In common with serpent dreams, snake dreams occur when we are attempting to come to terms with our more instinctive self.
Inevitably this has to do with the recognition and harnessing of energies that have been suppressed and thwarted.
Since the most primeval urge is sexuality, the image of the snake is the most primitive one available. Because snakes are such a low form of life, while also being in some cases poisonous, they have become associated with death and all that man fears.
A snake twined around the body or limb indicates some form of bondage, possibly being enslaved to the passions.
A snake, or worm, leaving a corpse by its mouth sometimes represents the sexual act (the little death), but can also signify our control of our libido.
A snake in the grass image denotes disloyalty, trickery and evil.
The image of a snake with its tail in its mouth is one of the oldest available to man and signifies completion and the union of the spiritual and physical. Being swallowed by a snake shows the need and ability to return to the ultimate and lose our sense of space and time. Dreaming of a snake twined around a staff or similar suggests that the unconscious forces that drive us are being released to create healing, rebirth and renewal.
The colours of the snake may give additional insight into the meaning of the dream.
Also consult the individual entries for caduceus, colour, eating and shapes / patterns, as well as serpent in this section