Snake is definitely one of the most inspiring living creatures, in terms of spirituality and symbolical meanings related to the animal kingdom. Snake symbolism is very complex, since this animal is one of the most widespread mythological and spiritual motifs, in various cultures around the world.
Snakes’ symbolic meanings have been created in far past and they still live on in modern society.
While there are many people that find snakes scary, dangerous and deadly creatures (and there is definitely truth in this opinion), others admire them and find them amazing and beautiful. Symbolism of snakes is rich in meanings and abundant in magical and mysterious ideas.
These reptiles represent many concepts and ideas, including fertility, immortality, longevity, transformation, healing, and regeneration, good and evil.
Many ancient societies believed snakes are magical beings. Some traditions have worshiped snakes as divine beings, even incarnations of certain deities. An archeological research proves the existence of piton cult in Botwsana, dating thousands of years ago. In a small cave in this country, archeologists have discovered remains of an altar dedicated to a deity in the form of a piton.
These archeological findings actually date seventy thousand years far back into our past, proving that the cult of the snake existed in prehistoric times. This evidence is crucial to prove that snake is probably the first animal worshiped by humans and, thus, as well, the firs animal symbol inhuman culture.
That is, perhaps, the main reason why snakes have great significance in various traditions and prominent place in different spiritual, religious and belief systems in general.
We could say that snakes are different from other living beings almost in the same way as human are different from animals. Only snakes are different in a different and specific way.
These cold blooded, sneaky and silent creatures are put at the very beginning of long genesis. This puts snakes on the opposite side of the rope, compared to humans.
According to this strange analogy, some would say we, humans, possess something ‘of a snake’, deep within. Our instincts and our unconscious, uncontrolled reflexes, thoughts and emotions are commonly associated with snakes. What does a snake symbolize?
Snakes are simple and yet so confusing, mysterious creatures that keep intriguing and inspiring human imagination.
These creatures are associated with numerous magical and spiritual powers and properties, as well as with other symbols. A snake motif embodies some of the greatest ideas related to our own existence, the life itself. Snakes are often associated with the idea of beginning, birth and rebirth, growth and reincarnation.
On the other side, as we will see later on, snakes commonly symbolize evil, darkness and forces of Hell.
Dreams about snakes are definitely something. Before we interpret some of the most common dreams related to snake symbolism, we will try to understand special meanings snakes carry.
Snakes are identified with both heavenly and dark, good and evil, healing and sickening, life giving and deadly. Their symbolism is dual and quite complicated. Cultural depictions of snakes vary throughout human history, part of the world, specific belief systems and folklore.
Snake symbolism and cultural significance
Snakes symbolize so many things. In some tradition they are gods. It is interesting to note that Pigmy people from southern Cameroon draw a motif of snake as a line on the ground.
Similar images are found on archeological sites dating from prehistoric times. It seems these that in these depictions the idea of snake is simplified down to its basics.
A snake appears simple, but just as many essential things in nature are simple, it embodies the idea of the very basics of the life and overall existence.
Snakes symbolize an everlasting flow of energy and life, something without exact beginning and the end.
Symbol of life and natural forces
Snake is an abstraction; however, if you make it alive, this abstraction makes sense. It can move, transform, adapt and change. Snakes, thus, symbolize all aspects of human existence and the life on Earth; everything, from immaterial, non-physical, highly spiritual and invisible, to things that are real, material and alive.
Snakes commonly symbolize the duality of life; both masculinity and femininity, life and death, light and darkness.
Chaldeans have used the same term for ‘life’ and ‘a snake’. In Arabic language, the terms for ‘life’ and ‘a snake’ are very similar. These facts contribute to the idea of snake seen as an embodiment of life giving force, the Old God. This unnamed deity is to be found at the very beginning of all cosmos genesis.
Snake embodies the idea of soul and sexuality, one of the first and the most important primal instincts we have, for it creates life. Snake is an archetype of human soul; kundalini in Hinduism. There are numerous depictions of snakes as magical beings related to life force, in various cultures.
For example, Egyptian-Greek Ouroboros, the snake that bites its own tail, embracing the whole world while doing so.
It represents ‘everything in everything’, the essence of life, and the permeating energy that is found within everything in this world. Ouroboros represent cyclic nature of cosmos, eternity and infinity of the Universe.
Snakes represent a never-ending cycle of transformation, from life to death and then to life again, till the end of time.
Snake power of healing
You are probably familiar with the Rod of Asclepius, which is universal symbol of conventional medicine, still being used in modern day. If you cannot remember what we think about, it is an image of a snake rolled around a wooden staff you can today find on various apothecary logos and such. Why did they put a snake in it?
