Not all dreams are symbolic

When we have dreams of animals we tend to think of our animal instincts, of our animal side, of our relationship with the dream animal, etc. For example, our beloved dog may be a symbol of our love, intuitive powers, devotion and loyalty, etc.; a snake may represent fear, the dark unconscious, sexual urges, etc. However, not all dreams are symbolic.

Dream: A huge snake that looks like our pumpkins

I see a huge snake. It looks a bit like our pumpkins. I call my partner out to come and see this but he is slow to appear. He is vacuuming in the house. My brother comes and we watch this together. The snake appears from the bushes at the garage, then it moves along the embankment. As it keeps appearing it shows its enormous body. It is absolutely huge. But then it becomes much smaller. Actually, it becomes a normal snake.  It is very similar in colour to our pumpkins.

It took me a few years to understand this dream. I went through potential symbolic meanings: Sex? – No. The dark unconscious side? – No, not really. A threat? – No.

Then one day we found a huge snake skin hanging down the garage door. Where I live snakes are not just a hypothetical symbolic threat. They actually live in our gardens and manage to frighten the life out of us whenever they choose to make themselves seen.

The apparent existence of a big python (or perhaps two – our neighbour has had one under her roof for years) in our neighbourhood and its appearance in my dream make me wonder how the content of our dreams may be made. One part of it must be the signals we are receiving from our environment while we are sleeping. Our mind probably dismisses most of it but some of those signals seem to be translated into dream images.

But why would my dream try to alert me to the presence of a python in the garden? To alert me to danger? I am not fond of snakes although over the years I’ve learned to accept them as a part of the Australian environment. It would certainly scare me to see a python from a close range. But I am aware that they are not poisonous and that they are not likely to attack me. Moreover, it may well be that it lurked in our garden for a few days but I saw the skin only about a year later. And I still haven’t seen the snake itself!

The dream was not precognitive. Could it be called telepathic? Probably not. What was it then? What was its purpose?

© Metka Cuk,