The Meaning of Snakes in a Dream

The Complexity of Snakes as a Symbol

Like any animal dream, the meaning of snakes in a dream can have a wide variety of interpretations. But snakes are found the world over, in many cultures and religions, and in myths and legends, which imbues them with quite a special significance symbolically.

When snakes are used to indicate a symbolic meaning, rather than simply being referenced as a biological animal, they are often referred to as “serpents.” Snakes often instil fear and even disgust in many people, but they are creature of nature that deserve our respect – and of course caution! While snakes can be deadly, they are also potent symbols associated with wisdom, healing and power.

Snakes and Sex

Freud would have us believe that snakes are a symbol of sex, and little more. And while the meaning of snakes in a dream might indicate a sexual energy, especially if they slide into bed with you or the dream is in some other way erotically charged, snakes are more likely to appear in dreams for several other profound reasons. Even such energy may relate to a sensuous nature, a vital life force, and other potent concepts beyond simple sexuality alone.

Snakes and Healing

In ancient times, harmless snakes would be left in temples where people seeking cures to an illness would go to dream. The dreams people had in these temples amongst the snakes would then be interpreted by the holy people there, who would reveal the necessary cure the dream was showing. The Ancient Greek Hippocrates (he of the medical profession’s “Hippocratic Oath” and a powerful ancient healer) had the snake as his symbol. Modern medicine still uses the symbol of two snakes entwined around a staff as its symbol (caduceus). These medical associations mean that snakes can be a symbol of healing in dreams, either physically or emotionally.

Snakes and Transformation

Another significant attribute of snakes is that they shed their skin. This has historically been associated with the ability to regenerate, change and grow. The meaning of snakes in a dream can indicate a period of significant personal transformation. This dream may suggest you look at what old patterns of behaviour or beliefs you are outgrowing, and what new thought processes or new stage in life you are preparing to step into.

Such transformative power is especially strong if in your dream you look the snake in the eye, connect with it in some way, or it bites you and you recover or don’t die. When combined with the healing elements that snakes can indicate, this may imply a significant transformation through healing, almost like an initiation. These snake dreams, though they may seem initially scary, can provide an important opportunity to leave behind something that hurt and restricted you, moving forward into a new way of being.

Snakes and Deception

Sometimes snakes dreams can be profoundly unsettling, and leave you with a sense of being deceived. This is especially true if you dream of being in a pit of vipers or if you are surrounded by many snakes that you can’t escape from. This kind of symbolic meaning may arise from recalling the snake that spoke in the Garden of Eden lied to Eve. Others feel that the forked tongues of snakes indicates that they can speak multiple stories, of which at least one must be a lie, as there is only one truth.

While snakes may be often associated with wisdom and even “secret” or “sacred” knowledge, they can also be used to symbolise when knowledge or information is subverted, distorted and turned into secrets or lies. Snakes in dreams may be an expression of a subconscious desire for Truth.

Snakes are also hard to see, and can be stumbled upon by surprise,  which can associate them with secrets. The phrase “snake in  the grass” refers to this sense of someone who cannot be trusted, who may lie or deceive. The meaning of snakes in a dream that create such a feeling may be a warning. Alternatively, There may be a truth you know but are deceiving yourself about, perhaps you are denying what you know to be true.

Or the dream may be suggesting it is best to be on your guard around someone you feel is untrustworthy. Given the multi-layered aspect of dreams, it may be that when this truth is finally revealed (whatever that truth may be) that this will lead to healing and transformation, the gifts of the snake.

Snakes that Coil and Constrict

Dreaming that a snake that is coiling around you like a python and squeezing tight may be an indication that you feel restricted somewhere in life. This may be by your own self-limiting beliefs, refusal to admit what you know you must do. It could be an indicator of external inhibiting factors, such as a job, lack of experience or education for something you wish to achieve.

A dominating and controlling relationship may also influence this kind of dream. If the snake in the dream is so constricting you can’t get enough air, this may mean it is time to make some changes, to stand up and act, to create some breathing space in your life.

