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Snake

It is usually depicting the fight or flight instinct. It is also an image connected with the force, purpose or energy behind that power of growth and unfolding. It is the force of life, the latent energy or potential within us. It leads us both to growth and death, along with the passionate emotions and urges that drive us so powerfully. The ancient civilisation of the South Americas, saw the snake as a messenger of the gods. And it can be if we relate to it well, because it represents the force of Life in us – surely worth listening to!

The snake can bite you, and its venom may flow throughout your being and kill you. Most of us are very frightened of this. The reason being that the venom will take away your personal sense of self – it faces you with the death of yourself. It melts the boundary of egoic self-interest, and personal connections with family and children, with choices in action. It replaces the personal interests and fears with a self that is part of the one great life. So the fear of the snake is not because its venom is deadly, but because it transforms. It turns you into a being who is part of the whole. It robs one of the artificial walls placed between self and the collective pool of life consciousness.

The snake depicts this force, purpose or energy behind that power of growth and unfolding. It is the force of life, the latent energy or potential within us. It leads us both to growth and death, along with the passionate emotions and urges that drive us so powerfully. That energy, like electricity in a house, can be heat, power, sound or vision, and lies behind all our functions. So in some dreams the snake represents our sexuality; in others the rising of that energy up our body to express as digestion – the intestinal snake – or as the creative or poisonous energy of our emotions and thoughts, even disease. In the throat it becomes the destructive or constructive speech and language – expressed or repressed feelings and speech. In the head it becomes thinking, perception and higher cognition.

The ancient civilisation of the South Americas, saw the snake as a messenger of the gods. And it can be if we relate to it well, because it represents the force of Life in us – surely worth listening to!

The snake can represent many different things, but usually the energy that expresses as our life processes. If we think of a person’s life from conception to death, we see a flowing moving event, similar in many ways to the speeded-up films of a seed growing into a plant, flowering and dying. The snake depicts the force, purpose or energy behind that movement. It is the force of life, the latent energy or potential within us – that leads us both to growth and death, along with the passionate emotions and urges that drive us so powerfully

In the destructive aspect the snake represents the poisonous thoughts and emotions that can destroy you. We tend to depict this facet of the snake as biting or attacking us, even though we have ourselves given rise to such poisonous emotions as hate and guilt. Because our thinking and emotions are an expression of our life energy, you are capable of directing the creative force of life toward self destruction. As an example of this, a dreamer exploring her snake dream saw that it represented her flight or fight instincts. This linked with her aggressive and protective feelings in connection with the way men had acted with her. The problem was that the snake was in a poisonous, strangling and killing mode. This, she realised, showed how she had withheld, strangled, her anger about what had happened, and that anger was turned inward, poisoning or strangling her flow of full life.

The opposite is also true. The power of life and death can be directed creatively. Then the snake is seen in its healing role in dreams, and in ancient times was shown in the form of the staff with two snakes coiling up it – caduceus – still used today as a symbol of the medical profession. See: energysex dreams.

Example: Dreamt I was on the side of a very steep hill. So steep I could only just hold on. It was very rounded and grassy. I was near the top clinging to the grass. There seemed to be many snakes, lizards and needs, about. Occasionally one would leap at me and bounce of my coat. I took care to keep my hands covered. There was a woman, who seemed to be something like a secretary, who was advising me. I was then in a wood. There seemed to be a lot of apprehension and fear. Some robbers had stolen my pony. The fear went when I realised that there was no need to walk through a swampy area of the wood. Only the robbers, or rough types knew the way through. I turned to the right out of the wood.

In exploring his dream this is what he received – The dream shows you bringing your love to the crown. The dream was the way of sorting out your problems over sinking or rising. You can reach the highest either way. Sinking is the way of letting go. This was represented by the swamp. The way of bringing love to the crown is the way of rising. The hill represents your present situation. The clinging means you try too hard. There is no need to bring so much effort. The snakes represents your lower powers trying to break into consciousness. These must be directed to the crown. These are the forces which help you break through. They stimulate you to rise. The woman is love giving you advice. Love will direct your efforts. The part where you walk through the wood means you look for life through delving within. The swamp is swamping my consciousness. Your consciousness must live, not drown, in the deep waters of life. This can be achieved only by bringing unification to those urges seen as the brigands. These and the snakes are much the same. Your soul must live without division. When the soul brings union within itself, so it achieved union in the whole. This way is a way of love.

