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The Meaning and Symbolism of the Snake in Dreams

Updated on January 03, 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 22 months 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 21 months 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

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      Vickie 19 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?

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      vickie Johnson 19 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 15 months ago

      I had dream of chasing a Snake.

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      Sania 10 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 6 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 2 months ago

      i had a dream a big snake try eat me?

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      Navreet 5 weeks 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 2 days 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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