• Category: Crocodile Clipart
  • Amount: 25+
  • Date: December 16, 2017

The large water reptile, whose form is suggestive of that of the DRAGON, is thought to be identical with the monstrous leviathan mentioned in the Bible, one of the creatures of primordial CHAOS. In ancient Egypt it was represented by the god Sebek (Greek Suchos) and revered especially in the city of Shedit (Greek Crocodilopolis): Praise be unto you, who arose from the primal ooze. . . . Otherwise it was naturally thought of as a dangerous water predator and was counted among the followers of Seth, the god of misrule. Those who worshipped Sebek, however, revered the animal and mummified it after death. In Rome it was believed that a swimmer whose body had been rubbed with crocodile fat could swim among crocodiles unmolested, and that the skin of a crocodile over the yard gate would protect one's property against damage by hail. In the Middle Ages the crocodile, with its tremendous mouth, came to symbolize the jaws of HELL. The early Christian Physiologus formed a DUALITY opposing the crocodile and the water SNAKE: the snake let itself be swallowed by the crocodile but then ripped apart the enemy's intestines from within and escaped with its own life. Thus the snake, otherwise assoc iated with evil, here symbolizes the Savior, who between death and resurrection descended into limbo to free the souls waiting there. In other contexts the crocodile appears as a symbol of hypocrisy, since it was said to shed tears of compassion (crocodile tears) once it had devoured its prey. In pre-Columbian Central America the first of the 20 day-signs of the calendar was named for a creature (Aztec, cipactli Maya, imix) resembling the crocodile, a sign promising fertility and wealth, and, according to the oracular priests, great progeny, fortune, and power. In many ancient Mexican myths an animal like the crocodile also appears (along with the TOAD) as a symbol of the primordial earth, or simply as a mythical chthonic creature. For Jungian psychologists, the crocodile is like the dragon, except that the former is even lazier, more ancient life, snapping mercilessly at the individual, and thus a negative symbol of our inner energies, a dull, ill-tempered attitude toward life, lodged in the depths of the collective unconscious [Aeppli). Medieval bestiaries had a similarly negative view of the crocodile: it can move only its upper jaw, while the lower remains motionless in the mud a cosmetic preparation is made from crocodile dung, but it washes away too easily and then comes the moral lesson associated with this symbolic animal: The crocodile is the figure of the hypocrite, the miser, the lecher. Even swollen up as they are with the drivel of pride, and scarred by the pox of lust, and obsessed with pathological greed, still they walk before their fellow beings, proud and as if beyond reproach in their fulfillment of the law. As the crocodile lives in the water by night, so do these people lead their unruly lives in secret. . . . With the upper part of their mouths, they hold up to o.thers the examples and redeeming doctrines of the fathers of the Church, while the lower part remains immobile, for they by no means practice what they preach. As from the dung of the crocodile a salve is made, so do the evil enjoy the favor of this world, which would cosmetically paint their evil deeds as acts of heroism. Only when the severe judge lashes out in his wrath at their misdeeds will all the luster of the false salve vanish. In fact it seems difficult for humans to approach the saurian, ancient figure of the crocodile, and its apparently mechanical movements, so foreign to mammals, with anything other than feelings of estrangement and fear, or to evaluate the creature in human terms.

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