Curious to know what the snake symbolizes? We have dedicated this simple and complete guide just for you. The many fascinating meanings attributed to our brand’s favorite creature will hold no secrets for you!
Most people are afraid of this creature, so much so that they are unaware of the deep meanings of the serpent and its spiritual symbolism.
It is the first animal given meaning by man: the Bible mentions a serpent living in the Garden of Eden in the Old Testament. Because of this evil ophidian present in the Christian imagination, snakes have a bad reputation today in the West.
Each culture has developed its own symbolism of the snake, there are many different symbols attached to this animal. However, certain meanings are common to many peoples, living (or having lived) sometimes very distant from each other.
1) The Serpent and its Symbolic Spiritual Meaning
Among the many spiritual symbols of the serpent, we find:
- Cunning and/or perfidy
- The Renaissance
- Transformation and transmutation
This animal molts regularly during its existence, shedding its old skin and rebuilding a new one. It thus symbolizes the cycle of life.
This meaning is embodied by the Ouroboros, the famous snake that bites its tail. The latter symbolizes balance, the eternity of creation, the cyclical aspect of the universe, and immortality. The symbol of the snake which eats its tail can therefore be compared to the Chinese symbol of Yin-Yang.
The serpent is linked to the earth because it crawls on the ground. It is an allegory of the primordial force animating all life. Its fine phallic shape also represents the “umbilical cord” connecting Men to Mother Earth.
Finally, the snake symbolizes the connection between two opposing forces: good and evil, the moon and the sun, water and fire. This animal is, therefore, the embodiment of duality and the search for balance.
2) Symbolism of the Serpent in Psychoanalysis
The symbol of the serpent in psychoanalysis is positive. As a spirit animal, the serpent creeps into your life to make significant changes. He wants you to let go of the past, your guilt and focus on the present. When the snake sheds its skin, it invites you to let go of your old perceptions of things so that a new “you” will be reborn.
Since he also wants your spirituality to grow, the snake will watch over your journey towards a better tomorrow. Expect the snake to warn you when you are going too fast and guide you in the right direction when you are lost.
According to Sigmund Freud, a renowned psychoanalyst, the snake is a phallic symbol representing the male sex. He, therefore, embodies desire and the sexual drive.
In the thesis of a second famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung, the snake is rather this representation of the pair of opposites described above (night/day, shadow/light, good/bad, …).
3) The Symbol of the Intertwined Serpents
The image of two snakes coiled together in a spiral is common to many cultures. This union can symbolize several things:
- The connection between primary forces
- The duality of opposites
- Spiritual communication
- Union with the divine
- The magical or organic assemblage of what was once fragmented
- Medicine and medical sciences (see the caduceus below)
The two coiled snakes can also recall the formation of DNA in the double helix. In this, they symbolize the connection of the mind to the body, and therefore a form of wisdom. Understanding the meaning that culture gives to this symbol with entangled snakes teaches us a lot about it.
4) The Snake as Animal Totem
A) Meaning of the Serpent Totem
The Serpent as an animal mascot represents the duality of good and evil. People with a serpent as the totem tend to be able to do both. They are generally dynamic and impulsive. For this reason, they should be wary of their decisions. For example, an unforeseen trip can be disastrous, but it can also be a lot of fun. As long as you plan for the unexpected, you are safe from harm.
Your friends and family find your presence pleasant and protective. People born under the Serpent Totem are cunning and very flexible. They can quickly adapt to any situation and turn them to their advantage.
These people are born with the ability to let go of guilt and may be attracted to occult knowledge such as Witchcraft, or Shamanism. But they can also make excellent healers thanks to their natural ability to balance energies and their great vital energy.
B) The Different Snake Totems
There are two main types of Serpent totems relating to the two hunting methods used by these reptiles.
Constrictor Serpent Totem: People with a constrictor-type serpent totem are powerful and intimidating. However, they can also be gentle. They are also able to take action to achieve their goals. People with the serpent constrictor totem are focused, trust their instincts, and can sense other worlds. However, sometimes they tend to “bite more than they can chew,” but they always seem to land on their feet. People with the constrictor snake totem should be careful not to overprotect their friends and relatives or suffocate them.
Serpent Constrictor Totem
Poisonous Serpent Totem: People with a poisonous serpent totem are magnetically charismatic. They communicate very well and warn others before they strike. People with this type of spirit animal move quickly through life stages and stages. They will also defend their position when a situation gets difficult. However, they do know when it is appropriate to retreat. People with this serpent totem heal past trauma quickly and effectively. They also spend time detoxifying themselves from outside forces that are polluting their energy bodies.