It doesn’t matter that your dream snake bites you – after all it is an aspect of you, and the only poison you will meet is the poisonous emotions you have been injecting into yourself – and they need to be felt to clear them out. See Our Reptilian Brain

The snake can shed its skin, and so symbolises self transcendence, rebirth.

The alchemists put a gold crown on its head, symbolising expanded or spiritual consciousness arising from the same energy as sexuality. Often a diadem, gem, or light is at its brow symbolising the possibility of expanded consciousness, or awareness of the eternal nature, and life in eternity. Christ is sometimes depicted as a crucified serpent, suggesting the mystery of Life nailed to physical awareness of the senses. See: Reptile.

Example: I just woke up from a bad dream. I saw that I was in a car without a driver and I was sitting on a snake which I could not see but only slightly feel under me. I was afraid that the snake might bite me because of the bumps during the car drive. And then it does bite me. It was painless but I felt blood oozing out of my tummy. Then suddenly I saw a stranger in the driver’s seat who was a lady whom I don’t know. And I am just praying her to drive me to the hospital and she refuses to drive. I was spooked big time and I am on the internet now. Came across your website. I hope I can find an answer. Please help me.

The snake is your dream snake and should not be confuse with an actual snake. It is your basic energy, like electricity in your house, and as such can be expressed in any number of ways. This links with the car, another form of energy, expressed as a way of getting where you want. But the snake energy you are sitting on, not knowing how to direct it, yet you can feel it wriggling at the base of your trunk. You are scared of what this energy will express as if you allow it, but sitting on it is not good, because your thoughts and feelings, your imagination are the way we direct this energy. And what did you do, you felt fear it would bite you, and that is where you directed it. Fortunately you were not scared enough to direct it to inject you with the poison of your own fear. But it did cause an energy leak that you realised you needed help with.

The Hebrew word for the serpent in the Garden of Eden is Nahash. And to be understood we have to understand that Hebrew is a sign language, one that each letter of the alphabet had a particular meaning. And there  is no indication in the ancient  Hebrew that this was a snake. It has been translated as snake because the  original meaning was lost. It can be seen as a divine force that expressed in seven levels or ways – so much like the ancient symbol as it was understood by older  cultures. For full explanation see Hebrew Translation.

 

Example: A dream told me by a woman I met in Mexico. She said that she dreamt a large snake was crawling up the bed and then bit her on her left breast. She said she then tried to suck out the poison.In the destructive aspect the snake represents the poisonous thoughts and emotions that can destroy us. We tend to depict this snake biting or attacking us, even though we have ourselves given rise to such poisonous emotions as hate and guilt. Because our life energy flows into thinking and emotions, we are in this way directing the creative force of life. Directing it negatively has the power to bring illness and death, for we are dealing with the power of life and death itself.

I asked her to explore the dream by imaging herself as the snake, feeling it biting her. The result was that a story unfolded. She had felt, rightly or wrongly, that her husband had been unfaithful, and she had felt bitter and revengeful. But instead of expressing those feelings they had turned inwards and poisoned her, leaving her depressed. So the snake was an image of her poison biting her and poisoning her life. So do not be afraid of a snake biting you. It is not dangerous. The dangerous part is avoiding the bite, because the poison stays in you unmet.

The opposite is also true. The power of life and death can be directed creatively. Then the snake is seen in its healing role in dreams, and in ancient times was shown in the form of the staff with two snakes coiling up it – caduceus – still used today as a symbol of the medical profession.

Example: ‘A small snake about a foot long had dropped down my shirt neck. I could feel it on the left side of my neck. Fearing it was poisonous and might bite me I moved very slowly. At one point I put my head on the ground, hoping the snake would wish to crawl away. It did not. Then I was near an elephant I loved, and hoped it would remove the snake. It did not. Even as I slept I felt the snake was an expression of the attitude of not sharing myself with anybody except family.’ David T.

