What do dreams of fire mean?
Author: Jonathan Warren
If your sleeping hours are dominated by fire, from large engulfing infernos to small kitchen flames, you’re not alone. In fact, dreaming about fire is actually very common and can imply a whole host of meanings for the sleeper experiencing them.
In this blog, we’ve penned some thoughts on the symbology of fires, some common dream scenarios and how you can interpret your fiery dreams whether you’re a pyromaniac or a pyrophobic.
The symbolism of fire
From resurrection and eternity to destruction and hell, fire can mean different things to different cultures, religions and people.
In religions like Christianity and Hinduism, references to fire can be linked to a presence of God. In this sense, fire could be viewed as warming and comforting, providing guidance in the dark. There’s a reason boy scouts are taught to build fires as part of survival training!
For many, fire can also be representative of rebirth. In the world of Harry Potter, Professor Dumbledore’s trusted phoenix Fawkes bursts into flames and dies, before being reborn from the ashes. The theme of creation is also seen in Tolkein’s epic The Lord of The Rings in which the Dark Lord Sauron forged the one ring in the fires of Mount Doom!
On the negative side, fire can be strongly linked to death, destruction and hell. In the seventh circle of hell in Dante’s Inferno, tyrants and murderers are depicted in the Phlegethon: a river of blood and fire. And back in Medieval England times, people accused of being witches were even burned at the stake with fire, a barbaric act believed to purge and purify the accused. Yikes!
Emotional and psychological interpretations
Dreaming of fire can relate to different feelings for all of us.
Given its intensity, dreaming of fire could mean the sleeper is experiencing intense rage or some other overwhelming emotion. Fire can be all encompassing and burn wildly out of control, so it may also be indicative of a sense of turbulence in your life.
For others, fire can be symbolic of passion and desire. As such, these fire dreams may relate more to feelings of longing and love. Or perhaps the flames are an unconscious signal to embrace rebirth and a need for a fresh start.
Fire dream scenarios and their interpretations
Here, we’ve looked into what some common dreams about fires might mean. Just remember every dream is subjective, so take the time to consider what your subconscious might be telling you!
Help me, I'm on fire!
While the thought of being set alight may be terrifying, the meaning of you being the one on fire in your dream can actually carry positive connotations too! If you’ve been smashing your targets at work, achieving milestones in your personal life or generally just having a great time, you being on fire in your dreams could simply mean you’re basking in your own glory. After all, there’s a reason we shout “you’re on fire!” when people are winning at life.
For the more spiritual among us, given fire’s links to rebirth and resurrection, a dream of being on fire could signify new beginnings as you rise like a phoenix from the ashes.
However, if things aren’t on the up and up for you and your dreams are accompanied with feelings of anxiety and panic, it’s more than likely that something in your waking life is overwhelming or angering you. In this instance, it’s important you recognise this dream as a warning sign that something needs to be addressed to restore some balance to your wellbeing.
Watching something burn can be both an immensely painful and tortuous experience, to a cathartic and pleasing one. If you’re dreaming of someone you know being on fire, perhaps they represent a need for a restart, someone you have been fighting with for some time, or they could even be a source of passion for you.
If people aren’t present in your dreams but the flames are focused on something tangible, then it’s time to think about what that thing might mean to you. For instance, dreaming of your childhood home burning down could signify a transformation, signalling a readiness for your adult self to move on with your life. On the other hand, seeing your old home ablaze could be indicative of a need for you to work through some old memories to restore some balance in your present life.
Seeing a small light
In many religions, a fire can be representative of God’s guiding light. But no matter whether you’re religious or not, following the light could be a useful exploration of what your subconscious is trying to guide you towards. Perhaps it’s a light at the end of a tough period, showing you there’s a way forward – or maybe it’s the match of creativity which has been lit within your soul!
Sitting by a fireplace
Sat in a comfy armchair by the fire is one of life's unadulterated pleasures. But what does it mean if you’re dreaming of a fireplace? While plenty of fiery dreams can represent a need for confrontation, a warming fireplace dream could simply evoke a sense of home and comfort to help you have a truly restful night’s sleep. Fireplaces are inviting and their appearance in your dreams could indicate there’s something in your life to embrace and snuggle up to!
Starting a fire
Fires can symbolise creation, so starting a fire in your dreams might not be as worrying as it first seems. It’s less likely that you’re forging a hobby of arson, and much more probable that a fuse has been lit in your life that you should encourage and nurture. Perhaps there’s a potential new job offer on the horizon or you’ve got the opportunity to run with something exciting in your personal life. Go for it!
Personal and spiritual growth
Whilst at first blush a dream about fire could be a reasonable cause for concern, it could also be representative of personal growth or the need for self-reflection. Fire can represent rebirth or the start of something new. Perhaps you have embarked on a career change or you are ready to throw yourself into a new relationship.
Whatever chapter you are starting in your life, be sure to turn over a new page in your dream journal so you can gain a greater insight into the meaning of your dreams about fire. Who knows, exploring your fire-fuelled dreams could lead to an unexpected inner awakening and we say light that match, spark that fuse!
Searching for ways to get the most from your bedroom?
If you’re wondering how to avoid bad dreams, check out our Time4Sleep blog. You’ll find plenty of information on different types of dreams as well as handy hints and tips on a variety of topics from how to improve your sleep quality to the best colours for your bedroom and space saving bedroom ideas.