The Meaning and Symbolism of the Snake in Dreams
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.