“Birth—Genesis, the Fall: The Meanings of the Serpent, the Tree of Life & of Knowledge of Good & Evil… Our Prenatal & Perinatal Experiences Predispose Our Beliefs & Disguise Our Revelations” … Chapter 51 of *Dance of the Seven Veils II* by Michael Adzema. Free. Downloadable chapter



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*Dance of The Seven Veils II…Infant to Prenate, Veils Four-Six* is Volume 3 in The Path of Ecstasy Series by Michael Adzema

*Dance of the Seven Veils II: Prenatal/Perinatal Psychology, Mythology, and Your Divine Self*…Infant to Prenate, Veils Four-Six* is being released in paperback and ebook in March 2023.







Birth — Genesis, the Fall:


The Meanings of the Serpent, the Tree of Life and of Knowledge of Good and Evil … Our Prenatal and Perinatal Experiences Predispose Our Beliefs and Disguise Our Revelations


The Garden is the womb, God is the mother, the serpent is birth pain, the apple is meat, and the Tree of Life is the placenta.

“…in feeling through our prenatal and perinatal pain and re-establishing our foundation within the joy grids of the early womb experience, we find ourselves, not just aware of our immortality, but also smack up against a fount that seems to emanate all wisdom, all knowledge. That is the Tree of Life, of which it is said we would live forever.”


[Chapter 51 text begins:] As you would expect, birth dynamics occur a great deal within creation mythology. So it is that it is easily visible within the creation myth most common in the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim worlds — concerning Eden and The Fall as in Genesis.

The Garden Is the Womb

Regarding the mythological Veil from birth that is thrown upon our doors of perception, then, we enter through a familiar gate: Let us recall these words from Genesis concerning our fall from grace and expulsion from Eden:

And the LORD God commanded him, “You may eat freely from every tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; for in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die.”

Thereupon, after eating the fruit of that tree, at the urging of the serpent, the consequences are laid out:

Unto the woman he said,

I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception;

in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children;

and thy desire shall be to thy husband,

and he shall rule over thee.

And unto Adam he said,

Because thou has hearkened unto the voice of thy wife,

and hast eaten of the tree,

of which I commanded thee, saying,

Though shalt not eat of it:

cursed is the ground for thy sake;

in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life:

thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee;

and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;

in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread,

till thou return unto the ground;

for out of it wast thou taken:

for dust thou art,

and unto dust shalt thou return.

And Adam called his wife’s name; because she was the mother of all living.

Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.So he drove out the man: and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. (Genesis, 3: 16-24)

To start then, of the elements in Eden, what is the serpent? What the Tree of Life? What is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? What is God?

For that matter, what is the Garden? That part should at least be clear by now. The Garden represents our time, prenatally — it is a time in the womb characterized by all the qualities of Eden: connection with Divinity, harmony of everything, bliss and happiness, contentment, and all the rest. Looking at the meanings of the other elements brings some astonishing revelations.

And God Is Mom

Beginning with the most obvious, it is clear enough who the God corollary is, which is one’s mother. It is also Divinity Itself, as we are still, during our womb existence, connected to more expansive and supernatural powers and awareness at the same time as we are con­nected to our mother and are united with her in feeling and bonhomie. But what of the others?

The Serpent in Eden

Well, the fact that it is a serpent that initiates this foofaraw in the Garden has meaning as well.

Is Birth Pain

As Michael C. Irving (1988) has revealed to us and I have related in several of my works,1 serpents, snakes, and dragons represent our birth pain for many reasons. Among these are the fact that snakes can be crushing, as was the womb for us in the last stage of gestation and is the case during the birth process; and that their shape represents the birth canal, the birth “tunnel.”

I would like to add that the fact that they are thought of as poison­ous is directly connected with our experience in the third tri­mester of gestation. As I will explain as we go along, at that time we experience a matrix of feelings involved with being poisoned. And poisoned how? Well, this poisoning is caused by a backup of waste matter which is not being removed as efficiently as it had previously through the umbilical cord. Poisoned by who? Why, by the umbilical cord! Which fits even more with a snake shape.

