Most modern psychologists agree that meanings derived from dreams are highly subjective and their relevancy or accuracy should ultimately be decided by the dreamer. For those who do put stock in some universal associations, however--snakes are often regarded as representations of strong, unconscious psychic energy. The image of the snake could be potentially threatening or healing depending on the perspective of the dreamer.
According to a variety of popular online dream dictionaries, they cite universal varieties of symbolism associated with animals. As such, the appearance of snakes in dreams can be very potent.
A poisonous snake, for example, might represent toxic energies or emotions the dreamer is facing--or might face soon--in their waking life, serving as a warning. This toxic energy could come from within the dreamer, or from someone else. Conversely, as snakes are highly regarded as symbols of wisdom in many cultural traditions worldwide, the vision of a non-poisonous snake could represent a level of cleverness and discernment--while the sight of a dead snake might indicate a threat that has passed.
The symbol of the snake is also commonly associated with human sexuality. If the snake appears on the dreamer's bed, it could be a possible indicator of growing or approaching sexual energies--either from within the dreamer or from someone else. In this event, if the dreamer experiences fear within the dream, it is believed it could represent a fear of either sexual or emotional intimacy.
Alternatively, a snake that is shedding its skin could be an indication of new beginnings, healing or transformation, and re-birth.
For people to decode a dream, they must first look at the big picture for a general meaning and then work on translating individual elements in the dream, such as the snake, to find a more precise interpretation. Once an analysis has been made, they should look for ways to connect the dream's story and content to their everyday life to see what sort of insight has been given. Knowing how to interpret dreams can lead to a greater peace of mind and the ability to resolve issues, while achieving personal growth.
The different kinds of snakes present in a dream can also say a lot about the dream. A person who dreams of a wild snake is often dreaming of negative snake aspects, such as worries, fears or losing control. A person dreaming of a pet snake is most likely looking for positive healing opportunities and moments in his or her own life. A person who is fighting with a snake is resisting or struggling with making a personal change or decision in his or her life.
According to DreamDictionaryNow.com, the scenario in which a snake appears within a dream also plays into analysis of the meaning. For example, a coiled snake positioned in grass would have a different implication than a snake wrapped around an object or a body part. A snake appearing in a dream may reflect challenging issues or feelings that a person is experiencing in real life.