Of all the different types of dreams I help interpret for people, dreams involving snakes are by far some of the most unnerving and yet the most common types of dreams I receive. They have a way of making our skin crawl, and they can be so vivid that we wake up with a sense of urgency to discover their meaning.
While there are various types, colors, and sizes of snakes that appear in dreams, (all of which add more detail to the overall interpretation of the dream) I’ve learned that for the most part, snakes are a common metaphor for the same thing:
Snakes represent falsehood.
Typically, they show up in our dreams to indicate that some sort of deception, lie or fabrication is lurking near. Sometimes, they can indicate deceptions we’re holding on to in our thinking that God wants to free us from. Other times, they can represent lies that are being spoken about us, or aimed at us to try and discredit or undermine something we’re doing. And these dreams are given to us not to cause us to become paranoid or start acting suspiciously of everyone and everything around us. But simply to warn us, to cause us to become more alert and of course most importantly, to pray and seek God for protection and direction.
Making note of the color and size of the snake, the type of snake it is and the activity or behavior of the snake in our dream will help give us more detail as to how these lies may be manifesting themselves. For example, sometimes we’ll see that the snakes will try to blend into the scenery around us in the dream, indicating that the lie is attempting to remain undetected. Other times however the snake(s) shows up blatantly, aggressively, right out in the open, coiling up in our path and ready to strike. Watching their behavior will help give us a clue as to where these lies may be originating and/or hiding.
Secondly, the type, size and color of the snake(s) will give us more detail as to the nature, or the motive behind the deception. For example, I’ve seen anacondas in dreams (which are not venomous, but constrictive). These are typically larger snakes (the larger the snake, the larger the lie) and can represent something that’s trying to “squeeze the life out of you” or “suffocate you to death” so that you lose all joy and you don’t accomplish what it is you’re meant to accomplish.
Rattlesnakes strike quickly and are aggressive in nature. Cobras are typically used as “charming snakes” and will try to hypnotize first (think false charm and/or flattery) before striking. Garden snakes on the other hand, while they can still be alarming, are completely harmless.
So what does God want to say to us about these dreams and what do we do with them?
First of all, don’t panic! We must remember that nothing comes as a surprise to God. He sees all, He knows all, and His nature is good towards us. He already knows the motive and source behind any lie or deception that’s trying to come against us and He wants to give us His perspective, wisdom and grace so that we can avoid and overcome any form of deception.
“Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Luke 10:19 NKJV
Herein we see the nature of God. He doesn’t cause fear in our lives, He wants to help us avoid whatever could potentially hurt us. And so He will allow something like a dream involving snakes as a metaphor so that we can know He’s aware, He wants us to know what’s going on, and if we will just turn to Him and seek Him for the answers, He most certainly will help us.