The Meaning and Symbolism of Snake Dreams
The Meaning of Snake Dreams
Snakes commonly symbolize fear or transformation. Dreaming of a snake is a sign that you are afraid of something in your waking life or a forewarning about changes to come. Whether you dream about a snake in your house or getting bitten by a snake, the meaning behind the dream depends on your personal real-life situation. Some common meanings of snakes include: fear, transformation, sex, evil, or knowledge. Keep in mind too that different cultures and religions ascribe different symbolic meanings to snakes.
In this article, I will discuss some common meanings behind dreams about snakes. Each dreamer needs to find his or her own personal meaning among the common observations.
How to Interpret Dreams About Snakes
Dreaming of a snake can be either a positive or negative symbol. When analyzing your dream think about:
- What the snake was doing
- Who was in the dream
- Your feelings and attitude during the dream
Common Symbolic Meanings of Snakes
Fear: You are afraid of something or someone in your waking life—maybe you're too scared of facing commitment, your boss, or a tough situation. Dreaming of a snake could be a wakeup call for you to face your fears.
Growth and Renewal: Snakes often represent a change in life or renewal. 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 cause stress, sadness, or anger.
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.
Knowledge and Wisdom: In some Native American or Asian cultures, snakes represent wisdom. Dreaming of a snake could mean that there is knowledge you are seeking or answers you are trying to find.
Repressed Desires: A snake could also represent your innermost desires. If the snake bites you in your dream, it may be a wakeup call to fulfill those desires.
What Does Dreaming About a Snake Bite Mean?
Dreaming about a snake bite is a warning sign about a toxic person or challenging situation that could harm you, or your unconscious is trying to send you a wake-up call to take action with something. Something from your past or in your present is bothering you, and you're consciously or unconsciously ignoring it. It may also represent the fact that you feel paralyzed or trapped in your current situation. Perhaps there's something you want to do, but can't find the solution for it or the courage to do it.
In a positive light, a snake bite could also be a symbol that something in your life is about to change dramatically. If you dream about a snake bitting you on the leg or on the foot, then your unconscious is predicting a major transformation. Your feet represents balance and getting bitten in the foot might be a foretelling of changes to come.
A snake attack is usually a sign of inner turmoil for the dreamer.
Dreaming of a Black Snake
Dreaming of a black snake means there is something dark and ominous lurking in your life. It could either be a sign that you should be cautious of potential danger or it is your subconscious dealing with the depression or sadness that you experience in your waking life. Perhaps there is some emotional distress that you are still dealing with subconsciously (maybe you haven't gotten over an ex or you are harboring feelings of guilt and regret). Seeing a black snake is a usually sign of a bad relationship or energy in your life, but it could also be a financial warning. Be cautious of your finances and the people around you.
Seeing a Red Snake in Your Dreams
A red snake signifies intense passion, possibly sexual passion. It may also be a warning of potential danger. If you see a red snake, examine your waking life and see if there is anything your dream may be alerting you to.
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 it can also symbolize your family, your responsibilities, your finances, or the most private parts of your 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 of Being Chased by a Snake
When you dream about being chased by a snake, you likely feel fear and panic. It means that there is something or someone in your waking life you are trying to avoid or escape from. 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.
Dreaming About Dead Snakes
Dead snakes are positive in dreams. Seeing a dead snake symbolizes the end of deceit, temptation, or fear. It signals that there will be change or new beginnings. Think about what the snake represents in you waking life. Seeing a dead snake means that whatever that snake represents in real life will come to an end. If you kill the snake, then you are overcoming or defeating an issue that the snake represents.
Killing Snakes in Your Dream
A dream about killing snakes is a positive dream. It means you can overcome your fears, defeat challenges, and advance ahead on a smoother, less-challenging path. If you feel satisfaction after killing the snake, then there is something in your waking life you need to overcome in order to feel fulfilled. If you feel guilt, then maybe there is a dilemma that you want to get rid of that is not that easy to resolve. Killing a snake in your dream represents a struggle in your waking life that you need to face.
A yellow snake represents your inner light—your intuition, wisdom, and intellectual abilities. Dreaming of a yellow snake means your intuition is trying to guide you towards an answer to something. If there is a problem in your waking life, listen to your gut.
Dreaming of Snakes While Pregnant
Seeing a snake in your dreams while pregnant is a sign of good luck. It means you'll have a healthy pregnancy. The color of the snake could also represent a number of different meanings:
- If you see a black snake while pregnant, you are having a baby boy.
- A white snake means you are carrying a baby girl.
- A red snake means luck, or that someone close to you will get engaged or married.
- A green snake represents health and fertility.
Dreaming of Multiple Snakes
If you see a lot of snakes in your dream, then it is a symbol of abundance. Inside you, there is an overflowing fountain of energy that you have not tapped into. This may be sexual energy or wisdom. If you feel frightened by the snakes, then the dream is a sign that something in you waking life is overwhelming you.
Many dream interpreters believe that the snake represents man because of its phallic features. Seeing a venomous snake is a warning sign that there is perhaps a dangerous man in your life, or you are the dangerous man. Dreaming of a poisonous snake is a sign that you should be careful of toxic male behavior or check your own behavior.
Dreaming of a two-headed snake represents suppressed fears and complications in the dreamer's waking life. Seeing a two-headed snake means you're being pulled in two different directions or that your actions are counterproductive. This is a sign that you should reexamine your problems and make stronger, more confident decisions in order to move forward.
Seeing a boa constrictor means you feel repressed. You are suffocating—most likely from a romantic or sexual relationship. It could also represent your ambition or your desire to overpower someone.
The Meaning of Dreams About Snakes in Islam
In Islam, the snake is considered a vicious creature and represents oncoming trouble or unknown danger. If in a dream you are being chased by snakes, get bitten by 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.
The serpent in the Garden of Eden convinced Adam and Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge.
Symbolic Role of Snakes in Christianity and Judaism
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 a 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.
Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung’s Interpretations of Snake Dreams
Freud and Jung were both psychoanalysts. Whereas Freud saw dreams as an expression of personal unconscious sexual desire, Jung understood dreams as a way of tapping 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? According to Freud, the snake symbolizes a penis. So your interaction with the snake in your dream is in someway connected to your feelings about sex or sexual relationships in your waking life.
A Jungian would want to discuss the archetypical meanings of snakes, such as the religious ones discussed above. Jung believed that dreams about snakes personify a threatening aspect of the conflict between conscious mind and instinct.
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.