Snake Symbolism & Meaning

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Has it been tough for you to focus on moving forward? Are you searching for a connection to ancient, esoteric wisdom? Do you need help staying grounded? Snake energy can help!

Snake Table of Contents

Snake Symbolism & Meaning

The idea of Snake Spirit slithering into your life may not, at first, seem appealing. Many people have an aversion or fear of Snakes. Nonetheless, the ancients around the world thought of Snake as a symbol of life, change and longevity.

It is not unusual for folks to seek out Snake symbolism and meaning when you need to heal or transform your life in some manner that improves the overall quality of living.

Think of Greek tales of Aesclepius, the God of medicine. His power tool is a staff with two Snakes entwined (the Caduceus). If you’re working on becoming a Light Healer (for people, animals or the earth) this is an excellent symbol to embrace for honoring Snake.

Because the Snake moves along the ground, many connect this creature to the Earth’s most primal energy and the force of creation itself. Additionally the Earth element aspect of Snake reminds us to keep one foot on the ground even when exploring Spiritual pursuits.

There are underlying themes in Snake Symbolism and Meaning and one is definitely personal growth.
Snakes shed their skin as they grow, so ask yourself – what do you need to shake off so you can expand your horizons.

Snake speaks heavily of old, outmoded ways of thinking and living that will hold you back until you’re ready for release. Once you do, the Snake’s metamorphosis process can begin within and without. The only caution is that the way in which you use your time and energy matters in this journey. Apply yourself to noble aspirations that provide balance and substance, and raise vibrational frequencies in your aura.

Snake Spirit is also a guide for Spiritual renewal. If you’re thinking of taking a new path but hesitate, Snake supports your efforts. Snake may also warn of moving too fast into something that may not be right for you. Move slowly. In nature, the Snake’s tongue is one of the most developed sensory organs. It gathers a great deal of information quickly so Snake stays out of harm’s way. Let that refined sense of “smell” direct you toward the best choice.

Snake Spirit Animal

When Snake starts appearing as a Spirit Animal and Guide it is time to cast away illusions, unhealthy beliefs and unreasonable expectations be they emotional, physical or Spiritual. The only way to wholeness is by walking in truth and living each moment to its fullness.

Give up the “would haves”, “could haves” and “should haves” and focus on NOW.

Several cultures including Celtic, Indian and Ancient Greeks felt the Snake embodied sexuality. It’s not surprising then that Snake Spirit may come to help you when you struggle with your passions and pleasures, and experiencing them wisely, without guilt.

The Snake opens Chakras, particularly the Base Chakra so you can understand and embrace sacred sensuality in body and Spirit. This path to energetic opening is referred to as a “Kundalini Awakening”.

One of the most potent lessons from Snake Spirit is that of the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Note this may not be literal (situations, relationships etc. have these elements). No matter the circumstance, let Snake guide you through this mystery. Keep a journal of your journey toward transformation.

Always remember, though, Snake sheds their entire skin, they re-emerge whole. Snake Spirit can help you glide gracefully through even the most harrowing experiences.

Snakes are terrifying to most folks. But why? Surely a ferocious, hungry Tiger pouncing on you or angry Scorpion hidden in your shoe is more likely to do damage, right? Snakes are primordial creatures and, so, stir ancient memories housed in our DNA. Snake energy causes us to consider life and death matters. This can rock your world.

When Snake slithers in as your Spirit Animal, things are about to get really “real”. Don’t be afraid. Snake medicine can help you.

Snake Totem Animal

People born with a Snake Totem are constantly changing themselves or circumstances around them. In between those efforts they’re typically content to bask in the sunshine of life! The only time they strike out is when startled or feel they (or someone they know) is in danger.

With Snake as your Totem Animal, it’s vital you stay close to the earth. You may find yourself gardening, rock hunting or walking through the green forest with all your senses open. This is the perfect time to connect with your Higher Self, Devas, Angels and the Divine. These are all fantastic locations for healing meditations and honing your natural skills.

If Snake is your Totem, you can really hold a group’s attention with your charisma and poise. Like the Snake you are flexible and able to shift your path both verbally and physically as situations dictate.

When you choose Snake as your Totem Animal, messages from other worlds can become clear to you as each of your 6 senses become more finely attuned and powerful.

Snake Power Animal

Shamans and Light workers often see Snake as a guide for Astral Travel and trance work. If you are considering exploring out of body experiences, Snake is a powerful ally. Snake can also guide you in other realms so your Spirit doesn’t stray.

