“And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.”In alchemy the Caduceus of Hermes symbolise the Above and the Below, the Visible and the Invisible, and the serpent crawling and twirling around it represents the movement in and out, up and down, these two realities.
I once wrote a dream (part of a story) and I will quote it here as I think it shows what I mean:
There is a ladder with a rung at the bottom and a rung at the top, but none in-between, and it stands of its own accord in the middle of a vast barren wilderness. I know I’m supposed to climb it but the two rungs are too far apart. I look around and there is nothing that can aid me. For some reason a depression overpowers me and I fall to my knees sobbing.Jacob's Ladder is a symbol and it can be spotted not only in the shape of DNA, but in Freemasonry, in Alchemy, in Christianity, in Yoga (chakras and kundalini), in Norse mythology where it is Nidhogg and not a serpent ascending and descending, Personally I see the ladder as the spine and the serpent the inner fire, the prana, that needs to be awakened and moved up into the pineal gland where great things can happen once it is awakened.
A weird blinking cube of glass turns up from out of nowhere. I pick it up and hold it in my hand. Inside lights, colors and shapes morph and transform to my delight. It keeps me occupied for a long time and I don’t even notice that the quilt of night covers the world…
A bright white full moon appears in the black sky completely devoid of stars, and it asks:
“Why are you playing with the cube and not climbing the ladder?”
“I can’t reach the other rung, and the cube was so alluring…”
Then the moon began to laugh so loud that the ground shook causing the ladder to fall stirring up the sand all around it. I then discover to my amazement that the grains of sand revealed all the other rungs. They were there all along only invisible and I looked back up at the moon.
“I didn’t know,” I say and the moon still laughing looks back down at me and replies with mock in its voice:
“No, you didn’t try!”