Of all the animals and reptiles that regularly appear in our dreams, snakes might be the most confusing to interpret, at least, for those of us who aren’t in the know.
As they’re often characterised as cunning creatures, it’s difficult to decide if an appearance bodes well or should set alarm bells ringing. For instance, might the sign of shedding skin represent a new start? Or should we sit up and pay attention when we spot a slippery reptile in our dreams.
According to experts, snakes hold various meanings, but they’re all important to listen to. Talking to the Cut, professional dream analyst and author Lauri Quinn Loewenberg revealed: “Just as you would not ignore coming across a snake in real life, neither should you ignore your snake dreams.
“There is either a poisonous element in your life that you need to get rid of, or there is healing you need to recognize. Either way, acting upon the message or warning is a very good thing to do.”
The message was echoed by Autumn Fourkiller, an Indigenous mystic and the writer behind the Dream Interpretation for Dummies newsletter. “One should never, ever ignore a snake dream,” warned Fourkiller. “A snake dream, in my culture, definitely functions as a warning, and is one of those things I don’t have trouble applying cross-culturally/universally. This warning generally revolves around a traitorous or treacherous person or a dangerous situation, both things that can totally wreak havoc in your life!”
But what might some of the most common dreams mean? Well, the species of the snake could be one indicator. For instance, if you dream of a harmless snake, Loewenberg said this might represent a person you once thought was a threat but no longer need to be cautious of. However, dreams of rattlesnakes could be a warning sign about a toxic person in your life, she told the Cut.
Meanwhile, boa constrictors often represent people who make you feel constricted or squeeze your finances, according to the expert. The location and number of snakes might also give you clues as to where the threat is coming from i.e. a snake in the home could signal a threat nearby. Snakes spotted outside of the home, however, might represent a need to let things ‘out into the open’, Loewenberg added.
The expert also shed light on what the snake’s behaviour could mean. If the snake bites you, this may signal its presence is related to your health – and you need to take action.
Additionally, it could represent emotional wounds, perhaps caused by ‘biting’ remarks, Loewenberg explained. Alternatively, if a snake bites someone else this could be indicative of your treatment of others. Perhaps you’ve wounded someone else, for instance. Or, if the snake bites an enemy, this may communicate your desire to see them hurt.
Whatever the reason, Loewenberg told the Cut that dreams about snakes – and bites, in particular – have increased for many of us since the outbreak of Covid-19. “These days, it seems the collective subconscious is giving this virus the form of a snake because it literally is poisonous and we all want to avoid getting bit by it,” she explained.