Snake ~totem of transmutation and creative power


Last night I had a short dream that has stayed with me. I dreamed I was in a building with other people, and a snake appeared, sending the people around me into a frantic panic. The snake, predictably, vanished under furniture and people continued to mill around panicking. Now I’ve never had the slightest fear or dread about snakes; I’ve handled wild snakes before, when we lived in Darkest Norfolk and I encountered grass snakes quite frequently. In the dream, after a short time, the snake emerged and I picked it up, holding it firmly but gently behind the head. It was a greyish colour verging on blue and have zigzags along its back. It was extremely beautiful and it didn’t struggle in my hands. I realise now it was actually an adder, Britain’s only indigenous venomous snake, one I have seen just once as a glimpse last year a few days before my dog died. I had no fear, even though I recognised in the dream that the snake might bite me. I carried the reptile outside and found a suitable spot and released it. It vanished with such speed.

Now at times in my life when change and transformation have been particularly active, I have often dreamed about snakes. I often used to see them in a hypnogogic state, curled up at the foot of my bed, or lying in my hands. I saw real living snakes a great deal when I worked in a small capacity as a healer when we lived in Norfolk. When we moved away, despite still working in that capacity in a more limited way, I never saw a single snake in the wild. In fact, from leaving Norfolk in 2003, I didn’t see a snake again until last summer.

I missed them. To me the snake is lovely creature; I once was privileged to watch grass snakes mating in the sun. But to dream about a snake again in such a capacity, makes me wonder now what this may bring. The snake is a symbol of so many things in so many cultures. Here is a brief summary from This Site of what snake may mean:

  • Elusiveness
  • Manipulates lightning
  • Transmutation
  • Exploration of the mysteries of life
  • Primitive or elemental energy
  • Protection from religious persecution
  • Goddess energy
  • Psychic energy
  • Creative power
  • Immortality
  • Connection to or forms the magic cord by which the shaman travels to the soul world
  • Messenger of the Rainbow Serpent

To me, this dream suggests that something misplaced is going to be restored to its rightful, natural environment. I’m not yet sure what that may be, but it does seem to herald powerful changes. I don’t imagine I will become a snake charmer, but perhaps my changing path will involve some element of snake power.

New Brickyard Lane

Over at Pilgrim’s blog  a story was posted that suggests how much we miss in everyday life.

The following poem needs a tiny bit of context explanation to be fully understood. When we first moved to our previous house in the Midlands, we were so busy moving in and getting settled a good deal of the things I like to do during the Spring got missed and so the following year, I bought a guide book to walks in the area around our village to give me an idea of what routes to take. One of the walks took in a rough track going out of the village and this lane, New Brickyard Lane was where according to the guide book one was most likely to see grass snakes in the Spring. Since I am very fond of snakes, I went for a wander up this ancient trackway (the brickyard was built in the seventeenth century and has long since vanished; the lane is littered with the remains of broken bricks.) 

New Brickyard Lane

No snakes today;
Just eggshells, dead magpies
And fragments of ancient bricks
Returning to the red clay.
The wind in a million leaves
Sounds like the summer sea
Whispering how deep it is.
On the way back
I gathered pine-cones
Till pockets and hands
Could hold no more.
I saw hundreds more in the gutter
Crushed from perfection to powder
By the relentless wheels
And I thought:
We have too much
That we can let such treasures lie