Snake symbolism represents rebirth, wisdom, and stealth. Snakes, or serpents, have many meanings across different cultures, and they’re not all negative. 


What Does A Snake Symbolize?


Snakes are considered to symbolize charm and temptation. This is shown in the Book of Genesis, where the snake was the only one to tempt Eve. 

Ancient snake charmers would put snakes on display, and the cobra would mirror their movements. Because of this, snakes are considered to be hypnotically charming. 


Snakes are thought to represent the earth by Native Americans. Specifically, serpents are always close to the ground or in the ground. Snakes can be in tune with the earth in ways that other living beings cannot. 


Snakes are considered to represent healing. As a result, a symbol, including a snake, can be found throughout medicine. In places such as ancient Greece and cultures like the Celtic, Nordic, and Hebrew, snakes were associated with healing and medicine.

Primal Energy

Snakes are thought to symbolize primal energy referred to as kundalini. In Indian traditions, kundalini is a kind of feminine energy as well as a symbol of primal male energy.

Kundalini is a healing form of energy that is derived from the base of the spine. The healing can only be activated through a variety of spiritual practices.


Even though some people possess a fear of snakes, this animal is considered to symbolize protection. Snakes are also thought to symbolize the idea of needing to strengthen one’s boundaries as a way to protect themselves.

Rebirth and Eternity

Snakes are thought to symbolize transformation, renewal, and rebirth since they are known to shed their skin multiple times throughout the year. They can also create a spiral with their body. As a result, snakes are also considered to symbolize eternity.


A snake is able to sneak up on prey before it’s even aware that the snake is there. Therefore, snakes symbolize stealth. Snakes can move in silence, making them be thought of as sneaky as well. 


Snakes symbolize wisdom, as many cultures view snakes as ancient beings who possess primordial knowledge. In Asian and Celtic cultures, snakes are associated with dragons. 

Snake Symbolism and Spiritual Meanings in Different Cultures

Aboriginal Australian Culture

The rainbow serpent in Aboriginal Australian culture is considered to be an immortal being and the creator of God. The snake can be found in paintings and carvings and it symbolizes strength, creativity, fertility food, and continuity.

Ancient Egypt

In Ancient Egypt, snakes are highly revered. You can find the cobra as a part of the crowns worn by great pharaohs.

Sun Ra, considered the creator, was thought to be protected by a serpent. In addition, Egyptians believed that snakes symbolize eternal life and have healing properties. 

Aztec and Mayan Culture

In Mayan and Aztec culture, snakes were thought to symbolize divinity, rebirth, and spiritual power. They thought snakes should be viewed with awe but also fear.  Some Aztec and Mayan deities, such as Quetzalcoatl, Coatlicue, Tlaloc, and Q’uq’umatz, were associated with snakes and had serpent-like qualities.


In Buddhism, snakes are thought to represent protection. In one story, a giant cobra-like serpent known as Mucalinda protects Buddha from a storm. 

Celtic Snake Symbolism

In Celtic culture, snakes are thought to represent a deep connection to the underworld and heavens, transformative healing, and graceful travel over any terrain. According to Celtic lore, snakes were associated with guarding treasure, as they are viewed to have an archetypal energy versus just being viewed as an animal. 

Chinese Symbolism

In China, snakes are thought to symbolize longevity, wisdom, and good fortune. For others, such as some Martial Arts practitioners, snakes represent initiation, power, and strength.

Every 12 years, the Chinese celebrate the Year of the Snake. So, those born during the Year of the Snake are thought to be intuitive individuals.

Chinese Astrology and Zodiac Signs

According to the Chinese Animal Zodiac, the snake is considered to be a symbol of working with herbs, shrewdness, and insightfulness. People born under the sign of the snake are thought to be charming, clever, and have wisdom. 

Indian Culture

In Indian culture, snakes are worshiped as gods in some places and are generally highly regarded. Snakes symbolize the awakening of kundalini energy, and the cobra is the most revered snake. 

Japanese Culture

In Japanese culture, snakes are symbolic and are associated with Ryujin in some areas of the country. Ryujin was the tutelary deity of the sea in Japanese mythology and possessed the ability to transform into a human shape.

Anishinabe People

The Anishinaabe tribes include the Ojibwe, Chippewa, Algonquin, Ottawa, Mississauga, Nipissing, and some Oji-Cree and Potawatomi tribes. These tribes viewed snakes as powerful and dangerous beings.

Therefore, it was expected to respect snakes. If one were to treat a snake disrespectfully, there would be consequences.


The Cherokee associated snaked with great power. So, they revered and feared snakes. It was important for the Cherokee to never kill or hurt a snake and to give them plenty of space.

The rattlesnake was considered the chief of all snakes. One legend shares the belief that the rattlesnake once was a man who transformed to save human beings destroyed by the sun. 

Hopi Culture

For the Hopi people, snakes are thought to be the umbilical cords that connect humans to the Earth, as they hold the belief that all living beings are connected to the Earth. In Hopi culture, winged serpents appear in creation stories about who once reigned over the earth.

Lakota Sioux and Blackfoot

In Lakota Sioux and Blackfoot legends, snakes have a negative connotation. According to one tale, a giant serpent called Unhcegila was blamed when someone died or disappeared. It was believed that Unhcegila would cause flesh to rot and Earth to become infertile.

Pueblo and Ojibwa

The Pueblo and Ojibwa people viewed snakes in a favorable light. While the Objibwa people viewed snakes as healers and symbols of rebirth, the Pueblo thought snakes to be a symbol of fertility.


In Hindu culture, the people consider the black cobra to be a sacred animal. Snakes are thought to symbolize fertility, protection, healing, and regeneration to the Hindu people. Serpents can also reflect the powers of fertility, rebirth, and death. 

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