Taipan – Reputation

Taipan illustrated by Ravenari


Having a good defense. Letting go of offensive tactics. Threat and warning. Goddess energy. Initiation. Back off. Serpent energy. Strong reputation. Shyness and vulnerability. Scaring others away.

General Description:

The taipan is a venomous Australian snake. One species of taipan, the ‘fierce snake’ enjoys the reputation of being the most venomous land snake in the world. Interestingly, this snake has never been reported to kill any human.

Taipans are large and fast snakes. They prey exclusively on mammals, and are among the only snakes in Australia to do so. Taipans are light to dark brown, and most active in the morning. The taipan has a very fast strike, and excellent smell and vision. The taipan is commonly thought to be the most intelligent of Australian snakes.

Lessons and Challenges:

There are benefits and drawbacks to having a strong reputation. The benefits are that it often hides what you’re really like, since reputations tend to be one-dimensional, and no person is one-dimensional. The downsides is that they may convey things that aren’t true about you to others, or give others an unhealthy or negative impression of you.

Taipan teaches us about the pros and cons of the reputation, and asks us to question what sort of reputation do we have amongst family, friends or work colleagues? Do we like it? Dislike it? It is possible to change a reputation, but it can take some work. Taipan counsels us how to accept our reputation with grace.

When taipan energy is in your life, there is a chance that you are scaring other people away. It may because of a fa├žade or front that you present in order to stop others from seeing how shy or vulnerable you really are. Or it may be something else. Taipan reminds us that sometimes it is necessary to scare others away in order to keep ourselves protected and safe. It can be nourishing to let others know to keep a distance from you, especially if it is for their safety as well.

At this time, consider if there is a situation that you need to back away from. Taipan teaches us how to ‘back off,’ and sometimes it’s not always a lesson that’s pleasant to learn!

When you depend on facades or appearance in order to hide your more fragile self, it is important to have a good defense strategy. Taipan also recommends that you let go of offensive tactics and stop using aggression (if this is something that you are doing, whether passively or out in the open) to push people away or get what you want. It is perfectly possible to protect yourself and what you consider precious to you, through having defensive strategies like a fierce reputation to fall back on.

Any animal that has something to say about defense and offense, is also reminding you to protect yourself at this time. There may be some sort of threat, or you are being warned to be aware of what you care about, and take measures to protect that. With taipan in particular, the emphasis is on protecting the self, or aspects of ourselves that would make us even more vulnerable if revealed.

Taipan also places some emphasis on the themes of shyness and vulnerability when present. You may be feeling unsafe right now, or alternatively, just more vulnerable and open than usual. Taipan says it is okay to withdraw, or fall behind fierce facades in order to self-protect.

As with almost all snakes (or at least all the ones that I have encountered!), taipan can be a representative or messenger from one of the greater mythological serpents; like dragon, wyrm, or even one of the awe-some Australian creator serpents.

Taipan, like many snakes, also acts as a messenger and connector to the primal goddess or the life/death deity that many ancient cultures have worshipped in many different forms. It is a primal, raw and sometimes frightening energy. When taipan energy is around, you may be moving into in initiation type stage in your life, or ending a plateau and starting a new phase of growth and movement in your life.

The Shadow Aspects:

Someone is not heeding your warnings to give you space, or to get out of your life. Chances are, the messages you’re sending are too subtle. It’s time to start sending some very clear messages to the unhelpful people and energies in your life that you no longer need them. You may have to become confrontational. If you work with the energy of taipan while changing your life, you will find that you develop a reputation for being strong and standing up for yourself, even though you may be the last person to follow through on any of your warnings! In order to preserve your vulnerability, you must sometimes find the reserves of strength to protect and shelter that vulnerability so that it does not become jaded.

Taipan as a shadow aspect often comes into our life to show us that we are not paying attention to the subtle warnings and threats coming from others. If we ignore these, we may find ourselves placed in dangerous or more aggressive situations. Are friends or family members asking you to back down? Are you pushing for information you don’t really need to know? Are you constantly wearing on the boundaries of your pets, partner, work colleagues? Taipan warns you to back off on their behalf, and pay attention to the signals around you.


Like all animal helpers, this animal will only appear when right and appropriate, and cannot be forced to visit you, commune with you, or share messages with you. Taipan has a reclusive, shy and quiet energy and doesn’t tend to respond – in my own experience – too well to approaches. The taipan (particularly the inland taipan) is so private that it can threaten or strike dangerously just to keep and maintain its privacy. For that reason, I feel it is best to wait for this energy to approach you.

However, if you have been, or feel you are being approached by taipan, be mindful that it is an animal that responds well to quietness, gentle moment and conversation, and non-threatening body language. Acts like drumming and loud trance-methods can scare it away.