Children’s Dreams: Notes from the Seminar Given in 1936-1940 (Philemon Foundation Series)

The same was true of the snakes.

If such a snake from the grave came into the house, the whole family moved out, because the spirit of the dead had taken possession of the house (the same can also be found in certain primitive tribes!).

In their capacity as spirits of the dead, snakes were even publicly worshipped in Greece.

The snake that was worshipped in the Erechtheion on the Acropolis was considered to be the spirit of King Erechtheus or Erechthonios, who was buried there.

Usually the living spirit of the dead was fed by sacrificed food offered to it through burial holes.

The snake cult also had an apotropaic meaning, because snakes are animals that suddenly appear out of the darkness and, therefore, frighten people.

Moreover, man is incapable of establishing a rapport with them.

They are as enigmatic and frightening as the unconscious, so, since time immemorial, man has protected himself against them as he has done against the unconscious.

Primitives, for example, wear amulets on each joint, and their whole life is completely regulated by an immense number of practices governed by fear.

They live as if imprisoned within walls they have erected out of fear of their unconscious, for it might well play a sudden trick on them.

Snakes, and particularly red ones, are not only spirits of the dead, but can also represent emotional states, as you have heard in the paper.

They stand for the heat of the soul, the fire of passion, and thus represent a more intense stage of development. ~Carl Jung, Children’s Dreams Seminar, Pages 364-365.