Carl Jung wrote, "Whenever the snake symbolism appears in dreams, then, it is always representative of the lower motor centers of the brain and of the spinal cord, and our fear of snakes denotes that we are not fully in tune with our instinctive lower centers; they still contain a threat to us."
The message in Jung's insight is that of fear and potential. When we're afraid, there's room for healing and growth. Snakes appearing in dreams inevitably frightens folks. I've never had a patient in depth psychotherapy who has welcomed a snake in a dream. Typically, fear hits or repulsion sets in. Once we have a chance to look at the dream, get a sense of what the snake is about, the patient is able to see what they couldn't see before, begin to face the fear that the snake symbolizes.
Without a doubt, after a certain level of stability and healing, continued growth is what is most feared. One individual stated, "If I go deeper, then who knows what might come of my life. If I just stop here and stay put, then maybe I've got it all under control. I won't let myself dream anymore." That night in a dream, the snake came. It wrapped itself around him and he cried out, awakened in a cold sweat. Life spoke and told him that he must pay heed.
As the snake wraps itself around the caduceus of the physician, so the snake wrapped itself around this gentleman. Opposing the forces of the deep unconscious is senseless. It will come and take its toll. We are threatened with becoming lifeless, the life squeezed out of us; or, if we listen to the message within the fear and the dream, we activate potential for life to wrap itself around us, to contain and metabolize anxieties, and nestle us in wisdom.