Snakes are fascinating reptiles which, in mythology, were believed to be magical and mystical, mostly because they shed their skin, which is the symbol of regeneration and revival.
Their meaning depends on the context in which they appear. In our dream, we may be attacked by a venomous or constrictor snake, by trying to kill it or accidentally step on it; we may be seeing a single snake or a lot of snakes; we may be watching it in a zoo or in its natural environment, but also find it in our house…
How to interpret a dream about a snake?
A snake is an important, majestic dream symbol. It symbolizes a strong power, change regeneration, and also transformation. Appearing in our dream, it may suggest that we need some changes in our life, that it would be worth trying to get to the higher level of consciousness, or that we have already taken some steps in this direction. We may be afraid of the snake in our dream, just like we are afraid of changes, but we should not consider it to be a bad sign (although it is the commonly accepted interpretation) – as even being bit by a snake may have a positive overtone. We may interpret it as being “infected” with a new sensitivity, the psychical energy which needs to be released, etc. It is worth wondering whether the energy is positive or negative, and then try to discover its source.
Because of the shape of its body, a snake is often metaphorically associated with phallus, as well as with its relations to its sensuality and lively power. It also happens to be connected – especially iconography and mythology – with pregnancy. As the animal which slithers on the ground and lives in holes, it is also connected with the underground world and the unconsciousness, it guards our consciousness, it may be also associated with femininity – as it appeared along with goddesses in Greek, Sumerian, Egyptian or Aztec mythologies.
In the Bible, it is associated with insidiousness, treacherousness and greed – as it tempted Eve to eat the apple, which caused that Eve and Adam were banished from the Garden of Eden. So if it returns in our dreams often, maybe we are struggling with some doubts and lusts, just like Eve was, or maybe – just like the biblical Adam – we are blaming somebody else for our acts? It is also worth wondering whether the snake in our dream is not just talking us into living in harmony with our nature – sometimes it is better to open on ourselves, stop pretending and strive after self-realization, to decide about our own fate and take responsibility for our acts, instead of striving after some noble ideals which we will never manage to achieve…
A snake in Jung’s interpretations
In Jung’s opinion, a snake is a majestic archetype, connected with the psychic energy, strength, dynamic and reflexive impulses. The psychologist used to interpret it as the whole psychical process, the upcoming or ongoing spiritual change – so it is a very positive and desired sign.