Dreams about snakes: Symbol, Meaning, Interpretation
The snake, a singular animal
The snake occupies a special place in the mythological, religious and psychoanalytical bestiary. Its discreet way of life, its strange way of moving, its inability to close its eyes, its ability to defend itself or attack with exceptional vivacity, all of this contributes to making the snake such a misunderstood and fascinating animal. Its magnetic beauty is matched only by our difficulty in feeling empathy for it. Human beings need an expressive response to their looks in order to attach themselves to a living being. In this area, it is the dog that excels, since unlike its ancestor the wolf, it stares us directly in the eye and manages to express all kinds of feelings and intentions through facial expressions that it reserves exclusively for us and does not use with its congeners.
On the contrary, the snake is devoid of any expressive faculty. In a way, even a lizard has the ability to make itself more sympathetic than a snake, since it can squint its eyes and its paws willingly remind us of our very distant reptilian kinship. 150 million years ago, the majority of snake species got rid of everything that could hinder them in their primary function as stealthy predators. They sacrificed their legs for this, some species of which, such as boas and pythons, still retain vestigial traces. In addition, the organs of snakes have adapted to their slender morphology and their unique behavior: their jaws, independent, separate when ingesting their prey, as well as their left lung is atrophied or absent to facilitate their meal's progression.
Like all reptiles, the snake molts. This change of skin, which corresponds to phases of growth, generally takes place in the days or weeks following the ingestion of a substantial prey. Finally, remember that the snake can deprive itself of food for several months in a row, when its environment is not favorable or when it is in hibernation phase.
The snake, master of movement, vital force and fertility
The snake is the mythical ancestor, the primordial uncreated, the source of life and imagination which arises from the bowels of the earth.
Due to the apparent simplicity of its particular anatomy, the symbolic place of the snake is at the beginning of the original vital effort, in opposition to the man who is its culmination. What remains of the snake in man therefore corresponds to its most mysterious and obscure part, in the same way that buried under the folds of our brain hides the reptilian (or primitive) brain, seat of the survival instinct, aggression, impulses and the instinct of reproduction.
The snake preceding self-awareness, it is essentially devoid of all morality. Its virtues do not relate to good and evil, human notions which are necessarily foreign to it.
In many cultures, the serpent-god is as capable of giving life as it is of taking it away. Merging with the earth, it swallows the sun in the evening and spits it out in the morning. At night, it reigns over the underworld. From the depths of the earth, it can reappear at any time, source of life and master of all movement and all form. When coiled in a circle, the snake symbolizes immortality, the perpetual movement of the cosmic cycle. Coiled up on itself, it is the feminine principle, rigid and threatening, it embodies the masculine. The snake's moral ambivalence is also sexual; the snake is neither good nor bad, neither male nor female, it is the primordial knot which is untied by the cycle of creation which it initiates.
The symbolism of the snake, object of fascination and repulsion
The interpretations of snake dreams around the world are never decorrelated from their cultural and religious environment. This is how Western culture, imbued with its Judeo-Christian origins, will have a strong tendency to associate a snake dream with the negative dimension of its symbolic character (lust, pride, selfishness, avarice, bestial desire), even if it means completely concealing its many qualities (inspiration, creativity, fertility, vitality).
The reason for this extremely negative view? The famous serpent of Genesis (1st book of the Old Testament) which addresses Adam and Eve to tempt them to taste the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. However, because of this famous original sin, the snake, but also women, suffered the consequences for centuries. Serpents were willingly hunted and killed while women became a constant source of distrust.
Yet the emergence of self-awareness, a direct consequence of eating the apple, also marks the beginning of our humanity. Once self-aware, the other becomes fully accessible, thought can be sculpted, and moral being becomes possible. It would therefore have been preferable to thank Eve for her act rather than to treat her and with her all the women of "temptresses". It is thanks to this founding gesture that human beings came out of their cave.
In this episode of the Bible, the snake therefore seems to play the role of complete archetype which belongs to it in other ancient cultures. The snake achieves the union between dream and reality, between desire and choice, between the unconscious and free will.
One can find the ambivalence of the serpent, both killer and healer, in the Book of Numbers, where God orders Moses to make a brass snake, so that all those who have previously been bitten by the fiery serpents can repent. and heal, after looking at this standard. The symbolism of the medical snake is also present from ancient Greece. Indeed, Aesculapius, the god of medicine, is always represented with a stick around which a snake is wrapped.