Poisonous Serpent Totem
The snake totem, like all other animal totems, is closely related to Astrology. If you want to deepen your knowledge in this fascinating field, our team can recommend this Astrology Site. It was created 14 years ago by a professional astrologer. This site is the reference in the field to provide answers to your questions.
5) Symbolism of the Serpent in Civilizations
A) Symbolism of the Serpent in the Bible
Snakes are mentioned several times in the Bible. The best-known appearance of a Serpent in the Bible is in Genesis chapter 3 . Nahash (Hebrew term), the serpent of the Garden of Eden, convinces Eve to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge (not to be confused with the Tree of Life). But the Bible also mentions the serpent in chapters 4 and 7 of Exodus and Numbers.
In the passages of Exodus, God transforms the Staff of Moses, his attribute, into a serpent to show him his power. Which, by the way, also impresses Pharaoh! While in Numbers, Moses hangs a bronze serpent from staff to heal the wounds of the Hebrews, including snakebites.
Snakes are associated with the supernatural in all of these passages, although they can be benevolent or dangerous. Most people associate the serpent in Genesis with Satan. But the Devil is not identified as the serpent or as having possessed the serpent in ancient texts. The snake is simply cunning and plays the role of a con artist who brings temptation. The serpent’s role in Genesis is to introduce free will into man’s mind, teaching him Good and Evil via the famous Original Sin.
B) Symbolism of the Serpent in Egypt
The Serpent in Egypt was worshiped as a benevolent goddess. This deity is personified in the Uraeus, a sacred object in the shape of a cobra, a symbol of the Egyptian deity Wadjet. She was one of the first Egyptian goddesses, often depicted as a cobra. She was worshiped as the goddess of the Nile Delta and the protector of all of Lower Egypt. The pharaohs wore his image (the Uraeus) as an ornament at the top of the crown surrounding the heads of Egyptian kings. The pharaoh was recognized only by wearing the uraeus, which gave him legitimacy.
In general, Egyptians often adorn themselves with jewelry with the effigy of a snake-like this Egyptian Style Snake Bracelet to win the favor of the goddess of the Nile Delta.
C) Native American Symbolism of the Serpent
Snakes are revered in the mythology of some Native American cultures in California. The Anishinaabe tribes believed that the snake’s venom could cure illnesses, so it became the Symbol of Healing. Some Indian tribes associate the serpent with fertility because of its Phallic Form.
D) Celtic Symbolism of the Serpent
The viper can withstand the cold, making it the only snake species that the ancient Celts could see at the time. These snakes dig deep into the belly of the earth so that the Celts saw in them the Symbol of Human Fertilization and, therefore, the balance between male and female power, complementary to give life.
The Celtic horned deity Cernunnos holds a serpent, indicating that he is the master of creation, fertility, and cosmic balance. Creature of mystical origin, the Celts considered the serpent as the guardian of the beyond.
E) Pre-Columbian Symbolism of the Serpent
The serpent is the most revered creature of the Mayan symbolism. Its ability to swallow all of its prey is considered magical and is a representation of Metamorphosis. What we think of as food the Mayans see as a transformation. In addition, the serpent’s mouth is seen as a symbol of the yawning void that connects the serpent with the mystic.
Although Ixchel is the Mayan goddess of the jaguar, the serpent she wears in her hair signifies the complete transformation of mind, soul, and body. It is said to encourage people to enter the unknown (the mouth of the serpent), to consume themselves, and come out of it deeply transformed.
F) Meaning of the Serpent in Buddhism
In the Buddhist religion, the serpent as such is seen as a creature of mystery and darkness. It embodies the hidden part of the soul, the subconscious of the mind, that generates unconscious thoughts and feelings.
But there are also half-man, half-serpent beings in Buddhism: the nagas. These beings are revered as protectors of the mother of serpents and companions of the god Vishnu. Ananta, a serpent with many heads, also watches over this sleeping god by protecting him from the primordial waters.
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6) Symbolism of the Serpent in Dreams
A) Portents in the Serpent’s Dreams
We explain the meaning of a Serpent’s Dream by the creature’s colors, nature, and actions that appeared to us. There are a huge number of interpretations of omen related to Serpents.
