In the post on dreams about snakes, we explored the myriad ways in which snakes appear in dreams. Here, we get more specific. What does it mean when you see dead snakes in dreams? The first answer seems kind of obvious: something in you is dead or at risk of dying, or, something in you is absolutely cut off from life.
Whether or not the dead snake in your dream is a good or a bad thing depends on the dream’s depiction of the snake’s death, your reaction to it, and your current life situation.
The question you should be asking about dead snakes in dreams is, should I let die or bring it back to life?
Far too many dream interpretations say things like, “dead snakes in dreams mean something bad is behind you” or something like that. Interpretations like these are too simplistic. Your dreams are an image of an unconscious response to whatever’s happening in your life, and as such, the dream is an attempt to widen your perspective of the situation.
Before you can answer any questions about dead snakes in dreams, you need to know the general meaning of snake symbolism. Snakes are one of the oldest symbols in the history of human kind, and as such, it has a very deep well of meaning.
If you haven’t do so already, I recommend reading my introduction to dream interpretation and meaning.
Dead snakes in dreams: initial considerations
- Record as much of the dream as you can remember in your dream journal
- Write down any emotional responses or thoughts about your dream imagery
- Note your direct associations to the dream imagery (don’t free associate yourself away from the dream imagery)
- Read about general snake symbolism
- Reflect on what is happening in your life right now
- Notice any ah ha! feelings
General Snake Symbolism
First we will take a quick look at general snake symbolism. I’ll offer some food for thought about each section. Next, we’ll look at some possibilities for the meaning of dead snakes in dreams.
The Snake as Life Energy
The snake is a symbol for primal life energy, and by that I mean that the snake is a symbol for the Life Force itself.
The life force is that primal living stuff that interpenetrates and animates everything in existence. It is the energy which is incarnate in us all. In particular, the snake represents the life force engaged in the field of time.
By engaged in the field of time, I mean that aspect of life which is cyclical: birth, death, rebirth. If you look around you, you can see that all life follows this same process. We see it in the change of seasons; in the rhythm of the moon; and in the sun’s daily and yearly rounds. This attribute of the snake comes from its ability to shed its skin and thus renew itself.
What I’d like for you to keep in mind about this aspect of snake symbolism with regard to dreams about dead snakes:
The life force is cyclical and flows of its own nature. It never resists or complains about its process. A tree does not stop growing because its roots run into an obstacle. Trees don’t cling to their leaves in the Fall because they aren’t ready to let go. They also don’t force their leaves to come out in the Winter because they are just tired of waiting.
The snake as unconscious energy
The symbolism of the snake can also represent a darker, unconscious primal energy. This is not to say that the darker energy of the snake necessarily represents something negative or evil; but rather, snake energy can represent something in the dark and unknown. What we call this dark and unknown the unconscious in the lexicon of C.G. Jung’s Analytical Psychology.
Whenever something is unconscious, it is really unconscious – we are unaware of it. Consciously disconnected from whatever it is, we are unaware of the effects it has on us. Be assured, however, the unconscious definitely affects you. It causes you to do things or say things that you don’t want to do or say. This is why it is important for us to become conscious of unconscious effects. Whenever we discover something about ourselves in this way, we have the chance of integrating that information – of bringing it into or back into our lives.
The snake as instinctual energy
Let the body speak!The snake can symbolize our instinctual nature. Our instinctual nature is that age-old, innate wisdom of the body, something from which we are tragically disconnected. I would venture to say that most don’t even know what I mean when I say, “innate wisdom of the body.”
Let the body speak without your saying a word.
Be like a student following behind a teacher saying “This one knows the way more clearly.”Rumi
To get an idea of what I mean, consider the immense age of humankind in general. Not just the scant 200,000 years that Homosapien has been wandering the planet. Let’s go back even further to our first official ancestors – Homo habilis. Homo habilis existed roughly 2.3–1.4 million years ago. Anything which has endured that long possesses a very deep wisdom that cannot be taken casually.
When we are disconnected from the wisdom of the body we make bad decisions based on the intellect. For example, I have heard many women who have been attacked by men say, “I had a feeling that something was wrong and I had a chance to get away. I talked myself out of it.” The take way here is to listen to your body when you get these signals.
