Serpent Spirits and their role within the Shamanic Traditions of Nepal written by Bhola Banstola.
Nagas are a class of long-lived, serpent-like, semi-divine, awakened spiritual beings, highly revered as masters of wisdom by shamans and spiritual
practitioners. They are respected for their healing powers, their
magical skill, and their great courage; but sometimes they are
feared for their violence and quick tempers. Nagas vary in their types
of perception and also vary in their levels of wisdom.
Nagas can transfigure into other forms at will, but mostly they appear nake-like, typically depicted as attractive beings, richly adorned with jewels. They are awe-inspiring, their upper bodies appear human, either male of female, but they have a serpentine tail below their waists.
They are deeply connected to the earth, water and the other realms, and nagas are seen as protectors and the bestowers of abundance, both material and spiritual.