I am out in the distant "bush" on a work-related task when I encounter a snake. The snake comes after me, chases, attacks and bites me in the finger in spite of my efforts to elude it. I am in thick underbrush and cannot run. The snake is small, brown, and thin and does not look like a rattle snake (they are usually thicker, huskier). It is wrapped tightly around my finger and won't let go, and its tail is hidden in its coils. I try to remove the snake, but it is locked onto my finger. I manage to press the coils aside and I find the tail which has 3-4 rattles on it; clearly its a rattle snake and poisonous. I struggle and struggle and finally get it off and it tries to attack again, repeatedly. I am encumbered by the brush and thicket which I can barely press through let alone run. I escape the snake and realize of course that I must go for help (and abandon my work). After I press through more brush, I have to swim across a large body of water. It is choppy and dark. The sky is very "black" with threatened rain and I fear lightning. I am, however, proud of my ability to swim through all this. At first I swim hard, but then realize that the excess flailing with circulate the poison so I swim more gently.
I have now arrived back at work which is a school/museum. Many of my work friends and coworkers are there in a meeting and I tell them I've been bitten by a rattlesnake. They are joking around and telling me unrelated things having to do with work and with their personal lives. No one is listening or hearing me, that I have been poisoned and need help. I make a loud announcement to the whole group, which embarrasses me, but they still don't listen. I ask the security guard for help--but he also does not help, he is busy with his own problems. I call 911 and get the police station and the person who answers the phone cannot give me directions to get there. I am thinking I need to get to the hospital. I keep saying; it's been over an hour, I need to get to the hospital, but no one is helping me. Because the snake was small, I think it may not kill me, but it still could, some snakes are more toxic than others and I don't know what kind of snake this is/was. I wake up in a panicked dither.
Things I am saying in the first narration of the dream:
- I am being poisoned
- I am being attacked
- No one is listening to me or hearing what I am saying
- No one seems able to help me
- I am encumbered and held back by multiple barriers to getting help/healing (underbrush, water crossing, bad weather, lack of assistance, stupidity/ignorance, distractions)
- I am in danger
Since all the characters in the dream are parts of myself (as well as other people in my life who aren't helping, doctors etc), I need to look at how I am holding myself back from healing. And why. And how I can change this pattern.
My chapbook, In the Circus of my Sanity, was sitting on the dining-room table at PB's place and I moved it over to the other side of the table. BB must have been looking at it, reading it. It shows a picture of "me" wrapped up by snakes. This image, fresh in my mind from yesterday, could have influenced/"caused" this dream.
Possible extended meanings:
Since snakes can represent penises and sexuality, perhaps I am being "poisoned by my sexual experiences," e.g.: rape etc.
Snakes can also mean:
- transformation and healing
- possible betrayal or loss of money
- someone liking/being attracted to you.
- hidden fears and worries
- phallic temptation, dangerous and forbidden sexuality (as mentioned above)
- a person around you who is callous, ruthless, and can't be trusted
- knowledge and wisdom
- Goddess Worship/the old religion
- doorways or journeying/knowledge/wisdom healing/shamanism
- my own masculine energy--the ability to take action in the world
- a poisonous or toxic situation in my life (if it's a poisonous snake)
- and of course, they can mean other things as well, as personal symbols. A controlling person, a parent etc.
I have always liked snakes in waking life and am not normally afraid of them, but most of the snakes I've encountered have not been poisonous. I did get very close to and photograph a Massasauga rattler, but it looked nothing like the snake in my dream. They are very placid snakes and do not attack (most snakes do not attack unless cornered.
The dream could also be a warning about the dangers of therapy and getting into toxic or poisonous areas of my life/mind.
I have snake dreams fairly often. One I had recently took place in the water (subconscious?)
Of course, the snake, too, represents a poisonous part of myself--and I can be toxic to others as well as myself. I keep returning to snakes, like I do to eggs.