The same goes if you are feeling tired or sick. Don’t push yourself beyond endurance. This is why so many people have heart problems or digestive problems. You can read more about this phenomenon on my other site in an article called Can Meditation Change the World. The title is just a play on words. The article is about the effects of stress on our brains and bodies and how meditation can actually change those effects due to the neuroplasticity of our nervous system.
I think this a good start for us to dive into the symbolism of If you’re ready to deep-dive into the symbolism of the snake, you can read full article on Snake Symbolism here.
Snake symbolism in dreams of dead snakes
The amazing ability of the snake to shed its skin, and thus, be born again lends it the name Master of the Mystery of Rebirth. Snake symbolism in dreams, then, can represent our own capacity to renew ourselves and thus be born again. This can be a reference to something simple, like a job change or even getting a new hairstyle. But it can also symbolize a radical transformation in our lives. In latter case, it would be a complete alteration of our attitude about life – something that changes our whole personality.
So, is there an attitude in you that needs to be shed? Or is there a life situation that should radically change?
If so, then a dead snake in dreams could be a symbol for your inability to shed something. If this is happening, then you will likely experience a sort of depressive state, whereby everything stagnates. All of your life energy would be trapped in that dead snake.
Figure out what to shed, and you’ll likely start get your energy back.
Dead Snakes in Dreams: something you have rejected about yourself
As I said earlier, the symbolism of the snake can also represent a darker, unconscious energy – not necessarily in a negative/evil sense, but rather just something dark and unknown. The unknown and dark is something from which we are completely disconnected.
If you’re dreaming about a dead snake, then it could be time to check in with yourself.
Questions for consideration
Do you have the feeling that something is missing from your life?
Are you experiencing any bodily symptoms, such as pain or illness?
Do you spend too much in your head, whether you thinking or fantasizing?
Are you living your life authentically or following a conventional/collectivepath?
It could be something rejected, unadmitted, unacknowledged, or undeveloped. It could be some quality of yourself that you’ve rejected or a quality that is totally undeveloped.
For example, the dead snake could represent a feeling or emotional quality that is missing from your personality. Think about how difficult it is to have a feeling-toned relationship with a snake versus a dog. The snake can also represent the awakening of consciousness, as I have discussed at length in the article on Snake Symbolism.
So, in the case of “rejected, unadmitted, unacknowledged, or undeveloped”, you’d have to reflect on that. What have you left behind or given so little energy and attention to that it’s now dead? Or, what about yourself can you absolutely not accept, but should accept?
How receptive are you to new ideas or perspectives which could possible expand your awareness? A dead snake in your dream could symbolize that you kill something before proper consideration.
Dead Snakes in Dreams: Rejection of the nature Life
Now rejection can go beyond the rejection or denial of something about yourself. Rejection can also be existential. This could mean that you fundamentally dismiss some elemental quality of existence itself – that you are too bound to dualistic thinking: right/wrong, good/evil, pleasure/pain, etc. This kind of rejection often shows up as a religious or moral crisis about the fundamental nature of life.
I realize this might sound abstract, but here’s an example: many people cannot handle the idea of Death. We especially see this fundamental rejection of life when it comes to the fact that Life must eat Life in order to live. This is a fundamental condition of living, whether you eat animals or plants.
Birth and death are Life. If you accept one and not the other, then you reject a fundamental element of existence. In this case, a reconciliation of the opposing forces within you is necessary.
Symbolically the snake is also the embodiment of the reconciliation of opposites. I could list many images, but just think about the dual snakes wrapped around a pole or tree, as in the caduceus. This symbol is the epitome of transcending opposites.
Dead snakes in dreams could represent an inability to transcend limited, dualistic thinking.
These are just few ways to look at dead snakes in dreams. So, if you have had a dream of a dead snake, follow the guidelines I have laid out here. Reflect on the dream’s meaning. Don’t just read something that tells you what dreams of dead snakes mean. No one can tell you this. You have to take into account everything about your life and your associations with snakes. Work with the symbol of the snake from as many aspects as you can.
