The Different Meanings and Interpretations of Snakes in Dreams
Common Meanings of Snakes in Dreams
Different cultures assign either negative or positive characteristics to snakes, so it's important to consider the dreamer's culture.
- Depending on the context of the dream and the dreamer’s culture, snakes may represent someone that is trying to harm the dreamer in an underhanded, sly, and sneaky manner.
- Snakes can be seen as phallic, and they are symbols of sex and temptation. They often represent something negative, fearful, untrustworthy, or mysterious.
- As a positive symbol, snakes represent transformation, knowledge, and wisdom. They may represent self-renewal and positive changes for the dreamer.
- When you observe their biological nature, you will see that snakes are skilled predators that adapt and shed their skin, and may be poisonous. These traits could be viewed as both negative and positive. The experience that the dreamer has with snakes is important for determining the true meaning.
- The type of snake should also be taken into account because there are different meanings attached to each type. A boa constrictor, for example, may indicate to the dreamer that they are being suffocated, restricted, or repressed in their waking life.
Psychodynamic Dream Interpretation of Snakes
Dreams can assist us in exploring and understanding the state of our unconscious; discovering what is needed for greater personal development; and gaining insight into our psyche.
- Snakes may symbolize hidden fears or worries that are currently threatening us.
- Because they are mysterious, the presence of one in a dream may be a warning that something in our waking lives has not fully surfaced yet.
- We often use dreams to process the experiences we have during the day. We may dream of important details we've missed. The details and context of the dream are always important. For example, dreaming of a snake with a head at each end could symbolize the feeling of being pulled in two different directions, the risk of burnout, a lack of commitment or direction, or feelings of conflict possibly relating to sexual/romantic relationships.
- A two-headed snake, in contrast, may symbolize a cooperative relationship.
- Dreaming of many snakes may indicate that we are anxious or overwhelmed.
- Dreams may not mean what they appear to mean at first glance. Characters and objects within a dream, although separate from the dreamer, may actually illustrate aspects of self. The qualities assigned to each object may reflect aspects of self that the dreamer is either unaware of, beginning to develop, recently accepted, or has repressed. A snake may symbolize a part of ourselves that is either unknown to us or that we believe to be undesirable.
The Eastern Perspective on Snake Dreams: The Esoteric Body
The snake is a very positive symbol in Eastern cultures, practices, and religion. Individuals familiar with these viewpoints may relate to these concepts more than others.
- The snake is a symbol of Kundalini, a Hindu concept of pure energy located within the base of the spine.
- Kundalini is described as a dormant potential force in all people.
- Yoga is the practice that is supposed to awaken the Kundalini energy.
- Yoga evokes the progress of Kundalini through the different chakras, which each leads to a different level of awakening and mystical experience.
- In dreams, the snake could represent wisdom, spiritual awakening, or inner power.
Christian Dream Interpretation of Snakes
In Christianity, the snake is a symbol of temptation.
- The snake relates to the serpent in Genesis that tempts Eve to eat the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge. In this story, the serpent is a sneaky and sly creature that has a negative influence on others. Thus, the snake could symbolize a malicious enemy, betrayal, or deception.
- Christians may find that their dreams of snakes relate to trials and tests that they are experiencing in their waking lives or in their relationships with God.
- An individual with a Christian perspective may want to further explore what this biblical story means to them and how the lessons and hardships in Genesis relate to their current experiences.
Alternative Perspectives on Snake Dreams: Psychics or Mediums
- For some people, dreaming of a snake—especially its skin—is a sign of protection from illness.
- Others may view snake dreams as a foretelling, warning the dreamer of a potential danger or a deceitful person they will soon be encountering.
Exploring the True Meaning of Dreams
It is important to note that dreams can mean so many different things for different individuals, and the same dream could carry multiple meanings. It is also common for dreams to be layered. This is when a symbol relates to something that occurred during the day, to our subconscious, to our spiritual growth, and to events in our childhood that influence our current beliefs, thoughts, and behavior.
Interpreting our dreams can be a powerful way to gain insight into a world that we are too busy to explore during waking hours.
If you are looking to gain further insight into yourself and cannot recall any more dreams, then try eliciting more content from your unconscious by taking a Rorschach inkblot test.