The Meaning of Snakes in A Dream

Essentially snakes in dreams can be potent symbols that we often fear because of the change they bring and the energy they contain. A snake rising up, coming awake after hibernation, or uncoiling and springing to life can indicate your own energy flowing freely again, your passion, motivation and love for life.

Some eastern cultures refer to this as the awakening “Kundalini,” an energy that coils up from the base of the spine to the crown of our head and then beyond, a process of spiritual growth.  The dream snake’s poison is far more likely to transform us than it is to destroy.  It is up to us how we choose to either fight, run from, or embrace the transition.

You may also be interested in: The meaning of a salamander in a dream, The meaning of wild animals in a dream

63 thoughts on “The Meaning of Snakes in a Dream

  1. Indeed the US is shedding it’s skin. What is so interesting to me is that the group experience as Jung noted is bound to only go so deep. There will be a backlash when the euphoria collectively experienced evaporates leaving individuals still longing for the new skin. Note how at the other end of the spectrum, the collective patriotic vibe dissipated following the 9/11 experience.

    What I’m stressing here, the need in this moments to encourage folks to do their individual work, for the limitations of the collective wave can not be sustained. We each need to meet the snake head on.

  2. Interesting insights Richard, thank you. I totally agree that we must all do our own individual work. By evolving our individual psyche we can contribute to the evolution of humanity. A grand accomplishment for such a humble task! 🙂

  3. Hmmm, interesting Bad MuthaBlogger. So what are YOU interested in sinking your teeth into? Sounds like there might be some new important phase of your life about to start, and maybe you will be changed by it. Best of luck with it! And dream well!

  4. hai ,
    last night i found myself in a temple. the temple is full of snakes. the land is like root of bnayan tree in which all snakes are there. i was feeling like i am walking over snakes. i heard the sound of snakes from it. There was a tree in which some holes was there and if someone try to push his hand on that,
    he was bitten by the snakes.
    what it mean can anyone tell me

    1. It means could you could be offered an oppourtunity. But if u cheat , you will be destroyed.

  5. I dreamed of walking through a green grass field. The grass was low cut. Saw a large snake head sticking out of the grass. It submerged when I attempted to grab it and as it moved in the grass I grabbed its tail. The thing turned out to be gigantic and to much for me to handle as it coiled around my body. I awoke from the nightmare agitated and very uneasy thinking I was messing with a deception, from an outside source, much to strong for me to handle. So let the thing alone, dont try to grab it or catch it. But its stalking me anyway waiting for its moment. Something or someone I have trusted will prove treacherous and powerful.

  6. By the way, this has to do with something, some people, that claimed to be friends but have sold me out. This is not something of the very obvious symbols of satan. Its easy for anyone to see the clear satanic implications. But go a little further. I would not be so stupid as to grab a “snake” that looked like a snake or a snake that large. Its size was hidden as well as its true intentions.

    Maybe I saw myself as a snake catcher but the snake was far to large and consumed me as an enemy. I remember thinking that I should have packed a large knife. That although my snake catching in the past had been successful, I had let my guard down with this one. Lesson? Pack proper weapons and get a clear view of the game.

    The snake also represents “wisdom and knowledge”. Even Christ said to be as wise as serpents. Maybe the meaning of the dream had to do with finding something out that would prove larger than anticipated. So watch carefully before grabbing the tail. Some pose as friends, wisdom is to be had, people that call themselves one thing are actually working for the serpent. They seek to consume. So if you only see the head and something moving under the grass out of clear sight, watch not to grab to eagerly if you cant see the whole thing. Be certain of the size and type and have adequate weapons at the ready. I have seen snake catchers on TV that sometimes cant really measure the size as the snake is under water in the lily pads. Then to their amazement the thing turns out to be much larger than they could handle.

    So it is with those that spy on you and seek to discredit, hide in the grass, will not show themselves. You are the serpent. I can see the head and movement under the grass but can only now see the full size and intentions of the invisible wise serpent. I trust the Almighty to give me vision, clear sight and weapons. My fear is not coming under the domination of outright evil, but coming under the domination of so called possessors of the “truth”.