For months prior to the above dream David had experienced a great deal of neck pain. After discussing the dream with his wife, and realising much of his thinking and feeling was in-turned, the pain disappeared. So the snake was both ‘poisoner’ and ‘healer’ representing the power of David’s negative and introverted emotions and thoughts on his body. This may be why snakes are used as a symbol of the medical profession.

Example: ‘I was in a huge cathedral, the mother church. I wanted to go to the toilet/gents. As I held my penis to urinate it became a snake and reached down to the urinal to drink. It was thirsty. I struggled with it, pulling it away from the unclean liquid. Still holding it I walked to a basin and gave it pure water to drink.’ Bill A.

Here the connection between snake and sexuality is obvious. But the snake is not just Bill’s penis. It is the direction his sexual urges take him that he is struggling with. Out of his sense of love and connection with Life – the cathedral – he wants to lift his drive toward something that will not leave him with a sense of uncleanness. In this sense a snake might be something one wrestled with, depicting the wrestle one has with inner drives and hungers, especially sexuality or anger. The Mother Church was a form of initiation into a much wider view of spiritual beliefs. It came about because his sexual drive was directed more upwards rather than out of his genitals.

The Africans believed the dream of a snake round the leg signified slavery, while the dream of a dragon round the body is a symbol of bondage in Artemidorus.

A crowned or light encircled snake: When our blind impulses our instinctive or unconscious urges and functions are in some measure integrated with our conscious will and insight, this is seen as the crowned snake or even winged snake. It shows real self awareness and maturity.

In coils of snake: Feeling bound in the blind impulses or habitual drives and feeling responses. Instincts and habits can be redirected, as illustrated by Hercules labours.

Sitting on snake: Mastery of the instinctive nature and transformation and the making conscious of the wisdom and power resident in the unconscious.

Snake biting you: Unconscious worries about our health, frustrated sexual impulse, our emotions turned against ourselves as when internalised aggression poisons us causing very real illness, so may be shown as the biting snake. It may also suggest an influence in ones life – the venom – that takes away ones identity and perhaps opens one to a life beyond self, the spirit.

Example: I realised as I explored my dream of being bitten by the snake I had thought about this a lot already and that losing ones identity meant in this case not being tied to ones family so rigidly, no longer relating to people as if from a single fixed gender, also there is the possibility of getting insight into the person you are meeting more fully, because the artificial barriers of gender, family ties, nationality and creed have been dropped. These barriers prevent us from actually knowing each other very fully in everyday life, and are operative in most of us without our realising it.

As I think about this I wonder whether this is part of the way we create identity. It appears to be made from many sources. For instance the family physical – DNA – inheritance plays a very great part, as does the information of behaviour repertoire handed to us when young. The cultural patterning given with language shapes our mind, and the chemical importance is also being seen lately. All of these produce the person we call I. Yet the ‘I’ is capable of being radically shifted, simply by taking a drug or medicine. This often reshapes the way we see ourselves, so an evolution in the process of identity building has occurred. Identity in the end is not a set of beliefs or behaviours. The I is not limited to these. See Programmed

So as I faced this part of the session I wondered what I would be saying goodbye to if I allowed myself to be bitten by the serpent and its poison transform me. I felt that although I would lose my old connection with my family I would bring them a lot more than in the past because my being would itself be much larger and connected. I saw this as if I were living in a courtyard, and that courtyard was my family life, my work life, and was made up of my sympathetic connections with my children and the powerful bonds that led me to favour them over others. If these bonds dissolved they would no longer be favoured above others out of the same powerful ties. The ties would dissolve, but of course they would still be people I had a lot of connections with because of friendship and common goals, etc. So I would relate to them out of something other than family feelings. We would be drawn together or pushed apart out of the same influences that attracted or repulsed in general.

I felt then that I did want to be bitten by the snake. I trusted the larger life. I want my life to have connections with it and my actions to flow out of these wider connections.

