I am at the house of my childhood in Livingston MT. I am discussing creative visualization with my mother. She says OK lets try it now. I say I really want a new snake as my other one has gotten away. I close my eyes and visualize finding a new snake in my back yard. We go outside and open up a trunk of a car. A snake is there. We are both amazed. I quickly grab it although it tries to get away. It reminds me of my snake Satsuma that disapeared in real life. I take it upstairs and put it in my old snake terrarium. I walk downstairs and do a few things, then decide to go check on the snake. To my dismay a white spider is sitting on its head and sinks its fangs into it's face. I cry out! I notice the whole cage is infested with white spiders. I frantically think how I can save it. I call to my mother and ask her to help me carry the tank downstairs so I can clean it out! I keep seeing the image of the white spider biting the orange snake*
Seeing a snake or be bitten by one in your dream means hidden fears and worries that are threatening you. Your dream may be alerting you to something in your waking life that you are not aware of or that has not yet surfaced. The snake may also be seen as phallic and thus symbolize dangerous and forbidden sexuality. The snake may also refer to a person around you who is callous, ruthless, and can't be trusted. As a positive symbol, snakes represent transformation, knowledge and wisdom. It is indicative of self-renewal and positive changes.
In some cultures snakes are highly regarded and symbolise the ability to transcend into higher levels of consciousness or into areas of knowledge that exist outside perceived time and space. In the pre-Christian days, snakes were considered symbols of fertility, healing, and nurturing (the healing serpent representing a god). Post Eden, snakes are often considered symbols of temptation and evil, anger, and envy. Snakes emerging out of the ground may represent your unconscious or repressed materials coming to your conscious mind. Most snake dreams seem to be disturbing and they leave the dreamer feeling anxious and afraid. There are no simple interpretations to the snake dreams. Sometimes snakes may be phallic symbols and other times they represent negativity in our lives that hampers our progress and constantly threatens us. In the long run the snake may be a positive symbol; it may represent difficulties that lead us to the centre of personality and result in feelings of completeness.
Snake symbolic meaning, overwhelmingly and in various cultures, deals with primordial life force and usually turns our attention to gender supremacy (both male and female).
Consequently, snakes span the symbolic bridge between lunar and solar associations as well as aspects between water and fire.
Coiled within this polarity, we clearly see symbolism of duality and the search for balance. Other snake symbolic meaning includes:
Occult (hidden) Knowledge
Male/Female, Yin-Yang, Duality
As a Native American Indian symbol (depending on the nation/tribe) the snake can be a masculine symbol, associated with the phallus of lightning which is considered a medicine staff of tremendous assertive power. Other tribes lean in the direction of feminine attribution for the snake and pair it with mothering (creation), and lunar (moon) symbolism.
Whether raising itself in masculine authority, or encircling the Earth in a motherly fashion – the snake symbol of the Native American’s was highly regarded; utilized in ritual to invoke an element of pointed focus and weighty influence.
The ancient Celts were extremely nature-wise too, and approached snake symbolism from the behavior and life cycle of this magnificent creature. From the Celtic perspective, the snake was a symbol of secret knowledge, cunning and transformation.
Further, the snake Celtic symbol comes from observations of the European viper (also known as the adder) which is the only (along with the common grass snake) species able to tolerate the colder climate of the ancient Celts.
In the keen Celtic mind, snake symbolic meaning of transformation came from the shedding of its skin. Physical evidence of leaving its form behind (casting off the old self), and emerging a sleeker, newer version made the snake a powerful symbol of rebirth and renewal.
As far as the occult (hidden) symbolic meaning in Celtic and other cultures, this can be connected to the sleuth-like ways of the snake.
Disappearing in colder months and summoned by the sun marks the snake’s connection to the shadow worlds with its successful ability to live within the dark realms for extended periods of time. Alternatively, the snake softly moves into the embrace of the sun, and so it encapsulates the ancient magician's creed of moving in perfect rhythm of natural forces.
In Eastern Indian myth the Sanskrit word for snake is naga and these are associated with the element of water. Picking up water’s symbolism of emotion, love and motion, nagas in this light are considered a feminine aspect and embody nurturing, benevolent, wise qualities.
To wit, the practice of nagayuna in Eastern Indian alchemy seeks to achieve loving harmony between the physical and ethereal. Simply put, all of us striving to better ourselves by calmly easing into places of personal balance within the cosmic balance of the whole are practicing this ancient technique.
Snake tattoo symbolism varies according to the bearer of the mark. For example, I have a back piece depicting two serpents (nagas) wrapped around the seven prime chakras down the length of my spine. This (to me) incorporates the kundalini power available to all humans.
Additionally, this entwined snake imagery hearkens to the caduceus, in which the staves of Asclepius are made of two polar (and copulating) serpents which symbolizes balance, equanimity, union and regeneration.