Sure enough, as I explained in detail in my book, Prodigal Human (2016) and as I have elaborated on, as well, in Planetmates (2014), it is our primal pain — specifically our prenatal and perinatal trauma — that pushes the discomfort and the “fevered brain” that causes humans to do the abominable things we end up doing in our “evolution” (our devo­lution, actually). It is the “serpent” of the repressed and potent traumas of our birth that speaks to us in the middle of the night casting doubt in our minds. It is the snake of perinatal pain that drew Eve and then Adam (metaphorically speaking) to stray from our state of never-ending bliss. In actuality, a serpent of anxiety and mistrust of Nature, it was, who seduced our hominid ancestors to lose faith in the Divine Provi­dence that we and the rest of Nature had relied on for millions of years. A fear coiled within pushed them to expand the boundaries of the bounty already provided by Nature and the Divine into darker means of sustenance — the flesh of our “cousins,” specifically, our mammal planetmates.

The Apple Is Meat

For, as it happens, we did that Edenal original “sin” … over the course of our millions of years of devolution … when humans began hunting, forgoing the ease and plenty attendant to foraging alone. Then, in as radical … though imperceptible and profoundly gradual … a turn as that depicted for Adam and Eve after they ate the apple, the rest of the horrible and unthinkable actions of humans — abominable from the perspective of the rest of Nature — began. They were set into motion with the killing of planetmates. Hunting results in our straying from Nature and losing our connection with Divinity — being cast out of the Garden. The “serpent” made us do it; our perinatal pain did push us.

Let me be clear: The serpent, which is our birth trauma — specif­ically our prenatal and perinatal pain — caused anxiety in us and mistrust of Nature, and the Divine, to provide for us. Hence, we disdained being merely foragers and began eating flesh that resembled our own — meat. This was the fruit of the tree of which we were warned not to eat. Meat was the apple in the Garden of Eden. It was our birth pain, the serpent, that pushed us to begin hunting and eating planetmate flesh like our own. We began standing upright as long as ten million years ago. When we did, it resulted in birth pain for the infant along with prematurity of births. This caused the anxiety and basic mistrust that made hominids feel they needed to augment their diet with meat. We began hunting approximately one and a half million years ago.

Thus, we lived in Eden until about one and a half million years ago, when humans began hunting. The serpent — our prenatal and perinatal pain — began showing up in “Eden” somewhere between twelve million years ago and one and a half million years ago. For that is the time during which we gradually began our doubt about our existence, specifically about our survival — our ability to be sustained by the Universe, the Divine — and began to mistrust Divine Providence, the Great Mother. Eventually that resulted in us “eating the apple” (meat); and we left Eden. Indeed, approximately one and a half million years ago our ancestors began consuming planetmate flesh like our own — mammalian flesh, red and bloody meat.

The Trees in Eden

This leads us to ponder the question, then, what do we make of the two trees mentioned in Genesis — the one with the forbidden fruit and the one which would allow us to “live forever”?

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

The forbidden tree I have said involves the eating of meat, devolu­tionally, species-speaking; as well as it is about the beginning of prenatal trauma in attachment to a toxic placenta, individually speaking, in each of our lives. For this, then, what exactly is this Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil referred to in the biblical text? Why is it described as a tree?

Okay. Well, in eating the apple it is said we were “knowing good and evil.” We already knew “good” in the Garden. However, consuming planetmate flesh was “knowing evil.” Eating meat was evil, for eating flesh like our own is evil by definition. Partaking of bloody flesh is the opposite of live (evil is live spelled backwards)for it requires death (the opposite of live, also) of something psychologically like us, so it is like killing ourselves or our kin.

