Dreaming About Snakes: What Does It Mean?

Dream about snakes

Dreaming about snakes is a relatively common experience that usually produces feelings of anguish and discomfort in those who experience it.

Added to the anxiety that these animals tend to produce in most people is the disturbing component of the symbology. That’s why many people wonder… What does dreaming with snakes mean? Can Sigmund Freud’s theory of dream interpretation tell us anything about this? Let’s see it.

Dream interpretation and the subconscious

The mysterious nature of dreams is something that has always aroused the interest of humanity, even long before the emergence of psychology as a science. Closing your eyes, disconnecting from the world around us and passing without realizing it to the world of dreams is an experience that is difficult to understand. Among other things, because While we dream, almost anything is possible ; even situations that in the real world could only be attributed to magic or the supernatural.

However, although the realm of dreams offers a potentially unlimited repertoire of situations, in practice most of these visions, stories or sensations refer to the real and objective world in which we are sleeping in a bed, an armchair or a chair. hammock. And that’s why even the most surreal situations with non-human beings are usually composed of animals that really exist; Snakes are an example of this.

Now… what does it mean to dream about snakes, creatures that appear relatively frequently in both dreams and nightmares? Is there an interpretation for this dream experience?

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The idea that dreams and nightmares have meaning is linked above all to the theories of psychoanalysis proposed by Sigmund Freud. According to this neurologist, one of the most influential authors of the 20th century, dreams are forms of expression through which contents from the unconscious part of the human mind emerge to consciousness disguised as something they are not.

That is, in dreams we would find emotional and repressed contents that can only be allowed to appear under the appearance of dream elements. whose true meaning is not literal, but must be interpreted just as we would interpret any symbol.

What does dreaming with snakes mean?

Knowing what we have seen so far, it is understandable that it is common to ask the question of what it means to dream about snakes, with all its variants: the meaning of dreaming about snakes that attack, that stare at us, that talk to us, that ignore us. , etc.

From the orthodox psychoanalytic perspective, these reptiles would be symbolic elements to decipher, that is, symbols that express messages that the body sends to the conscious part with which the subconscious relates indirectly when we dream, a moment in which the mechanisms that normally repress the contents far from our consciousness lose power and become more relaxed. .

And since Freud’s ideas have had a lot of influence for decades, even among those who have never read the father of psychoanalysis, the idea has permeated that in the experience of dreaming about snakes there is a meaning, a hidden meaning that reveals aspects of our personality or the nature of our traumas, memories etc.

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However, we should discard the idea that dreaming about snakes has a fixed and very specific meaning, although it may have a more diffuse and abstract one. Let’s see why.

The limitations of Freud’s work

Freud is highly criticized for reaching contradictory conclusions: on the one hand, he claims to know general principles of the functioning of the human mind, and at the same time, he establishes that all this is determined by the autobiographical history of each person, especially during their years. of childhood. That is His ideas apply and at the same time do not apply to all human beings.

Therefore, even for Freud, dreaming about snakes would not have a predetermined meaning, but to understand this symbology it would be necessary to explore the particular case of each person, given that one of the characteristics of symbols is that depending on the context we can literally give them any meaning.

Of course, this defect of Freudian psychoanalysis does not imply that we cannot attribute meaning to dreaming about snakes; it only implies that We cannot link it to a very specific and elaborate message one that reveals something fascinating to us about who we are and what our past is, as we will now see.

Snakes and anxiety

If there is a key to understanding what it means to dream about snakes, that is the way in which evolution has predisposed us to fear these animals.

And the fear of snakes is not something purely learned; Biological evolution has made our brain especially skilled when it comes to detecting these animals, very quickly detecting shapes similar to those of snakes and causing an almost automatic emotional impact in us.

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It is true that it is possible to enjoy the company of these reptiles, but this is usually the product of a learning process by which we “train ourselves” in the task of tolerating their company; The first option we consider when seeing these creatures close to us is to move away quickly.

Thus, the snakes that appear in our dreams are a way in which anxiety is captured while we sleep. Although we tend to relax more when we rest than we do when we are awake, if there is something in our lives that worries us, that anguish can “leak” into our dreams and it will easily produce nightmares or experiences like being visited by one of these elongated reptiles.

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