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The Meaning and Symbolism of the Snake in Dreams

Updated on January 3, 2017

Dreams about snakes are quite common. If you see a snake in your dream or get bitten by one, then its meaning depends on your situation. Some common meanings of snakes include: deception, sex, evil, or knowledge, though different cultures and religions ascribe different symbolic meanings to snakes.

Each dreamer needs to find his own meaning amongst the common observations made about snakes in dreams. In this article, I will discuss some common meanings of dreams about snakes.

Are snakes taking over your sleep?
Are snakes taking over your sleep?

Important Symbolic Meanings of Snakes

Some common symbolic meanings for snakes in a dream include:

Personal growth: Snakes often represent a change in life. If your life is troublesome, then dreaming about a snake may be how your unconscious mind is helping you come to terms with your struggles.

Unconscious anxieties: Snakes will appear in dreams as long as your emotions are out of whack. They represent the things you're afraid of.

Transcendence: A snake may also be a symbol of transcending into a higher level of consciousness.

Phallic symbol: The snake could be a phallic symbol: are you suppressing your sexual needs? Are you experiencing feelings of impotence? A snake dream may be pointing to sexual deficits or urges.

What Does a Dream About a Snake Bite Mean?

If you have a dream about snake bite it means one of the following:

  • Your unconscious is trying to send you a wake-up call: Something from your past is bothering you, and you're consciously or unconsciously ignoring it.
  • You feel paralyzed or trapped in your current situation.
  • You have some relationship or social problem. A person in your life is dangerous, toxic, and filling your mind with poisonous thoughts.

A snake attack is usually a sign of inner turmoil for the dreamer.
A snake attack is usually a sign of inner turmoil for the dreamer.

Dreaming About a Snake in Your House or Bed

If you dream about a snake in your house, you first need to think about what your house might represent. It could quite literally mean your house, but can also symbolize your family, your responsibilities, your finances, or the most private parts of your mind. With that in mind, dreaming about a snake in your house could mean one of the following:

  • You have a problem in your family. You may be having a fight with one of your children, or you suspect your spouse is being unfaithful.
  • If you do not live with your family, the snake may represent your bad feelings toward a roommate or landlord.
  • You're having financial problems.
  • You're trying to move or you are unhappy in your current house.

Dreaming About Being Chased by a Snake

When you dream about being chased by snake, you likely feel fear and panic. These feelings could be brought on because:

  • You are avoiding an unpleasant situation and your unconscious mind expects you to face it. Perhaps you're been avoiding a task at work, a necessary medical procedure, or something else that needs to be done.
  • You want to speak your mind but you're holding back so as not to hurt anyone. For example, you've been meaning to break things off with your romantic partner, and are worried about their reaction.
  • You are caught in a situation with very few options and have difficult choices to make. In other words, you feel trapped.

A snake eating its tail is a symbol of eternity.
A snake eating its tail is a symbol of eternity.

The Meaning of Dreams About Snakes in Islam

In Islam, the snake is considered an vicious creature and represents oncoming trouble or unknown danger. If in a dream you are being chased snakes, get bitten snakes, or have snakes in your house then something horrible in your life requires immediate attention.

On the other hand, dreams about overpowering or owning a snake could signify personal power or your capacity to overcome difficult situations.

Symbolic Role of Snakes in Christianity and Judaism

The serpent in the Garden of Eden convinced Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge.
The serpent in the Garden of Eden convinced Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge.

The serpent has an important role in the Hebrew Bible, shared by both Christians and Jews. In the Garden of Eden, a serpent tricked Adam and Eve into eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, making them mortal. In some interpretations, the serpent in the garden represents sexual desire and the fall of man from purity while in others, a snake can be seen as a carrier of wisdom. In the Christian New Testament, snakes sometimes represent the Devil.

A dream about a snake, then, can mean many things according to the Christian and Jewish traditions. Most likely, the snake represents deception, either your own or someone else's. Dreams about snakes can also be about sexual desire, particularly a desire you may be ashamed of or feel is wrong.

Chinese Interpretation of Snake Dreams

In the Chinese zodiac, snakes are seen as intelligent but mysterious and perhaps a bit manipulative and sneaky. Snakes do not have the same evil connotations in Chinese folklore as in Islam or Christianity.

In a dream, a snake transforming into dragon is a sign of personal growth, and a snake on its own can be a sign of power and strength. If the snake tries to attack you, your response determines the meaning of the dream and how capable you are in dealing with challenges.

A snake wrapped around a staff is the ancient Greek symbol for the medical profession.
A snake wrapped around a staff is the ancient Greek symbol for the medical profession.

Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung’s Interpretations of Snake Dreams

Freud and Jung were both psychoanalysts. Whereas Freud saw dreams as an expression of the personal unconscious, for Jung they tapped into a collective unconscious, based on shared archetypes and cultural symbols.

A Freudian may see a dream about snakes and ask the dreamer what their personal experience of snakes has been, particularly during childhood. For example, were they frightened by a snake as a child? Or did they have a beloved snake as a pet? Depending on the dreamer's answer, the dream will mean different things. A Jungian would also want to discuss the archetypical meanings of snakes, such as the religious ones discussed above.