Now, there’s another question left to answer: what do dreams of killing a snake mean? This answer has some archetypal components that require a dedicated article. Stay tuned because it’s coming. In the meantime, if you have dreams of dead snakes, please share them in the comments below. We’ll interpret those dreams according to what’s happening in your life right now.
Want to learn more about working with dreams or Jungian Psychology?
- Dreams of Father Dying: A Symbolic Rite of Passage - February 15, 2020
- Dreams About Dead Fathers: It’s Time to Re-Think or Update Your Conscious Attitude - February 14, 2020
- Nightmare Meaning and Nightmare Disorder:A Jungian Perspective - January 22, 2020
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Hi Jesamine, These recent eclipses have been bringing up my core wounding, my mother complex, early sexual trauma. I spent 1.5 years in analysis before I moved states and it was a very fruitful time (also Saturn return). Losing that connection to place, meaningful work w/ my autistic clients, and my analyst felt and still feels like such a huge loss that I still haven’t recovered from..Before I found analysis I also experience what seemed, at the time, to be a Kundalini rising experience. A lot of resurfacing grief and somatic/ procedural memories arose toward the last half of my… Read more »
Hi Namaste It’s my first time here. I embrace your wisdom. Loved your article. I have a dream to tell if you can tell What you see through it. A little intro Iam an Indian woman in my 40’s I have been in meditating , being available through this body to conciousness accepting that this body is a vessel and living meditatively but lately I have stopped & been inactive unable to channel Energy properly & creatively I did dynamic Osho meditations & kundalini & nadhbrahma meditation which helped my energy to channel and to be connected into heart than… Read more »
I had a dream just now. I went outside our backyard and I saw 2 snakes dead inside a cage. According to dream, it was like, a friend of mine gave them to me because I wanted to try what it’s like to have a pet. But they died on me. I was shocked but I felt a little relief. But I was too scared to touch them and I was disgusted(FYI I REALLY HATE SNAKES). So I called my husband and asked for help. I’m just worried about this dream. Please tell me something about this dream.
first tell me what you have understood about your dream after having read the post…
I had a dream last night and saw so many dead snakes small an big once ,and found it difficult to walk because I didn’t want to step on them.i step where there is a space for me.
Today I had a dream I was in my childhood home (I don’t dream of my childhood home often) with an old friend having a conversation when I noticed my backyard door was open. I ran immediately to it to try and close it as a saw a so figure that looked like a white wolf and I was terrified that it would attack my dog. It was rattling in the bush very loudly. Once I closed the door and ran to the window to get a better view of the dog/wolf, I saw that it had killed or injured… Read more »
In my dream, I killed a snake that was attacking me. As the snake was attacking, I grab it by the neck, and some one cut the it into two halves. I told the person to give me the cutlass and I cut it from the neck. All of the sudden, the tail got head and began to pull out it tongue. The tongue turned into root, the other pieces of the snake grew roots and grew into trees.
What does it means?
In my dream I saw around 4 to 5 feet thick dead snake. Don’t remember the color or species. It was lying dead in my walkway near garden leading towards entrance gate as if it was going out. I just saw it lying there and I threw a shoe on it. When I went to see the other side it was cut open from the belly and around 5 to 6 white coloured eggs were there in the belly.
In my dream: were in a camp and was asked to go put on the generator, so three of us went, on our way, I could see so many snakes different types and on reaching the generator site, there were lots of dead mashed snakes that got my hands and feet stained with the snakes blood to the extend that I could perceived the smell of the blood. Then I heard my son wake me.
Hi Janet, you didn’t leave me any information about your life. If you want some feedback, do that.
In my dream a stranger told me he have a dead snake who flew to moon once. I insisted him not to show me the dead snake bcoz I will get scared. But he brought it towards me. So I closed my eyes. But then he put it on my neck from behind to front. I could feel it. I got so scared and threw it. I ran to hide. As I came out, he threw it on the sand near my foot. Then I saw it. It was a greenish yellow colour python kind of snake, whose small head… Read more »
I had a dream last night about two dead small snakes. At first I didn’t know what it was as I just found it’s head. While the other I saw it under the pillow.