Double snakes are common in almost all cultural symbolic languages. Ultimately the double snake is an icon representing:
Connection between primal forces
Integration of opposites
Joining together on a divine level
Making whole what was once fragmented and doing so in a magical, organic way.
Snake Double HelixCarrying this dual snake imagery a step further, we could look to the language of science. Observe the formation of DNA and how it forms a perfect, serpentine double helix (shown left). This prompts us to consider how the energetic mind is connected to the grander whole, and how it so effortlessly makes graceful connections between the basic building blocks of data with the manifestations of the natural world.
There is no doubt, the snake is a unifying force embodying infinite messages to those who are energetically available to perceive them. Alchemists understood this, and thus incorporated the philosophy of snakes in their grimoires, practices, and even their daily life.
Indeed, alchemy literature is rife with the image of the uroboros which is symbolic of conceptualizing totality – embracing the whole of consciousness and devouring it with unquenchable passion.
As an animal totem, the snake surfaces into our awareness with all the power of the symbolic attributes listed on this page (and more). Those who are drawn to the snake (and vice versa) are gifted at perceiving life through an uncommon lens. Other characteristics of those who are connected to snake energy include:
A natural ability to balance energies (you’re likely a gifted healer)
Diplomatic and eloquent in areas of speech and writing
Dynamically intuitive (often knowing other’s thoughts and emotional states without trying)
Impulsive, but not without careful consideration – this may sound paradoxical, but those with the snake totem know what I mean here.
I invite you to step into the calming energy of the snake, and see what this noble creature offers you in the form of messages, growth, and enlightenment.
Further, it should be understood this page is but a miniscule sampling of the diverse snake symbolic meaning s available to us. Therefore, I encourage you to slither into your own personal ruminations, research and meditation of the snake.
You will find your investment to be infinitely rewarding.
By shedding its skin, the snake symbolizes change in the cycle of birth, life, death, and rebirth. It counts among its strengths the power of creation, of se xuality, of the soul, as well as of transformation and immortality. Snake-people are higher cast, because as part of their experiences they have had to come into contact with poison (physical or mental) and have been able to transform the poison in their bodies into something harmless. The snake belongs to the element of fire, which causes desire and passion in the physical realm and, in the spiritual realm, creates a connection with the Great Spirit and leads to all-encompassing wisdom. Whenever the snake appears in your dreams, it is a sign of change as you come ever closer to perfection.
This animal gives you the ability to let go of things that are worn out and no longer useful - just like the snake sheds it skin when it is no longer needed.
Rebirth, wisdom, fluidity, wholeness, transmutations, sexuality, look for transitions, changes and new opportunities. Creative forces are awakening with heightened intuition. Snake can teach about shedding what is not needed; perceptions, attitudes, ideals. Snake shows how to access vitality, ambitions and dreams along with intellect and personal power. What things are surfacing that you need to strike out and take advantage of? Perhaps a time to rest and reflect? Listen to your intuition and visions at this time. Contemplate the colors, striking ability and activity of the snake type to further understand what snake is saying.
The spider is a symbol with three distinct meanings; sometimes they
merge or overlap, sometimes one or the other predominates. The three meanings
are derived from: (i) the creative power of the spider, as exemplified in the
weaving of its web; (ii) the spider’s aggressiveness; and (iii) the spider’s web as a
spiral net converging towards a central point. The spider sitting in its web is a
symbol of the centre of the world, and is hence regarded in India as Maya, the
eternal weaver of the web of illusion (32). The spider’s destructive powers are
also connected with its significance as a symbol of the world of phenomena. As
Schneider points out, spiders, in their ceaseless weaving and killing—building and
destroying—symbolize the ceaseless alternation of forces on which the stability
of the universe depends. For this reason, the symbolism of the spider goes deep,
signifying, as it does, that ‘continuous sacrifice’ which is the means of man’s
continual transmutation throughout the course of his life. Even death itself merely
winds up the thread of an old life in order to spin a new one (51). The spider is a
lunar animal because the moon (owing to its passive character, in the sense that it
merely reflects light, and because of its waxing and waning phases, taking these in
the positive and negative sense) is related to the world of phenomena, and, on the
psychic level, to the imagination. Thus the moon, since it holds sway over the
whole phenomenal world (for all phenomenal forms are subject to growth and
death), weaves the thread of each man’s destiny. Accordingly, the moon is depicted as a gigantic spider in many myths (17).
To dream of a spider, denotes that you will be careful and energetic in your labors, and fortune will be amassed to pleasing proportions.
To see one building its web, foretells that you will be happy and secure in your own home.
To kill one, signifies quarrels with your wife or sweetheart.
If one bites you, you will be the victim of unfaithfulness and will suffer from enemies in your business.
If you dream that you see many spiders hanging in their webs around you, foretells most favorable conditions, fortune, good health and friends.
To dream of a large spider confronting you, signifies that your elevation to fortune will be swift, unless you are in dangerous contact.
