Two very common dream scenarios, related to new life, are encounters with snakes and with children, which I will explore separately.
Snakes molt. They regenerate by letting go of their old skin, literally. To be bitten by a snake or chased by a snake in a dream, or to house a snake beneath the floorboards of one’s dream home all herald the message that it’s time to let go of an attitude, belief, or habit that has been dominating one’s life.
Snakes seek a remote, hidden locale that allows for total exposure to the heat of the sun to facilitate the release of old encasement. Our world is now heating to record levels, forcing humankind to let go of old ways of living.
The sun, our ultimate source of light on Earth, symbolizes the penetrating light of consciousness we apply to discern truth. The truth is the stuff of the new skin that will contain us as we shift into new life.
Arriving at truth is like lying in the sun, relaxing in a fixed posture, allowing the rays of the sun to penetrate our rigidity, as we soften and receive its transformative impetus.
The release of old attitudes and attachments allows the crusted-over energy of our old skin to be revamped and redeployed for new life. Letting go is a breakdown phase that does require the destruction of beliefs that have served in the past but no longer promote new life.
The universal symbol for new life is the child. Whenever children appear in our dreams, some part of our unborn self is seeking to come to life.
Carl Jung was careful to point out that the shadow in the human psyche is both a place of repressed experience but, more fundamentally, is also the home of our unfolding inherent self. There are parts of our core seed self that may not be ready to be born in our human life until we are well into the second half of life.
If your actual child appears in a dream, the dream might refer to your child but more likely it refers to a quality of that child seeking to evolve within your own self. Pregnancy in a dream, however unrealistic to waking life, strongly hints at the coming birth of new life and new potential.
Too often, we are apt to interpret the appearance of our child self in our dreams to mean our actual inner child. This then associates to childhood, with its focus on trauma and unmet needs, that beckons ego, or someone else, to take better care of its neglected inner child. Though of course this might be true, more likely the child might represent a vital potential within one’s core seeking to find its way into life.
The Greek god Kronos was the father of Zeus. Kronos had the habit of eating his newly born children to ensure his safety and continued rule. Kronos operates in all of us through our judgments and attitudes that refuse the change into new life. Eating the children can take the form of entrenched habit that disregards any new possibilities that contradict one’s ruling beliefs.
“The King is dead, long live the King!” This cry expresses the necessity for the ruling, anachronistic attitudes in the psyche to die for the new King to emerge and bring new life to the personality. This is the true fountain of youth.
When we heed the call of the snake to allow for the breakdown and letting go of Kronos, we open the way for the innocence of the child to be born, as we regenerate, renew and become new life.