Meaning Of A Dream About Snakes

Everyone, at one time or another finds them in their sleep, but what really is the meaning of a dream about snakes?

Such dreams may teach us how unique we are, our psychological reality so intensely original that, in the end, our most reliable dream interpreter is ourself. Oh, experts can give you tips, lights to help you find your way, but you’re the only one who can really say what’s inside that tunnel of dreamscape drama.

Your subconscious is subtle and extremely personal, making your role in analyzing any dream critical, let alone one perilously filled with angry, lusty, spiteful, tantalizing or take your pick of spiky snake attributes.

Freud on Snakes

Starting with Sigmund Freud, the man who first claimed to know your deepest secrets from interpreting your dreams, we were told that the snake is a phallic symbol, a substitute icon for a penis, one that carried implications, most of them disgusting and/or sinful.

Don’t think of yourself as a little odd if this doesn’t resonate with you. Freud’s ideas about sex blossomed in haplessly uptight Victorian Vienna. Bare ankles were temptations of the flesh. Forget about cleavage. And nudity wasn’t common, even among married couples. No wonder a snake could be passed off as a… Well, never mind.

Twenty-first Century dreamers are not so inhibited, or maybe our discomfort comes in different forms, ones more germane to lives. Where nudity is only a mouse click away, we’re all less likely to see phallic symbols in every long slender object and short, fat ones never made the cut anyway. (Find an excellent article about Freud and how his times influenced his analysis here.)

We have to think harder and more broadly about the meaning of a dream about snakes.

Snake Dreams

The slow, determined liberation of women in the hundred years after the founding of psychoanalysis undermined much of Freud’s teaching What he referred to as “hysteria” in his female subjects was more likely extreme sexual frustration. Maybe they just craved for the gentleman of Vienna to make a bigger deal about the snakiness of which they weren’t sharing enough.

Maybe today, they’d ask for less, altering the meaning of a dream about snakes significantly.

Even so, all of us are not as uninhibited or as free from frustrations as we’d like or as we claim among our friends; so, the snake as phallic symbol may still make sense, at least some of the time.

The question then becomes: what is that sexy snake doing specifically?

What emotional reaction does the snake cause? Fear? Panic? Excitement? Guilt?

Answers to these questions may make more clear what a dreamer’s subconscious is trying to tell her – or him. (Yes, guys are free to dream about snakes too in the era of sexual liberation.)

We all have things we repress, but our subconscious minds refuse to play along as hoped when the repressed subject is powerful or seriously conflicted. Our dreaming minds are doing their jobs, alerting us to things we ought to be paying attention to but aren’t. Can we have a dreaming wake up call?

The Meaning of A Dream About Snakes

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The meaning of a dream about snakes can inform us in two ways. First, it may force us to see something we’ve been refusing to look at. Second, according to some interpretations, it can inform us about goings on around us that we’re missing, but not necessarily repressing.

The later is either the most intriguing or the most hopeless to understand. If we dream of a snake that sneaks up behind us and bites our back, we’re told that it’s a warning that unseen enemies are plotting against us, i.e., behind our backs.

It depends on what you believe is possible in receiving communications from some ill-defined “other side.” More practical types might see the meaning as having more to do with backstabbing associates that we’re trying to ignore. In either case, the meaning of that snake in your dream is pretty much the same. It’s warning you to stop ignoring things.

Additional Possibilities for the Meaning of a Dream About Snakes:

  • In dreams, snakes almost always indicate a challenge in your life and how you’re dealing with it. The fact that it shows up in your dreams means the situation remains unresolved emotionally or spiritually, no matter what you think rationally. It’s a demand that you pay attention.
  • If you’re fighting with the snake, you probably have a conflict you’re trying to settle. It may be internal, such as a question about morals (snakes = wild and immoral / you = tamed and moral) on which you are struggling. It could as easily be external, about difficulties at home or at work that get so intense they force their symbolic way into your sleeping life.
  • If you’re lucky enough to be visited by a pet snake, you can take the meaning of a dream about snakes to show that a conflict has been passed, your problems tamed. Your snake is neither phallic nor threatening.
  • More likely, though, you find yourself being chased by a snake. Your subconscious is reminding you that you’re running away from something emotionally charged or threatening. It’s a wake-up call that running away from a problem may not solve it.
  • If the chase is more dramatic and you find yourself being attacked, it symbolizes a struggle in which you feel threatened by an outside force. Keep in mind that this can mean anything from sexual advances or temptations to social pressures about status. In any case, the battle is real and present, and your subconscious is struggling to reconcile with what it sees as an immediate danger.
  • Some people talk with snakes in their dreams or are simply talked to by the snake. With cultural references to the fall of Adam and Eve, this can mean either that advanced knowledge is being interpreted for you or that you are being seduced by the temptation of knowing more than you can handle. Some interpreters see this interaction as positive or nonthreatening, but that all depends on the information the snake is sharing, its accuracy and insight, and your ability to use it to your personal benefit.snake

As you can see, the meaning of a dream about snakes can be seen from many possible angles, and just as you are a unique individual, so are your dreams.

Whether you’ve had a sexy Freudian snake or a insightful serpentine guide, you’re wisest to mull over the many possibilities as you figure your dream’s true message.

Which resonates best with you. Which makes your heart beat a little faster? The power of the meaning of a dream about snakes is something the dreamer figures out best.

Experts can help make you aware of the possibilities, but the best interpreter of you dreams really is you.

David Stone

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