What Do Dreams of Fire Mean?

6 Min Read

Last Modified 14 May 2024   First Added 8 March 2022

This article was written and reviewed in line with our editorial policy.

The meaning behind fire dreams

We often associate dreams about fire with negative connotations. Many of us see fire as destructive and scary as we often encounter it unwillingly, so it usually comes with a fear of being burnt or losing possessions.

However, fire can have positive connotations. In a dream, you may find yourself unafraid of the flames, perhaps even inviting the blaze towards you. The fire, in this case, may represent a source of energy, fueling your motivation and embracing your excitement.

Dreaming of fire can be both positive and negative. It all depends on the context of the dream. Dreams about fire can relate to feelings of intense fear or anxiety, but they can also relate to feelings of desire and an expression of passion. Spiritually, fire is a core element that represents purification and enlightenment, as well as destruction and rage, so there are many ways to assess the meaning of fire in dreams.


Connotations of fire

When we consider fire, anger often springs to mind – think ‘burning with rage’ or ‘raging inferno’. The concept also fuels many powerful metaphors. For example, it’s perfect for describing when things feel out of control or overly busy, such as ‘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!

Common types of fire dreams and their meanings

Context is critical to describing the meaning of dreams about fire. So, let’s delve into the different variations of fire dreams and what they could mean.

1. House fire dream meanings

Dreaming about your house being on fire may mean you’re feeling overwhelmed and stressed in your day-to-day life or even 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 home means you’re worried and anxious. So you 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.

2. Dreaming that you are on fire

If you dream about being on fire, it might be surprising to know 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 afflicted about.

Alternatively, 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.

3. Dreams of escaping a fire

Fleeing a fire can be a terrifying experience, so these dreams are often a negative experience. They often represent feeling overwhelmed by a situation, particularly one you did not cause or feel trapped in. This can be someone who has destructive energy, a bad work environment, or if you don’t feel safe in some aspect of your life.

If you are frequently trying to run from fire in your dreams, it can strongly indicate that it’s time for a significant change or to remove yourself from something you doubt.

4. Dreaming you're near to fire

Dreaming about being near a fire can be a positive sign. Indeed, whilst fire is often seen as a destructive force, it is also a signal of warmth and light that keeps you safe, even in the dark or cold.

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).

5. Dreaming someone or something is on fire

Dreaming of someone being on fire may symbolise an intense 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 mean.

In a more positive light, it may express a burning desire for something or someone. If it is a person, it could be a lover, or if it is something, it may represent a broader life ambition. Overall, if something is on fire, it means a preoccupation with that thing or person. Perhaps you cannot control your emotions, whether good or bad and need an outlet for the frustration in your waking hours.

6. Dreams of smoke

With fire comes smoke. Typically, dreaming about smoke means feeling lost or uncertain about something, making it impossible to see around you. Maybe you are hesitant or feel like someone is keeping information from you – especially if you are trying to find your way through the smoke but meeting obstacles.

While black smoke is most commonly associated with fire and is usually a warning sign, white smoke is often used in purification rituals and can mean that good fortune is coming.

Answering fire dreams

To understand what your dream about fire could signify, you must consider the personal connotations and context of what happened. For example, how did you feel during the dream? Was it a positive or negative dream?

If negative, then perhaps it could improve your life to confront these thoughts properly. If the dream represents anxiousness or overwhelming feelings, it could be helpful to break down the exact causes of these stresses, as this may lead you to find solutions. Explore our relaxation techniques to try before bed for more restful sleep.

While dreams may have positive feelings, they may be overwhelming. Check out our post to understand more about vivid dreams and what you can do about them, especially if they make you tired.

Notable appearances in popular culture

Dreams of fire feature commonly in popular culture. In particular, they play a massive 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 its name is destroyed, it continues to haunt him in his dreams.

Explore more dream meanings with our Dream Encyclopaedia and find out the hidden messages behind common dreams like being chased or dreaming about being bitten by a snake

More from the Sleep Matters Club