Other reasons to entreat Snake include support with psychic insight and intuition, health and well-being, personal metamorphosis and evolution, creativity, improved global and cosmic awareness and learning fire medicine just to name a few.

Just remember that when you open yourself to Snake you are also opening yourself to changes that eventually manifest in Spiritual renewal. These changes are not always simple or without pain, but once confronted true healing begins.

Native American Snake Symbolic Meanings

Snake Spirit has divergent symbolism in Native American tribes ranging from a huge monster that swallowed people in one gulp to the far more positive meaning of fertility (Pueblos) and rebirth (Ojibwa).

One story from the Hopi tribe tells us of a winged Snake that communicates with the Earth Element. To honor this Spirit they have an annual dance that offers Snakes to the serpent, making prayers for the health and well-being of the tribe. Here and in several other North American tribes, Sneak is a rain-bringer.

In Aztec tradition various Gods and Goddesses have Snake forms. This includes Quetzalcoatl, the great feathered Serpent. Quetzalcoatl was the God of the evening star who gave books, corn, and the calendar to humankind.

Snake as a Celtic Animal Symbol

The Celts were a Shamanic culture who studied animals as few cultures through history have and Snakes were among their favorite animal symbols. We see this in their elaborate Celtic Knotwork, their myths and legends, etc.

Snakes represented graceful travel over any terrain, transformative healing, and a deep connection to the underworld as well as the heavens. Snakes behavior helped teach the ancient Celts how to live in synch with nature and, in particular, the seasons.

Because a Snake’s eyes “glaze over” as they shed their skin, the Celtic Snake has become a symbol of altered states and it is believed that while in that state Snakes are tapping into all the knowledge there ever has been or will ever be.

Snake Dreams

Snakes in dreams often deal with our subconscious mind that houses a lot of dynamic information that we often hide from ourselves. During your dream Snake may reveal issues or struggles that you’ve overlooked and need to see in the light of day in order to move forward. There are other meanings for Snake in dreams that are more situational – like being bitten, which could mean you’re exposing yourself to a toxic situation.

Snake in Astrology & Zodiac Signs

In the Chinese Animal Zodiac, Snake is like a little brother or cousin to the Dragon. It symbolizes working with herbs, insightfulness, and shrewdness. When the Spring festival arrives it’s not uncommon to see a Snake around a rabbit on people’s home and business as a charm for prosperity.

People born under the sign of the Snake have charm, wisdom and clever tongues. If this is your sign you are likely good with finances, have a keen empathy for others and a serious drive for success. On the down side Snake people can prove jealous, distrustful and a tad overbearing. Snake people do well in positions where they use their keen minds for problem solving or philosophy.

29 Responses

  1. Donna Town

    Thank you for this very valuable, insightful information.
    I am wondering if you have any insights into seeing a Dead Snake? There was one in the gutter in the front of my house, it was a zurprise to see and can you help me interpret the meaning as it feels significant.
    Thank you Kindly

    • Hello, Donna;

      You are most welcome! So happy you enjoyed reading about Snake energy.

      Seeing “dead animals” of any kind can mean so many things. Because there is no such thing as “death”, when interpreting messages from the animal spirit world, it can be really helpful to use “see” “death” as the following:

      • Transmutation
      • Transformation
      • Rebirth
      • Metamorphosis

      Since Snake energy is wrapped around ultimate transformation anyway, seeing a “dead” Snake takes that symbolism to a whole new level. Have you been stuck in the gutter? Is it time to transform before it’s too late?

      Also, seeing “dead” animals can be a sign that the time has come for that Spirit Animal to transition out of your life and make way for a new animal spirit guide to be your ally.

      Sure hope that helps!

      Stay wild,

    • Bethany

      Hello there,
      Thank you so much for all of your information! I was wondering if you had time to answer a brief question? I was born in the Chinese year of the snake, and my birthday falls under the sign Ophiuchus, or “Serpentarius.” I know some don’t believe in the effects of this particular constellation, but I’m supposed to be in Sagittarius however I can’t be, Jupiter was Retrograde when I was born. My planetary alignment fits into none of the twelve signs. But I used to dream of dragons. When I was a kid snakes would sliver past but never hurt me, I was never frightened. My sisters were though. What does that mean?

