There are few creatures whose very presence can evoke a shudder of fear. In fact, even the most harmless of snakes can send chills down the spine, and send a grown man running for safety, screaming like a little girl.
And with good cause; many snakes are deadly. They are wriggly, odd, unpredictable, creatures. Even when they are non-poisonous, snakes are mysterious, and remind us that there is a world out there that to us is vastly unknown.
Healing and Transformation
But in truth, many ancient cultures viewed the snake, or serpent, as a sign of renewal, or transformation, because it could shed its skin.
To the Hindus, the snake is a symbol of enlightenment, and represents the Kundalini life force energy which lives in the base of the spine.
Snakes can also represent healing powers. The Caduceus, a popular symbol in the medical profession which features a snake wrapped around a wand, was originally the symbol for the healing god, Hermes.
If you are bitten in a dream it may mean that you are going through a transformative and healing process, or that you'll soon be moving through any stressful or difficult situations you are currently experiencing.
Snake venom is known to have curative qualities. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger! And the term spewing venom has been used to describe speaking hatefully. If the snake is spewing venom at you, it may mean that you have someone hateful or negative in your life.
Fear or deception
Most often in dreams, the snake does represent a fear of the unknown. It can also represent deception or manipulation; think of the term snake in the grass. This term usually describes a situation where someone is lying in wait to surprise their victim. So this could symbolize dishonesty or deception.
Sensuality, Sexuality and Temptation
The snake is also considered a sensual creature; largely in part due to its long, phallic, shape. And I think that anyone who has ever seen the erotic dance of the snake where a beautiful woman dances with a snake wrapped seductively around her body would agree.
The sensual aspect of a snake in a dream, depending on how you feel in the dream, could either be excitement and desire, or fear and loathing, either toward your sexual partner, or the act of sex itself.
In the Bible, the serpent represents temptation. Do you feel that you are being tempted? Or are you the tempter?
This famous symbol of a snake eating its tale is known as the Ouroboros. It represents a cycle that begins again as soon as it's ended.
Some things to keep in mind when dreaming of snakes:
They are cold blooded - they depend on their environment to keep them warm.
Do you find yourself easily influenced by your environment?
Snakes do not have conventional eardrums. They actually sense what's going on around them through the vibrations in the earth rather than by listening.
Is there something going on in your environment that is affecting you on a subconscious level?
Snakes lay eggs, and abandon them as soon as they have made their nest. This means the young are born having to fend for themselves.
Are you fending for yourself without the benefit of a mentor?
Snakes shed their skin. As they grow, they outgrow the old skin to reveal new skin underneath.
Are you at a place in your life where it's time to let go of something that no longer works for you, and allow yourself to have a new experience?
Snakes may not be a particularly cuddly dream symbol, but they are certainly one of the most powerful and transformative. To have a snake appear in your dream is surely a sign that things are going to change for you, even though the process may be a difficult one.