Dreams about snakes are a common theme at bedtime. If you or a loved one has been covering this ground at night, you may have questions about what it all might mean. As part of a Huffington Post series on dreams and their meanings, we spoke to Barbara Condron, B.J., D.D., D.M., of Windyville, Mo., to get expert advice about the meanings of your or your loved one’s snake dreams. Condron is the author of two dozen dream-related books, including "The Dreamer's Dictionary" and "Every Dream is About the Dreamer." Note: While dream analysis is highly subjective, this post might provide some insight into why this dream occurred or is recurring.
What do dreams about snakes mean? "Snakes represent the dreamer's creative urge toward wisdom," says Condron. She explains that the snake is a neutral symbol and that it's up to the dreamer to assign the slant. "This slant is often defined by cultural view," she says. "For instance, in the West, snakes are generally feared while in the East they are revered. This can influence the dreamer's interpretation of the dream."
What can I learn about myself from dreaming about snakes? According to Condron, snakes in a dream indicate that the dreamer's attention during the previous day was involved in some creative pursuit. "This was the focus of the potential learning in the dreamer's waking life," she says. "The details in the dream will reveal what kind of creativity was in play -- spiritual, mental, emotional, or physical -- and how it was acknowledged, applied or denied, and whether the dreamer was conscious or unconscious of the possibility for wisdom."
Are there any tricks to avoiding or inducing dreams about snakes? Condron says that individuals who have a more developed sense of consciousness -- like healers, yogis, meditators or creators -- are more likely to report snake imagery in their dreams. If you want to induce a snake image in your dream, practice creativity or develop your sense of conciousness.
Beyond analysis, what cultural symbolism can be found in dreams about snakes? "Cultures around the world recognize this image and it abounds in art treasures from every time period," notes Condron. For example, the Rainbow Snake of Australia and China's woman-headed snake who created humans illustrate the enduring and universal symbology of the serpent. "In the modern West, the serpent has found cultural disfavor due to interpretations of Biblical teachings pointing to the reptile as a tool for the 'fall of man'," notes Condron.
Who tends to have dreams about snakes most frequently? Condron says that nearly one in every 20 dreams involves a snake. Individuals who are highly creative or very in tune with themselves and their conscience are most likely to have snake dreams.
Does dreaming about a poisonous snake in particular have special meaning? "This indicates the dreamer's attitude toward wisdom, sometimes a fear of what may be left behind," says Condron.
Barbara Condron, B.J., D.D., D.M., has both taught and written about dreams for the past 50 years. In addition to penning two dozen books, including "The Dreamer's Dictionary" and "Every Dream is About the Dreamer," Condron serves as the coordinator of the National Dream Hotline and is research project director for the College of Metaphysics' Global Lucid Dreaming Experiments. She holds a doctorate in both Metaphysics and Divinity from the School of Metaphysics.