The symbol of the snake holds multiple meanings, slithering through each one like the deceptive creature that it come to be known as. So let’s learn more about the meaning of a snake as a spirit animal, dream interpretation, and more.
The snake strikes a deep fear in many, while at the same time, we can’t help but remain fascinated by such a frightening beauty of nature. A serpent, a dualistic creature, carries within it symbolism that is both interpreted as positive and negative.
Meaning of a Snake in Esotericism
From the snake to the dragon, serpents have impacted cultures since ancient times. Intimately connected to the Earth, dwelling at the seat of her divinity, snakes depict both life and death. The mythological figure of the python, son of Gea — embodies Delfina / Drakaina, a female serpent deity, from where the Oracle of the same name is derived.
The Mother Goddess, Cretan, is depicted with bare breast and two snakes in her hands, which evoke strength and wisdom. In shamanic traditions, Cretan becomes a snake to use her powers that grant her access to the world’s mysteries. The snake also represents the umbilical cord, a metaphor that is connected to each and every human walking this Mother Earth (literally). Originally, the umbilical was seen as being connected to the primordial forces of life: water and fertility.
According to Babylonian mythology, the entire world was birthed from the body of the serpent goddess, Tiamat, the lady of the oceans and salt waters. Seen in India, Nagas are spirits of nature who live hidden beneath the earth – laying at the entrance of wells, lakes, and rivers. Nagas represent immortality, renewal, and wisdom.
In the Venetian mountains of Lombardy, Anguane are female spirits that bare water to one of the most arid areas of the region, where the snakes can be found in rock carvings. The Hindu tradition holds the snake as a powerful symbol of its Kundalini Yoga.
Snake Symbolism in Literature
Throughout literature, we can see the snake representing our unconscious — the dark and venomous energies, which when properly awakened and conquered, hold the key to our complete spiritual awakening. In the Tantric tradition, the highest expression of balance is found in the divine couple of Shakti (feminine) and Shiva (masculine). Balancing these two aspects takes discipline, practice, and right of ritual.
Famed psychologist, Carl Jung, saw the snake as representing the libido. His predecessor, Freud, maintained that the snake is a representation of the phallus and the male sexual force.
Snakes in literature are painted as protectors of great treasures, or pieces of knowledge that are hidden at the depths. The secret order of Asclepius was seen organizing underground, with large yellow snakes guarding the group’s entranceway. Inside, rituals for healing and awakening man took place.
But in Catholicism, the snake takes on an entirely different meaning. Seen throughout scripture as an evil creature, representing sin and temptation – having condemned Adam and Eve, who were exiled from the Garden of Eden. The Garden, possibly a physical place, but also a much deeper place that represents peace and harmony that can’t be found anywhere else on earth.
Cursed by God, stripped of its legs, forced to crawl, and eat dirt: the snake has been painted as petty and lowly. The snake embodies evil, the serpent solely responsible for detaching humans from happiness for eternity. The notion of sin is strongly connected to the sexual call of the snake, a phallic symbol which the woman must escape to maintain her being.
It is associated with seduction and a sensuality considered immoral by ancient scriptures. The snake brought with it a pleasure that was so intense that it was thought of as lethal. This further associate the snake with death, holding a poison that can kill.
Because of this much lighter aspect of the snakes’ symbolism, ophomania (divination through snakes) was a technique practiced by ancient Egyptians. The snake, depicted in multiple oracles, such as Delphi in Greek mythology, where it assumed a sacred role in the interpretation of ancient events and as a powerful symbol for fertility. While in Inca culture, the snake was symbolic for wealth and prosperity.
Spiritual Meaning of Python Snake
The spiritual meaning of a python is symbolic for control. It is possible that you are scared to let go, that you’d much prefer everything kept under control and going to great lengths to assure this. If in a dream you see another person gripped by a snake, it points to the fact that you are fearful of them.
Snake Eating its Tail Meaning
Ouroboros, or the snake that eats its own tail, is a symbol for the cycle of life – of the eternal life-death-life cycle that we find ourselves caught in. It is no mistake then that the snake is the same animal that sheds and grows new skin.
In the human psyche, to shed skin is meaningful of a deep, powerful, and irreversible transformation. Changing skin is representative of freeing oneself from all of life’s heavy burdens, all of which we are holding onto, and must let go of to grow and move forward.
2 Headed Snake Meaning
The symbol of a 2 headed snake is found within many cultures, representing:
- Connection between the primordial forces.
- The integration of opposites.
- Advanced communication.
- A Divine plan.
What if a Snake Appears in Your Dreams?
To dream about a snake (or snakes) is commonly associated with the phallic symbol, as taught by Freud and others. A snake in a dream can be interpreted with sexual references and fertility.
It can represent our fears, temptations, and sexual repression. In men, dreaming of a snake could indicate his need to affirm his virility. For women, a snake can reflect the fear that is associated with sex. In order to confirm this, we must reflect further, as snakes lay within the deepest parts of our psyche, where the most obscure and uncontrolled sexual energy dwells.
Yellow and White Snake Dream Meaning
A positive snake dream is one with a yellow and white snake in it. This dream means that you are on the right path, that a successful outcome is in your near future. The yellow and white snake in a dream is related to intuition, and chances of new opportunities to come your way.
Meaning of a Colorful Snake Dreams
If your dream has a colorful snake in it, it is another good sign. A colorful snake indicates that you are undergoing a powerful inner-transformation that will lead you to discover new parts of yourself, greater wisdom, and spiritual awakening.
Therefore, at the end of the day, it is our responsibility to be able to explore both aspects and to balance its two sides. We must do this in order to become whole and complete. In unlocking the hidden knowledge of the snake, we find within the inner-workings of life itself.