What is Dream Interpretation

What is Dream Interpretation

By definition, dreams are a series of images, events, sensations, and ideas that come into mind when one is asleep. Different kinds of dreams come to people when they are in different stages and levels of sleep. The purpose of dreams is yet to be proven scientifically, even though they have attracted a lot of religious, scientific and philosophical interest over the years. There are dreams that are more vivid than others and the main difference between these two is the stage of sleep they occur in. In the rapid eye movement stage of sleep, the dreams that occur tend to be more vivid and memorable compared to the dreams that occur in others stages of sleep. In most cases, dreams tend to last longer when the night gets darker and in most cases, people have an average of 3-5 dreams every night, with an exception of few that have up to 7 dreams. Dreams are mysterious to many people and this is the reason why more and more people are venturing into the study of dreams. This way, they are in a better position to explain more about dreams. The scientific study of dreams is referred to as oneirology.

What is dream interpretation?

Even though science and religion have not been fully able to give an accurate interpretation of dreams, people over the years have developed methods to give meanings to dreams. In many societies, dreams have considered being communication between supernatural beings and humans. Dreams have therefore been considered to involve supernatural forces and the people interpretation was therefore done by people considered to have supernatural powers. This was however in the past. Today, several schools of thought, neurobiology, and psychology have come up with theories on the meaning of dreams and how to interpret dreams. Most of the theories used to interpret dreams today are based on the Freudian Theory of dreams in countries.

History of dream interpretation

People have been interpreting dreams since civilization. Due to the great diversity and isolation of human civilizations in the early years, different people in different regions interpreted dreams differently. According to ancient Egyptians, for instance, dreams were considered to be messages from the gods. Records recovered 1300BC from a Dream Book contained 200+ messages delivered by the gods to ancient Egyptians. The dream interpreters in Ancient Egypt translated dreams to be opposites of real dreams. For instance, a dream on drought, hunger, and starvation, would be translated to mean that there will be plenty and productivity. Another theory used by ancient Egyptian dreams interpreters were that dreams were a record of the adventures undertaken by the soul when the body fell asleep. In other African societies, dreams were and are still considered to be important and part of day-to-day life. For instance, the Zulus believed that battles in dreams really took place in real life and used this theory to explain why warriors woke up sore muscles.

Midsummer Nights Dream Interpretation
By Edwin Henry Landseer

Ancient Greeks and Romans also shared some beliefs with the ancient Egyptians. They also believed that dreams were important and messages from superior creatures. This belief was shared by almost all schools in human civilization that aimed at accurately interpreting dreams in the early years of civilization. However, the ancient Greeks and Romans deviated a little from the other beliefs of the Egyptians concerning dreams. They believed that dreams were divine messages and they even set up sacred places where people would go to dream. These people were administered with concoctions and herbs to induce sleep and the dreams they had were considered prophecies. In the later years of civilization, another theory was also developed by the Greeks on dreams and dream interpretation. Plato wrote in an article that dreams occur when the soul is party asleep and the voice of reason has been silenced. When this happens, the subdued beast in human beings awakens and it only seeks to fulfill its instincts without prudence and shame. This explains why some dreams are very wild and unrealistic in real life.

Modern interpretation of dreams

In modern times, interpretation of dreams is very derivative of the ancient Roman and Greek theories. In addition to these theories, modern dream interpretation reasons that dreams are not only prophesied events and predictions of the future. According to an article written by Jung on the modern interpretation of dreams, dreams and the people experiencing them are not mutually exclusive. In addition to being impossible to separate the dream from the dreamer, there is also no accurate and straightforward way to interpret any dream. This, therefore, means that every dream is unique to the dreamer and even though two people experienced the exact same dream, there may be a different translation to the same dream.

Why people have dreams interpreted

Generally, most people think that dreams have a very important role in human life. There are people that take dreams very seriously and they believe that all dreams have a deeper meaning. In most cases, dreams that people have tend to affect their real-life decisions. For instance, some people may end up canceling their trips, flights and other activities because they had dreams in which bad things happened to them during these activities. In most cases, these people cancel their previously planned activities due to the dreams even without formal warning from the authorities on the possibility of risk.

Common methods of interpreting dreams

As mentioned above, dreams are complex and mysterious and it is very difficult to accurately interpret dreams, leave alone understand them. Dreams tend to be very volatile and the contents of the dream can change very rapidly so that it may be impossible to find the pattern of dreams. The contents can also be very vivid and frightening with bizarre features and occurrences, which leads many people to strongly be convinced that there is a deeper meaning to dreams. Even though science has not been quite able to give a demonstration on the purpose of dreams, researchers and experts have proven otherwise; dreams have a meaning. There are different schools of thought that are used as methods of interpreting dreams and some of them are listed below.