To dream that you see a very large spider and a small one coming towards you, denotes that you will be prosperous, and that you will feel for a time that you are immensely successful; but if the large one bites you, enemies will steal away your good fortune. If the little one bites you, you will be harassed with little spites and jealousies. To imagine that you are running from a large spider, denotes you will lose fortune in slighting opportunities. If you kill the spider you will eventually come into fair estate. If it afterwards returns to life and pursues you, you will be oppressed by sickness and wavering fortunes.
For a young woman to dream she sees gold spiders crawling around her, foretells that her fortune and prospect for happiness will improve, and new friends will surround her.
Seeing a spider in your dream indicates that you are feeling like an outsider in some situation. Or that you may want to keep your distance and stay away from an alluring and tempting situation. The spider is also symbolic of feminine power. Alternatively, a spider may refer to a powerful force protecting you against your self-destructive behavior. If you kill a spider, it symbolizes misfortune and general bad luck. Seeing a spider spinning a web in your dream means that you will be rewarded for your hard work. You will soon find yourself promoted in your job or recognized for your achievement in a difficult task. Spiders are a symbol of creativity due to the intricate webs they spin. On a negative note, spiders may indicate a feeling of being entangled or trapped in a sticky or clingy relationship. It represents some ensnaring and controlling force. You may feel that someone or some situation is sucking the life right out of you. Seeing a spider climbing up a wall in your dream indicates that your desires will be soon be realized. Dreaming that you are bitten by a spider, represents a conflict with your mother or some dominant female figure in your life. The dream may be a metaphor for a devouring mother or the feminine power to possess and entrap. Perhaps you are feeling trapped by some relationship.
Some believe that the spider is symbolic of an unkind and sneaky individual. Are you the spider building a web, or are you being dragged into one? A spider's web might represent entanglement and the general complexities of life. Depending on the details of the dream, it could also symbolise a smothering individual. Ironically, very old dream interpretations say that the spider is an omen of good luck! The spider and his web may be calling for an integration of the dream's personality leading to greater self-awareness and resulting in feelings of completeness. Therefore, the spider and her web may be considered profound and spiritual dream symbols that call for greater self-understanding and encourage us to derive meaning and satisfaction from the intricate framework and interplay of life.
The Spider is an ancient symbol of mystery, power and growth.
We take our first lesson from the ancient symbol of the Spider by contemplating its web.
Just as the Spider weaves a web, so too must we weave our own lives. The Spider symbol meaning here serves as a reminder that our choices construct our lives. When the Spider appears to us, it is a message to be mindful of the choices we are making - and ask ourselves:
How are my choices affecting my life?
How can my choices improve my life?
How are my choices affecting others in my life?
Not only do Spiders and their webs draw attention to our life choices, they also give us an overview of how we can manipulate our thinking in order to construct the life we wish to live.
Spiders do this by calling our awareness to the amazing construction of their webs. Fully functional, practical, and ingenious in design - Spider webs serve as homes, food storage, egg incubators - seemingly limitless in their functionality.
When we consider this ingenious diversity, we can also consider the web-like construct of our own lives. How are we designing the most effective life?
When we see our decisions, choices and actions as far-reaching, effective tools in life - we can see how we weave a web that can either serve us or enslave us. The Spider symbol meaning beckons us to be mindful of our behaviors - be smart about the life we weave for ourselves.
We can derive more Spider symbol meaning when we consider certain subtle characteristics that represent ancient symbols of infinity.
The infinity symbol meanings occur when we consider most Spiders have eight eyes and all have eight legs. The number eight is also a symbol of infinity or lemniscate (an eight turned on its side). Also, the vibrational frequency indicates the meaning of number eight involves cycles, passage of time, and evolution.
Further Spider symbol meaning:
In Native American symbolism, the Spider is a symbol of protection against torrential storms. In yet other Native American lore accounts, the Spider (personified as the Grandmother) was the teacher and protector of esoteric wisdom.
The meaning of Spider in India is associated with Maya. The term Maya comes from the Sanskrit root “Ma” which means no form or limit. The term Maya describes the illusory nature of appearances. The Spider’s association with Maya brings about the understanding that not all things are as they appear to be.
The Spider symbol meaning in Egypt, is akin to Neith, a complex deity usually depicted with arrows as she is associated with hunting. Along with hunting, she is also associated with the creation, specifically the process of recreation in the dawning and dusking of each day. Neith is also a weaver, and is often shown with a shuttle in her hand (a tool used for weaving). It is this activity that gains her association with the Spider.
And of course, no conversation about the meaning of spiders is complete without discussing the Greek myth of Arachne, a mortal (although of noble stature) who was a spectacular weaver. Acclaim for her luscious lively looms spread over hill and dale and ultimately reached the immortal ears of Athena. Arachne claimed she was the best weaver, and thus prompted a challenge from Athena.
