The snakes are symbolically related with Astrological formations. The planet Rahu is identified with the head of the snake; while , Kethu is identified with the snake’s tail. Rahu shows his unlimited want, hunger and chaos while Ketu shows how to overcome things or Moksha. Rahu gets disturbed when one exploits the environment or nature. Serpents are very powerful energy and the protectors of the natural spirits. And, when the other planets in the horoscope fall in between these two, then it is said to give rise to the inauspicious Kaala Sarp Dosha - which , it is feared , can wreak havoc in one’s life. A set of special prayers and rituals are recommended to get rid of the ill effects of this Dosha.
According to Hindu traditions, even today, women desirous of begetting offspring do worship Naga or its replica, in hope and reverence. Killing or even harming a Naga (cobra) is dreaded as the deadliest of the sins. It is feared that the wrath of the serpents would haunt generation after generation. The remedial rituals are quite elaborate.
The snake primarily represents rebirth, death and mortality, due to its casting of its skin and being symbolically "reborn". Over a large part of India there are carved representations of cobras or nagas or stones as substitutes. To these human food and flowers are offered and lights are burned before the shrines.
It could be said ; while the Major gods and the Devi are worshiped in order to attain salvation (Moksha), release from ignorance and freedom from the attachments of earthly coils. The Nagas, serpents are propitiated for practical purposes, such as to avoid their malevolent actions to seek their blessings either to beget progeny or to secure health and wealth to ward off evil effects and, also for protection against drought and such other disasters.As part of the festivities, a Naga or serpent deity made of silver, german silver, stone, wood, or a painting of snakes is given a reverential bath with milk and their blessings are sought for the welfare of the family. Panchami is the fifth day among the fifteen days of the moon's waxing and/or waning. This special day of the serpent worship always falls on the fifth day of the moon's waning in the Lunar Hindu month of Sravana which is July/August. Hence this is called Naga Panchami. On this day cobras, and snakes are worshipped with milk, sweets, flowers, lamps, and even sacrifices. Naga dosha also known as Sarpa dosha is different from Kaal Sarp Dosha in many ways. The Dosha happens due to rage and extreme anger by the God of Serpent.