At one point it was like being shown something. On my computer I have a small program to do my accounts on. I take a lot of time putting information into this program to keep my accounts straight. It was as if the wider life said to me, “You don’t need to all the time look after your own affairs in this individual way. There is a wider life in which the ‘accounts’ program is built-in. Every action you do, every interaction is recorded automatically, and so you no longer need a personal piece of software”.

Snake biting others: Biting remarks; a poisonous tongue; emotional energy turned against oneself or someone else.

Snake coiling up tree, pole, cross: The blind instinctive forces of life emerging into conscious experience – in other words the essence of human experience with its involvement in pain, pleasure, time and eternity; the process of personal growth or evolution; healing because personal growth often moves us beyond old attitudes or situations that led to inner tension or even sickness.

Snake coiled around you crushing you: The way you are caught up and constricted in your own or other peoples emotions. Being crushed by emotions, fears; struggling with powerful emotions and urges.

Snake ColoursGreen: Our internal life process directed – perhaps through satisfied feelings, love and creativity – into a healing process or one that leads to our personal growth and positive change. White: Eternal aspect of our life process, or becoming conscious of it. Blue: Religious feelings or coldness in relations.

Snake in connection with any hole: Sexual relatedness.

Snake in the grass: Sense or intuition of talk behind your back; danger; sneakiness.

Snake with tail in its mouth: Sense of the circle of life – birth, growth, reproduction, ageing, death, rebirth; the eternal.

Useful questions and hints:

What is happening with my dream snake, and what is the significance to me personally?

What does this indicate about the way I am direction my life energy?

Is this depicting my life energy expressing some positive potential or healing

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Comments

-Fiona Humphries 2013-11-19 6:44:59

In my dream first saw a snake pop it’s head out of box , very close to me.came out of packing box. Then saw a large brown snake lying at the edge of my bed. I was in the bed. We looked at each other. I was scared , but knew I should not move and it would be ok. Then it started toward window edge which is near bed. I knew it was leaving but then realized it couldn’t because there was a fly screen . Then I didn’t know what to do but wasn’t scared – don’t know what happened

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-Chloe 2013-12-05 5:54:46

I had a dream two nights ago that I was with a group of friends (I can’t remember who) and we saw a red large snake repeatedly bit itself. The next night (last night) I had a dream that this woman at work who really annoys me was teasing me by chasing me with a snake she had coiled on her arm. She treated the snake like her pet even though the snake tried to bit me. What could these dreams mean? Please help

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-Lee Khan 2014-01-09 9:23:26

I dreamed I was hand in hand with a male friend and walking in the bush, ahead of us was a massive anaconda movie type size black snake, my male friend let go of my hand and ran away I was running behind him and looking back to see if the snake was followin but it was not, as I slowed down I was alone now and ahead of me was another massive same size black snake, next thing there was like six of them all sides of me, all black and enormous, as I tried to make a run for it, Lions 2 or 3 where in the direction of which I wanted to flee, I stopped in my tracks and turned to see one of the anaconda size snakes attack something or someone, I couldnt see what as there was a tree blocking my vision, I soon woke up after that…. I was more afraid of the lions and non of the snakes directly attacked me… What does this mean,????

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    -Tony Crisp 2014-01-12 13:28:03

    Lee – The dream shows you surrounded by your own natural instinctive feelings, and you are hand in hand withy our sexual feelings also. The power of your sexual feelings are shown by the massive snake. To understand this better please see http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/questions-2/#Summing

    The strength of your sexual energy is not really known to you; it is unconscious, that is why the snake is black. The snake represents your life energy as a whole, and it can be expressed as fear to run away, it can be expressed as poisonous emotions and can then be pictured as biting you; or as powerful creative feelings. In your case you ran from the power of your feelings, meaning you suppressed them. The lions are your inner power which should not be run away from. The animal in your dream is a link with all your natural potential. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/practical-techniques-for-understanding-your-dreams/

    Tony

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      -Austin Calhoun 2014-01-29 14:53:04

      I had a dream I was walking down the street with a child in my arms a small child I don’t know if it was a boy or a girl and their was a busy road in the right side of me and I was walking on the sidewalk and to the left of me was dirt and grass and I looked and there was a large brown and black stripped snake do I stopped and started to back away because I feared for the child and myself and the snaked started to come towards us fast and I could see that either the snake was pregnant or it had already devoured something because it’s stomach was big and it chased us until it got to my feet and I woke not knowing if it bit knew or anything but it was very threatening