This symbol originates from Ancient Greece and represents the power of healing. Known for their ability to change skin, snakes have been always associated with rejuvenation, rebirth and regeneration and, thus, healing.
According to Greek mythology, Asclepius was taught by the centaur Hiron. Asclepius was so gifted and skilful in the art of healing that people would say he was able to bring dead back to life.
Since Asclepius powers have contributed to things that mighty Zeus did not like, Asclepius was punished and sent to the skies, in form of a new constellation. The constellation is known as Ophiuchus or ‘snake carrier’, which is also considered the thirteen sign of zodiac in astrology.
The symbol survived until our times and so snakes still symbolize medicine and healing.
Negative depiction of snakes
However, Christianity was never in favor with snakes. Snakes are mentioned in Christian lore many times and are always associated with dead and dark things. There are several positive depictions of snakes in old Christian texts, but generally snakes are seen evil and devilish.
You all know the story about Adam and eve, the snake and the poisoned apple. In addition to well-established negative symbolism, snakes are indeed dangerous animals and many people afraid of them.
Snake motifs in modern culture are commonly used to express something that is dark, unique, mysterious, very dangerous and bold.
That is the reason why, for example, many sub-cultures closely related to esoteric, Goth style and else, would often use snake motif. It is rather an expression of being different and unique, than evil or so.
These subcultures are seen negative, because they defy conventionality and mainstream. Snake and reptile symbol is common in these social groups.
Snake in dream meaning
AS we can see, snake symbolism varies greatly and it is complex and rich, at the same time.
Dreams about snakes are always in deep relation to our emotions and (un)conscious thoughts. Dreams about snakes are fairly common and in most of the cases particularly unpleasant to a dreamer, because many people are not fond of snakes and are afraid of them.
However, dreaming about these incredible creatures does not necessarily mean something bad. It all depends on your particular experience of the dream. What does a snake in dream mean?
Snake dream meaning could be a reflection of something you have experienced in your waking life, but also an indication of things you are not aware of.
Since these reptiles represent many things, they also have different meanings when seen in dreams. Before you start to interpret any dream, especially the one with so symbolically strong motifs, such as snake related dreams, try to remember all the details from particular dreams.
Recall how you felt during the dream and after waking up. Did the dream made you feel uncomfortable and uneasy? Did you felt frightened or the dream was pleasant? What was the size of the snake and what did the snake do? What color it was?
These are just a few of the questions you could ask yourself while trying to interpret snake related dream.
Dream interpretation snakes
Dream interpretation of snake related dreams is probably what interests you the most. We will try to help you understand your own snake related dream, by analyzing different types of dreams in which snakes are occurring.
In the following paragraphs, we will interpret the most common dreams about snakes.
These dreams could have either positive or a negative meaning. It all depends on other motifs in dream and the exact course of events in particular dream. Dreaming of snakes is always a special experience, mostly because of our ambivalent feelings towards reptiles in general.
Reptiles in dreams symbolize longevity, adaptability, patience, wisdom, silence, solitude, freedom, life cycles, life energy and are often associated with Sun. Concepts associated particularly with snakes, that are not amongst these, include intelligence, mysticism, trickery and healing.
Seeing snake in dream meaning
Seeing snake in a dream could reflect many different things from your waking life. If you see a snake in your dream and you are terribly frightened of this reptile species in reality, then the dream might be simply a reflection of your real fear of snakes, even a kind of phobia.
If you had an encounter with a snake in waking life and you do not like these animals, it would be not strange to have a scary dream about a snake.
However, if you are not particularly afraid of snakes, dreaming about seeing one could have various meanings. If you felt disturbed or scared when seeing a snake in your dream, it usually means you are currently facing things you do not know what to do about. It could also indicate potential fears and uncertainty.
Feeling uncomfortable while seeing a snake in a dream could be a reflection of your sense of discomfort when particular person is around. If there are many snakes, it means you feel insecure in your social environment.
On the other hand, if the dream was pleasant and you did not feel scared seeing a snake, it could be interpreted as a lucky sign. Such a dream means you are courageous and you do not hesitate to face your fears and challenges in life.
A snake could still represent your enemies, rivals or problems, but if the dream was pleasant, it means you will definitely handle situation that bothers you without much trouble.
Snake in a dream could represent people who are not to be trust, those who want to deceive you and use you for their personal goals. Seeing a snake in a dream could be a warning sign that such people are around you and you should beware of their tricks.