What do you think could be the reason for having such dreams?
Hi Kiki, if you want some insight, then please re-read the post, give me some information about your life, and make some associations to this dream. I have given you a lot to work with in the post.
I had a dream that I had a large, green pet snake. I can’t recall the details, but I was with family or friends for most of the dream while out on a bay or river in boats of some kind at night. At some point, the snake died, and I continued to carry him around. I was somewhat sad about the snake, but not overly sad. I also remember a 45-50ish year old man who seemed to want to help me. He was very positive and energetic, and with large, dynamic « coach-like » movements, he encouraged me to place the… Read more »
Hi Meg, thank you for sharing this dream. I’d really like to know how the post helped…I’m very curious about this snake. My feeling is that it is related to your artistic/creative nature. It’s as if your soul is in this snake you carry … this man in your dream is a very positive figure. I wondered if you know anything about Jung’s technique of active imagination. You need to make contact with this helpful dream figure. It seems as if you are in the proverbial trap that has been laid for us in this world: follow convention or listen… Read more »
Last night I had this very frightened dream – big fat snake lying in garage floor dead, I walked away but turned around and I came back to see the a snake again. Snake turned around tried to bite me and I walked away to some group of men and walked with them talking bout dead snake. In dream with those people I was not scared but I was when I woke up. Right now I do have health issues that I or my doctor are not taking seriously- as it seems like. Also I Had to ignore some “so… Read more »
Hi Georgina, I can’t give you too much information in a comment. I offer plenty of “free” insight into dreams throughout this site. I do not get the feeling that your dream is at all dangerous. That this snake appears dead but actually isn’t dead is pertinent to its meaning. Something in you feels dead to you, but isn’t. What is that? Somehow it’s connected to your instinctual nature. Perhaps something in you has been awakened by this unattainable gentlemen? Your work would be to take back any projections you have on this man and realize them as parts of… Read more »
In my dream, I saw many sneaks in died position near to my house, and maximum sneaks are in the steady or died state on my favorite lime tree, Then I walked away from there and Saw little cobra on my way, almost I had a dream with sneaks once in a week. and I don’t know what does it mean
Hello Akash, I have put many, many hours of work into writing these posts for my readers. The answers to your questions are there. Please read the posts for your answers. You’ll get more out them than I can answer here.
Good morning, I dreamed last night that my son’s pet snake (which is orange) was killed with the head on the stairs and pieces of its body in its terrarium. The snake in the dream, however, was black and much larger than our pet. I was upset to find the dead snake and immediately began questioning the kids in the house (visitors) about what happened. I woke with a very concerned feeling. A bit about me, I am divorced with two kids, just began dating someone a couple of weeks back and things seem to be going great. I am… Read more »
Hi Becca, thanks for sharing your dead snake dream. As I have said in all of my posts, your dream’s meaning is dependent on what is happening in your life at the time of the dream. Always, this includes life events, your reaction to them, and your conscious attitude toward life in general. I would need to know more about you to give you any real insight. Other than what I have already said in the posts on snakes, there are a few details you can explore: Why is the snake’s head separated from its body? Explore any disconnects between… Read more »
Hi Jesamine I dreamed that we killed a snake (myself and other people), a black and white patterned one, and we cooked at ate the flesh and it was really nice. Then we were looking for more snakes to kill but I found the skin and remains of the one we killed to eat and started to feel bad for the snake so I wanted to find help to revive the snake. Then I met my husband in the dream who told me we can try to sew the snake back together and he will help me. He sewed it… Read more »
Jolie, thank you for sharing this dream – and your very personal situation. One thing from the dream is clear: your husband is a very positive figure, both in your life and in your psyche. He is a part of your inner masculine. Look up inner masculine on the site for more information on that. My first inclination, and this is only a feeling because I do not know you personally, is that this black and white snake snake somehow symbolizes a tendency to see or judge things in terms of “black and white”, i.e., right/wrong, should/should not, etc. This… Read more »
I saw in my dream a snake. at first it was wrapped around my right hand, a thick and average size snake. i was screaming for my father for help. when he comes to rescue, the snake is under my skin of the right hand, slowly creeping forward. Father pulls it out, and the snake is thin, short and orange. What does that mean?
