Tag Archives: Dream interpretation

Snake Symbol Significance in Dreams

11 Dec

Jung stated, ‘The idea of transformation and renewal by means of the serpent is a well-substantiated archetype. It is [a] healing [symbol]’ (Jung 7, par. 184)

The Ouroboros, or Snakes as Symbols of Spiritual Growth and Transformation

The ouroboros, the snake forever swallowing its own tail, is a famous alchemical symbol of transformation. Jung saw the ouroboros much like he saw the mandala, as an archetypal template of the psyche symbolizing eternity and the law of endless return. Instead of looking at life as a finite game played between the bookends of birth and death, the ouroboros symbolizes a dynamic state of change and purification.

A literal ouroboros isn’t necessary for a dream to have its symbolic meaning. Since waking life snakes routinely shed their skins, they are ready made symbols for change and transformation. Dreams where snakes shed skin or seeing snake skins in a dream also symbolize change and transformation. Old, outgrown behavioral patterns, relationships, or even careers may be sloughed off in favor of a new skin more appropriate to the dreamer’s growth.

This process of adjustment may not be comfortable. In waking life, snakes get cranky and irritable during the shedding process and the same may be true for the dreamer. All change involves the surrender of the comfortable and even when changes promise progress, trading the known for the unknown involves a disquieting abandonment of the familiar.

Dream Snakes as Fear Symbols

A lack of firsthand experience with snakes makes the serpent a creature representing a fear of the unknown. As such, snake dreams symbolize that unknown fear. The fear can be an intuitive warning or an unfounded anxiety about some undefinable, hidden something awaiting the dreamer in waking life.

Honest analysis of the waking life provides the key to deciphering snake dreams. Pursuing a life dream, especially an untried one, involves fear. It is tantamount that the dreamer considers whether that fear is founded, or if irrational anxiety is threatening the realization of a waking life dream.

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