Snakes appear in myths and legends from ancient times, as well as in modern films and stories. They are rich with symbolism, as well as provoking strong emotions.
So what does it mean if you’ve had a dream about them? That’s what we’re here to find out!
We’re going to explore 16 meanings when you dream about snakes. And we’ll help you investigate what your own snake-y dream might be telling you.
So if you’re ready, let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- The Snake as a Symbol
- what does it mean to dream about snakes
- 1. Being Attacked by a Snake
- 2. Being Bitten by a Snake
- 3. Snakes in Water
- 4. Snakes Everywhere
- 5. Being Chased by a Snake
- 6. Being Ignored by a Snake
- 7. A Black Snake
- 8. A White Snake
- 9. A Red Snake
- 10. A Green Snake
- 11. A Yellow Snake
- 12. A Snake with Other People
- 13. A Poisonous Snake
- 14. Being Strangled by a Snake
- 15. A Dead Snake
- 16. A Snake On Your Body
- Time to interpret your dream
The Snake as a Symbol
From the serpent in the garden of Eden to the asp that bit Cleopatra, human history and mythology is chock full of snakes. And as symbols, they carry a wide variety of meanings.
To the psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, the snake was an obvious phallic symbol. Others saw the snake as an emblem of the unconscious mind.
Snakes have often been associated with healing. To this day a snake features wound around the Bowl of Hygieia in the symbol used by pharmacists. The Caduceus and the Rod of Asclepius, two symbols for medicine, also feature rods or staffs wound with serpents.
Related to this, snakes are also seen as symbols of the process of healing. In dreams, this often relates to psychological healing, or finding resolution.
In common with other wild creatures, snakes can be associated with the untamed part of the self. They can represent instinct and spirituality. And as reptiles that can shed their skins, they often appear in dreams that relate to periods of change.
what does it mean to dream about snakes
1. Being Attacked by a Snake
Many people find snakes pretty scary – so being attacked by one in a dream can be alarming. You may find you wake abruptly, frightened out of your dream state.
Waking suddenly, of course, gives you a better chance of remembering your dream in detail. So while you might not enjoy the experience, you’ll be in a great place to work out what it means.
There can be a number of different ways to interpret this dream. Analysing the emotions you feel as you dream can be an important way to identify the correct interpretation.
Being attacked by a snake in your dream may reflect feelings of anxiety associated with a situation you find threatening.
And it may be a sign that you’re not acknowledging these feelings in your waking life. Your brain could be trying to bring those emotions to the surface so that you’re able to deal with them.
The message under this interpretation is simple: the best way to overcome your fear is to confront it.
An alternative interpretation of this scenario is that it represents resistance to taking risks. Your dream may be pointing to a situation in which you’re wary of doing the wrong thing. You may be avoiding taking necessary action because you fear “getting bitten”.
A third option is that the snake in your dream may represent an untamed aspect of yourself. The attack reflects this part of your personality emerging, perhaps against your wishes.
A feeling of anxiety accompanying your dream may be the result of your attempts to keep this part of yourself hidden. And it could be encouragement to relax and be your true, authentic self.
2. Being Bitten by a Snake
If your dream involves being bitten by a snake it may be a metaphorical warning. It could be a sign that you need to be more alert to an evolving threat. The snake may represent something your subconscious mind has identified as being poisonous.
It might also symbolize temptation, as in the famous Biblical story. Your dream may be reflecting your attempt to resist that temptation.
And as a snake bite can paralyse its victim, your dream may suggest that you’re paralysed by indecision. You need to take action in order to move forwards. And when you do so, you may find you undergo a major transformation.
3. Snakes in Water
Water is often thought to represent the psychic world. A snake swimming in water may signify emotions and ideas that you’re barely aware of. Like other snake dreams, this can be a sign that you’re resisting acknowledging your feelings.
4. Snakes Everywhere
If you’ve dreamed of snakes everywhere, it’s possible you watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom that evening. But if you didn’t, your dream may be your mind’s way of sending you a message.
That message may be positive or negative. Snakes slithering all over the place could be a sign that you’re feeling vital and energetic. This energy could be sexual or creative.
But a snake-filled dream could also mean that you’re feeling overwhelmed. That could relate to your physical environment. Are you feeling as if your personal space is constrained, or that your privacy is being compromised?
Or it might be that it’s your peace of mind that’s being beset by concerns on every side. Your dream may be telling you it’s time to create the space to regain your equilibrium.
Look carefully at the other elements of your dream to help you choose the right interpretation. If the snakes are filling your home, it could be that the dream reflects anxieties about your personal space. If they’re in a bedroom, they may be signifying an abundance of sexual energy.
5. Being Chased by a Snake
Dreams of being chased often relate to some sense of danger. But perhaps surprisingly, that danger is often internal. Your dream is suggesting that you’re anxious about something.
Consider what the cause might be – and remember, it could even be something that you welcome. Perhaps you’re nervous about the change that comes with success in your career. Or maybe you’re facing a major life change, such as the birth of a child.
