The ouroboros is an ancient symbol depicting a serpent or dragon eating its own tail. Originating in Ancient Egyptian iconography, the ouroboros entered western tradition via Greek magical tradition. Often taken to symbolize introspection, the eternal return (resurrection/immortality) and cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself. It unites and harmonizes opposites: the conscious and unconscious mind. Alchemically, the ouroboros is also used as a purifying glyph.