    How is it that you are so free to spy if you really know so much? And how has so much evil has found its way past your eyes? You dont like snake hunters in your midst? A den of vipers?

    Tim 1:5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

    And this goes for the teaching of grace and license. Your faith is neither sincere nor can your conscience be clear. You stalk and spy becouse your full of crap and fearful for yourselves. Den of vipers. Fake protectors of the realm gagging on small bugs, swallowing yourselves whole.

  7. Hi Logan, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Here again we have a great example as to why the only person who can fully understand the secret meanings of our dreams is ourselves. I read your words and am saddened to hear of the betrayal you are feeling, of the disappointment and anger you must be experiencing now. I would suggest that some help for you may be hidden within your own words – your faith, and your recognition of the wisdom of snakes (you raise the comparison to Christ) indicate that the answers you seek to help solve your problem are within your grasp. Dreams often have double and conflicting meanings. The snake of your dream may be the treachery you have experienced and felt unprepared for, but also, the snake may represent your own inner wisdom and faith, the way to deal with that very same treachery. Snakes can also be powerful symbols of healing, may this dream and future dreams help you to heal and recover, may your wisdom grow from this experience and help you become a wiser soul, more prepared to deal with whatever life may have in store for you in future.
    Dream Well Logan!

    1. Hope you still get on here! I had a dream i was swimming in a pond with my 7 yr old daughter. Something i would never do.. And appears an alligator, scared to death swimming holding her and swim into a water mocassin that is just floating on top of the water, the alligator goes under water.. Climg out the pond onto a fence pushing my daughter over it. Running away and step on a snake shedding its skin.. Wth?!?

  8. I think there is one fundamental mistake in above interpretation: that snakes may refer to lies since they have forked tongues and there can be only one truth. I think we all know very well that reality of life (often referred in Hindu culture as MAYA) is never black and white and therefore there is never one truth. Truth is always different on different planes. That’s why life is complicated. If it wasn’t so it would be so easy.

    So infact I think snakes may refer in this context to the higher truths not directly visible to us instead of lies.

    Consider this.

  9. Hi Monique, thanks for your comment. You raise an interesting point. I understand the human experience is all shades of grey (and hopefully other wonderful colours as well!) which certainly makes it extremely valid when we consider our dreams that our perspective of truth at a moment in time may not be accurate, complete or helpful. Dreaming of snakes may ask us to consider: what is the truth we are not seeing?
    That notwithstanding, our dreams are such personal things and so deeply influenced by our culture, that to a person who believes in a single truth (a “source,” polar right and wrong etc.) then to dream of a snake may indeed speak of a single truth, and in dreams may hint at lies or deception.
    Of course, all of this simply reinforces your point that there may be many truths, at least in dreams, depending on our personal experience, cultural background and perception! The important thing is always to remain open minded, question, challenge what does not seem true to you, discard what is not helpful, and find the way to the truth inside you. Thanks for being thought provoking!
    Dream Well Monique!

  10. Yesterday I dreamed that there are many snakes around me and I am talking to them. I am not at all scared instead I am happy with them.

  11. here is my dream, i walked through the misty forest to a clearing and found me the center of these robed people with faces of shadows, then a magnificent twin serpents entwined in a circle, gold, shining, then when i woke, felt as thousands of needles were prickling me

    1. what a strong and gorgeous image. I envy you having that dream. Sounds transformational. I wonder if you had some kind of change in your life after having had that dream?

  12. I had a dream that there was a flood and there was lots of giant snakes in the flood water like a hundred feet long but there was one that was bigger than the rest and was eating these huge snakes. No one was scared like kids were patting the giant snake and swimming in the flood water with it but I was like terrified… What is wrong with me?!

  13. I dreamed about two snakes one was red and the other was purple I think, the red one got on me and slittered up to my shoulder. Looked straight at my eyes, and tried to attack me, but then some guy told me to grab the mouth, so it can’t bite, and it was wiggling but could’t escape, then the guy told me to throw it down on the floor, and he said he would kill it, what does it mean?

