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Snakes in dreams: what does it mean?

By Alma Fabiani

Oct 16, 2020

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What does it mean when you dream about snakes?

Have you recently had a dream (or many) where snakes appeared? Did you wonder what it could mean? Usually, when a snake appears in a dream, it indicates that something significant is happening in the unconscious—this can be either dangerous or healing, negative or positive. So what are the different meanings of dreaming about snakes? Here’s everything you need to know.

The general meaning of snakes

Snakes are a common dream archetype that typically represents a person in the dreamer’s life who exhibits toxic behaviour. After all, there was a reason that Eve ate the apple that the snake offered her. While snakes in dreams are widely known to have a negative meaning, they can also represent something related to health or healing. In Greek mythology, snakes were associated with healing and medicine. Many cultures associate many different meanings to snakes but regardless of what you imagine the snake might represent, if it appears to you in a dream, you shouldn’t ignore it.

The negative meanings of snakes in dreams

First, let’s start with the negative meanings that snakes in dreams can represent.

Start by thinking about how your dream made you feel. If your dream was terror-inducing, this nightmare is a good indication that your subconscious feels there is a toxic person in your life—an immediate threat. This can mean that their toxic behaviour has reached a point where your subconscious has had it and needs to slap you into attention. If you can’t think of a specific person, you might be dreaming of something else that is toxic. The snake can reflect bad and deceptive behaviour, or even difficult life events. Are you surrounding yourself with something that is poisoning your life, such as bad people, addictive substances, or even doubts and worries? Have a think about that.

Now, if you remember exactly which snake appeared in your dream, this might help you identify a more precise meaning it held.

Did you dream of a boa constrictor?

Nothing in a dream is ever random. A boa constrictor is known for squeezing its prey to death, so dreaming about one can be connected to someone in your life who is causing you to feel constricted or someone who may be squeezing you, financially or emotionally.

Did you dream of a rattlesnake?

When someone gets close to a rattlesnake, the venomous serpent will rattle its tail to warn the threat away. If a rattlesnake appears in your dream, it may be telling you to start paying attention to warning signs a certain person may be displaying.

Different meanings for different colours

The colour of the snake you dreamed of can also mean different things. A white snake can mean that you have a clear mind, you finally know what it is that you want to achieve and what steps you need to take.

A black snake can predict something bad, it symbolises an obstacle you are facing or are about to face. If you dream of a black snake, keep in mind that this might be a sign that you need to avoid anything that could endanger you.

If you dream of a yellow snake, this might be a sign that you are afraid of the unknown.

Where was the snake in your dream?

Detail is key! In your dream, if you came across a snake in your house, well, this means that you should probably be looking for potentially toxic people under your roof. You can also try to think of it more figuratively, meaning that you might be bringing this toxicity home with you.

If you saw a snake outside in your dream, it might be a message that it’s time to get things ‘out in the open’ with this toxic person. In other words, it’s time to speak up!

Snakes can also symbolise male sexual energy—yes, you guessed it, because of their shape. If a snake appeared in one of your sexy dreams, you might simply be attracted to a man in your life.

Snakes in dreams: what does it mean?

Who did the snake bite?

If you dreamt that a snake bit you, then it likely has less to do with others in your life and more to do with you and your health. Ask yourself if there are any health issues that are beginning to get better or an emotional wound that seems to be healing. If not, the snake bite could also signify that you are the victim of someone’s ‘biting’ remarks.

If a snake attacks a loved one in a dream, then that person could be the one dealing with a health or emotional issue. If you don’t think it has anything to do with health, ask yourself if you might be the snake. Have you been spewing venomous words at that person?

Finally, if the snake bit an enemy, then you might be the snake. Dreaming about someone you dislike getting bitten could reflect your desire to take them down with your own remarks.

Were there more than one snake?

The number of snakes that appear in your dream can also hold meaning. Multiple snakes can represent multiple toxic people or a toxic situation that has many facets to it. Alternatively, these could represent multiple health issues or one health issue that has many elements to it. This might also represent the stage of life that you are in, question if you know how to escape whatever is happening to you at the moment, or if you want to.

The positive meanings of snakes in dreams

There still is some hope that your dream might have had a positive meaning. If you dreamed of a harmless species, this may represent someone you were originally cautious about but are now realising is not a threat to you. Furthermore, if you saw a dead snake, this can often indicate that you have overcome an obstacle that made your life difficult. It can predict the end of a difficult situation or liberation from toxic or self-destructive thoughts.

These are common meanings behind snakes that appear in our dreams but don’t forget that each dream has its own personal meaning for each of us. Try to think about how you felt in your dream, remember all the details, places and symbols—then review your own life. After all, snakes in dreams have one main meaning: it is time for you to take care of yourself.