Growing up I had an immense fear of snakes. Oddly there was no reason for this fear. I did not have a traumatic experience with a snake and nothing stands out that caused this fear that I could remember. It wasn’t until I was in my 40’s that my attitude and view of snakes changed. There was an acquaintance that I had met in person and was friends on Facebook with that took in rescue snakes. She would post pictures and videos of these snakes and I began to see their individuality and personality shine thru in these images and videos. It sounds like a silly notion to me now, but that was when I started to realize that snakes had individual personalities just like other animal companions. It was due to knowledge that I overcame my senseless fear of snakes.

While I was no longer terrified of snakes, I still hadn’t been close to one. It wasn’t until my teenage daughter developed a strong interest in snakes. She did research and had more knowledge about pet snakes than anyone at our local pet stores. She was able to convince my husband and I to allow her to get a pet snake. I was still nervous but with her sharing her snake knowledge we finally settled on a cornsnake. We started with a young small snake and I was fascinated by his energy. His name is Apollo and it changed my entire attitude and view on snakes. We even allowed my daughter to get a second snake, this time a ball python who we named Ra. The difference in species and personality is like night and day for her snakes. Apollo is curious and always likes to move and explore. Ra likes the chill and just hang out. There are times I will go and hold Ra just to spend some time with him and experience some of his snake energy.

One thing I have noticed lately is the changing views on snakes. I was surprised how many young girls are interested and wanting to have a reptile or snake as a pet. I believe with the ability to learn about them and see videos and images easily with social media, attitudes on these slithery friends have changed. I know I had changed my feelings on snakes and find it interesting in this emergence and interest that has become more and more popular.

When I heard about the book, Awakening the Ancient Power of Snake I was excited. Not only would this make a well-timed read for myself, I was happy that I could share with my daughter as well. This book release will help open the hearts and minds of those still struggling with unfounded fear of snakes. Author Dawn Baumann Brunke, opens the mysterious world of snake to a new audience with knowledge. The book provides insight into some of the scientific information on snakes to help dispel some myths that may cause some of the unrealistic fear. She then dives into the history behind the symbolism and meaning of snake in ancient times. Snakes were revered and honored. I loved reading about the legends and myths in this section and that humans have had a very long history working with snakes.

My favorite parts of the book were the author’s personal stories of their pet snakes. I could relate easily and love seeing the personalities shown in the stories. As I mentioned for myself, it was seeing the snakes as individual beings that helped me overcome this fear. Readers who may be hesitant about snakes, can find these stories may help them overcome the misconceptions they may be harboring.

The book takes the reader on a journey not only on the scientific information of snakes, but travels down into the medicinal and spiritual ways to connect with this incredible totem. I highly recommend this book whether the reader is just curious about snakes, working towards overcoming a fear, or feels the call of working with snake in their spiritual growth.

~review by Amber Barnes

Author: Dawn Baumann Brunke
Bear & Company, 2020
pp. 288, $20.00

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