  14. HI I dream of snakes all the time, they are on the ground hanging from trees, not letting me cross their paths, coming after me, But they have not yet harmed me, in one dream a constrictor type of snake got my father. I have a dream about a snake on a weekly basis, sometimes even a few times a week. The dreams are always different.

  15. I just had my first snake dream. I was with my mother and my husband on a dimly lit sidewalk at night. I wasn’t afraid but my husband and mother was. Once I saw this unusual snake, whose skin reminded me more of a frog, coming slowly toward my mother in a centipede fashion, my husband suddenly had a shovel and chopped off its head. In the dream, this did not upset me. Suddenly, my daughter appeared. I picked up the snake which had coiled into itself where the missing head was unnoticeable. We felt it’s smooth light green skin. As we did, we noticed another layer underneath but kept the snake whole within its “shell”. I am hoping this means healing for me since I’ve been very sick for 8 years. Is there a more thorough explanation?

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  17. Hi,
    Last night i had a weird dream. I was in a yard and someone was there with me. out of no where i’m looking at a cobra/ anaconda looking snake with 3 eyes. the eyes looked like red diamonds and in the whole dream (or what i can remember from it) i was starring at the snake and it was starring at me swaying it’s body it looked as if it had a smile, then some guy in my dream said something to me and i got startled, when i turned around to look back at the snake it was laying down and looked normal. as far as i know i have never had dreams about snakes so i’m confused. I’ve tried seeing if anyone else has had similar dreams but no luck. do you think you could help me find an explanation?

  18. Hey,
    I had a dream that I was on a path with my boyfriend, and beneath us were a bunch of snakes…..who were growing out of their old skin. What do you think this means? My boyfriend was holding my hand and walking me along the path away from the smakes but neither of us were afraid.

  19. My brother recently passed away and was found decomposed with no recognition to his face my aunt dreamed last night that she had went into his home and there was a large snake in the corner and when it turned around it had my brothers head on it what does this mean???

  20. Wat does it mean if I picked the snake up in my dream and it tried striking me multiple times but only got me once

    1. it means to me you are leaving yourself vulnerable in real life for a enemy to hurt you which has hurt you once already. You should avoid this person and not play with them anymore.

  21. Last night I saw a yellow snake lying on me n my kids in my dream. And I am telling my husband to remove it.

    What does that mean?

  22. my mother had a dream, there were lots of snakes and one snake had a large mouth, the snake with the large mouth vomited and my mother said I was cleaning the vomit the snake made…..
    if you know the answer to this dream . please inform me because I cant sleep and cant get rid of what it could possibly mean?

    1. Hi Eddie, you may find this post helpful as well:
      And laying eggs is similar to having children, so this could represent the birth of something new new, but something has yet to be “hatched” – perhaps you are in a stage of incubation. I also have lots of posts to help with the interpretation process, so have a try of the search bar in the top left corner. Good luck with realising your dream meaning.

  23. Hello!! When I was a teenager I dreamed puff daddy was in a garden and his kids mother was behind him holding the twins and a big ass snake swallowed the mother and twins at the same time puff daddy did not seen what happen to them

  24. I can’t find the meaning of my snake dream. In my dream there were many snakes while I went on a vacation in the future with people I don’t know in real life. We had fun on our vacation. Any snake I occasionally saw in my dream was being worn around the neck of someone casually in a coiled fashion, though the snakes were not choking anyone. These snakes had tales sticking out of there sides. I can’t remember the colors of them, some were purple though. Before I woke up I remember trying to reach one that wasn’t being worn to get a closer look at the snake because it was unusual and was very harmless to the people wearing them. The snake was coiled as well. A guy in a bike helmet, sunglasses and other protective bike wear was siting next to it. He reached over for the snake and tossed it at me. He seemed emotionless but observed. The snake didn’t bite me but I was scared it was going to bite me at that point since it was tossed on me. What this could mean?

  25. I saw a very shiny black and poisonous snake bite my boyfriend on thumb (he was not afraid of snake as he took snake his own hand himself but suddenly snake bite him) . after getting bite he started dying but some how he was cured by me . what is the meaning of it.

