A dream of snakes can be indicative of a wide variety of emotions we’ve been feeling in our waking life as well as many different thoughts, beliefs, and situations we might have found ourselves in. With both a positive and a negative meaning being quite possible, it can be difficult to discern the correct dream interpretation in your case.
Fortunately, there are many clues one can follow, both from the dream itself and in our daily life. With just a bit of introspection, you should be able to arrive at the right interpretation pretty soon. But, to give you a few ideas, here are 12 likely explanations for a dream about snakes in the water.
What does a dream about snakes in water mean?
The first snake-related scenario most people think about is a threat of harm or some sort of creepiness. This is understandable and is also possible, especially if you, personally, are particularly terrified and disgusted by snakes. Dreams are informed by our personal beliefs and subconscious associations, after all.
If you dig a little deeper, however, you may find out that you’re one of the billions of people who also have lots of positive associations with snakes, especially water snakes. If that’s the case, and if certain factors from your personal life line up, it could very well be that your dream is quite positive instead of just scary or creepy. So, let’s go over a few examples below.
1. You need to control your emotions
The dream meaning of water snakes is often very different from that of snakes in general. In particular, the image of a snake crawling on the water’s surface rather than swimming in it – even if it’s generally a land-based snake – invokes a feeling of control and balance.
Consequently, a dream about a snake in water tends to mean that we feel we’ve been having to control our emotions as of late or a sense that we might need to do that in the future.
Such a dream can be either positive or negative, depending on how your subconscious mind feels about the whole ordeal – maybe you’re frustrated with this forced emotional stability, or perhaps you’re happy about it.
2. You’ve been having to thread lightly on certain issues
There is a similar but slightly more anxiety-filled dream that also often includes snakes crawling on the water’s surface. In this case, the meaning leans toward your feeling that you’ve been walking in a metaphorical minefield as of late. This could be an emotional minefield, it may indicate problems at work or at home, or anything similar.
These dreams will usually have a negative connotation and will include scenarios of you trying to sneak around, hiding from someone, or anything similar, in addition to seeing a water snake.
3. There are things in your life that feel beyond your control
Another not-so-pleasant interpretation of snakes in water dreams is that you’ve been feeling like you’re using control lately. The anxiety of something like that can easily make even your conscious mind, let alone your subconscious, to start imagining these sneaky reptilian creatures crawling all around you.
The added element of water here indicates an even more powerful emotion as we also often have the instinct to feel unsafe and without control when we’re in or on water. Both of these things at the same time can be a major boost from our intuition that we haven’t been doing well in our daily life and we need to take back control.
4. You need to start taking better care of your emotions
Controlling your emotions and taking care of them are not the same thing. Water, in dreams, is often a metaphor for our mind space, and a dream about us swimming in snake-infested water is a clear indication that we feel our emotional space has been contaminated.
If you also dream of snake bites as you’re swimming, this will very often mean that your subconscious mind is not happy with your behavior as of late. It may be that you’ve been becoming a more toxic, that you’ve been giving in to temptation, or anything similar your mind would choose to portray as poison and snake venom.
5. You are incredibly afraid of something
Snakes, especially in water, and especially a black snake in the water, can symbolize an incredibly major fear of something or in general. This is a feeling that’s much more notable than general anxiety. The presence of a body of water in the dream symbolizes not so much your subconscious mind but an uncertain and unfamiliar environment.
What exactly this dream is pointing toward will be up to you to discover – there may be hints in the dream but not always. A more likely way to figure out the correct explanation here would be to look at your everyday life and what have been the main fear-inducing factors there.
6. There has been a major freak incident in your life as of late
Seeing serpents in the water is common in some areas of the world but isn’t something most urban-dwellers – i.e., most people on the planet – are used to. So, another common interpretation of a dream about snakes in water is that you’ve recently been surprised by a major instance of bad luck.
Another similar explanation is a fear of incoming bad luck or bad karma, but this is more akin to the interpretation above.
7. You are expecting an ambush and betrayal from an unknown side
Another type of fear often represented by a dream of snakes in the water, is a fear of betrayal by someone close to you. Such dreams will also often include a snake attacking but that doesn’t mean you’re afraid of a literal physical ambush – instead, it’s often a fear of metaphorical or emotional harm.
This dream is very common for people who suspect they’ve been told lies, that they have reasons for jealousy or envy, or that they have to fear some hidden threat coming from an unknown evil around them. Snakes are the reptile most well-known as an ambush predator, after all, so it’s quite likely that your subconscious mind would use the image of a snake in the water around you as a warning sign.
8. Fertility and fruitfulness are on your mind
On the positive side of things, snake dreams can also point to things such as passion, healing, fertility, and fruitfulness. Even if you, as the dreamer, don’t consciously think of snakes positively, our minds usually can’t help but view them as a symbol of fertility.
This can mean that you are thinking of having children or simply that an enterprise in your waking life has started bearing fruit – or that you hope it will soon.
9. You feel or expect a boost of good luck
If you have no ill feelings toward snakes, seeing one in a lake or another body of clear water – especially if it’s a green or yellow snake – can mean that you have experienced or expect to experience lots of good luck in recent days. Whether or not that happens, we don’t know, but such a dream will usually have a feel-good tone to it. It can even show you playing with the snake in the water too.
10. You’re worried about a dangerous lack of transparency in your life as of late
The opposite dream can also have a pretty clear meaning – swimming in or sailing above murky water that you know is infested with snakes will almost always mean that you’re afraid an area of your personal life isn’t transparent enough. This can show fear of lies or hidden dangers but the accent is on the lack of transparency.
11. You’ve been experiencing healing and rejuvenation
There is a reason why snakes are symbols of transformation, transitions, renewal, tranquility, rebirth, and rejuvenation. A snake shedding its old skin will always represent rebirth and a large body of water is often a metaphor for a mother’s womb.
Especially if you see a white snake shedding its skin in water, this is a very potent symbol of not only being reborn but of being filled with purity – be it morally or purity of purpose.
12. You’ve reached a certain piece of wisdom recently
A green snake is also a well-known symbol of wisdom and Enlightenment. A dream of a friendly green snake swimming next to you as you sail or swim in a given direction can be a very good omen of personal growth and wisdom in your personal life.
There are many common scenarios in dreams that involve snakes with even more different interpretations than the dozen listed above. The color or type of snake can often matter for the correct interpretation to be discerned but it can also often be meaningless as most people don’t differentiate between the many snake sub-species.
Your personal spirituality and life’s circumstances will also inform the meaning of your dream so you’ll need to have a decent level of self-awareness to arrive at the proper interpretation of your dream. The 12 examples above are usually correct, however, so, reading through them will hopefully help you along the way.