And so, they played a round of “dueling looms,” but no one could confirm the victor. However, Arachne was quite smug about the whole process. So much so, that Athena smote her with a mighty blow of conscience and a dose of guilt. Arachne took the dosage hard, and could not live with the intense feelings of guilt and sorrow so she killed herself. Athena felt awful over the whole mess and decided to resurrect Arachne in the form of a spider so that she and all her offspring would forever be the best weavers of the universe.
One final note, if you've visited my website often, you know I'm a big proponent of individual interpretation. Symbol meanings are very personal and profound. I merely provide a foundation of symbol meanings; utlimately, only YOU can determine what the meaning of Spider is to you.
The Spider is a totem of responsibility and infinity. The shape of the spider and the number of its legs both show the number "eight," which represents infinity. The spider embodies the unlimited number of possibilities within creation. Doubling the number "four" indicates both the four winds and the four cardinal points. The spider instructs us to accept responsibility for anything that happens in our lives. We weave the web of our destiny. The victim who becomes caught in the web has not yet understood this lesson and has become entangled in a reality that appears to be unchangeable. The spider teaches that each being is responsible for its own plan of life. It is important not to lose oneself in deceptions of the senses, and it is helpful to write down one's progress to remember how certain strategies have led to success. The spider also stands for the development of writing.
The spider represents creativity and the weaving of fate. Everything you do in the present will help determine your future. The past always influences the present and the future. It also teaches the need to maintain balance between the past and the future.
Maintains a balance from past to present, helps in creativity and inspiration, helps understanding of illusions and reality, spiritual and physical balance, awakens sensibilities and weaves influences in development in your own world, stay focused on the center of things. Spider is gentleness and strength and will remind you of this pattern. She also will aid in communications and the written word. Are you creating to your fullest potential? Spider will teach the infinite possibilities of creative manifestation and the delicate strength of this balance. Notice the colors, patterns and behavior of the individual spider type for further insight to what Spider is saying.
Mother-symbols are characterized by an interesting ambivalence:
the mother sometimes appears as the image of nature, and vice-versa; but the
Terrible Mother is a figure signifying death (31). For this reason, Hermetic doctrine held that to ‘return to the mother’ was equivalent to dying. For the Egyptians, the vulture was a mother-symbol, probably because it devours corpses
(19); it also stood for the means whereby Hammamit (the universal soul) was
split up into separate parts to form individual souls (19). For the same reason, the
maternal sentiment has been said to be closely bound up with the nostalgic
longing of the spirit for things material (18), or with the subjection of the spirit to
the unformulated but implacable law of destiny. Jung mentions that in Jean
Thenaud’s Traité de la Cabale (of the 16th century) there is a mother-figure
actually represented in the form of a god of destiny (32). He mentions further that
the Terrible Mother is the counterpart of the Pietà, representing not only death
but also the cruel side of nature—its indifference towards human suffering (31).
Jung also notes that the mother is symbolic of the collective unconscious, of the
left and nocturnal side of existence—the source of the Water of Life. It is the
mother, he argues, who is the first to bear that image of the anima which the man
must project upon Woman passing from the mother to the sister and finally to the
beloved (32). A predominantly maternal social pattern—a matriarchal society—
is characterized, according to Bachofen, by special emphasis upon blood relationships, telluric allegiances, and the passive acceptance of natural phenomena.
Patriarchies are distinguished by a respect for man-made laws, the favouring of
works of art and craft, and obedience to the hierarchy (23). Even now that
matriarchal societies, sociologically speaking, no longer exist in the West, psychologically man is nevertheless passing through a phase when he is in all essentials dominated by the feminine principle. To come triumphantly through this
stage and to reinstate the masculine principle as the guiding-rule of life—bringing
to the fore the characteristically patriarchal qualities noted above—would signify
an achievement of the kind that was once symbolized by the transformation of
the ‘lunar work’ into the solar, or by the transmutation of mercury into sulphur.
To quote Evola: ‘Symbols of the earth-mother are: water, the mother of the waters, stone, the cave, the maternal home, night, the house of depth, and the
house of strength or of wisdom.’
To see your mother in your dream, represents the nurturing aspect of your own character. Mothers offer shelter, comfort, life, guidance and protection. Some people may have problems freeing themselves from their mothers and are thus seeking their own individuality and development.
To dream that you are having a conversation with your mother, denotes a matter that has preoccupied your mind and you are not sure how to deal with it in your waking life. It indicates unresolved problems that need to be worked out with your mother.
To hear your mother call you in our dream, suggests that you have been negligent in your duties and responsibilities. You are pursuing down the wrong path.
If you dream that you see your mother and converse with her, it indicates that you
will have prosperity in life. To dream that you have lost your mother indicates her sickness.
To see your mother in dreams as she appears in the home, signifies pleasing results from any enterprise.
To hold her in conversation, you will soon have good news from interests you are anxious over.