      • Hi, Bethany;

        Please accept my apology. I normally respond much faster. I was on a mini vacation and, then, Hurricane Matthew decided to visit me in Florida. 😉

        With all the serpent energy surrounding you (dreams, zodiac signs, etc.) it makes perfect sense why you have never been afraid of Snakes – because you ‘are’ a Snake. On my sister-site,, you can read all about the Chinese Zodiac Snake.

        I’m, also, a Chinese Snake and ever since I was a kid Snakes show up allllll the time. It freaks my family out because they know that there’s likely to be a Snake show up just about everywhere we go! LOL

        Hope that helps!

        Stay wild,

  2. Rv

    Thank you for this very valuable, insightful information.
    I am wondering if you have you can help me with it, like i want to know any connection in my life like there was a time when i was continuously dreaming about snakes and then after 2 months my mother died due to brain stroke she was perfectly fine suddenly it happened, even some time snake cross in-front of me and if i will cross the rod something terrible will happen and also if some thing bad is going to happen in ,my life i will seeing snakes if not the real one just like movie news any where pls help me with that even some of my family member think i have a snake type image on my back i don’t think it’s real but it looks like ..pls help me with that waiting for your reply.

    • Hello, Rv!

      You are most welcome. And, please accept my condolences on the loss of your mother.

      As a person who has always been deathly afraid of Snakes I understand your fears. Also, I have had many, many crazy encounters with Snakes. I’ve had tons of Snake Dreams, one dropped out of a tree onto my head when I was walking on our property, one slithered up my arm when I leaned on the side of a building, and my family and friends will tell you that almost every time I walk outside a Snake is sure to show up!

      I used to be very freaked out about this but then I realized what all the Snakes were trying to tell me – that I was supposed to stop trying to hide my psychic medium skills and use them to help people. The minute I did that, Snakes stopped showing up. Now I only see them when a major transition is about to happen.

      Maybe you are supposed to look into healing or psychic work. Maybe you are being called to study Shamanism. Some folks think Snakes are always bad omens. I do not think this at all. Like all animal spirit guides they bring important messages to us. Sometimes those messages foretell of difficult times but the difficult time is not caused by Snake – it is only the messenger.

      Hope that helps!

      Stay wild,

  3. Lynda

    Seeing snake in my sleep is so scary to me, they’ve never hurt me but am not comfortable with it any advice

    • Hi, Lynda;

      Snake dreams are among the most common dreams and definitely can be some of the scariest dreams. Hopefully, learning about Snake symbolism and meaning can help you interpret and analyze why Snake energy is speaking to you in the dreamstime.

      Stay wild,

  4. anna

    This was so right on with me, definitely a snake has been my totem animal through life.I respect snakes but do not like to touch them. However the information you provided is so me. Thank you.

    • Hello, Anna!

      So happy you like the Snake description! Snake people are powerful people so I’ll bet you are doing great things in this world!

      Stay wild,

  5. George

    hi, mine was kinda weird…
    i saw too many snakes in my house they were too much that i got scared and i had to burn some
    but not all but i saw a green long snake stayed in my house while others left…then i woke up what does that mean.

    • Hello, George;

      When we dream about being in a house – especially if we can identify it as being our own house – it’s a direct reflection of what’s going on inside you. Snakes are all about transformation but they are, also, a very male energy because of their phallic symbolism. Green is the color of abundance and nature. So, maybe it will help if you ask yourself what your feelings are regarding any big changes that might be happening around you at this time.

      Hope that helps.

      Stay wild,

  6. Patricia

    Hi Bernadette! This is Patricia again… I reached regarding Bees a few months ago when I got stung multiple times at my X-boyfriends home. Who the very next day he nearly died in a paragliding crash and is STILL in the hospital because of slight brain damage. 🙁 So Friday night I saw a snake in the road, stopped my car and stopped traffic so it could cross the road. I happen to honor & love snakes. It was quite the circus though and happened in my quiet neighborhood. Today while walking with a friend (my x’s – X), yep we are all friends, I saw a snake AGAIN slither right in front of us. She said that was the second time this weekend as well for her to see a snake in her path. So both of us with-in two days, saw snakes. I know there is a message here for sure, do you have any insight dear one? Or should I say “wild one”… 🙂 Thank you for what ever comes up for you around this. Patricia

    • Hello, Patricia!