Snakes are commonly associated with deceit and trickery, so in dreams they embody these bad traits and the people who are corrupted and have ill intentions.
Dreams about a big snake
If you dream about a big snake and you feel particularly uncomfortable about the dream, even if snake just does not do anything, it means you are facing big troubles in life or that you will face big problems.
If the snake is a piton, anaconda or another similar specie, it means you feel very uncomfortable, restricted, tied up and overwhelmed by negative emotions, stress, obligations and responsibilities you cannot handle at the moment.
Perhaps you have put too much things either on your mind or in your life (e.g. too many expectations, worries, tasks, duties etc.).
Such a dream could also mean there is a person who always tries to manipulate you, who is suffocating you with his or her own problems or demands. Maybe someone tries to manipulate you and does not let you express your desires, your talents and capabilities.
Try to think who that person could be.
It could even be someone very close to you, who is doing such out of care for you. On a more negative side, it could be really someone who wishes to spoil your plans and hurt you.
Dreams about a small snake
Dreaming about a little snake could indicate there are minor difficulties that trouble you in reality. You generally feel good, but there is always something consistently annoying. Maybe it is something in your own behavior and habits or something that comes from the outside.
A little snake in a dream symbolizes small problems, something about which you will feel bad, but rather only annoyed, then really troubled.
On a positive side, if you felt great about this dream, a little snake could be your lucky charm. If you felt fascinated by seeing it and other elements of the dreams were positive and pleasant, then it means something small but good will happen to you.
Try to see little beautiful things in life; we commonly fail to see them, being overwhelmed by grandiose dreams and strong emotions.
Black snake in dream meaning
If a black snake appears in your dream, this could have a very negative meaning, but not necessarily. Black snakes are rare, in the first place, so dreaming about one is an exceptional situation. Black snake symbolizes darkness and death, but also mystery, secrets, uniqueness, even elegance and luxury.
Seeing a black snake during a phase of life which makes you feel miserable is only a reflection of that state you are in.
It could also be a bad omen and it could suggest something really sad or bad is about to happen. You probably will not be able to prevent it.
Symbolism of black animals is rich and powerful, but it is mostly associated with negative energy, black magic, darkness, death, misery, despair and illness. Black snake could represent all of that.
However, being associated with the realm of the Dead and the Other side, snakes are also seen messengers from the Underworld. Black snakes could represent incarnation of deceased people, so a black snake in your dream could symbolize someone close to you who is gone.
On the other hand, black snakes represent mystery, elegance, something extremely rare, both dangerous and precious. If you dream about a black one, it could mean you will discover something about someone or you will suddenly find out some things from your past or so.
This dream could also reflect your own uniqueness and your need to stand out of the masses, to be different, eccentric and intriguing to others.
Snake bite dream meaning
Dreaming that you have been bitten by a snake are always quite scary. Not all snakes are deadly and venomous, but we still identify these animals with poison and death. Being bitten by a snake in a dream could be a reflection of disappointments in reality, especially related to social and emotional relations.
This dream could reflect your sense of being over exposed and vulnerable; it could reflect your emotional suffering after being hurt or betrayed by a person whom you trusted.
This dream could also indicate someone will betray or hurt you in future and that would most probably be someone who you never suspect. Such betrayals hurt the most, so this dream is a warning sign that you should be more cautious when opening up to people around.
Be more observant and try to see who your real friends are and who are only pretending they are supporting you.
Dreams about a snake bite indicate lies and secrets. If a snake spites its venom on you, it means someone from your close environment literally poisons you with his or her lies. They successfully manipulate you and you feel weaker and weaker.
Someone is draining your energy without you even realizing that. Dream about a snake bite and its venom should awaken your awareness that things are not always the way they seem.
Talking snake dream meaning
Having such a dream must be truly an inspiring experience, no matter if the dream itself made you feel good or bad. If you dream about a talking snake, it could mean you are afraid of hearing something from someone.
You are trying to avoid someone, because you are really not ready to feel what the person has to say.
It could be a reflection of your sense of being guilty and you are unwilling to take responsibility for what you have done. On the other hand, maybe someone is constantly judging you with no apparent reason.
On a positive side, dreams about a talking snake could be truly miraculous and helpful. The talking snake might be an incarnation of your intuition and inner voice.
Such a dream could help you better understand yourself and get in touch with your true feelings and desires.
Try to remember what the snake was talking. If you cannot, it means you are still on a way to discover who you really are. If you can remember, try to analyze the message itself and see how it reflects on your reality.