For a woman to dream of mother, signifies pleasant duties and connubial bliss.
To see one's mother emaciated or dead, foretells sadness caused by death or dishonor.
To hear your mother call you, denotes that you are derelict in your duties, and that you are pursuing the wrong course in business.
To hear her cry as if in pain, omens her illness, or some affliction is menacing you.
Seeing your mother in your dream, represents the nurturing aspect of your own character. Mothers offer shelter, comfort, life, guidance and protection. Some people may have problems freeing themselves from their mothers and are thus seeking their own individuality and development. Dreaming that you are having a conversation with your mother indicates a matter that has preoccupied your mind and you are not sure how to deal with it in your waking life. It indicates unresolved problems that still need to be worked out with your mother. Hearing your mother call you in our dream means that you have been negligent in your duties and responsibilities. You are pursuing down the wrong path. Hearing your mother cry in your dream indicates some illness or affliction.
The relationship that we have with our mother is the most psychologically significant relationship of all. Rarely all good or all bad, our mothers always invoke powerful emotions. We may dream about our mothers in many different forms. She may be disguised in our dreams, and it is our job to find her in there. If you are dreaming about your mother, you may be addressing some issues or concerns in your dream, or your dream may be based on a valuable memory. The general image of "mother" in a dream may symbolise a variety of feelings and ideas: caring, nurturing, love, acceptance, hard work, sacrifice, martyrdom, etc. The mother in your dream could also represent the "collective unconscious," the source of the "water of life," and the yin. The woman is that force, or current, inside of you that nudges you on and inspires you. It is your intuition and the knowledge that in not necessarily attached to words. Men, on the other hand, represent the active part of us that use the information received to create the physical reality of our lives. When the two are working together well, we have balance and experience awareness leading to peace and productivity.
If all symbols are really functions and signs of things
imbued with energy, then the serpent or snake is, by analogy, symbolic of energy
itself—of force pure and simple; hence its ambivalence and multivalencies. Another reason for its great variety of symbolic meaning derives from the consideration that these meanings may relate either to the serpent as a whole or to any of
its major characteristics—for example, to its sinuous movements, its common
association with the tree and its formal analogy with the roots and branches of the
tree, the way it sheds its skin, its threatening tongue, the undulating pattern of its
body, its hiss, its resemblance to a ligament, its method of attacking its victims by coiling itself round them, and so on. Still another explanation lies in its varying
habitat: there are snakes which inhabit woods, others which thrive in the desert,
aquatic serpents and those that lurk in lakes and ponds, wells and springs. In India, snake cults or cults of the spirit of the snake are connected with the
symbolism of the waters of the sea. Snakes are guardians of the springs of life and
of immortality, and also of those superior riches of the spirit that are symbolized
by hidden treasure (17). As regards the West, Bayley has suggested that the
snake, since its sinuous shape is similar to that of waves, may be a symbol of the
wisdom of the deeps (4) and of the great mysteries. Yet, in their multiplicity and
as creatures of the desert, snakes are forces of destruction, afflicting all those who
have succeeded in crossing the Red Sea and leaving Egypt (57); in this sense, they
are connected with the ‘temptations’ facing those who have overcome the limitations of matter and have entered into the realm of the ‘dryness’ of the spirit. This
explains why Blavatsky can say that, physically, the snake symbolizes the seduction of strength by matter (as Jason by Medea, Hercules by Omphale, Adam
by Eve), thereby providing us with a palpable illustration of the workings of the
process of involution; and of how the inferior can lurk within the superior, or the
previous within the subsequent (9). This is borne out by Diel, for whom the
snake is symbolic not of personal sin but of the principle of evil inherent in all
worldly things. The same idea is incorporated into the Nordic myth about the
serpent of Midgard (15). There is a clear connexion between the snake and the
feminine principle. Eliade observes that Gresmann (Mytische Reste in der
Paradieserzahlung, in Archiv f. Rel. X, 345) regarded Eve as an archaic Phoenician
goddess of the underworld who is personified in the serpent (although a better
interpretation would be to identify it with the allegorical figure of Lilith, the
enemy and temptress of Eve). In support of this, Eliade points to the numerous
Mediterranean deities who are represented carrying a snake in one or both of their
hands (for example, the Greek Artemis, Hecate, Persephone), and he relates these
to the finely sculpted Cretan priestesses in gold or ivory, and to mythic figures
with snakes for hair (Medusa the Gorgon, or the Erinyes). He goes on to mention
that in Central Europe there is a belief that hairs pulled out from the head of a
woman under the influence of the moon will be turned into snakes (17). The
serpent (or snake) was very common in Egypt; the hieroglyph which corresponds phonetically to the letter Z is a representation of the movement of the
snake. Like the sign of the slug, or horned snake (phonetically equivalent to F),
this hieroglyph refers to primigenial and cosmic forces. Generally speaking, the
names of the goddesses are determined by signs representing the snake—which is
tantamount to saying that it is because of Woman that the spirit has fallen into
matter and evil. The snake is also used, as are other reptiles, to refer to the
primordial—the most primitive strata of life. In the Book of the Dead (XVII), the
reptiles are the first to acclaim Ra when he appears above the surface of the waters of Nou (or Nu or Nun). The demonic implications of the serpent are
exemplified in Tuat, whose evil spirits are portrayed as snakes; however, these—
like the vanquished dragon—may also take on a beneficent form as forces which
have been mastered, controlled, sublimated and utilized for the superior purposes
of the psyche and the development of mankind, and in this sense they correspond
to the goddesses Nekhebit and Uadjit (or Buto). They also become an Uraeus—
the same thing happens in the symbolism of the Kundalini—constituting the
most precious ornament of the royal diadem (19).
