What It Means to Dream About Fire, According to Experts

Here's what dreaming about fire may reveal about your subconscious.

Interpreting and understanding what we dream about dates back donkeys’ years. And while way back when, holy men in Ancient Egypt believed that dreams were a form of supernatural communication, in Ancient Greece, dreams were deemed to be signs of deep significance.

Either way, if we know how to interpret them correctly, dreams can offer us an intimate peak into our subconscious.

While not as common as dreaming about falling, chances are – at some point in your life – you may experience an unsettling dream about things going up in flames around you. And it might come as no surprise to many that dreams about fire have been on the rise since the start of the pandemic.  

Sound familiar? Whether you’ve had a nightmare about going up in flames yourself, or a dream about watching your house burning, dreaming about fire can have a variety of meanings, depending on the context of the dream and the individual’s personal associations with fire. Read on to find out dreaming about fire might potentially reveal about your subconscious, and exactly what it might be trying to communicate to you.

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Fire can symbolize passion, anger, or danger

Woman Upset

“If you dream about a fire that is out of control, it could indicate that you feel like there are powerful emotions or forces at play in your waking life that are difficult to manage,” says Nicole Eichelberger, Certified Sleep Expert.

This could mean that you’ve found yourself in a situation in which you’re feeling overwhelmed, or have struggled to communicate how something has made you feel. If this sounds familiar, do your best to process any feelings of overwhelm that have come up recently, and take any necessary action to ease yourself back into a state of comfort.

It could relate to how you handle challenges

However, it’s worth noting that dreaming about fire doesn’t always connote something negative, and depending on the details of the dream, it could actually symbolize something positive.

If, for instance, you dream about a fire that you can control or extinguish, Eichelberger suggests that this could mean “you feel more in control of your emotions or that you are able to effectively handle challenges in your life.”

It might symbolize transformation

“Fire can also symbolize transformation or purification,” says Eichelberger. “If you dream about a fire that is consuming something, it could indicate that you are undergoing a process of transformation or purification in your waking life.” Again – it comes down to the details of the dream.

While it might be deeply unsettling to dream that you, yourself are on fire (as opposed to, for example, your house) this is widely considered to relate to the idea of shedding or burning away the old version of yourself to make room for the new.

“By contrast, if you find the fire is under control, it may represent an inner transformation in your mind. Fire can not only bring destruction, but also can be a sign of rebirth or creation, just like the rebirth of phoenix from ashes,” says Eichelberger.

It might symbolize issues within your family

Women Arguing

Interestingly, if you dream about a forest fire, this may mean there are issues in your family at present. Trees have long been deemed to be representative of family when they appear in our dreams, and, says Manuela Schmitten, psychologist at Inner Space Psychology, “because woods are made up of trees, a forest fire could signify that there is some form of resentment or something harmful going on within the family.”

Maybe it’s time to have a conversation with a family member you’ve been putting off for a while, or facing up to an argument that needs resolving. Addressing issues in your waking life will in turn help lead to a night of restful slumber.

Lucy Pearson
Lucy Pearson is a freelance writer, book blogger and host of The Bondi Literary Salon based in Bondi. Read more
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