Spiritual Meaning Of Snakes In Dreams

Learn how we can interpret the spiritual meaning of snakes in dreams and whether they’re an omen of good or ill

snakes in dreams featured image

Snakes Can Be Scary Or Impressive Depending On Culture

About 11 min reading time

What Are Dreams? Do They Have Any Meaning?

“The interpretation of dreams is the royal road to a knowledge of the unconscious activities of the mind.”


Everyone dreams. Our nights would be quite boring if we had no dreams to keep us busy!

Dreams are an interesting phenomenon that has fascinated philosophers, scientists and spiritualists for centuries. Some consider dreams to be divine signals while others take them as nothing more than random images that we see during sleep.

You spend about 2 hours each night dreaming but may not remember most of your dreams.  Its exact purpose isn’t known, but dreaming may help you process your emotions.  Events from the day often invade your thoughts during sleep. (NIH)

The scientific study of dreams is known as Oneirology and this subject can be an interesting one for those who wish to study the science behind dreams and their meaning in depth.

Today, interpretation of dreams has become possible scientifically as well. According to a report by BBC, scientists have found a way to “read” dreams. Japanese researchers used MRI scans to reveal the images that people were seeing as they slept.

Dr Mark Stokes, a cognitive neuroscientist from the University of Oxford, said it was an “exciting” piece of research that brought us closer to the concept of dream-reading machines.” It’s obviously a long way off, but there is no reason why not in principle. The difficult thing is to work out the systematic mapping between the brain activity and the phenomena,” he explained. (BBC report)

Sources of Dreams – The Material of Dreams

According to Freud, the Father of Psychoanalysis and Dreams, there are a number of sources of dreams including:

  • Subjective experiences
  • Mental activities during sleep
  • Stimuli from the external world
  • Organic stimuli within the body

Types of Dreams

Dreams have been considered simply a different form of seeing by the ancient Egyptians. They had trained dreamers who worked as seers to help plan battles and make important decisions for the state.

To the ancient Greeks and Romans, dreams were no less than future predictions.

Our dreams may range from very ordinary right through to the unusual and completely weird. There are varying natures of dreams, such as:

  • Exciting
  • Magical
  • Scary
  • Adventurous
  • Gloomy
  • Sexual

We can find detailed information about dreams in Islamic Tradition where they have been broadly categorized into 3 types:

“Dreams are of three types: a dream from Allah (God), a dream which causes distress and which comes from the Shaytan, and a dream which comes from what a person thinks about when he is awake, and he sees it when he is asleep.” (al-Bukhari, 6499; Muslim, 4200)

Dream Imagery

Dream imagery could be one part of the brain making an effort to make sense of the “internal test patterns” that are generated by another part of the brain.

Freud suggested that dreams reflect the buried desires. Your sleeping brain creates a “manifest dream” from scraps of everyday images, experiences, and memories. Dreams simplify and reorganize your repressed and unconscious wishes.

Spiritualists believe that dreams have meanings.

They may carry different messages depending on the images that we see. Dreams are highly diverse; we may see very clear images, scenes, creatures or totally strange and unknown images.

Spiritual Meaning of Snakes in Dreams

Snakes are somewhat mysterious creatures and when they appear in dreams they tend to be even more shadowy. It is interesting to note that snake dreams are a common theme at bedtime.

According to Barbara Condron (B.J., D.D., D.M., of Windyville, Mo., and the author of dozens of books on dreams):

Snakes represent the dreamer’s creative urge toward wisdom. The snake is a neutral symbol and that it’s up to the dreamer to assign the slant. “This slant is often defined by cultural view,” she says. “For instance, in the West, snakes are generally feared while in the East they are revered. This can influence the dreamer’s interpretation of the dream.”

What Does Dreaming of Snakes Signify: A Cultural Outlook

While different cultures have diverse interpretation of images in dreams, when it comes to “snakes”, it seems almost all traditions hold the same view.

In Hinduism, seeing a snake in your dream signifies forthcoming troubles and worries. However, if you see catching a snake it would mean victory over enemies.

Likewise, in Christianity, snakes in dreams mean deception, danger or even the devil.

In Islam, a snake dream symbolizes envy, treachery, dishonesty and enmity. Buddhism, however, hold a different view of dreaming of snakes. The snake in Buddhist culture represents rebirth, death and mortality.

However, the exact meaning may depend on the details of the dream such as the colour of the snake, its action, the time, the overall scene etc.

There are still some enlightened spiritualists who hold completely different view of snakes. For example, Sadhguru asserts:

“Only if you are anti-life, you think the snake is an agent of the devil. If you are for life, the snake is definitely an agent of the Divine.”

