Snakes in a Dream! Meaning of Dreams About Snakes
The Meaning of Snakes in Dreams
Dream Symbols - Snakes
Snakes are highly charged, evocative creatures and when they slither into dreams they are an indication that the dream is not only of high importance, but also one that the dream is offering a great growth opportunity.
All dream symbols' interpretations ultimately rest upon the dreamer's own personal associations and mythologies, with dream interpretation articles and encyclopedias providing only broad brush strokes to the symbol's general meaning. However, generalities are something snake do not abide--they are equally revered and reviled by various cultures as well as individuals.
Provided here are many ideas to help the dreamer find a starting point, positive or negative, about the snake dream symbol's meaning.
Kekule's Ouroborous Dream
Dreams of Snake Bites
Dreams of being snake bit can symbolize that "snake in the grass" – those dangerous situations lying in wait, those things dreamers never see coming and bite when least expected.
These can be friends who betray, lovers who leave, or work or familial difficulties that appear to unexpectedly.
The Ouroboros and Snakes Shedding Skins
A famous alchemical symbol is that of the snake swallowing or eating its own tail, a symbol known as the ouroborous. The ouroborous makes an appearance in the annals of science as the organic chemist, Friedrich Kekule, credited a dream of one with his discovery of the structure of the benzene molecule.
C.G. Jung saw the ouroborous as a mandala, or an archetypal template for the law of endless return. In Jung's mind, the ouroborous revealed that rather than a linear, finite game played between rushing from birth's kickoff to death's goalpost, life is is rather a dynamic state of change, regeneration and endless transformation.
An ourboros dream, therefore, may indicate a time of change and transformation for the dreamer and the ouroborous need not show up as the one in the picture. Dreams of snakes shedding their skins are akin to the ourobouros symbol and can mean that the dreamer is sloughing off the trappings of an old life in favor of a new skin more appropriate to the dreamer's growth.
Snake Dreams Can Be Warnings
Warning and Fear
Since there is no denying that snakes can pose a danger to one's life, there is just reason to take them as warning symbols when they appear in dreams. This warning can be one to heed the signals coming from one's career or personal life.
However, snakes, like spiders, are oftentimes universally maligned--even those that pose no threat to humans.
If a snake dream evokes fear, it is a good practice to honestly evaluate that fear. Is it real, is there a significant threat to the dreamer and is the fear serving as an intuitive warning?
Or is the fear simply irrational anxiety? Is the fear simply and excuse to stay stuck in a life that one has outgrown for the sake of safety rather than sliding off that old skin in favor of the unknown?
Snakes as Deities and Wisdom Symbols
Snakes as Sexual Symbols
Due to the snakes physical expression--it's body shape, flicking tongue, etc., it is often a sexual symbol.
Apart from that obvious fact it is important to look at the snakes actions within the dream to see what kind of sexual information is being conveyed.
Snakes attempt to enter or overtake the dreamer's body can indicate a relationship that is solely rooted in sex.
Dreams of being suffocated by snakes can portend a smothering, obsessive, potentially dangerous stalking type situation.
However, if the dreamer is not sexually active and finds the snake dream tantalizing, it may be serving as a form of wish fulfillment, a desire for intimate contact with another person.
Dream Snakes as Symbols of Wisdom
Snakes are elusive and mysterious, seen only in zoos, on television, or in chance encounters in the wild that are often involve fearful circumstances. This elusiveness is what gives rise to much of the fear that is involved with snakes.
However, the snake's hidden qualities are precisely what gives it its status as a wisdom symbol for some cultures and individuals.
For example, Chinese astrologers consider those born under the sign of the snake as embodiments of wisdom, sensuality, and diplomacy.
The Mezoamerican deity Quetzalcoatl travelled between heaven and earth realms.
In Yoruban mythology it is the serpent Oshunmare who creates the rainbow.
And cobras, in particular, seem to carry the connotation of wisdom.
As creatures of intuitive knowledge, snake dreams may ask the dreamer to tune into his or her intuitive side.
Snakes in dreams, even if unpleasant, may be warnings that intuitive information surrounds the dreamer, but the dreamer is ignoring it. That snake in the grass might not have been so unexpected had the dreamer heeded the warning signs coming from the intuition.
One may also gain wisdom by paying attention to any striking or specific words in a snake dream and by giving close attention to the prominent symbols the serpent is attached to within the dream.
"I Don't Like Spiders and Snakes"
Dreamers often want "the" answer to their dream's symbol and seek to find that answer.
However, for a symbol to have its full power, the only encyclopedia needed is the one inside the dreamer's mind as symbols' meanings are as unique as the individual minds dreaming them.
Since snakes have so many possible interpretations — wisdom, sex, transformation, and fear — dreams of them are perfect reminders of the truth of the previous statement.
The Portable Jung by C. G. Jung.
Flight of the Wild Gander: Explorations in the Mythological Dimension: Select Essays, 1944-1968 by Joseph Campbell.
The Mythic Dimension: Selected Essays 1959-1987 by Joseph Campbell.
Mysterium Coniunctionis: An Inquiry into the Separation and Synthesis of Psychic Opposites in Alchemy by C. G. Jung
Psychology and Alchemy (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol.12) by C. G. Jung