Bill Domhoff on dream interpretation

This school of thought states that dreams are a reflection of the real life of the individual. According to Domhoff, an expert in dreams and dream interpretation, dreams are as a result of neurological processes in the brain, and the content of dreams, therefore, reflect the concerns and thoughts the individual in real life. An average of 70-100 of the dream content of an individual can be used to give a rough psychological picture of the individual in real life. This can be translated to about 1,000 dreams to give a very accurate picture of a person’s mental state. The accuracy of this picture can be as accurate as of the individual’s fingerprints.


Calvin S Hall on Dream Interpretation

Calvin S. Hall documented that dreams are just part of a cognitive process and that the brain viewed dreams are conceptions of the elements we interact with in real life. According to this theory, the main aim of dream interpretation is not only to understand the dream but to also get to know more about the individual involved. In order to get an accurate picture of the two, it is important to consider the actions the individual was involved in during the dream and the figures and objects in the dream. It is also important to understand and get a clear picture of the actual interactions between the individual and these objects in their dream and also the setting of the dream.

Carey Morewedge and Michael Norton

These two are researchers and they set up an experiment that involved 1,000 people from South Korea, USA, and India. A few of these people, mostly the college and university students, believed that dreams are simple responses by the brain to random and normal stimulations. A larger population of the people involved in the study, however, said that dreams are a reflection of the individual’s desires and urge. From the study, it was also discovered that the weight attached to dreams by many people depends on their individual biases. For example, people tend to remember and take seriously the bad dreams they had about people they hate and dislike and good dreams of the people they love and are fond of. The interpretation of the dreams by individuals is also influenced by the current situations of the individuals, beliefs they have about themselves and other people around them, and also how they perceive the world around them. All these factors determine how different people respond differently to different kinds of dreams they have.


Dreams have been and remain to be mysterious for the human brain to contemplate and all that is left is speculation of what dreams are and what they mean. While there may not be any significance in dreams, they greatly determine the future of many people. Depending on the seriousness attached to dreams, they may end up being a self-fulfilling prophecy. People interpret dreams differently and the reality of the dream to the real life of the individual greatly varies depending on their belief about dreams.

What does it mean when you dream about snakes?

What does it mean when you dream about snakes?

A snake in your dream is a usually symbol of fear or transformation. The fear is could be as a result of something you are undergoing at one point in life, or in some cases a warning of what is about to happen. Depending on the uniqueness of your situation, the dreams can come in different environments. You may unconsciously encounter a snake in your house or dream that a snake bites you; the meaning will vary for different people.

snake dream meaning

How to Interpret Dreams about Snakes

Most people relate snakes to negativity; but this should not be the case. Snakes in your dreams can have either a positive or a negative significance. Before jumping to conclusion, take a moment and think about the following questions:

  • Who was there with you?
  • What was the color of the snake?
  • What did the snake do?
  • What were your feelings?

Some of the popular snake in your dream interpretations:

1. Fear

The dog may be man’s best friend but little is told about man’s worst enemy – fear. You may be afraid of someone, or something that you are too scared to commit yourself, like your boss, teacher, neighbor, or an unkind situation. Instead of breaking you, snakes in your dream could be a wakeup call for facing your fears.

2. Transformation

In some indigenous communities of the world, dreaming of a snake represents growth and renewal. If you are undergoing some tough situation in your life right now, snakes in your dream could mean that you are about to settle your struggles and experience a significant change in your life. Turn away from the troubles of time and reprieve yourself the heavy burden.

3. Phallic symbol

For many cases of people suppressing their sexual urges, experiencing impotence, stayed long without meeting their lovers, snakes mean that it is about time you quench your thirst. Dreaming of snakes could be a psychosexual symbol.

4. Anxiety

Snakes usually appear in dreams of people who have anxiety issues. They will appear in your dream mostly when your emotions are unstable. Snakes represent stress, anger, and sadness, which could depict that you have to turn your life around. Expert resource and medication are usually available to help take care of your stress levels and anxiety as well.

5. Wisdom

There are a number of Native American and Asian cultures that believe snakes represent knowledge and wisdom. According to the cultures, dreaming of a snake could mean that you are seeking answers or knowledge about a particular topic of interest.

