.
Much has been lost over the course of these translations—sometimes unintentionally, sometimes deliberately by religious authorities pursuing their own agendas. The earliest earth-based spiritual teachings found in the Bible were actually driven underground, their messages hidden and virtually inaccessible.
In When Eve Was a Goddess, shamanic practitioner and author Janet Rudolph applies spiritual forensics to scripture and Hebrew hieroglyphics, working backward to their original intent. Join her on a quest to explore long-obscured wisdom and mysteries buried for millennia.
From the mystery that is the story of Adam and Eve, to the breathtaking journey that is Exodus, Rudolph reminds us of the Bible’s multi-layered nature, one that allows for a variety of interpretations —and offers a treasure map to passages between heaven and earth.
Spiritual seekers, shamanic journeyers, and those with an interest in cross-cultural mythology will find Rudolph’s work invaluable as readers look back in order to look forward.