Monday, November 21, 2011
Mayan Double-Headed Serpent Bar
Copan, Honduras - ruler holding a ceremonial double-headed serpent bar.
Maya King and the Double-Headed Serpent Bar of Authority
"The double-headed Serpent Bar is the iconographic equivalent of the arc of the ecliptic. Most any Maya king featured on carved stone stela will be shown wearing a double-headed serpent pendant or holding up a double-headed serpent bar. Here we see an image of Stela D from the Maya site of Copán, depicting ruler Uaxaclajuun Ub'aah K'awiil (18 Rabbit). The king is shown wearing an elaborate headdress and holding a double-headed serpent bar that represents his divine connection to the sun. The serpents’ heads represent the arc of the ecliptic. The pathway involves the sun and its movement from sunrise to sunset, descending into the underworld each night and emerging from the underworld each morning."
The double-headed serpent bar can also symbolize the cycle of the eclipses of the sun and moon when they are swallowed up by the serpent and then reappear.
Compare the double-headed serpent bar to the Buddhist throne below. There is often a double-headed caiman bar behing the seat of the Buddha.