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-dana 2014-01-29 19:37:04

Ive been dreaming about snakes for years now. A while back i was dreaming of them every night jn many different contexts. Recently ive been having only snake bite dreams. Lots of times im being chased by them and they jump out and bite my hand, always on the hand. In many of them, there are people trying to teach me how to hold them properly behind the neck as to not get bit. Last night I dreamed i was laying in bed next to my sister and this snake is slithering up from my feet towards my head and i go to grab it but i dont get it just right and he is latched on to my hand. In the dream i think its a rattlesnake and my sister is calling for help. I get the snake out if my hand and then spend what felt like all night wrestleing this snake. Ive read so much about snake dreams but i just cant figure it out. It’s kind of haunting me right now. It so obviuosly means something important and with the frequency im having them i really want to understand. Please help. Thank you!

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-keli 2014-02-07 20:44:56

My dream included myself and my step-father and took place in our backyard. We were outside picking huge, overgrown mangoes, some yellow and some still green which i’m certain was a difference in ripeness not variety. They were all still tree bound and i was afraid for snakes hiding in them and dropping down. I have a fear of snakes (and general disgust of all reptiles really) but have had two other dreams of snakes before, last year and now this year. I’ve had only one dream of mangoes before – that i recall after waking- last year after my grand aunts funeral which i’m sure represented our dysfunctional divided family. The snake was actually encountered in the grass when i was picking up a fallen mango and it attempted to bite me striking continuously, determinedly and angrily; i could see it’s fangs clearly. It was a small snake coiling and uncoiling itself, a reddish brown color like in the last dream – and was also striking in the last dream. My step-father and i, especially me, were dodging it but it kept after me. It may have caught me once on my right foot but i was able to grab it with both hands close to the head, at this point i couldn’t tell if it was biting my finger because i felt no pain ( in the dream or real) as its head was not facing mine. I begged my step-father to take it from me but he didn’t want to, if anything he encouraged me to hold on to it less so than he rather not touch it either.

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-Lisa 2014-02-12 8:40:43

I often have snake dreams. But the strange thing is, although I Am scared of snakes in my everyday waking life, in my dreams, I encounter snakes, who at first I am slightly scared of or untrusting of, but they bite me, or people whom I am with that I am close to, usually in the knee, and it heals us, and I am no longer scared of the snake in my dream. I have these drams constantly. Usually it is me who is bitten, but I had one where my brother was bitten, and strangely, that time I think I may have actually astral projected.

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-Katalins 2014-02-24 6:00:52

Hello there,

I dreamt about snake bit me at my left foot, sole of my left foot and in my the palm of my left hand. I wonder what it has to say in my real life. As I am now struggling with confusions, and decision-making. Please let me know. Thanks!

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-cierra 2014-03-13 6:02:36

I had a dream last night that i was forced to be at work until some one was able to relieve me. (I work at a housing for men with autism and there has to staff there at all times) Anyways, it was the 2nd full day there and i was stressing over when the next staff was coming so i could nap and shower. Next thing i know in a kitchen and ground snakes kept popping up from the floor and i would casually move them out of my view. I wasn’t afraid of them at all, i just didn’t want to see them. After they all seemed to stop coming up i made lunch..

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    -Tony Crisp 2014-03-17 9:28:46

    Cierra – The dream started in a state of stress – usually a scene setter as in films. Then the snakes appear and you didn’t want to see them. Remember that the attitude of not wanting to see them arose out of the state of stress.

    Then the kitchen scene which is often the heart of your inner life with family connection and friends – unless it was the kitchen connected with work; in which case it might again connect with feeling stressed. But snakes often represent your raw energy, energy that can become anything – sex, movement, relatedness, love (not connected with sex), self expression, thinking or even enlightenment.

    So it is a pity to deny them in your life – maybe stress robs you or energy – but the snakes if you allow them will enter your life and extend your energy and remove stress. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/questions-2/#Summing

    Tony

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