What Do Dreams of Fire Mean?
5 min read
Last Modified 18 May 2022 First Added 8 March 2022
Fire frequently features in our dreams and has a plethora of different connotations.
When we consider fire, anger springs easily to mind – think ‘burning with rage’ or ‘raging inferno’ – and it fuels a striking number of powerful metaphors. It’s perfect for describing a sense that things are out of control – ‘I’ve been putting out fires all day’.
Fire is also ideal for talking about transformation – ‘phoenix rising from the ashes’, and even passion – ‘burning desire’ and ‘set my heart on fire’. The list goes on and on. In fact, you could even say its use in English for expressing thoughts, emotions and ideas has spread like wildfire!
Context is critical to describing the meaning of dreams about fire, so in this article we’ll delve into all of the different variations of these dreams and what they could mean to your life.
You’re rudely awoken from a deep and peaceful sleep by the piercing wail of a fire alarm. Seconds later you spot a cloud of thick black smoke billowing into your bedroom. You wake up your partner with a scream, before you crawl along the floor together to escape.
Fortunately, getting to the door is no problem. However, as soon as you open it you’re besieged by flames. In all your frantic efforts to get out you find each and every way you turn is blocked. But just as it looks like the end is nigh, you wake up – this time for real – gulping in the fresh morning air as reality dawns.
You find yourself safely in bed with your still-sleeping partner tucked up by your side. The whole thing was just a nightmare, you were dreaming all along! But what in the blazes does it mean?
Dreaming about your house being on fire may mean that you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed in your day-to-day life, or even be a sign of burnout (no pun intended).
Indeed, Freud taught that the house represented your sense of self and your spirituality, suggesting that dreaming of a fire in your own home means you’re worried, anxious and could be lacking internal peace.
This dream may also help to highlight insecurities, similar to worries about thieves breaking into your house. In this case, however, your house symbolises something stable, homely and warm in your life, with the fire representing a solemn threat.
The most common meaning behind dreaming of fire is feeling overwhelmed or angry. On the other hand its positive connotations include transformation, passion, and rebirth. The following descriptions cover the most common variations.
If you dream about yourself being on fire, this can have multiple positive and negative meanings. Dreaming of being on fire means you feel preoccupied with something. Indeed, we often use the phrase ‘consumed by flames’, which could be relevant to something you’re particularly troubled about.
Alternatively, however, it can also represent transformation – that you’re shedding a burden ready for regrowth. In this sense, it’s a sign of rejuvenation – that fire can cleanse, purify and lead to better things once the flames are extinguished.
Dreaming about being near a fire can be a really positive sign. Indeed, whilst the fire is often seen as a destructive force, it is also a signal of warmth and light and in this vein, the poem Fire Dreams by Carl Sandburg is a poem of thanks and nostalgia.
Furthermore, a dream about being around fire may symbolise a nostalgic yearning for a past period in your life. Equally it could symbolise contentedness and peace in your life after a period of uncertainty. In this case the fire represents overcoming anxiety (the dark) into a period of calmness (the light).
Dreaming of someone being on fire may symbolise an intense feeling of anger towards them. If the dream isn’t about a person, but is about ‘something’, it can also represent resentment for that ‘thing’ or what that ‘thing’ may represent.
It may also mean that you don’t know how to deal with or control your emotions with fire representing the combustion of your feelings. It may express a burning desire for something or someone in a more positive light. If it is a person, it could be a lover, or if it is something, it may represent a broader life ambition.
To understand what your dream about fire could really signify, you’ll need to think long and hard about the dream and what it means to you personally. For example, how did you feel during the dream? Was it a positive or negative dream?
If negative, then perhaps it could really improve your life to confront these thoughts properly. If the dream represents anxiousness or overwhelming feelings, it could be an idea to to break down the exact causes of these stresses as this may lead you to finding solutions.
Dreams of fire feature commonly in popular culture. In particular they play a huge role in the storytelling of several epic fantasy series. For example, in Game of Thrones, the character Jojen is captured by a group of Night’s Watch traitors, but brushes off their threats to kill him due to his previous vision of his hand on fire.
In the similarly epic fantasy, Lord of the Rings, Frodo frequently dreams of red hot flames. By the time the young hobbit reaches Mordor, his sleep is “full of dreams of fire”, and even after the ring of power that gives the trilogy it’s name is destroyed, it continues to haunt him in his dreams.