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The Snake as a Symbol What is its meaning?

Significado de la serpiente, significado espiritual

You may like snakes or you may be terrified of them, but behind them lies a deep symbolism in different cultures.

And knowing their spiritual meaning can be useful for dream interpretation, scripture reading or if you constantly see snakes in the world.

Significado de la serpiente, significado espiritual

Snakes symbolize a variety of things: wisdom, protection, rebirth, fertility, healing, renewal and primal energy. Just as snakes shed their skin, seeing a snake or dreaming about them is a sign of rebirth and renewal; they also symbolize the nourishing earth.

However, in many cultures, snakes have a dark meaning, often symbolizing evil, destruction and temptation.

Some types of snakes are incredibly deadly – such as the black mamba, the king cobra and the saw-scaled viper – but in some cultures, these venomous snakes are praised. In Hindu culture, the black cobra is worshiped, and king cobras are said to be an indicator that there is treasure nearby.

In Thailand, if there is a snake in the house, it is a sign that a family member is going to die; other cultures believe that a snake is a symbol of impending death or renewal, seen more as a metaphor than someone’s physical death.

Seeing a snake can be scary, but it is also a sign that you are about to experience a somewhat dangerous time and your mind is trying to alert you. This does not necessarily mean that something bad is going to happen, but that a huge change is coming.

There is a bad stigma against snakes that causes an unwanted feeling when encountering them or talking about them. To be honest, they are one of the most misunderstood creatures.

El significado de la serpiente en las distintas culturas a lo largo de la historia.
Significado y simbología de la serpiente

Snake symbolism has been found all over the world, including North America, Africa, India, China, Japan, Ukraine and more. It also dates back to ancient Greece, and may even have existed much earlier, as snakes have been around for hundreds of millions of years.

Snakes are considered symbols of both death and strength; evil and immortality; fertility and disease.

Native American Snake Symbolism

Snake symbolism differs by Native American tribe, where each tribe has its own set of beliefs.

The Cherokee fear snakes, but associate them with power, and believe that snakes should never be killed and should be avoided. Likewise, the Lakota Sioux and Blackfoot cultures speak of a snake called Unhcegila, whose slime caused flesh to rot.

In the Anishinaabe tribes, snakes are dangerous but powerful creatures that should not be mistreated in any way. And individuals who are bitten by snakes are believed to have done something taboo.

But in Hopi culture, snakes symbolize the earth, where all living things are connected to each other, as well as the planet. Snakes are also symbols of fertility and health in Pueblo and Ojibwa cultures, which also see snakes as healers.

Snakes also reference clan systems in families, serving as a form of community.

Spiritual significance of snakes in Christianity

Simbología de la serpiente en el cristianismo.

The story of Adam and Eve in the Book of Genesis includes a character very important to the plot: the serpent.

In this story, the serpent persuades Eve to eat the forbidden fruit after God warned her not to do so. According to this chapter, the serpent symbolizes deception and deception.

However, not all snakes in the Bible refer to evil and the Devil.

In Exodus 4:1-5, when the Hebrews live in Egypt, Moses questions God about how the people could believe that God asked Moses to save them. God then asks Moses to leave his staff on the ground, and it suddenly turns into a snake.

When Moses runs away from the snake, God shows him that the snake has turned back into a staff, where anyone who has been bitten looks at the snake and does not die.

Eastern symbolism of snakes

Nuwa es una diosa serpiente que aparece en el folklore chino.

In Eastern cultures, snakes are highly prized creatures.

In India, snakes are sometimes worshipped as deities or gods, especially the cobra, which is often depicted around the necks of Vishnu and Shiva, gods of Hinduism. Snakes also represent the spiritual awakening of kundalini, a form of divine energy, and are symbols of rebirth and fertility.

In Japan, snakes represent youth, rivers and seas, and are also protective; snakes are a symbol of eternal life, represented by a snake shedding its skin. In fact, snakes are at the height of the dragons representing wealth.

In Chinese culture, snakes are not only part of the Chinese calendar, but are a symbol of the goddess Nuwa, creator of humanity, who has the head of a human with the body of a snake. Snakes are associated with wisdom, and harming one brings bad luck.

Symbolism of the snake in medicine

Vara de Hermes con dos serpientes enroscadas.

Although snakes represent many things in different cultures and places, their presence in medicine is undeniable. In fact, you may notice the symbol of a staff with two coiled snakes, known as the caduceus, in references to medicine.

However, this symbol is linked to antiquity and was associated with theft, alchemy and liars, as well as symbols of economy and wealth.

