From my LJ:
According to J. C. Cooper’s “An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols” (page 150): “The Naga and nagina are serpent kings and queens or genii, often divinities in their own rights; they can be depicted as either fully human, or as snakes, or as humans with cobra head and hoods or with ordinary snakes heads, or as human from the waist upwards and serpentine from the waist downwards. They frequently share the same symbolism as the Chinese Dragon as rain-givers and the life force of the waters, fertility and rejuvenation. They are guardians of the threshold, of the door and of treasures, both materials and spiritual, and of the waters of life.”
Naga Kanya are the daughters of Nagia with similar duties. Naga Kanya is a bringer of treasures (akin to Lakshmi) but not merely of material wealth. She brings the ultimate treasure, wisdom, represented by the gem or diamond-pattern on the back of a cobra’s hood or the jewel imbedded in Kanya’s forhead. Symbolically, the snake part represents the realm of the unconscious or the animal world or underworld; the wings represent Spirit or celestial realm and the human is the intermediary between the two realms or represents the earth. She holds a conch shell to show her willingness to pour her blessings on any of the 3 realms.
Naga Kanya interests me because of her appearing in my meditations, only in a non-Indian appearing form. I personally connect this being with Hekate. I continue to look for one that I like and can afford. Rarely do those two requirements meet. I’m particular on my visual representations. This form of Hekate has always brought me joy and comfort.