One of the most common animals found in dreams is the snake. Snakes are complicated symbols because they can have both positive and negative meanings. To understand the significance of the snake in your dream, it is important to consider your own personal experiences with snakes and how the snake is viewed in your culture. For example, if you keep a snake as a pet, then the dream will have a different meaning for you than a person who hates snakes or are terrified of them. The snake is also a strong symbol in many cultures and thus your cultural background can play an important factor in how your snake dream is interpreted.
For many, the image of a snake can invoke fear. Snakes are unpredictable and can strike at anytime without warning. Thus a snake in your dream may represent something in your life that is unpredictable and out of your control. You are afraid of the unknown.
Because snakes are sometimes hard to see and are slithering in bushes, they are also symbolic of a hidden threat and/or a betrayal. They lie in wait waiting for the perfect opportunity to make a move. If the snake bites you, then the dream is trying to alert you to something in your waking life that you are not aware of or that has not yet surfaced. To see a baby snake in your dream means that you are underestimating the threat. If you kill the snake or if the snake is dead, then it means that this threat has passed or that you have overcome it.
As creatures that slither along the ground, a snake may represent your subconscious. Sometimes the snake can be found swimming in the water which is also reflective of emotions that you are suppressing. If you dream of a snake inside a box, then it implies that you are refusing to acknowledge some part of your subconscious. The dream snake may be alerting you or carrying some sort of hidden message.
According to the Freudian school of thought, the snake is viewed as a phallic symbol and thus signifies temptation, repressed thoughts, raw sexual energy, or forbidden sexuality. In particular, to see a snake on your bed suggests that you are feeling sexually overpowered or sexually threatened. You may be inexperienced, nervous or just unable to keep up. If you are afraid of the snake, then it signifies your fears of sex, intimacy or commitment. To dream that you are eating a live snake indicates that you are looking for intimacy or sexual fulfillment. Your life is lacking sensuality and passion.
As a metaphor, the snake in your dream can be symbolic of a person around you who is callous, evil and ruthless. In this scenario, the snake will try to strike at you, bite you or even eat you alive. Sometimes the snake may even change into a human form. Your dream is telling you not to trust her or him. If you are afraid of making your true feelings toward someone known, then you will likely dream of snakes.
With the ability to shed their skins, snakes represent transformation. If your dream left you with a positive feeling, then the snake dream represents positive change, self-renewal, growth, knowledge and wisdom. What new changes are occurring in your waking life or what are you looking to change? In particular, dreaming of a red snake highlights the positive characteristics of the snake, as well as your fiery passion. If you are fighting with the snake, then it means that you are fighting against change. You like things the way they are, even though you are not being challenged or fulfilled.
In some cultures, the snake is viewed as a healing symbol. After all, poisonous snakes hold the antidote for their own venom. And the symbol for the medical profession is a caduceus which features two snakes. Thus snakes indicate recovery or protection from some illness.