You might think it unusual to consider that our primate progenitors would have such propensity for guilt about killing planetmates. We have been taught that the further we go back in our species history, the more “savage” and insensitive we were. This is not true, and it is one of the things we need to correct in our thinking to be able to see through the Veils thus far. It is linked up with the anthropocentrism we needed to overturn, which was Veil One. (Refer back to Dance of the Seven Veils I.)

Why? Because we have throughout history this notion that beasts are savage, whereas as I have shown in the book previous to this, it is part of our species Ego, arising of our neurotic separation from Nature, which has us putting ourselves up on this throne above all of the “wild” world.

Actually, however, we see much more in the way of compassion, empathy, and fellow feeling among our relatives in Nature and our earliest humans than exists in ourselves. Much of this has to do with the empathy that is natural to all species. All species care for their young and that requires empathy. Furthermore, except for the instances where they need to kill so as to eat, all species interact peacefully … even charm­ingly, lovingly … with other species. This is something that we know — indeed, our very description of Eden shows that we know what Nature untainted by us is like — yet we never voice it.

We do not acknowledge this truth of the relatively far more peace­ful and compassionate life of Nature; in truth we push it further from our minds with mythologies of natural wildness and savagery as well as of corresponding human superiority and “civility.” We end up then not seeing this empathy and caring of the planetmates due to the fact that our species superiority has us projecting onto the natural world our worst qualities. This is the same as how we civilized folk, going back as far as we can in our literary history — by that I mean it was extant in the earliest literary masterpiece, The Epic of Gilgamesh — project onto the people of nature … “natural” humans … that which we refuse to see in ourselves.

However, that ability to feel for others in view of the analysis I am presenting should not be so hard to see. It comes about from the fact that we are naturally, inherently one with All; and the less we are separated from that awareness, the more we are able to feel and have access to the minds and emotions/feelings of others — others of our species and others of other species. We lose this ability to “feel with” others, like and not so alike, in our “evolution” more than any species. Planetmates and earlier humans are more aligned with the Divinity inher­ent in Reality than we are.

Hence our early less-devolved humans had more, not less, empathy for other species. This is not just speculation. We can see it in the many rituals, legends, myths, and beliefs of our most “primitive” humans where much is done and said around feelings of regret for the taking of planetmate lives, fear of the blood of planetmates, and terror that the murdered (hunted) might return to seek revenge. It follows that our most sensitive selves — that which lies deep inside us and is coincident with the selves of our earliest humans — would be abhorred by spilling the blood of creatures seen as not much different from ourselves, from humans.

And since death is anti-life, and the opposite of live is evil, this hunting and murdering of planetmates was felt to be evil for much of our prehistory. Even now, our more sensitive, less defended, and most “evolved” humans feel this supreme guilt and regret about taking or eating planetmate flesh. So we were uneasy with taking mammalian life, and it was done as under a cloud of darkness, akin to evil. It was also done compulsively, arising of our unfelt perinatal feelings of mistrust of the world brought about through our first experiences of the world, at birth, which hardly lent themselves to feelings of reassurance. To put it mildly.

Regardless, in “knowing” this evil, as it is said in Genesis, we began the godlike determination of life and death for planetmates who were similar to us; which had till then, and more correctly, been the purview of the Divine. In so doing, we began the “knowledge of good and evil” — which was the knowledge of killing, the determination of death of others. We became “as one of them,” the gods … exactly as said in the biblical rendering of the matter.

Is also the third-trimester placenta, the toxic womb.

However on the individual, the ontogenetic, not the devolutional, the phylogenetic, level, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is birth trauma. Most specifically it is the placenta in the third trimester, at the very beginnings of our birth trauma, which has gradually become toxic and which initiates our descent from the Divine knowledge of bliss and goodness, which was our state prior to the beginnings of Pain at that time. It is the tree, the placenta, which has now become both life-enhancing (good) — it still nourishes us, providing us with oxygen and nutrients — and life negating (evil) in that it is the source of the toxicity which has us feeling poisoned and irritated.

