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Common Dreams: Snakes | Dream Sleep Symbols


Snake DreamsPsychological Meaning of Dreams about Snakes

The snake is one of the world’s oldest symbols found in some of the most ancient sculptures. They are often used as phallic symbols and have long been linked with pagan fertility gods. Because it lives close to the ground, the snake is an emblem of the nurturing earth and also the unknown perils of the underworld. Christian imagery emphasises the dark side of this symbol.

It is considered evil, yet it is the snake, created by God, that tempts man to gain knowledge.  Sometimes snakes can symbolise the poisonous words and innuendo of the people around you.

Mystical Meaning of Snake Dreams:

Entwined snakes appear on the god Mercury’s caduceus, which is a symbol of the medical profession to this day. The Greeks attributed healing powers to the snake and similar symbolism may be found in Indian Kundalini yoga where it represents the life force that rises up the spinal chord. In particular, the cobra is a symbol of divine enlightenment and associated with the god Shiva

Example Interpretation from My News Column

Snakes Infest my Dreams

I have an enormous fear of snakes, since I was a child. I had a number of dreams of being chased by a deadly snake. He runs after me begging me to wait and not to be afraid of him, but I am so terrified I just run screaming. I always run over a bridge across a river, knowing that he won’t cross the water. I collapse on the grass with relief knowing that I am free from him. Another snake dream is where I am lying on grass beside a river, a snake crawls along my body looks at me and says Don’t scream for some reason I am fearful, but not as threatened, however I run at the first chance I get. No dreams for a long time, but I have had those ones quite a bit.

CRAIG’S REPLY: This dream is trying to help you address fears that you have had since childhood. The snake can represent many things – as medicines’ caduceus the entwined snakes are a symbol of healing whereas in the Garden of Eden the snake is a symbol of temptation and evil. Often it occurs in dreams as a phallus symbol.

In your dream the snake takes on a fearful aspect. There is something in your past – possibly sexual – that deeply frightens you. Something so bad happened that all you want to do is run from even thinking about it. But in your dreams these fears press upon you. You try push these things away and endeavour to put a barrier between you and these memories. The river is your symbolic barrier that the snake – like witches evil spirits in superstition – cannot cross.

This recurring dream takes many forms and in the second dreams sees you lying beside a river with the snake crawling along your body. Freud would certainly have taken this a symbol of seduction and the river as a symbol flowing energy of the libido. The snake tells you not to scream and although still fearful you are not as threatened as before. One way to interpret this dream is that it is trying to help you reconcile your fears about sexual intimacy.

As well as being a phallus symbol the snake can also represent spiritual transformation. A snake sheds its skin and is symbolically reborn as a new being. This dream is helping you to come to terms with difficult sexual feelings that may have troubled you since early life. It is encouraging you to stop repressing your feelings and accept them.


Snakes are cold blooded legless reptiles closely related to lizards, which share the order Squamata. There are also several species of legless lizard which superficially resemble snakes, but are not otherwise related to them. A love of snakes is called ophiophilia, a fear of snakes is called ophidiophobia (or snakephobia). A specialist in snakes is an ophiologist. An old synonym for snake is serpent; in modern usage this usually refers to a mythic or symbolic snake.


The snake is one of the 12 animals which appear in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. According to Chinese folklore, each animal is associated with certain personality traits, and those born in the year of the Snake are calm and gentle, romantic and perceptive. However, they may be prone to sloth and vanity.


There are many strange superstitions about snakes. It was beleived that to see a lone snake and feel threatened by it in a dream or in real life shows that you have a bad enemy that is working against you, it also a warning against bodily harm from an enemy. To dream of many snakes in a pit was also considered to be a foreboding of much bad luck in love or business. If in a snake dream you overcome and kill a threatening snake in your dream, it shows that you will overcome your adversary and win out.


Article Name
Dreams About Snakes with Interpretation
Dreams about snakes and what they mean in dreams with additional info about the snake in superstitions and history. Extract from my book The Hidden Meaning Of Dreams (1999) ISBN 0-8069-7773-6

About Craig Hamilton-Parker
Copyright: Craig Hamilton-Parker CRAIG HAMILTON-PARKER is a celebrated U.K. medium and author of 15 best-selling titles.

