Reptiles and snakes in a dream relate to instincts and sensations that are somewhat unconscious and self regulating. The reptilian portion of the brain is the oldest and is associated with autonomic reactions, sex and survival mechanisms. Often dreams of reptiles will portray organic and autonomous functioning that remains unconscious to you. Our most ancient evolutionary processes are captured by the image of reptiles. They shed their skin and move around on all fours in a fight or flight posture, symbolizing insecurities or a sense of panic that may need to be controlled. This primitive side of your autonomic functioning and your relationship to it, will be portrayed in the type of reptile and your interaction with it.
Frogs emerge from tadpoles that resemble sperm and often signify reproductive elements or sex. Lizards keep close to the earth and require sun or shade to regulate temperature, often symbolizing biological or evolutionary processes connecting with consciousness. As one of the oldest and most durable creatures, dreaming of lizards, salamanders or iguanas can portray the power of your survival instincts, both good and bad. In some cases, the message can be coaching you toward self preservation but more often than not, dreams of these creatures can embody the need to examine self destructive tendencies. Dreams of reptiles related to water can symbolize movement within the unconscious as something comes to the surface to reveal the power of your biological drives like anxiety and sexual impulses. As a symbol of transformation or how you can learn to shed 'your old skin' reptiles often have a message related to letting go of a dysfunctional approach to anxiety.
On a grand scale, the Dragon is a symbol of metamorphosis and empowerment. Snakes can have sexual meanings, although their ability to renew their ‘protective covering’ suggests transformative aspects currently taking place. They can also represent the biting or poisonous side of your instinctual nature, which you try to repress, and thus, it recoils to 'hurt you.'
Unlike warm blooded and emotionally reactive mammals, reptiles are associated with being cold blooded and seeking protection. The turtle can portray covering your feelings or insecurities when you are hurt or feeling shy. How big (dinosaur/dragon) or self-destructive they appear will suggest the level of repression as your unconscious processes seek wellness and expression. Their vigilant behavior and ancient associations with transformation will portray your physical well being and bio-physical processes. When a reptile is injured in a dream, it can portray how your defensive mechanisms are actually hurting you.
Alligators and Crocodiles move below the surface, but are carnivorous, and suggest something painful stirring beneath the waters of the unconscious that can Bite you to draw Blood or allow you to feel. Experiencing fear associated with of any reptile will portray just how ‘tightly’ you are blocking your natural and instinctive processes.