It was our earliest experience of being in a love-hate toxic rela­tionship. Which we would then replicate endlessly and compulsively in our love lives, wondering why we “never learn” and always seem to pick partners who are bad for us. As one book title explains it, Smart Women/Foolish Choices. (1986). More about this last part — the dual feelings toward everything that arises of our conflicted and dual relationship to the placenta — in Veil Five. Coming next, by the way.

Furthermore, I contend the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil represents the knowledge of our prenatal and perinatal traumas, as I am laying out in this book and in several of my others. For when we know good and evil, that is, we make mistakes in life — initially eating a forbidden apple, which is the symbolic expression of the adoption of killing for food (hunting) and the eating of meat — we begin being pestered with a guilty conscience. Such mental agony would lead us eventually to the knowledge of our prenatal and perinatal origins … and more … if we were to follow it down into our feelings.

Why would the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil be our prenatal and perinatal pain? Well, this is indicated by the fact that it is a tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This is the placenta of the third trimester, for many reasons, which I go into in detail in other places. But simply put, the placenta even looks like a tree in its spreading of arteries and veins which resemble the expanding limbs of a tree.



The Tree of Life Is the BPM I Placenta

Now, what about the other tree? Because of these Edenal developments we are told we are banished from The Garden so that we do not also take of the Tree of Life, in which case we would live forever. We will see as well (Veil Six) how the Tree of Life is specifically related to our earlier-in-the-womb experience of the first two trimesters which are characterized by bliss and feelings of immortality. That it is “of life” is true in that it, the placenta, was our source of nourishment in the womb, without which we would have died. It was, literally, a tree of life.

When you think about it, if you accept what I was saying at the outset about Eden representing our time in the womb, then it follows necessarily. The only “tree of life” anywhere around for us at the time in the womb was exactly that: the life-giving placenta.

Therefore the two trees  represent the placenta at different times in the womb — the first two trimesters when it was “of life” and was bountiful, and the third trimester when it has a dual quality, is discom­forting along with being life-giving and necessary and upon which we were dependent … unable to extricate ourselves from the bad situation. Thus, we have the two trees representing two vastly different times in the womb, both prior to and during the “poisonous placenta” arising in the third trimester with prenatal malnutrition.

How the Trees Are Related

And beyond that, the way to process that Pain — emanating from eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, actually being dependent for our survival in the womb on a toxic third-trimester placenta — is to release it in an emotive way. This Primal processing of our Pain, we have found, opens us to all the knowledge and bliss of the Universe — the Tree of Life, including The Unapproved and Hidden — which our Pain has kept outside us in the same way that moats keep out enemies from castles. Or veils and curtains block the sun.

Noteworthy it is that in feeling through our prenatal and perinatal pain — in one of the deep experiential, Primal, shamanic, entheogenic, or breathwork-related modalities — we eventually encounter the Tree of Life. Which represents remembering our time in proximity to and connected to that placenta, a time in which we remembered our immortality. So, the Tree of Life, as said in the Bible, represents immortality as it is written, “lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever.” 

The Tree of Life is The Unapproved and Hidden, is “the Everything.”

Looking at this, I believe adds another provocative speculation: Which is that in feeling through our prenatal and perinatal pain and re-establishing our foundation within the joy grids of the early womb experience, we find ourselves, not just aware of our immortality, but also smack up against a fount that seems to emanate all wisdom, all knowledge. That is the Tree of Life, of which it is said we would live forever.

A succinct way of defining the Tree of Life, then, is to say that it is the contents of the Unapproved and Hidden, which is our species unconscious … and beyond that All Knowledge. It is first and foremost knowledge of what we did in separating from Nature. It is the know­ledge of our actual place in the array of living beings — i.e., planetmates. It is what I am laying out in this book, in Prodigal Human and Planetmates preceding this … and in my other books on prenatal and perinatal psychology. Yes, you read that correctly. My attempt in several of my works — in particular, Prodigal Human and Planetmates — is to reveal the Unapproved and Hidden. And I continue that here.