So we can say, as Barbara put it, the meaning of snake in your dream depends on your personal opinion as well as the culture that you belong to or trust. Since most cultures do recognize snakes to be a negative sign in a dream, being careful in your life once you dream such a dream certainly makes sense.

In Islamic Tradition as well, the reality of a dream depends on how you interpret it. So it is recommended not to tell a dream to anyone lest a person may give a bad or wrong interpretation which may have a harmful effect on your life. In particular, it has been advised not to mention a bad dream at all and ignore it.

“If any one of you sees a dream that he likes, this is from Allah (God), so let him praise Allah for it and talk about it to others. If he sees other than that, a dream that he dislikes, this is from the Shaytan (devil), so let him seek refuge with Allah from its evil and not mention it to anyone, for it will not harm him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6584, and Muslim, 5862).

So we can see that if you see a snake dream and it has a negative connotation, do not fear, ignore it and do not mention it to anyone. On the other hand, if you see a snake and you have a pleasant feeling, consider it a good sign.  

Is Seeing a Snake in a Dream Good Luck?

Snakes in your dream can be considered as both good and bad at the same time. Since it is you who has the power to assign the meaning, you can choose to consider it a good sign. If you are “for life” as Sadhguru asserted, you will not consider snake as a bad omen.

Again, we should not ignore the possibility of snakes as a sign of bad luck considering the view of most traditions. So the final judge is you.

What Does It Mean When You Dream Of Snakes Attacking You?

Seeing a snake attacking you in your dream may signify an enemy that is trying to attack you. It could be a warning sign that you need to be watchful. Being attacked by snakes may also mean that are trying to avoid or run away from something in your life. Since snakes also symbolize vulnerability, anger and aggression, being attacked by one may be a sign that you are upset about something that’s happening to you.

Do Snake Dreams Mean Pregnancy?

Some believe that if a woman sees a snake in her dream it may also mean pregnancy. To be more precise, the myth states that if a woman dreams of being bitten by a snake she is expecting a baby. However, there are not many who believe in this idea, yet it exists.

What Does it Mean if You See a Black Snake in Your Dream?

A black snakein your dream represents a strong enemy or it may indicate emotional tension in your life.  If you interpret a black snake as a strong force that is likely to harm you, you should be cautious. The interpretations do not end here. Some believe that dreaming of a black snake implies internal strength.

According to dream experts, the details of the dreams must always be considered while interpreting any dream. So recall the details of your dream and do not focus on the colour of the snake only.

What Does it Mean if You See a White Snake in Your Dream?

Dreaming of white snakes can be trickier than other dream. While white indicates peace and serenity, the snake, if you take it as an evil force, is contrary to what the colour itself may imply. 

In this case, we can say that a white snake indicates that negative power affects your emotions. Or you can say that someone or something is disturbing your peace. So you should take a close look at your life and see if you have a friend or enemy who has been making such efforts.

In simple words, we can say that such a dream is an indication that you need to stop being influenced by negative forces in your life.

Dreaming of Snakes in Water

What if you see a snake in water? Snakes in water symbolizes your unconscious fears. They may also show the potential for emotional healing. In other words, you can say that such a dream could mean  strong emotional currents that you must not ignore.

Like we said earlier, the details of the dream are always important when it comes to interpretation. If you feel comfortable in the water and the snake does not seem to attack you, it may imply a stable emotional state.

So we can say your response to the snake, its behavior and other settings must be counted to be able to draw the right conclusion.

Key Takeaway

The science of dream interpretation is not as simple as it may seem. With so many factors to be considered during interpretation, you need to be a wise and cautious person before you assign a meaning to your snake dream.

As we mentioned the views of the experts such as Sadhguru, Barbara and others, the real outcome of your dream is really in your own hand. So we can safely say that you should remain positive and never panic if you see a snake dream that seems to disturb you. In the same way, it is best not to tell your dream to anyone and do not take on your head if it was not a pleasant experience.

However, being cautious in your life is something that we all must do at all times regardless of whether we see a snake in your dream or a butterfly! That is a smart and proactive approach so you should lead your life with awareness and take control of it.

Our nights would be more peaceful and our sleep more serene if there were no dreams to dream at all. But at the same time, our minds would not be as rich and agile.

A dream machine may perhaps help us learn about the exact meaning of our dreams. We will have to wait till science can provide us with such a solution and ensure its accuracy as well. In the meantime, keeping a dream journal will help you understand the meanings of your dreams, and definitely help you to remember them.

Till then, let us enjoy our dreams like good theatres 🙂