My Interpretation of Snakes in Dreams

Many dreams are your unconscious mind's response to events in your past and present. If you have any troubling memories or childhood trauma, they may be represented in dreams as a snake. Try to process your past traumas by writing in a journal or talking to a psychologist, because if not dealt with, these issues will snake their way into your dreams.

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    • profile image

      Tabish khan 2 years ago

      Hey from one month continuously i have been dreaming of different kind of snakes what does this mean.

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      victoria 2 years ago

      please help me I just woke up from a really bad dream my oldest son was floating in a lake surrounded by snakes not just water moccasins many different types and everyone around disappeared we were looking for something or someone unsure if it was my son and he happen to have fallen in was looking for someone to or if he was the person I fell back asleep though and I had the same dream is floating and he's covered with snake telling me to get out of the water everywhere

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      Niomie May Sunshine 2 years ago

      last night i had a dream i was following my lover through a real dark sketchy path and as we were walking a huge grey snake appreared out of the mud, out of fear i turned the other way .. what's the meaning crossing my path

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      Grace Marguerite Williams 2 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      This is the second great hub about snake dreams. This hub is quite interesting indeed. Keep up the excellent work!

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      anita 2 years ago

      I had a dream about a black snake and it came from under my house. But it had a bandana tied on its head like a bow and the tail was tied like a bow. The snake chased me and I fell so I told my nephew to kill it. I grabbed something and hit it over the head then my nephew hit it.

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      amanda 2 years ago

      I just dreamt that a friend and I were swimming. Some men came over to talk to us. I don't recall what for or about. I just remember swimming up to the pier to get out and a huge python swam up beside me and then blocked my path. It swam towards me and attacked. It went to biting my hand. (In the same place I was actually bitten a long time ago). Some how I had managed to make it so he couldn't clamp down very far. Someone came to help me, the man hit the snake on the head. The snake released me but then bit the other hand with the same results. I was finally pulled out of the water. My hands did not look bloody instead on both hands I had two black lines where teeth marks should have been. The lines wrapped around my hands. Can anyone tell me what this is about?

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      florida morandarte 2 years ago

      please allow me here and give me an answer of my dreams..last night i dreamt of many snake in the street and one big is in the side but not harm..and then we ride the motor bike with my husband and one of the snake we hit because no way we can find a space in the street because so many snakes big and small in strip black color...and that snake blown...and the juices scattered...and my husband stop and said pls bit in the lottery.....cn u pls give me some meaning.thnk u

    • profile image

      Vickie 23 months ago

      I was having intamecy with

      a men and a snake swallow him

      with out crushing his bones. The snake looked at me and left. I'm confused. What does it mean?

    • profile image

      vickie Johnson 23 months ago

      I was in the woods walking I picked up a walking cane. But the cane was a green and black slimey snake. In the the dream I can feel the snake in my hand I woke up screaming with my hand in a fist.

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      khaleel 19 months ago

      I had dream of chasing a Snake.

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      Sania 14 months ago

      I had a dream.. that snake blocked my half way to home on stairs ... when I tried to go back down so snake bite me on my neck..

      It was a black big snake... plzzz tell me whats that mean..?!?!

    • profile image

      zahida 10 months ago

      last night i had a horrible dream of myself pulling out a black snake from my mouth, pls pls tell me the interpretation as im really very scared

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      Vangeswari 6 months ago

      i had a dream a big snake try eat me?

    • profile image

      Navreet 5 months ago

      Hi there, please help me to relate my dream with my life, i just saw a snake(Cobra) in my dream i was chased by the snake and i was so panic and feared then i came to home and the snake didnt stop chasing, and it was in my home... then i was just on my bed, dont want to see any thing, actually i wanted to look with my eyes but my face was in the blanket so thats why i was unable to see any thing, after this i didnt that snake again but the fear anout that snake was horible.

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      Karlee 4 months ago

      I just had a scary dream there was a red and black snake chasing my mum and I around our house. Then it transformed into a massive yellow and black snake and we couldn't find it..we tried finding shovels to chop its head off. Now i cant go back to sleep.

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      Dyshi 3 months ago

      DH

      My sister in law sow a dream about me that a very big snake was around my neck and i was not afraid of it, i was only smiling

      please tell me what it means!!

      thank you

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      June 3 months ago

      I had a dream my family and i where in a forest and there was a water fall and uou could see the ocean through the water fall as we where leaving snakes started coming out of the ground and they wouldn't let is cross and i was carring my sun it was supper scary there was all different kinds of snakes...

    • profile image

      2 months ago

      I had a scary dream of a snake. More importantly, is this thread the representation of American literacy? The spelling in the comments is atrocious.

    • profile image

      connie 2 months ago

      I dreamed that I was being fallowed by a cobra but as she wrapped herself around me she turned into a Chinese woman called khan... What could that possibly means?

