It’s interesting how often I am asked about what it means when a snake appears in a dream. If you are using my 6 Points of Entry method for uncovering meaning in your dream, the appearance of a snake will fall into the “symbols” category. Let me begin by saying that symbols in a dream include any people, places, animals, and things. When working with any of symbols that appeared in your dream, take a pen to be sure to capture your exact language, and ask yourself “What are the first two or three things that come to my mind when I think of that person, place, or thing?”
Gayle Delaney would ask you to describe the symbol as if to a young child who has never heard of or seen the symbol before. In the case of a person, you might name the first two or three personality traits that come to mind. Sometimes it might be a memory that comes up. Once you have done this first part of how to uncover meaning using a Symbols Point of Entry, you will now be able to dig a little deeper by asking yourself, “What other person in my life this week behaved in a similar way?” Perhaps you chose a certain person to appear in your dream, because he or she simply reminds you of the person in your current life you are having a problem with.
You might then also couple your description of the person with the feelings you experienced inside the dream. In other words, don’t stop at the associations to a particular symbol. You can then ask yourself, “How does that person, animal, thing, or place make me feel?” Now add to that, “Where in my life this week did I feel a similar way?”
Before I share a few snake dreams, to refresh your memory, the Points of Entry are: The Feelings, The Action, The Play on Words or Puns, The Repetition, The Symbols, and finally, The Plot.
My all-time favorite snake dream
One of my all-time favorite snake dreams was the woman who, describing her dream said, “There were snakes all over the floor! I couldn’t put my foot down!” This was one fine example of a play on words point of entry that begged the question this dreamer succeeded in getting from me when I asked, “Why? Who are you having trouble standing up to?”
The answer to my question revealed the dream was triggered by the dreamer’s fear about speaking up to her husband, who she already associates with as “having a poisonous bite” with his words sometimes. The dream perfectly reflects her worry about putting her foot down, foreshadowing her anticipation of the repercussion that might ensue.
Finally, here’s an example from a dreamer just last week, who dreamed about a snake who had two heads, and each head is a parrot!
An investigation of the dreamer’s associations revealed him sharing, “A parrot talks and talks. They are kind, friendly, and very social!
Parrots talk and talk. In fact, they listen and then repeat.” When I questioned him about a snake he offered, “A snake crawls on the ground and can be dangerous. They can be especially dangerous, because they’re not easy to see, especially because they are mostly camouflaged by the ground they crawl or slither on.
Once my client heard himself describe the symbols, he was able to see the link he’d created between the metaphors he chose in the dream, and the person from his waking-life he was discussing with himself. The image describes a woman, who, he had initially thought was engaging and nice, although he admitted very talkative.
To his surprise, shortly after he saw she has a poisonous bite he couldn’t even see coming. The woman had been listening to idle gossip, and was repeating stories to everyone she could find, much like a parrot. As the gossip she was spreading was mean and false, the dreamer made the association to the woman being friendly to your face, while underneath behaving like a hiding, slithery snake.
These are two wonderful examples of how and why I came to write my Have a Great Dream books. I wrote the books and developed the 6 Points of Entry, because you can not look up any meaning in a dream “dictionary”! Our memories and associations are as unique to each of us as our fingerprint!
In closing, when it comes to the definition of symbols in a dream, the big lesson is to ask the dreamer. It is there you will find the true meaning in the symbols used in any given dream. As we say at IASD, The International Association for the Study of Dreams, it is only the dreamer knows for certain why they had that dream and with that, what the images they chose mean.