As we have said, it is the basic characteristics of the snake which have
determined its symbolic significances. To quote Teillard’s definition of the snake,
it is: ‘An animal endowed with magnetic force. Because it sheds its skin, it
symbolizes resurrection. Because of its sinuous movement’ (and also because its
coils are capable of strangling) ‘it signifies strength. Because of its viciousness, it
represents the evil side of nature’ (56). Its ability to shed its skin greatly impressed ancient writers: Philo of Alexandria believed that when the snake shakes
off its skin it likewise shakes off its old age, that it can both kill and cure and that
it is therefore the symbol and attribute of the aggressive powers, positive and
negative, which rule the world. (This is a Gnostic and Manichean idea of Persian
provenance.) He decided finally that it is the ‘most spiritual of animals’. Jung has
pointed out that the Gnostics related it to the spinal cord and the spinal marrow,
an excellent image of the way the unconscious expresses itself suddenly and
unexpectedly with its peremptory and terrible incursions (31). He adds that,
psychologically, the snake is a symptom of anguish expressive of abnormal stirrings
in the unconscious, that is, of a reactivation of its destructive potentiality. This is
directly comparable to the significance of the serpent of Midgard in Norse mythology. In the Völuspa it is proclaimed that the deluge will commence when the
serpent awakens to destroy the universe (31). For Zimmer, the serpent is the
lifeforce which determines birth and rebirth and hence it is connected with the
Wheel of Life. The legend of Buddha tells how the serpent wound itself round his
body seven times (as in the effigies of the Mithraic Cronos), but, since it could
not crush him, it turned into a youth bowing low before Gautama (60).
The connexion of the snake with the wheel is expressed in graphic form in the
Gnostic symbol of the Ouroboros, or serpent biting its own tail; half of this
mythic being is dark and the other half light (as in the Chinese Yang-Yin symbol),
which clearly illustrates the essential ambivalence of the snake in that it pertains
to both aspects of the cycle (the active and the passive, the affirmative and the
negative, the constructive and the destructive). Wirth comments that the ‘ancient
serpent is the prop of the world, providing it with both materials and energy, unfolding as reason and imagination, and also as a force of the darkness’ (59). The
snake was an important symbol for the Gnostics, and especially for the so-called
Naassene sect (from naas—snake). Hippolytus, criticizing this doctrine, asserted that the snake was said to live in all objects and in all beings. This brings us
to the Yoga concept of the Kundalini or the snake as an image of inner strength.
Kundalini is represented symbolically as a snake coiled up upon itself in the form
of a ring (kundala) (29), in that subtle part of the organism corresponding to the
lower extremity of the spinal column; this, at any rate, is the case with the
ordinary man. But, as a result of exercises directed towards his spiritualization—
Hatha Yoga, for instance—the snake uncoils and stretches up through wheels
(chakras) corresponding to the various plexuses of the body until it reaches the
area of the forehead corresponding to the third eye of Shiva. It is then, according
to Hindu belief, that man recovers his sense of the eternal (28). The symbolism
here probably relates to an ascending force, rising up, that is, from the area
governed by the sexual organ up to the realm of thought—an interpretation which
it is also possible to justify by simple reference to the symbolism of level, taking
the heart as central. In other words, the symbol denotes ‘sublimation of the
personality’ (Avalon, The Serpent Power). Jung has noted that the custom of
representing transformation and renovation of figures of snakes constitutes a
well-documented archetype; and he suggests that the Egyptian Uraeus is the
visible expression of the Kundalini on a higher plane (32). There are also various
rites which accord with this concept of progressive elevation. The progress through
the six chakras—there is in fact a seventh, but it is unnamed and (like the central
point of certain mandala-like patterns) is not represented visually—may be regarded as analogous to climbing up the terraces of the ziggurat or mounting the
steps pertaining to the seven metals in the Mithraic ritual (11). Apart from the
circular (and cosmic) position it tends to take up, and the quality of completeness
which this implies, the snake is frequently related to other symbols. The most
common of these is the tree, which, being unitary, may be said to correspond to
the masculine principle, in which case the ophidian would represent the feminine.
