Snake Dreaming

January 17, 2014

Greek healing goddess Hygeia with her snake. Photo by Sailko.
Greek healing goddess Hygeia with her snake. Photo by Sailko.

Wednesday’s teleseminar on Snake Dreaming with Susun Weed was a lot of fun. We talked about how snakes have historically been used in trance work and how you can bring snake energy into your healing and trance work today.

One topic that came up was snake phobias. There was speculation on the role of the Genesis story of Eve and the snake in the widespread prevalence of snake phobias.

We could put out a lot of theories about the origin of snake phobias, and the Christian vilification of snakes may indeed be a significant source, but when treating snake phobia – or practically any phobia – the origin is unimportant. Snake phobia is treated with a technique called Systematic Desensitization or Graduated Exposure. Basically this means starting out with a snake interaction that causes only minimal discomfort and building up to more significant interactions slowly over time. This could mean starting by looking at pictures of snakes, then videos of snakes, then going to a place where you can observe snakes behind glass (perhaps with a friend) until eventually you can tolerate handling nonpoisonous snakes or observing them in the wild. (If you can’t tolerate seeing a picture of a snake, you’ll have to start at an even more basic level, perhaps with the help of a therapist.) Listening to the audio of snakes slithering from my website Invoking Animal Magic may be helpful in the process of deflating a snake phobia, but be sure that you can tolerate pictures first. If you move quickly to a level of interaction that produces a great amount of anxiety, this ends up reinforcing the phobia.

The link to a replay of the teleseminar is here.