May I formally introduce my newest macabre acquisition. It is surprisingly hard to find a skull ring that is anatomically correct, attractive, comfortable and in the right proportions... Skull collectors will know what I mean. This one struck a chord with me so I took him home
"The Snake is the symbol of Rebirth & Life coiling out from the oldest symbol of Death" Theo Fennell
Let's go into the symbolism, briefly. I am really into symbols, anything that can express ideas through imagery - I'm interested in.
For me, skulls represent human life: all its love and hardship. Peace and war. They are raw and visceral, they are the skeleton of our lives. They go beyond naked. I guess for me they are a grounding symbol, a reminder that I'm here, and alive.
Skulls also represent beauty. I love the human form bones and all, and a skeleton is really no less attractive to me than the flesh on top. I'm an odd one on this: Today's society is very much against bones: seeing them, feeling them, but I like them. I love a good wrist, I love a good collarbone, i think they are beautiful. I find the skeleton very attractive. Bone structure is one of the first things I notice on a person. So yes, skulls are very much about beautiful representations of the human form.
Some "official" symbolism:
For many ancient cultures, the skull represents life.
In XVI century England, prostitutes wore half skulls (without the jaw) to advertise their station. I personally prefer full skulls so no danger of being mistaken for an elisabethan prostitute there.
It was adopted by pirates along with the crossbones and other death imagery, in flags and jewelery. It's the ultimate symbol of pirate jewelery, isn't it? And I love pirates...I come from a family of sailors, and I have a deep connection with the sea. Pirates drive me crazy, I'm a romantic.
As for the snake, she's immortal, which ties up really well with my beliefs.
"The Serpent crawling through the eyes of a skull is a familiar image. The serpent is a chthonic god of knowledge and of immortality. The serpent guards the Tree in the Greek Garden of the Hesperides and, later, a Tree in the Garden of Eden. The serpent in the skull is always making its way through the socket that was the eye: knowledge persists beyond death, the emblem says" Wikipedia
The serpent represents fertility and rebirth; a creative life force. Transformation, immortality and healing. Eternity and continual renewal of life. In the Garden of Eden it represents sexual passion.
In Buddhism, it is often seen as a guardian creature, and is found in temples. "This motif recalls the story of the Buddha and the serpent king Mucalinda: as the Buddha sat beneath a tree engrossed in meditation, Mucalinda came up from the roots of the tree to shield the Buddha from a tempest that was just beginning to arise." Wikipedia