The tree and the serpent are, in mythology, prefigurations of Adam and Eve.
Furthermore, by analogy, we also have here a situation of symbolic Entanglement—the snake curled round the tree (or round the staff of Aesculapius)—and
a symbolic image of moral dualism. Diel, who tends to favour this kind of interpretation, suggests that the snake coiled round the staff or club of the god of
medicine recalls the basic, Biblical symbol of the Tree of Life encircled by the
snake and signifying the principle of evil; the pattern here points to the close
relationship between life and corruption as the source of all evil. Diel goes on to suggest that it is this subversion of the spirit that brings about the death of the
soul, and that this is what medicine must, in the first place, set out to combat (15).
Now, the opposite to the encircling (or triumphant) snake is the crucified
snake, as it is to be found among the figures included in Abraham le Juif (Paris,
Bibl. Nat. Ms. Fr. 14765, of the 16th century) (32). This figure of the reptile
nailed to a cross—or the chthonian and feminine principle vanquished by the
spirit—is also represented mythically by the victory of eagle over serpent. Heinrich
Zimmer recalls that, in the Iliad, an eagle appears to the Greeks, carrying a
wounded snake in its claws. The seer Calchas saw this as an omen portending the
triumph of the Greeks (the masculine and patriarchal order of the Aryans subduing the predominantly feminine and matriarchal principle of Asia) (60). Since all
struggle is a form of ‘conjunction’ and therefore of love, it is hardly surprising that
man should have created a synthesis of opposing powers—heaven and earth—in
the image of the ‘plumed serpent’, the most notable symbol of pre-Columbian
America. This serpent has feathers on its head, in its tail and sometimes on its
body. Quetzalcoatl is another androgynous symbol of this kind (41). The symmetrical placing of two serpents, as in the caduceus of Mercury, is indicative of an
equilibrium of forces, of the counterbalancing of the cowed serpent (or sublimated power) by the untamed serpent, so representing good balanced by evil,
health by sickness. As Jung has shrewdly observed, this much-used image is an
adumbration of homoeopathy—a cure effected by what caused the ailment. The
serpent therefore becomes the source of the healing of the wound caused by the
serpent. This is why it could serve as a symbol of St. John the Evangelist (32) and
appear in association with a chalice.
The different forms which the serpent may take are not numerous. The seaserpent seems simply to emphasize the integration of the symbolism of the
unconscious with that of the abyss (9). If it has more than one head, this merely
serves to add to the basic symbolism, the extra significance corresponding to the
particular number of heads it is given. The dragon or the serpent with seven heads
occurs often in legends, myths and folktales simply because seven represents
multiplication of unity and locates the reptile among the essential orders of the
cosmos. The seven-headed serpent partakes of the symbolism of the seven Directions of Space, the seven days of the week, and the seven planetary gods, and
has a bearing upon the seven sins (9). The three-headed serpent refers to the three
principles of the active, the passive and the neutral. In alchemy, the winged
serpent represents the volatile principle, and the wingless the fixed principle. The
crucified serpent denotes the fixation of the volatile and also sublimation (as in
the Prometheus myth). Alchemists also saw in the serpent an illustration of ‘the feminine in Man’ or his ‘humid essence’, relating the reptile to Mercury (57) as
the androgynous god who—like Shiva—was doubtless endowed with a tendency
towards both good and evil (an aspect also portrayed by the Gnostics in their
twin serpents called Agathodaemon and Kakodaemon) (9). There are also serpents of unusual aspect—the snake with a sheep’s head, for instance, in reliefs on
certain Gallo-Roman sepulchres. In view of the favourable symbolic sense of the
sheep (connected with Aries, spring, initiation and fire), this adaptation implies a
degree of spiritualization (16). Finally, according to Schneider, the sacrificed
serpent is the symbolic equivalent of the swan’s neck and of the swan itself (and
it is by the swan that the hero is wafted heavenwards, plucking away upon his
harp) (50). That is to say, the sacrifice of the serpent (as a life-force) makes it
possible to accept death gratefully (like the swan) and to soar up to higher
regions. Father Heras has suggested that the snake is symbolic of fertility and
destruction and that it is in this sense that it appears on the menhir of Kernuz
(Finistère). It appears in opposition to the arrow in the effigy of the horned god
of Cerdeña (with another head on top alluding to the symbolism of the Gemini).
To see a serpent in your dream, signifies the balance of good and evil.
To see a winged serpent in your dream, denotes wisdom. You have overcome the negativity in your life.
Seeing a serpent in your dream means high intellectual power, deception, and the balance of good and evil. Seeing a winged serpent in your dream indicates wisdom and that you've overcome negative ways.
To dream that you are in a cage, indicates that you are experiencing inhibitions and powerlessness in some areas of your life. You are feeling restricted, confined and restrained in a current relationship or business deal. Somebody may be keeping a short leash on you, where you are lacking the freedom to act independently.