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Vincent Crasta sj April 22, 2014, 4:43 pm

    The interpretation of the snake dream having sexual intercourse with ones own mother.

  • calvin August 2, 2014, 4:06 pm

    Hey I dream about snakes that attack and then all of the sudden their heads pops off or explodes can you tell me what it means?

    • Craig Hamilton-Parker September 12, 2014, 9:49 pm

      You need to figure out what fear the snake here represents from your waking life. The head exploding may symbolise the fact that you are overcoming your fears.

  • Katherine M. January 16, 2015, 8:08 pm

    I’ve been having recurring dreams of snakes over the past couple years. The common denominator in them is my aunt on my mother’s side. We share the same birthday (she’s far older obviously) and have a few small shared personality traits and life experiences. She’s either close by or I’m in or near her home. She never even notices the snake and when she does she acts as if it’s completely normal (In real life she would be horrified.) And the snake never strikes, bites, hisses or is in any way hostile, but it always trying to get to me. The one time I couldn’t get away it wrapped itself around me and squeezed, but I awoke before any harm was done. Sometimes I succeed in killing it sometimes not, but I’m always fearful. Any theory as to what this is alluding too?

  • Kristi January 18, 2015, 2:00 pm

    I just woke and was dreaming of being pursued by a large orange & white corn snake type snake. Larger than they are in life. I was avoiding the snake and it had a strong desire and drive to pursue me. I wasn’t completely fearful – not really sure it wanted to harm me as much as was driven to be with me. It started at a store, then mall. At one point I was in my childhood bedroom and shoving towels under the door to keep it out. I somehow saw it curled up on the other side (like a puppy) waiting. The chase also was outdoors where i got in the car to separate us. I was feeling some fear, and not wanting the close encounter, yet didn’t feel that the snake meant deadly harm.

  • CRYSTAL April 16, 2015, 10:28 pm

    I had a dream about a snake it was wrapped around me taking and I walked around showing it to people, and then I ended up chopping off its head off because it tried to attack my kid. What does this mean anything??

  • nikki May 23, 2015, 3:21 pm

    I am a vivid dreamer and can usually decipher my own dreams. This time I’m stomped. I dreamed of a pink snake. The snake first approached me on the ground. It slithered through green grass and clover as I walked along a path with a guide. The guide was taking me to a place to show me some rescued baby ducks. When we arrived at our destination the snake was slithering along the bottom of the enclosure. The guide could see the snake and was not bothered by it. The snake slithered from the enclosure onto my arm. It had no weight and no grip like a snake would. It seemed to have tiny pointed ears like little triangles. It rose up and was looking at me.the guide reached over and grabbed it right behind its head and gently removed it. She was explaning how to remove it as she did it.

  • simsimma June 5, 2015, 3:46 pm

    I dreamed of a snake grabbing me from the head and swallowing me.

  • RICHARD July 29, 2015, 6:48 am

    In my dream, I felt that somebody/something is beside me while sleeping on a sofa. As I open my eyes, I saw a small (maybe baby) snake crawling beside me. I tried to kill the snake by nipping its head. I was also scared that the snake might bite my fingers I used in nipping. I pulled the snake while still nipping the head but I can’t pull it as its body is stuck on the sofa. It looks like it’s very true until I woke up. What does this dream mean?

  • stormie August 18, 2015, 1:21 am

    I had a dream of two rattlesnakes, I heard the rattle then seen the two snakes. One lunged at me and I coped its head off then skinned it. I went back to find the other one and the dream ended. There was no fear.

  • joseph November 2, 2015, 10:58 pm

    I had 3 kinds of dream about snake the first one is I was covered up by two snake it was python they hold me so tight and then they bite me. Second I was covered up by the two pythons again from shoulder to toe and it’s not tight anymore it loose it up and it looks like I can manage them like a pet. The 3rd one is I’m with my office mate we went out on the party and we are guarded a lot of snakes 9 pythons they’re just sleeping a long the way and one of them is staring at us while walking I think he wants to know where the we were going and he follows us and he hit by a truck. What is the meaning of this dream please answer me.

  • Martina November 9, 2015, 5:17 pm

    I had a dream of a snake crawling on my belly, I was so scare to move or do anything, but I decided to push it away from me, then the snake bite me. Please let me know the meaning of the dream.

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