In modern times, the Staff of Hermes, as it is called, began as a symbol for medicine in the 20th century, although the correct symbol for medicine in the United States is called the Rod of Asclepius, with a single wingless serpent.

Celtic snake symbolism

In Celtic culture, snakes are viewed positively, and are considered representations of knowledge, wisdom and rebirth, symbolized by the shedding of their skin. In addition, snakes symbolize fertility.

Symbolism of the snake in Greek mythology

Medusa con serpientes en la cabeza en la mitología griega.

Snakes were symbols of fertility and luck as well as terror. The most famous myth about snakes is one that many people know: Medusa. Her beauty was envied by Athena, who turned her into a hideous creature; her hair was made of snakes, and if you looked into her eyes, you were turned to stone.

However, the Greeks also considered snakes to be lucky and to ward off evil spirits.

Symbolism of snakes in Norse mythology

La serpiente aparece también en la mitología nórdica.

In Norse mythology, there is the tale of Jörmungandr, also known as the Midgard Serpent, is the son of Loki. In the tale, Odin takes Jörmungandr, along with Loki’s other sons, and throws them into the ocean, all because he feared them.

According to legend, Jörmungandr grew so large in the sea that it was able to encircle the earth completely, and is represented by the ouroboros symbol, which depicts a snake with its tail in its mouth, eating itself and being reborn.

Significado de soñar con serpientes.

Having a dream involving a snake is not a bad omen; in fact, it is a sign that you are engaging in toxic behavior and are receiving a warning to change. And it’s not a message to ignore.

A dream with a snake in a negative way, in which you appear frightened, is a sign that you have stress; however, a calmer dream in which a snake appears symbolizes a problem you have with healing something, or a warning of toxicity in your life.

Snakes can appear in dreams in a variety of ways, and each has its own meaning.

Dreaming of a certain type of snake
Snakes are not all the same; with over 3,000 species of this reptile, you may dream of different types of snakes. Among the most common dreams are rattlesnakes and boa constrictors.

If you dream of a rattlesnake, it is a warning to pay attention to toxic people in your life who are dragging you down; similarly, a boa constrictor represents someone who is “squeezing” you, either financially, emotionally or spiritually.

To dream of a harmless snake, however, means that you can relax, as someone in your life who you may have thought was harmful is actually the opposite.

Dreaming of a snake biting you
A snake biting you in your dream is an indication of a possible health problem, whether you are aware of it or not. It could also signify an emotional wound, symbolized by the bite itself.

If you dream that a snake bites a loved one, it indicates that he or she is the one suffering from a physical or emotional health problem.

Finally, to dream that a snake bites someone you dislike or consider an enemy means that you have a desire in your heart to cause them harm with your own biting words.

To dream of a snake in your home
When you dream of a snake present in your home, it may indicate that the toxic person you are being warned about is living with you, whether it is a parent, sibling, partner or friend.

It is a warning that such toxic behavior is beginning to affect your family life.

Dreaming of multiple snakes
Seeing multiple snakes in a dream means that you don’t have just one person with toxic behavior, but that you have multiple “snakes” in your life. Multiplicity also represents multiple mental or physical health problems.

La serpiente también es un tótem o animal espiritual.

Spirit animals are our life guides, teaching us lessons while guiding us in the right direction; totem animals are also spirit guides, but they are also protectors that appear when we fail to recognize our higher purpose.

You will know if a snake is your spirit animal if you resonate with the creature in some way.

And even if you don’t choose your spirit animal and instead are selected by it, you may see snakes in visions, or have a life experience that alters you in some way.

Those with a snake spirit experience constant change – emotional or spiritual – and cope with these situations with ease, allowing them to grow in the process. Since the snake is a symbol of transformation, it is associated with the journey towards recognizing your abilities that you may not be aware of.

A snake spirit animal guides you into something new, helping you navigate unfamiliar territory, while having faith in yourself that you will overcome your obstacles.

As a totem animal, snakes represent healing; however, having a snake totem animal is rare. A snake totem signifies that you are highly evolved as a person and have great understanding on all levels, both physical and metaphysical.

Tattoo de serpiente

Snake tattoos appear in all forms, whether it is a specific snake inked on the skin, a symbol of a snake or any artistic representation of these creatures.

Since snakes are symbols of fertility, wisdom, healing, renewal and protection, one can get a snake tattoo if they are entering a new phase of life or have overcome obstacles in the past. Just as snakes shed their skin, you too are shedding the past and moving forward.


Alejandra Roig

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