The Meaning Behind Snake Dreams

Many people are scared of snakes so dreaming about those reptiles can be highly disturbing. But what is the dreaming behind snake dreams? Read on to find out!

It is impossible for two different people to have the exact same dream. But it is common to the dream about the similar things. Dreams, however, should never be taking literally as everything that we see in them acts a symbol.

But what those symbols mean would depend on the dreamer herself. To interpret it accurately, we would have to take into account what is going on in her life, where she lives, or if she has any real-life associations with snakes.

In this article, we will go all the possible meanings of dreaming of snakes. Which one will apply to you will depend on what else is going on in your life right now.

Image source: Wikipedia

Phallic Symbol?

Some people interpret the snake as a phallic symbol because of its shape. This comes from Sigmund Freud’s interpretation that saw snakes as phallic symbols representing an attractive yet threatening male figure.

Carl Jung, however, chose to focus on the snake’s capacity to shed its skin rather than on its shape or length. Jung saw the snake as a symbol of transformation.

Of course, to decide which of those two general interpretations makes the most sense you would need to look at what else is going on in the dream in question.

Are You Feeling Hurt?

There are two main dream scenarios that involve snakes. In one of them, a snake may be biting you while, in the other, a snake may be chasing you.

These two scenarios mean totally different things. If you dream that a snake bites you this may indicate that someone has done or said something that you found hurtful in your waking life. If someone else’s actions have hurt you in your waking life, this may be represented by a snake bite in your dream life.

In your dream, however, you may never get bitten by a snake because you manage to escape from it. If you dream that you are running away from a snake this may mean that there is something (or someone) in your waking life that you are trying to escape. It could be either that you are scared to face or even acknowledge.

Image source: Wikipedia

Feeling Threatened?

If you are feeling threatened by something (or someone) and it is making you anxious, this may also appear in your dreams symbolized by a snake.

The threat may be something subtle that could affect you in different ways, for example emotionally or physically.

Again, you would need to look at what happens in the dream and what is going on in your waking life.


Snakes are slimy creatures so a snake in a dream may represent someone in your life that you consider slimy, untrustworthy, sneaky or, even, a lowlife.

If you dream of a snake, think if it may symbolize someone in your life with those characteristics.


No matter what their religious or cultural background is, most people are familiar with the story of the Garden of Even. In Judeo-Christian traditions, the snake or the serpent symbolizes temptation. In Genesis, the serpent tempts Eve into eating the forbidden fruit.

Now, dreaming with a snake is not necessarily religious but the snake in your dream may very well symbolize temptation itself or the person who has been tempting you with something in your waking life.

Image source: Wikipedia

Is It All Bad?

It would be a mistake to assume that snakes always symbolize something negative in dreams. Snakes can also symbolize positive things.

For example, snakes may symbolize creative energy. If you are a creative person, snake dreams may mean that you are going to create something new.

Also, a snake has been used as a symbol of the medical profession. If you are familiar with this meaning, dreaming with a snake may mean healing or the snake may even symbolize a doctor. Of course, this depends on what happens in the dream and if this symbol makes sense also with your own personal circumstances.

Sometimes, A Snake Is Just A Snake

Although any literal interpretations need to be done after you have examined all the other possibilities, there is a chance that dreaming about snakes can have a literal meaning.

If you are afraid of snakes and happen to live in a part of the world where there are snakes or, if it is somehow likely, that you would encounter them in real life, then dreaming of snakes may not have any other meaning than that.

What Dreaming of Different Kinds of Snakes Mean

So far, we have been talking about snakes in broad terms but the kind of snake you dream about may mean different things.

The snake kills by squeezing very slowly. This is how the civilized world slowly, slowly pushes into the forest and takes away the world that used to be. – James Cameron

Dreaming of a boa constrictor may mean that you are dealing with someone (or something) who is restricting your ability to move or act in your waking life.

But dreaming with a poisonous snake such as an adder, viper, rattlesnake, or a cobra may represent something that is evil or, at least, negative in your life. If, however, the snake in your dream is not dangerous it may symbolize something harmless that you are scared of in your waking life.

Finally, a cobra may symbolize someone else’s charm in a dream. If you know someone you find irresistible or captivating in your waking life, they may be symbolized by a cobra in your dreams.

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