Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism
by Thomas Inman, M.D. (1874)
Pagan and Christian symbolism
Figure 135 is a common Egyptian emblem, said to signify eternity, but in truth it has another meaning. The serpent and the ring indicate l' andouille and l' anneau. The tail of the animal, which the mouth appears to swallow, is la queue dans la bouche. The symbol resembles the crux ansata in its signification, and imports that life upon the earth is rendered perpetual by means of the union of the sexes. A ring, or circle, is one of the symbols of Venus, who carries indifferently this, or the triad emblem of the male. See Maffei's Gemme, vol. iii., page 1, plate viii.
Figure 136 is the vesica piscis, or fish's bladder; the emblem of woman and of the virgin, as may be seen in the two following woodcuts.