When the Serpent visits your dream, it signals you to get rid of your habits. He invites you to seek to improve yourself, get rid of your “old skin” and your bad emotions, and transform them into something bigger and better. The animal wants you to understand that these changes are beneficial for you.
To dream of a Snake can symbolize your fear and anxiety about sexuality. You can be inexperienced in this area, which makes you nervous and anxious. If you are afraid of the snake, it could mean that you are afraid of sex, intimacy, or commitment.
In the symbolism of Yoga, the serpent can open the Chakras. It represents the energy coiled on the bottom of your spine: the Kundalini. This is where creativity and emotions sit. So, snake dreams speak of your deepest desires and motivations. Seeing a Snake in a dream can be an omen, reminding you to stay connected to yourself to connect with your surroundings to grow spiritually subsequently. Only in this way will you be able to free yourself from the chains of your past.
B) Meaning of Snake Dream
Some dreams of Snakes are more pleasant than others. But all of them have hidden meanings that you need to know if you want to understand your dreams. Usually, dreams of Serpents do not allow you to identify the Serpent in question. In this case, here is a small list of possible meanings:
- Dream of a headless or eyeless snake: warns you that danger is near and that you are ignoring it.
- Dream about a snake eating its tail: reminds you that there is life after death, hope after failure.
- To be bitten by a snake in a dream: your hidden fears and worries resurface.
- Snakeskin dream: you are protected from diseases.
- Dream of entwined snakes: reveals inner turmoil and confusion within you.
- Coiled Snake Dream: Reveals the need to seize any opportunity that comes your way quickly.
- Ascending Serpent Dream: A White Serpent dream that seems to drift upward is positive. This vision indicates self-renewal, positive change, and spiritual enlightenment.
- Dream about a wounded or dead snake: this is a warning that you must make an effort to take a positive direction in your life before it is too late.
- Snake Dream Meaning
If you can identify the Serpent in your vision, it is no accident. In this case, here are the possible meanings:
- Viper Dream: Warns you that there is someone in your intimate circle of friends and family who you cannot trust. Watch for signs of hypocrisy.
- Dream about Anaconda: You can’t control everything; sometimes, you have to let things happen on their own.
Dream of Boa: you cling too hard to those you love, to the point of suffocating them.
- Cobra’s Dream: Remains vigilant and ready to seize unexpected opportunities quickly. You will only succeed if you are lively.
- Python Dream: You are a powerful person, but you must maintain that power until the appropriate time so that nothing stands in your way.
- Rattlesnake dream: reminds you that you must be attentive to the warnings of others, be respectful of their limits.
7) The Symbol of the Snake in Medicine
Present in many myths, the Serpent Symbol has not disappeared today. In many countries, especially in Europe, the emblem of Medicine is represented by an Aesculapius Snake entangled around the Staff of Asclepius (or “Medical Caduceus”). The Son of Apollo, Asclepius, is the god of medicine in Greek mythology. Today his name is mentioned in the Hippocratic Oath, which all Western physicians must take before exercising.
The Rod of Asclepius is different from the Cup of Hygeia (or “Pharmaceutical Caduceus”), a symbol of Pharmacy. The Coupe Dougie takes the form of a glass of wine with a serpent wrapped around it. The latter represents the patient who chooses to rely on medicine for treatment.
These two artifacts should not be confused with the Caduceus of the Greek god Hermes. It is a stick around which two snakes are entwined. The Caduceus of Hermes symbolizes commerce and eloquence (Hermès being the god of commerce) and medicine in America.
8) What does the Snake symbolize today?
At all times, men have worn adornments bearing the effigy of Serpents. And even today, jewelry representing snakes is very trendy! Their success comes as much from their symbolism as from their unique and original style.
At The Gothic Merchant, we want to help perpetuate this timeless style through our Serpent Jewelry! If you look for different jewelry and carry a thousand-year-old symbolism, you have come to the right place! Our wide range of jewelry will delight you: like precious Snake Rings, Snake Skin Bracelets, or even highly symbolic Snake Necklaces!
Present in many cultures around the world, the Symbolism of the Serpent has always fascinated men. This animal is also the one with the richest symbolism of all animals. It is therefore not surprising that the Mythology of the Serpent is also one of the most extensive.
Belladonna crafts bewitching blog posts inspired by Gothic elegance, marrying shadow with style. As a discerning researcher, she curates products that echo whispers of moonlit romance. With a playful twinkle in her eye and a quill always at hand, she invites readers to dance on the line between mystery and enchantment.