Working through your feelings will help you overcome that anxiety. And that is exactly what your dream is encouraging you to do.
6. Being Ignored by a Snake
If the snake in your dream is ignoring you, some people believe it means you’re concerned about loss. The loss is often of material possessions, something which is valuable to you. Perhaps you have financial worries and are concerned about losing your home or car.
The good news is that the same interpretations suggest the loss you fear won’t materialise.
7. A Black Snake
Snakes come in many different colors. And if the snake in your dream is a particular, memorable color, that could be important.
In western societies, black is often associated with death and grieving. It may be that the black in your dream represents your emotional state, while the snake represents change.
The two symbols make natural bedfellows. Change is often accompanied by feelings of sadness and loss at what is being left behind. That can be the case even where the change is a positive one.
8. A White Snake
White is often symbolic of purity and fresh starts. A white snake in your dream may have different meanings, depending on where it appears.
If the snake is on the ground or on some other firm surface, it suggests you are clear minded. You can see your situation for what it is. That means you have a solid foundation to act.
If the snake is in water, the purity relates to your soul or spirit. It may signify that your intentions are pure, or your mental health is strong.
9. A Red Snake
Red is a sign of danger throughout the animal kingdom. If a red snake appears in your dream, the message may be one of a lurking threat. The other aspects of your dream will give you clues to where the threat is coming from.
Another possibility is that the red represents passion or love. The red snake may represent romantic attachments. But it can also signify something in your life that you’re passionate about – perhaps your work or a hobby.
10. A Green Snake
In the language of colors, green symbolizes jealousy. We even use it as a figure of speech when we talk about being “green with envy”. And we sometimes refer to jealousy as the “green-eyed monster”.
So a green snake may be associated with feelings of jealousy. And because the snake often represents unacknowledged feelings, you may have been trying to deny or ignore them. Your brain is reacting to this repression by bringing these feelings to the surface in your dream.
But green has more positive associations too. It’s the color of fresh new growth, of nature and renewal. Your dream snake may indicate you’re getting in touch with your own true nature. Or it may be presaging new beginnings and positive change.
Some people believe that the shade of green provides a clue to the correct interpretation. Darker greens, they say, are more likely to be associated with jealousy. Fresher, lighter greens are more closely associated with nature and renewal.
11. A Yellow Snake
Yellow is often associated with cowardice. So dreaming of a yellow snake may indicate that fear is getting in the way of pursuing your goals. Confronting those fears may feel intimidating, but will help you achieve your dreams.
But like green, yellow has positive as well as negative connotations. Bright yellow is associated with sunshine, joy and optimism. And gold and yellow are also believed to represent the intellect or intuition.
A dream of a snake may therefore be a message to use your intellect to tackle a problem. Or it may reflect the dreamer’s happiness or optimism.
12. A Snake with Other People
If your dream involves other people with the snake, it could have two meanings.
It could be that the snake in your dream represents you. Are you harboring negative feelings towards the people in your dream? Your subconscious mind could be creating this rather unflattering portrayal to prompt you to reconsider your approach.
Another interpretation is that the snake represents some external threat. Perhaps the people in your dream need your help to escape a challenging situation.
13. A Poisonous Snake
If your dream featured a poisonous snake, the meaning is connected to its most obvious feature. The snake represents something toxic in your life. That could be practical difficulties you’re encountering. Or it could relate to emotional problems or unhealthy ways of thinking.
Your dream could be alerting you to danger, prompting you to change your course.
14. Being Strangled by a Snake
The long, muscular body of a snake means it’s well equipped for strangulation. And if this gruesome act has occurred in your dream, it could have a very specific meaning.
The tightening of the snake around your throat is thought to be a direct warning. The snake here is not trying to kill you – merely trying to prevent you from speaking. And it’s in your own best interests!
This dream is warning you against speaking before you think. The snake is trying to stop you getting yourself into trouble with careless words.
15. A Dead Snake
If you’ve dreamed of a dead snake, it could be a positive sign. The snake may be representing an obstacle that you have already or will soon overcome.
Perhaps you’ve been struggling with a difficult situation for some time. Your dream reflects your subconscious mind’s celebration that those troubles are at an end.
16. A Snake On Your Body
For centuries, snakes have been associated with healing. So if you dream of a snake on your body, it may be drawing attention to an injury or other health problem.
The location of the snake is important here. A snake wound around your leg, for example, means that’s the part of your body to get checked out.
Time to interpret your dream
Dreams about snakes can have many and varied meanings. Even the same scenarios can carry different interpretations, depending on the precise detail.
Work through each element of your dream carefully to divine its meaning. And remember to consider the emotions you feel too. These can give you valuable clues to the way your brain is using the symbolism of the snake.
Last of all, test out the way you feel about the interpretation. When you’ve hit on the right one, everything in your dream will click together and make sense. And you’ll know you’ve unlocked the message your subconscious mind has been trying to send you.