Mythological relationship of the snake and the dragon
In Christianity, it is the Book of the Apocalypse of Saint John which makes for the first time the association between the old serpent and Satan. The serpent merges with the dragon, itself related in its description to the hydra of Greco-Roman mythology, which is a sea serpent with multiple heads. From then on, in the Christian world, no more positive quality will ever be attributed to the serpent or to its extension the dragon, except for their malice and their cunning, which is only a deviation of their superior intelligence. Unless one has confronted and beaten the "beast" within oneself, it is impossible for one to reach the sacred. The way of the good Christian, in the extension of the examples of Saint Michael and Saint George, consists in defeating the dragon.
In Arthurian legend, the dragon is the symbol of the ending ancient world. It is then that religion takes precedence over magic and that reason finally triumphs over the credulity of a humanity that has lost all moral bearings. In line with King Arthur and the quest for the Grail, fantastic literature has never ceased to take up this Manichaean vision of the ancient serpent devoid of its good being (master of vital force and fertility) and reduced to its lowest inclinations; hence the solitary and miserly dragon, lurking in his cave jealously protecting his treasure.
On the contrary, in Asia and in pre-Columbian America, the snake and the dragon have retained their dimension as complete archetypes. In China, dragon slime is able to impregnate women, while dragon pearls symbolize absolute perfection. The dragon is a chimera of the serpent and the bird, both in Asia and in Mesoamerica. Among the Aztecs, Mayas and Toltecs, Kukulkan, the feathered serpent is a major deity, creator of the sun and the moon. This fusion of the snake and the bird recalls the link between the top and the bottom of the world made by the dragon.
The serpent, master of movement, is also master of water. This is why the dragon of Asia, like the hydra of Greco-Roman mythology, is also a sea animal. The rainbows after the rain are the ephemeral manifestations of this primordial divine being.
Famous dreams and premonitions associated with the snake
As we have just seen, the symbolic meaning of the snake is as complex as the antiquity of the fascination that this animal has always exercised on men. Its appearance in a dream cannot be interpreted solely in terms of our instinctive fears or our cultural preconceptions. If the snake naturally appeals to our primitive impulses, it also reminds us of who we are and what we are capable of accomplishing. From the forces of chaos, it is the serpent, the original uncreated, which is the source of original life and imagination.
During Greco-Roman Antiquity, it was common to associate the appearance of a snake in a dream as the announcement of the birth of a healthy child with an exceptional destiny. Thus, the mother of Alexander the Great would have had such a premonitory dream when she was pregnant, as well as the mother of the Roman consul Scipio the Elder, but also that of the emperor Augustus.
10 Most Common Snake Dreams and Their Meanings
I dream of a snake shedding
To dream of a snake changing its skin portends that a profound change is looming in your life. It could be a promotion, a move, or a release from past fears. If you dream of a snakeskin in your house, it can be a sign of upcoming social success.
I dream of a snake swimming in water
It's too early to make a final decision about your life as a couple, whether it's planning a wedding or a birth. If the snake swims in a river, the project is still vague and distant, while if it swims in a bathtub, things could become clearer quickly.
I dream that a snake is in the house
Dreaming of a snake in your home can both predict a profound positive change in your private life (psychic and physical healing) and signal that you have to face an insidious threat. If you don't act quickly to protect your personal and family environment, a malicious person may have the means to harm you.
I dream of catching and holding a snake in my hands
Dreaming of capturing and firmly holding a snake in your hands is a sign of strength and willpower. Having succeeded in mastering your impulses as well as your weaknesses, you are able to defeat your opponents.
I dream that a poisonous snake is chasing me and trying to bite me
To dream of being chased and even bitten by a snake means that you cannot overcome your fears. Paralyzed by doubt, you will not succeed in carrying out your projects until you have overcome this lack of assurance. It is a fight against yourself of which you alone hold the keys. It can also be a fear of retaliation directed against you following a harmful action.
I dream of killing or cutting off the head of a snake
To dream of killing or cutting off the head of a snake is a sign of imminent threat. No question of taking the time to prepare a defense strategy; you will need to act quickly to best protect your interests.
I dream that a snake climbs and wraps around me
To dream of a coiled snake signifies that you strongly feel the need to protect yourself from a disturbing emotional context. If the snake coils around you, the protective embrace can quickly become menacing and suffocating; it's probably time for you to flee a toxic relationship over which you have no control.
I dream of eating a snake
To dream of eating a snake signifies that you are seeking to acquire new knowledge or find your creative inspiration. Drained by the daily routine, you decide to open yourself up to the unknown with the aim of giving a deeper meaning to your life.
I dream of fighting with a snake
To dream of fighting with a snake means that you are not able to accept the changes that are coming in your life. You prefer to ignore what displeases you rather than accept the situation. This refusal to face reality prevents you from developing the tools to peacefully accompany these unexpected changes.
I dream of several snakes at once
To dream of two or more snakes simultaneously signifies that there is some confusion in your sentimental and emotional life. You will have to make clear choices in your private life if you want to maintain the balance to which you aspire.