Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fire as a Symbol in Dreams

My friend dreamt about a building on fire. When she told me her dream, I vividly remembered a client's dream from fifteen years ago. She dreamt her home was burning; it was dreamt at a time of devastation in her life, the destruction of an important relationship. More recently a client told me about a spiritually significant dream in which a fire surrounded a passageway. The dream was symbolic of the transformation going on in his life.
Since the beginning of mankind, fire has been a means of survival, essential to life itself. As such, in dreams fire may appear as a symbol of our drive and desire for life, our passions, and where we spend our energy, time, and money.
In dreams, our emotional life is depicted symbolically in exaggerated form. Fire as a symbol can be either positive or negative. Pay attention to how you feel as you tell or relive the dream and how you felt when you were dreaming it. If the feeling in the dream was negative (fear, anger, panic, a sense of danger) then the fire may represent frustration or anger, destruction, or self-destructiveness. Are you trying to rescue people from the fire? Maybe you are trying to salvage something from the destruction. Is the fire out of control? Perhaps there are emotions out of control or suppressed anger.
If the feeling in the dream is calm or positive, then the fire may represent something else. A fire in the hearth may represent the passion for the homelife. A candle or lantern may be the light of guidance or wisdom about yourself or your situation.
Transformation may also be represented by fire. In the alchemy of dreams, a fire may be the burning off of old ways of being, old attitudes and beliefs, and the melding of the new. It is a cycle, for as you burn off the old ways, what is left is ash out of which something new can rise, like the Phoenix rising from the ashes. This may be the culmination of something creative. Fire destroys, but it also cleanses and purifies.
Examples of positive fire images: a campfire, fireplace, stovetop, torch, or a candle.
Examples of negative fire images: house on fire, volcano, wildfire, forest fire.
A dream of a fire may also represent what is going on in the body such as an actual a fever.
When working with a dream, always look for word play and common phrases or clich├ęs. Are you a hothead? Do you have a fiery temper? Is something in your life “going up in flames? What is about to erupt? Is something cooking?
Dreams have many layers of meaning. A dream is usually stimulated by something that happened the day or two before, which also has deeper roots. My client's dream about a fire in her house symbolized the destruction of a relationship. It was also about her anger and issues with her family of origin that contributed to the destruction of the relationship (it was her parents' home it he dream). A house is almost always a symbol for yourself--your self image, your emotional self, the way you live your life. The house is where you "live," emotionally.
Pay attention to your dreams, for "a spark neglected makes a mighty fire" (poet Robert Herrick).


Lisa Marie said...

Hmm. Fire seems (on the outside) to have a very predictable meaning. I would have never thought of fire as having positive connotations such as relating to the home, warmth, etc. My dreams tend to lean toward the natural disasters that I have experienced..i.e. tornadoes. I wonder what the positive would be there?! I remember this dream specifically coming up last year when I was really struggling with what I was doing in counseling and dreamed that I was at my school and there was a tornado coming and I had to save my students, but some got trapped outside and I had to make the choice to open the door and risk everyone or keep the ones I had safe. One of the very few dreams I remember that vividly.

ayumi said...

wonderful work! the way you discuss the subject i'm very impressed. i'll bookmark this webpage and be back more often to see more updates from you.


Angelica Delgado said...

My dream is more of a plane on fire plummeting down, and a wild fire all of the sudden starting up, and I trying to escape it but at the same time I'm protecting a child.

Unknown said...

My first dream I had for several nights in a row ,I was at a house that was half torn down ,the owner was there I never seen his face ,it had a bunch of aquariums in it still up and running ,so I am walking threw this house with him looking at all the different aquariums, we are going in and out rooms each one he closes behind us ,it wasn't until the 3rd room that I notice he was roping the doors closed as we went in each room , then I notice a flick of a match and I realized he was trying to lock us in and burn it down , I ran out the room to a window and got out .But like I said I had this dream 3 nights in a row.Now last night I dreamed me and my husband was in our home and little fires would start out of nowhere we would put it out ,this just went on and on it never spread threw the house or even got very big .But it went on until I woke up.it just seems like there is something to me having these dreams.