In those works, I have shown how it is the sorrow and travail of life, including that of a guilty conscience, incidentally, that triggers our deeper primal pain. For sorrow and mental anguish lead us … if we follow them, if we “feel” them … to their roots in our primal, our prenatal and perinatal pain.2 That is to say, if we process them, integrate them. How? Primarily by emoting them … e-moat-ing them.

E-moat (i.e., e-mote) is the combining of ex meaning “out” (out of, to go out) plus moat, which is a watery barrier of defenses around a castle. With castle representing us, i.e., our defended self, then to get out (ex) the moat, or to go out beyond the moat, means to get rid of the defenses (the moats) keeping out what is around and outside us. What is outside, beyond our personal unconscious even, is The Unapproved and Hidden, the species unconscious. Beyond that, outside even that, is Everything. It is the whole universe of Knowledge and Awareness we separate from in coming into Form.

Therefore, “sinning” — by partaking of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil — leads us to knowledge of our primal Pain and to The Unapproved and Hidden and then to Everything beyond even that. Why? Well, “sin” leads us to our Pain, for it is our Pain that causes us to “sin” in the first place. It is the serpent, which is our prenatal and perinatal pain, which pushes us to go astray, to “sin” … which in the first instance for our species, that which got us ejected from Eden, was hunting, killing, the eating of meat.3

Why, again, would the two trees be related to our prenatal and perinatal pain? Well, let us look at that more closely. The Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil are the two trees in Eden that are mentioned in Genesis. The Tree of Life is the good placenta, is associated with a knowledge of immortality, and is what we are blocked from approaching after being ejected from Eden.

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, on the other hand, is the tree from which Adam and Eve plucked their famous fruit, which got them “arrested” and “deported.” But what is the meaning of this “knowledge of good and evil”?

Looking into this we find that the phrase, “good and evil,” in Hebrew is טוֹב וָרָע, tov V’ra. It is translatable as “good and evil,” however it is said to be an example of a type of literary device known as merism. This figure of speech pairs opposite terms together, in order to create a general meaning. Thus, the phrase “good and evil” is another way of saying, “everything.” This can be compared with the Egyptian expres­sion evil-good, which is used in a way, normally, to mean, “everything.” We see this in Greek literature as well. “I know all things, the good and the evil” writes Telemachus.4

So this tree in the Garden imparts knowledge of tov V’ra, “good and bad,” and whereas that is traditionally translated to mean “good and evil” it is actually a fixed expression with the meaning of “everything.”

All this together, then, it is more understandable how in feeling back to that state of prenatal bliss-joy, immortality, and connection to Divinity one gets the feeling that one has access to all knowledge as well … knowledge of everything. As easy as turning on a faucet, as easy as being a river at its head, bubbling up from out of the earth. Mystics such as Sathya Sai Baba know that of which I speak. Any of a great number of other spiritual teachers of a shamanistic bent I could name in the same way. As a consequence of my years of work clearing away the detritus of traumatic events and finding a foundation on a deeper level of the psyche characterized by harmony and bliss, I know something of the feeling, as well. As I continue to draw from that fount, I am ever amazed at the comprehensive vision that becomes clear and sheds light on so much that is otherwise inexplicable or confused.

Both of the Edenal tragedies mentioned — in our individual lives, the birth trauma, and in our species devolution, the hunting — kept us from the Tree of Life, for they kept us from experiencing our prenatal bliss, in conjunction with the placenta of our first two trimesters. The placenta of the first two trimesters is the Tree of Life.



About sillymickel

Activist, psychotherapist, pre- and perinatal psychologist, author, and environmentalist. I seek to inspire others to our deeper, more natural consciousness, to a primal, more delightful spirituality, and to taking up the cause of saving life on this planet, as motivated by love.
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