Interpreting the Color of Snakes in Dreams

Black Snakes in Dreams

A black snake represents the darkness that surrounds your life. There is something ominous awaiting and it should be a wakeup call to be cautious with the people around you or a situation you could be facing. Maybe you are in distress because of a past relationship that broke you apart, or you are having financial challenges paying bills, black snake is bad energy. Depression or sadness should be phased off – share with relevant people who will help you handle what you are currently experiencing.

Red Snakes in Dreams

As suggested by the red color, seeing a red snake in your dream symbolizes intense passion, in most cases sexual passion. It is not all fairy with red, as it could be a warning that potential danger is about to happen. Experts suggest that once you wake up examine the finer details to find out if there was something alarming in your dream.

Yellow Snakes in Dreams

Yellow snakes represent your inner light. They signify intellectual abilities, as well as wisdom. A yellow snake in your dream depicts that you are getting guidance towards solving a problem or getting an answer to a troubling topic at hand. Listening to your gut and knowing what is right is what should be done the moment you snap from the dream.

Common meaning of snakes in dreams

What does a snake bite in dream mean?

This could be a warning that someone or something is about to harm you. Maybe it is something from your past causing sleepless nights, or you are trapped in a helpless situation. Ignoring the dream is not the solution; take the bull by its horns.

meaning of snake biting you in your dreams

Snakebite is also a sign that a dramatic change is about to happen in your life, especially if it bites on the leg or foot. The legs represent stability, and “affecting” stability means that a major change is about to be witnessed.

Was it a ‘snake in bed’ or house dream?

When you dream of a snake in your house, first understand that the house here may represents something else. It can be your friends, family, finances, or in some cases responsibilities. A snake in your house could mean that you are having disunity in your family, financial problems, or maybe represent the negative atmosphere where you live.

Take a moment, meditate, and you will see where the problem lies. Although it may be tougher to deal with it at first, with proper guidance it can be solved.

Dream of being chased by a snake?

Fear and panic attack is the first feeling the moment you wake up from a snake-chase. This probably means you are avoiding or escaping from something or someone in your life. No matter the reason, it is not friendly at all. Some of the reasons include avoiding a bad situation, wanting to speak your mind, or being caught up in a situation where there are few options. And difficult choices have to be made.

Or, Did you dream of dead snake?

Fortunately, dead snakes have a positive meaning. A dead snake in your dream signifies the end of fear, deceit, or temptation. It means that change is taking place and there will be a fresh beginning. The snake represents different things to different people that is why it would be wise to understand your interpretations. If you are the one who killed the snake, then it means you are defeating the darkness that is in your life.

Snake dream meaning while pregnant

A snake in an expectant mother’s dream is a sign of a healthy pregnancy. This is a welcoming message to parents and the rest of the family although different colors come with a different meaning. Most notably: a black snake represents a baby boy, a white one a baby girl, whereas a red snake represents luck. A green snake signifies health and fertility as well.

Dreams about being bitten by multiple snakes

Multiple snakes in a dream is a sign of abundance in terms of positive vibes. It means you are currently experiencing lots of energy that is overwhelming you. This energy varies, as to some it may represent sexual energy and to others wisdom. If you are in any way frightened by the snakes, you have to find the ideal approach to accommodate the overflow in your wake-life.

Dream of venomous snake?

It is a common interpretation that snakes represent men mainly because of their phallic features. A venomous snake in your dream, therefore, denotes that a dangerous man close to you, or a poison that is within you. This an appeal to avoid some people in your life or change from your dented lifestyle.

Religion: Biblical Meaning of Snakes in Dreams

In Islam, Judaism, and Christianity, dreaming of snakes is bad luck. The snake is considered a deceitful and vicious creature that represents trouble. It means that something terrible is happening in your life. Religious leaders believe that redemption can only be achieved through prayers and total commitment to their teachings.

snake in a dream meaning bible

Spiritual Meaning of Snakes in Dreams

Apart from religious thoughts, different regions of the world have different interpretations of these mystic creatures. For example, the Chinese believe that snakes are intelligent, mysterious, sneaky, and manipulative. They do not share the same religious sentiments as mentioned above. To the Chinese, the snake represents power and strength. When a person dream of the transformation of a snake to a dragon, then it depicts that personal growth could be realized.


The past and the present may guide your unconscious response to different people or situations. However, it is important to get a deeper understanding of why certain things happening in your dream. Try talking to an expert, a friend, or family in case you are going through troubling memories that may end up affecting your normal life.