To dream that you are putting a wild animal into a cage, signifies that you will succeed in overcoming your rivals and fears. It is also symbolic of your ability to control you animalistic rages and anger.
To see a bird in a cage, suggests that you are feeling limited in your expression and a sudden lost of freedom. You may be experiencing frustrations and an inhibited spirituality. The dream may also imply that you are feeling like a "jail bird".
In your dreaming if you see a cageful of birds, you will be the happy
possessor of immense wealth and many beautiful and charming children.
To see only one bird, you will contract a desirable and wealthy marriage.
No bird indicates a member of the family lost, either by elopement or death.
To see wild animals caged, denotes that you will triumph over your enemies and misfortunes. If you are in the cage with them, it denotes harrowing scenes from accidents while traveling.
Dreaming of being in a cage means that you are experiencing some inhibitions and powerlessness in some areas of your life. You may feel restricted, confined and restrained in a current relationship or business deal. Somebody may be keeping a short leash on you where you are lacking the freedom to act independently. Dreaming that you are putting a wild animal into a cage means that you will succeed in overcoming your rivals and fears. It is also symbolic of you being able to control you animalistic rages and anger. Seeing a bird in a cage, suggests that you are feeling limited in your expression and a sudden lost of freedom. You may be experiencing frustrations and an inhibited spirituality. The dream may also imply that you are feeling like a "jail bird".
This dream symbol suggests that you may be experiencing inhibition and powerlessness in some areas of your life. Additionally, you may be feeling restricted and have concerns about your personal freedom. (Who holds the key to the cage in your dream?) Consider all of the details in the dream and look for its possible source (i.e. family life, relationships, thoughts and/or feelings, or work life).
Old dream interpretation books say that a bird cage represents a happy marriage, but if the birdcage is empty and the door is open, someone will be betrayed.
To dream that you are crying, signifies a release of negative emotions that is more likely caused by some waking situation rather than the events of the dream itself. Your dream is a way to regain some emotional balance and to safely let out your fears and frustrations. In your daily lives, you tend to ignore, deny, or repress your feelings. But in your dream state, your defense mechanisms are no longer on guard and thus allow for the release of those feelings that you have repressed during the day.
To see someone else crying in your dream, may be a projection of your own feelings onto someone else. If you do not cry in your waking life, then seeing someone else cry may be a little easier to deal with then seeing yourself cry.
To wake up crying, represents some suppressed hurt or previous trauma that is coming up to the surface. You can no longer suppress these emotions. They need to be dealt with head on.
To dream that no one hears or responds to your cries, represents your helplessness, difficulties and frustrations in trying to communicate with others. You feel that your words are falling on deaf ears. Perhaps your dream is telling you to be more vocal and work harder to get your point across.
Dreaming that you are crying means a release of negative emotions that is more likely caused by some waking situation rather than the events of the dream itself. Your dream is a way to regain some emotional balance and a way to safely let out your fears and frustrations. In our daily lives, we tend to ignore, deny, or repress our feelings. But in our dream state, our defense mechanisms are no longer on guard and thus allow for the release of such emotions. To wake up crying, suggest the grieving of your soul and that you need to change your ways and how you approach things. Dreaming that no one hears or responds to your cries, represents your helplessness and difficulties and frustrations in trying to communicate with others. You feel that your words are falling on deaf ears. Perhaps your dream is telling you to be more vocal and work harder to get your point across.
To see your own face in your dream, represents the persona you show to the world as oppose to the real you. It may refer to how you confront problems and deal with issues in your life.
To dream that your face is flawed or pimply, symbolizes erupting emotions. You may be suffering an attack on your persona or your reputation. According to folklore, if you dream that your face is swollen, then it means that you will see an improvement to your financial situation.
To dream that you or someone has two faces or that the faces changes quickly from one person to another, indicates untrustworthiness. You or someone in your life is acting "two-faced".
To dream that you are washing your face, suggests that you need to come clean about some matter.
This dream is favorable if you see happy and bright faces, but significant of trouble if they are disfigured, ugly, or frowning on you.
To a young person, an ugly face foretells lovers' quarrels; or for a lover to see the face of his sweetheart looking old, denotes separation and the breaking up of happy associations.
To see a strange and weird-looking face, denotes that enemies and misfortunes surround you.
To dream of seeing your own face, denotes unhappiness; and to the married, threats of divorce will be made.
To see your face in a mirror, denotes displeasure with yourself for not being able to carry out plans for self-advancement. You will also lose the esteem of friends.
Seeing your own face in your dream indicates the persona you choose to show to the world as oppose to the real you. It may refer to confrontations and your willingness to deal with problems and issues in your life. Dreaming that you face is flawed or pimply, represents erupting emotions. You may have suffered an attack on your persona or your reputation.