  26. I dreamt that after I passed through flood waters I noticed a colourful snake was wrapped around my leg and a man removed it. The following day I told my ex boyfriend about it not knowing that he had my jewelry in his possession.I later found out that he is not the person that he portrayed himself to be.

  27. Its 4:30 am and i woke up seeing a similar dream that two joined snakes wrapped on my leg and a guy helped me to remove,,,wat does that mean

  28. I saw a dream of a small black snake biting me. It looked like a viper with black eyes, I am a huge fan of snakes but never in my life I’ve seen such a black viper. The good thing even in dream is that it was a fake bite which did not do any harm or I was wearing a denim through which the teeth did not penetrate… please help explaining this

  29. Last night i had a dream that led me to this site for additional info. I feel that i am a spiritual person and i feel that this dream has a message in it. I was observing a brown and black constrictor type snake in a cage. It lay there as asleep. From nowhere a slightly dark silvery gray colored constrictor come into the picture and births a smaller whitish snake. I wasnt afraid of the snakes and actually wanted to keep the grayish colored snake that stared me in the eyes. After a while i come back and the sleeping snake has swallowed the gray snake and is sleeping again. The smaller snake is also gone. I am at a very chaotic point in my life and confusion is on the rise. My spiritual voice tells me to stay strong and keep the faith. Can anyone like minded decipher the meaning of this very short but intriguing dream?

  30. Hi… I keep having recurring dreams about snakes. I’m usually standing in an open field being semi-circled by the people who have betrayed me. The snake starts to coil up my legs and eventually coil around my arms. In the dream it feels like I am controlling the snakes like I can get them to do my bidding, any thought on what this may mean?
    Please help I’m desperate. I’m not scared of snakes or anything, I just need help.

  31. i had a dream of a python , a python near by my house it was there he was looking at me then i tried to hit him but then it stated to chase me n it was chasing with me , but later on it change his way n he went on tree n on tree was another python now there are 2 python , i ran not my house i took my mother out now the another python is running behind me , n there are some man n women’s are playing cards i told them run there is a python running behind us but i don’t know they run or what but i took my mother n i was running now i saw the python was trapped in a hole or something n I’m telling a person plz kill him or do something then he told be to bring the lentil cracker papadum , i kept my mother in my neighbors house n brought the cracker now that man has put the injection in the python as he was trapped n ass soon as he put the injection he was terrified n i ran from there , but later i saw then they where feeding that cracker to that snake , n then everything was normal . can u plz help me what does that mean

  32. I dreamt I was walking through a field of tall grass when I noticed many, very thin, long snakes slithering through. I’m not afraid of snakes but I’m reasonably cautious. I warned others on the path to be careful of the snakes then in the next scene, a friend had come and chopped the grass short and removed the snakes to a safe place (I knew he hadn’t killed them because that would upset me). The very next night, I again dreamt of very long, thin snakes, the same ones, slithering through the thick grass I was traversing. I was climbing a grassy hill and my hand briefly became entangled in the thick grass and it took me a moment to free it. I wasn’t afraid of the snakes but they were like 15 ft long, so I was cautious.

    I have recently let go of a very close family member and our mutual friend, who I have felt betrayed by, repeatedly, throughout life. This dream could signify her moving out of my life, to another place safely (which she did with help from her beau) and the recent disentanglement I initiated with our mutual friend. Sometimes it’s hard to know if people really are bad for you or if folks just make mistakes, but fool me once, twice, repeatedly, and it’s time to move on.

  33. I really want to know d interpretation of d dream I dreamt in which I saw a big and long anaconda snake spying at my spouse and I

  34. I had a dream that I was cutting off snakes heads, that was trying to harm me.What does this really mean. Am I in danger of someone that is around me or am I over thinking this..