Without any information about yourself, I can’t help you with this dream. It seems very specific to something happening in your life. Your age, gender, and relationship to your father (and mother) would help.
This is my reality: I am in a sexless marriage and have fallen in love with someone. Unrequited and nothing has or will happen. Just butterflies and dreams, always about him and I being deeply in love. I am 40 this year so I fear leaving my husband and also fear being unlovable and never finding love. This was my dream: So I had a beautiful dream of where I met up with my ‘lover’ and had the most beautiful feeling of love and acceptance and intimacy. And upon leaving his home he says we can’t make a habit of… Read more »
Hi Yolandie, first don’t be so quick to judge your dream symbols: there is no reason to assume those snakes refer to either “dead hope” or “dead marriage”. That is too literal, not to mention that you already know that you feel hopeless and dead. Your dream does not need to give you an image for that feeling. The dreams shows you what you don’t already know about yourself. The idea that you having fallen in love with someone else is significant. Even though it has happened in your waking life, it is still a symbolic event. You have to look… Read more »
It’s not the first time I have seen snakes in my dream. Many a times I have seen snake just lying in front of me uncoiled. I am looking at it but not scared. Then once I saw a black snake hanging in my washroom. Most of the time when I have had snake dreams, there is only one snake in that dream. It stares at me or is just lying somewhere but doesn’t harm me. Last night was the first time I saw a dead snake. In my dream, it was night. I was returning back home from somewhere.… Read more »
Karishma, thanks for sharing this dream imagery. It’s always very difficult to do real work with dreams without knowing your conscious situation. From what you have shared, it would seem that there is a negative progression to your snake dreams. By that I mean, in this last dream, the snake is finally dead. What does this mean? I would suggest that you read through all of my posts on snake dreams and ask yourself whether you have allowed something in your life – perhaps your family dynamic? – to kill your instinctual life. I say this only because in your… Read more »
We were in our family house My younger brother said he can hear a pigeon crying… So I looked under the bed and table and saw the pigeon there but there was also a hen there So I tried to get the pigeon out but the hen wouldn’t let me.. Trying to fight me So I used a chair to hold and turn the hen upside down Then I put my hand, brought out the pigeon and set it free Now I turned my eyes to the other side of under the bed I saw snakes They were plenty but… Read more »
Hello, thanks for posting. I can’t really give you much information on the meaning without knowing your conscious situation. That you are in your family home says you are somehow in a “psychic situation that is like your past”. It’s a family dynamic. That something is going on under the bed could mean “something happens while you sleep”. This means, “you are unconscious of some kind of struggle”. As if something in you needs to be “rescued” or “released”. In order to determine what your younger brother means, you have to explore what he means to you. He is a… Read more »
I just want to thank you for being the most knowledgeable, thorough and legitimate Dream website I’ve come across. Thank you for sharing your knowledge, expertise and reminding readers of the most important thing when interpreting dreams: we need to pay attention to our own wisdom and do our own soul searching with the information provided.
Hi Shanny, thank you so much for your comment. I’m so happy to hear that the soulmessage of the site is coming through. It’s exactly why I do this work.
Hello Under the Radar, your cousin plays a significant role in this dream. Reflect on her qualities. She’s some kind of shadow figure for you (remember that shadow does not mean “negative”, it means unknown. She’s uncovering these dead snakes and she wants you to eat them. Eating something often means “digesting it” and “integrating” it rather than not dealing with it. Something tells me those snakes represent something you should work through. Could be this fear you speak of. If this fear keeps you from living your life, then you need to work through it. The snake skins are… Read more »
Hello, Its not the first time i dream about snakes. But i fail to understand what my body is trying to teach me through this everytime. I was at home with my cousin and she keep discovering dead snakes under bushes, at the back door,back yard etc etc. I was so shocked bout the discoverage. I remembered eating dead snake meat in my dream and feeling guilty, and so i ask my cousin to throw all these dead snakes away. She replied saying sth along the line “we shouldnt throw food, we didnt have anything to eat for several days”… Read more »