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      lorain 2 months ago

      I just dreamed last night 4/29/17I had a dragon snake my nephew opened the container and lost the original cover the snake was sissing and trying to attack us, the snake tried attacking me, I was driving it was Halloween i threw him out my window( driver side) so some one can run it over and kill it but no one seemed to full fill that they would go around it and after that it tried attacking my husband it but his shirt I yelled at my husband (put the Windows up to the car ) My husband was passenger in the car...after that I woke up.what in the world does this mean nothing is specific as far as research I've done please help

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      Muffy 2 months ago

      I had a dream that my friends and i wanted to lift my bed and see if there were snakes under, i toldthem that if there were any i was going to run away probably because in reality I'm terrified of snakes.So when we lifted the bed and found two huge snakes coiled up in each other. I backed up and the next thing my boyfriend was there too killing the snakes...ive been reading online articles on snake dreams but i cant figure out what this dream could mean. Please help

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      Mirah 2 months ago

      I had a dream where i was chased by a big black snake with the two there guys and we managed to hide behind the corner and the snake couldn't see us

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      Shyle Castro 2 months ago

      Last night I had a dream of a couple telling me that I should get pregnant ASAP! Then after our conversation they left,I followed them and saw this couple became snakes changing their skin..i know it's kinda weird but what does it mean?

    • profile image

      Anne 2 months ago

      Last night I dreamed about a snake, it has a big head, but its length is quite short. It almost bit me, but I stopped it by holding on its head. While walking on the barrio with my cousin finding where we can throw the snake, I saw my neighbor holding his rattle snake collection, he gave me his two baby rattle snakes and told me that we should kill those snakes. I killed the two baby snakes and I threw the big snake on the canal. What does​ it mean?

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      M. Butler 7 weeks ago

      Keep having dreams with two snakes are just sitting on counter in bathroom watching me. They make no moves at all just watching!

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      Suad 6 weeks ago

      Last night I dreamed that a yellow snake came from the bathroom and my dad cut it to pieces , last night also my sister dreamed that a brown snake came from outside and my mom cut it to pieces . What do these dreams mean ???

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      charlotte 6 weeks ago

      i had a weird dream about a huge green-colored snake with highlights of violet and yellow on its skin which just suddenly appeared in front of me. it seems sleeping though. what does it mean?

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      Iris 5 weeks ago

      My sister dreamed of a snake. A humongous green cobra, coiling on the counter in our kitchen area. She was positively terrified by it and could not, for the life of her, get near it. But then I apparently appeared out of nowhere and smiled at it, patting its slimy scaly skin, which is pretty ironic since out of the two of us, I would probably be the one panicking, screaming and hyperventilating.

      I went to other sites, and I figured that it must be somehow related to 'deception', since I have a new step-mom now and we are at least on a speaking relationship, while she and my sister are treating each other like thin air. Or perhaps 'sexual urges', since my libido is pretty high in comparison to other people, especially recently. But I am just presuming things, and I would l love a professional advice.

      P.S. I read the other comments in hopes that somebody would have a similar situation, and found 95% of terrible atrocious English instead.

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      Chinwe 5 weeks ago

      I saw a snake in my dream but did not hurt me what does that represent?

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      Denise 4 weeks ago

      Last night I dreamed I was being chased by a big white boa no matter what I did it kept finding me one of the times it found me it bit me on my hand a few times what could this mean

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      Kavitha 4 weeks ago

      Plz tell me...i saw a brown colour snake in my dream which is biting a person...but not happened anything to that pers....plz tell me

    • profile image

      Kaviya 4 weeks ago

      I had a dream of snake chasing myself and my family members.... Wats is it about... Anything bad will happen

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      Ligaya enriquez 4 weeks ago

      I dream last night june 23 2017 a block snake try to catch me.. help me what is the meaning of that?? Pls reply

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      Tiffany 3 weeks ago

      Hi I had a dream that I came home and there was a white Kenyan sand boa snake in my kitchen sink.. at first I was scared and felt fear but then I started to do my normal thing in the kitchen like as if it wasn't in my sink but I knew in the back of my head it was.. then it came up at me and like hissed at me but i was far back enough to not let it worry me to much I felt fear but calmness at the same time then my partner put water over it witch made me panic and I told him not to that and just to leave it till someone comes to collect it

      Then my daughter jumped up on to the bench/sink and as I was yelling at her to get down she put her foot slightly near the sink as she was hoping down and the snake latched onto her and was biting her and she grabbed the snake and threw it back in the sink she didn't seem hurt or scared and I felt anxious but calm it's hard to explain but then I woke up

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      Jazzy 13 days ago

      Every single night for the past 5 years there has been some type of snake in my dream last night i was having a good happy dream but all of a sudden i got a snake tatto. And somethimes when i wake up i still see the snakes all aroumd me and i start screaming in my dreams sayimg no and stuff

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      Nabz 12 days ago

      Hi all

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      lizz 10 days ago

      my friend had a dream of me been in the amazon forest and i was eating a snake....what is the meaning of it ??

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      làvanya 9 days ago

      i have a dream lot of snake in my house lying on the floor .wt it means

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      jyziel 9 days ago

      a two twin snake and then i was able to kill it. whats the meaning?

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      Dr. srikanth 37 hours ago

      super article

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