    1. WE all are in danger at all times your dream shows you are and will defeat anyone harming you because you are a fighter keep up the good work

  35. I was dreaming that me and my boyfriend were in his house where we both once loved,in my dream as we both walked out the back door two really big snakes came out of dark and one of snakes cackled my boyfriend, my boyfriend was not in fer of the snake at all.but also for what ever reason I didn’t really try to help my boyfriend from being accacked.and a few weeks ago in my dream that I was attacked by a snake.Truth be told for the past little over a year now my life has been turned with fear.what do these snack dreams mean?.Thank You, Susan Little.(

  36. Dreamed snake finally after hiding under the recliner came out and looked me in the eyes. The snakes eyes were green and turned into a deeper pool of green and as it did i saw the moment and the magic it used to do so. It lioked real innocently at me portrayed it self as harmless.
    It had brown, darker brown and beige colors earth tones to blend.
    Before truly showing itself,it was a man and sat down and face turned into a snakes face shape and blended into the chair and disappeared.
    Saw the tail and hit at it with a see thru glass pink bat. It moved further under the chair.

  37. I dreamed of cobra, many cobras.they have different colors, i was soooo mad because they were like hovering and I sensed that they would like to attack me, so what I did was, I killed them one by one by cutting the heads.What’s unusual was that my other son have dreamed of it too, he described his dream just like what
    I have dreamed about??What’s the meaning of it??

  38. Hi ,pls I have had this dream twice and willing to know the meaning. There is this big snake wrapped on a tree n its tail wrapped on me at the same time .In my second dream , was in the house when two friends came to pay me a visit n one saw the snake on the tree wrapped there n on me too…..she then told me because I didn’t see nor feel anything on me n I was soo scared n i started praying to God n to our surprise, the snake on the tree was uncoiling but the one on me was not…..pls help me interpret this dream of mine am soo scared

  39. could you pls Email me the meaning of my dream as I cannot get the meaning. last night I dreamt about a large snake squeezing a mouse, at first it was coming to my direction but when it saw the mouse it focused on it.

  40. I don’t usually dream but last night dream was so vivid. I just recently moved March 1. I dreamt I was at the new home with friends a snake came from the hallway. Someone tried to kill it outside by the gate but it never died. It was hurt looked like it was dying but started moving away from everyone. Then my dead uncle appear with a work truck and my ex is standing next to him. Mom my and aunt are now there on the porch. I sit on the back of a car and look next door and see a hugh snake on the grill of a car. I say OMG yall look and the snake turns into a woman and starts walking towards us. The same person who tried to kill the other snake ow has a shot gun gives it to the girl to shoot herself in the head. She opens her mouth and pull the trigger nothing happens to her at all. My son walks away. All of a sudden she has a wine cooler in her hand and starts a conversation. She walks across the street but not where she come from and people start branching off in different groups. I somehow end up back in the house tell my mom I don’t know if I want to stay here anymore. She agrees. The house is now bigger. The fridge has pics of a cousin of mine, I ask my aunt if they knew the previous renters she say no. I do not remember how the dream ends. I was always told dreams about snakes is the devil. I need help. I do know one of my neighbors she is the one who told me about the house.

    1. I always was told snakes mean enemies. Be careful, don’t drink with strangers or anyone you are not sure about being around.

  41. In the dream I just had I was at home and their was a large tub container and when I opened it I saw a little habitat with 2 salamanders and one snake. I picked up a salamander and it seemed to wake from a deep cold so I put it back. Then I closed the lid and put heavy books to weigh it down and some how the snake got out and looked me directly in the face(very closesly) then it slithers away and I never see it again. (So I just had my 2 year relationship breakup last night the final deal breaker was I have 2 kids and she couldn’t find herself to be a part of that life of mine so it eventually caught up to us)

  42. I just woke up from a dream where I was laying in bed asleep in a room like a tropical cabana with doors open. I was next to my wife and suddenly a bright red and black stripe snake got in the room. The snake was large and sneaky roaming around the room, but also noticed that the tail was cut off. The snake seem to me as looking for refuge. Scary but not in attack mode.

    I read about the meaning of such dreams and can mostly relate to troublesome marriage that has continue to deteriorate over the past few years and now becoming bitter and bitter over diminutive things.

    Anyway, I just wanted to share it. Not sure if anyone can relate or have a different view.

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