      Oh my goodness! I’ve thought about you and your boyfriend many times since you originally wrote in. I’m sending tons of healing energy to you all! As you know Snake energy is all about death/rebirth, healing, and transformation. So, my guess is Snake has come to let you know that rebirth is on the way – even if it is taking a little bit longer than everyone is comfortable with. Also, 2 of you saw Snake in 2 days. Loosely translated that could be the Number 22. Maybe take a minute and read about the Numerology meanings of Master Number 22.

      Please let us know how your boyfriend is doing. I’m sure all the Wild Ones here at are holding sacred space for you both and all the families involved.

      Stay wild and much love,

  7. Ngozichukwu

    Good Afternoon Bernadette

    I am currently going through a healing process from years of serious neglect and abuse of myself and from those closest to me and had the strangest dream last night. I dreamed that a large snake fell out of my chest and was attempting to bite me although it couldn’t quite catch me. Prior to the snake coming out of my chest, I witnessed a past love of mines walking through my dream without saying anything to me, he just gave me an ominous look as it felt as though he were spying on me before I caught him looking. What are your thoughts about the snake symbolism within my dream?

    • Hi, Ngozichukwu;

      Please accept my apology. I normally respond much faster. I was on a mini vacation and, then, Hurricane Matthew decided to visit me in Florida. 😉

      In a day or so I’m putting up an extremely in-depth article about Snake Dreams on my sister-site, As soon as it is up, I’ll put the link here. However, that said, scary as the dream might have been it makes perfect sense to me.

      Since you’re working with your heart chakra on trying to heal yourself and come to a place of self-forgiveness and love, Snake is the ultimate healer and symbolizes total transmutation. Your past love was with you during the time of self-neglect/abuse. Since you are moving energies such as his out of your space, maybe you intuitively know he would rather see you held back – not progress because it means you will succeed and surpass him. Chances are that he would not like that.

      Though the Snake did try to bite you, I see that as your earthly mind’s way of ‘biting back’ because change is hard. But it sounds like you’re doing great because, ultimately, Snake came from your heart and that means you’re on the right track!

      Hope that helps!

      Stay wild,

  8. Angela

    For the last 3 nights I have had dreams of different types of snakes, cobra, boa and last night I had a dream that a tiny garden snake bit me in the arm. What do you suppose these could mean?

    • Hi, Angela;

      Please accept my apology. I normally respond much faster. I was on a mini vacation and, then, Hurricane Matthew decided to visit me in Florida. 😉

      If I knew more about what was going on in your life right now I might be able to shed a bit more light on the meaning of your dreams. However, to dream of Snakes three night in a row means bit change is coming. Hope that’s a good thing! That said, hopefully the Snake Symbolism and Meaning article gave you some more insights.

      Hope that helps!

      Stay wild,

      • Angela


        Thank you for you response. What a surprise for you, glad you are okay.
        In response to your message, my company is going through a transformation of sorts and I am also pregnant. 😊 I am hoping the change either way is for the good. I hoping to speak to an intuitive soon in regards to both.

        • Hello, Angela;

          You are most welcome! Funny you should mention speaking to an intuitive because I’m a professional psychic medium. 😉 My Spidey Senses tell me both will go great! And, on the job front, the company transformation spells surprises for you that leave you smiling and wondering, “Where did that come from?” 😉

          Hope that helps.

          Stay wild,
          PS – Feel free to read about my psychic medium work and let me know if I can help you navigate the coming changes. 🙂

          • Angela

            Bernadette, my apologies I didn’t realize. I will be in contact with you.

          • Hi, Angela!

            OMG! No apology necessary! is not really designed to be about ‘the woo-woo’ so many readers have no idea that I’m a professional psychic medium. And, even still, I always encourage folks to get readings with whatever reader they feel most energetically drawn toward. It’s SO important to have that connection!

            Stay wild,

  9. Desire'e Gabrielle Baptist

    Hello there,
    I was compelled to take my daughter, and my self hiking. We were having a Wonderful time and I was kind of rushing to the top when I heard a rattle right next to my ankle, and I jumped, and was surprised and frightening to see a coiled up rattlesnake. As frightening as I was we stopped and watched it cross the path before one minute later I seen a Yellowish Green bigger snake in the tree strength out staring at us on the path I was going to take, that I then decided to take another path to the top on the mountain. Once we made it to the top, we soaked in the beauty of the view. I decided to go a different way down the mountain since already encountering 2 snakes on our path, when I heard another rattle and screamed because another rattlesnake was 3 inches away from my ankle again!!! The snake began to follow us on our path so I turned around towards the way we sort of came up the mountain, and ran down the whole path due to fear of encountering another snake on our path. Lastly when we came close to reaching our car, a big beautiful hawk I believe swooped down and picked up a snake and carried it off. This was my first snakes encounter and would love some guidance and possible interpretation of what they were trying to tell us, Thank You so much for your time Love always and Forever,

