Symbolic representation of coming full circle (cycle)
The Ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. The name originates from within Greek language; (oura) meaning "tail" and (boros) meaning "eating", thus "he who eats the tail".
The Ouroboros represents the perpetual cyclic renewal of life and infinity, the concept of eternity and the eternal return, and represents the cycle of life, death and rebirth, leading to immortality, as in the Phoenix.
The current mathematical symbol for infinity - may be derived from a variant on the classic Ouroboros with the snake looped once before eating its own tail, and such depictions of the double loop as a snake eating its own tail are common today in fantasy art and fantasy literature, though other conjectures also exist.
It can also represent the idea of primordial unity related to something existing in or persisting before any beginning with such force or qualities it cannot be extinguished. The ouroboros has been important in religious and mythological symbolism, but has also been frequently used in alchemical illustrations, where it symbolizes the circular nature of the alchemist's opus. It is also often associated with Gnosticism and Hermeticism.
Showing itself primarily in ancient Gnostic texts, the Ouroboros is any image of a snake, worm, serpent, or dragon biting its own tail. Generally taking on a circular form, the symbol is representative of many broad concepts. Time, life continuity, completion, the repetition of history, the self-sufficiency of nature, and the rebirth of the Earth can all be seen within the circular boundaries of the Ouroboros.
Societies from throughout history have shaped the Ouroboros to fit their own beliefs and purposes. The image has been seen in ancient Egypt, Japan, India, utilized in Greek alchemic texts, European woodcuts, Native American Indian tribes, and by the Aztecs. It has, at times, been directly associated to such varying symbols as the Roman god Janus, the Chinese Ying Yang, and the Biblical serpent in the Garden of Eden.