    Desire’e Gabrielle Baptist

    • Hello, Desire’e;

      Wow! That is a seriously powerful encounter with Snake energy! Because of both my zodiac sign (Scorpio – ruled by Scorpion, Snake and Eagle) and my Chinese zodiac sign (Snake) – I know lots and lots about Snake symbolism and meanings! LOL

      Lots of snakes are on the move right now. Yes. Some of this is due to weather – they are reptiles now seeking warmth as the cooler weather moves in. Here in Florida, Snakes rushed to get away from Hurricane Matthew this past weekend.

      But, those of us in the world of spirituality and metaphysics, believe it’s due more to all the turbulent changes going on in the world. Snakes are responding to those vibrations.

      Now, Rattlers are particularly aggressive Snakes. To meet up with two in the same day tells me that the animal spirit guides are really trying to get your attention. Because the Hawk carried one of the Snakes into the sky, my feeling is that all the world changing that you’ve been talking about and dreaming of getting involved in should start NOW! No more waiting. It’s time to get moving and effect those changes in the world that you wish to see.

      Hope that helps!

      Stay wild,

      • Desire'e Gabrielle Baptist

        Thank You so much for your insight on thing’s! I have known my life and situation needs to change, and I have been procrastinating, and making excuses, and after my snake encounters I am ready and willing to listen to what the animal spirit’s are trying to tell me. God Bless You Always and Be safe in Florida!

        • Hello, Desire’e;

          You are most welcome! Change is hard but I know you are going to do great because you’re animal spirit guides told you so! Go, sister! You got this!

          Stay wild,

  10. Maritza

    I had a dream of lots of snakes I was walking and the snakes were just passing next to me they didn’t even bother me, then after a while one showed up in my patio it was a red-bellied 5 1/2 I pushed out of my patio it was a full grown one I’m not fun of snakes and she gave me a little run a around but she finally left to the next door patio in 16 years that I live here this is the first time I see a snake I don’t know if this is a message that was she bought to me, could you tell me if this is a message.
    Thank you so much

    • Hi, Martiza;

      Dreams about Snakes are all about transformation and sexuality. So, I’m wondering if you are feeling ‘overlooked’ in the romance department. Perhaps you’re lacking passion (the color red) in your life?

      Hope that helps!

      Stay wild,

  11. Susan

    I find it so strange that the snake is my spirit animal, because I am so freaked out by snakes. I mean FREAKED out! Just thinking about coming across one makes me want to weep. I’m also, ironically, a wood snake born 1965.

    So several days ago the electricity went out in our neighborhood at dusk, so my husband and I grabbed our flashlights to go outside and see if it was the entire neighborhood without electricity or just us. We stood in the street for a few minutes and then decided to head back inside and as I neared the front door I saw a snake. Don’t know what kind because they all fall under one category in my book: Scary as sh!t! I ran in the other direction, stood in the middle of the street, cried for a minute, caught my breath, and then ran around the other side of the house to come back in. I’ve hardly been outside since. (The last time I saw a snake prior to that was 8 years ago and it frightened me so much I didn’t go outside alone for months. Everything in my yard died because of it.)

    Anyway back to my most current sighting. Since then every night as I go to bed and am falling asleep pictures of snakes pop into my head. I immediately replace those pictures with things I love like flowers, babies, beautiful scenary, etc., and I doze off. But last night I actually dreamt about snakes. I was inside a house and was looking out a window to an old shed, and on the old shed’s roof were 3 snakes. I didn’t panic in my dream, I just became determined to find my husband and let him know there were snakes on the shed, so I spent most of my dream looking for him. At the end of the dream, my daughter came in the house after taking our dogs outside to potty, and when I looked down I realized one of the dogs had a small snake on her. The snake fell off, I told me daughter to keep an eye on the snake and that I would handle it. Then I woke up.

    Any ideas on what my dream could mean? Or why almost every night I see snakes as I doze off? Or why I am so scared of them that just thinking about them can make me cry?
    Thank you!!

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