Fire is an element that is at once comforting and frightening. It provides warmth, but also runs the risk of completely consuming its contents to their core. It’s sexy — and totally scary, too. So when you have fire dreams, naturally you’re wondering what they mean. Like so much of what we dream about, the meaning behind fire dreams really can range, making us feel all types of extreme emotions from passion to panic.
Fire dreams can symbolize rage
If you’ve been feeling firey lately, it won’t be a shocker to have a fire dream. “Fire is a fairly common dream element,” Lauri Loewenberg, a dream analyst, tells Romper. “In my research and practice, I have found that fire on a dream most often represents rage or anger.” Think about it: when we’re expressing anger, we often use fire terms or those representing heat (for example “He's hot under the collar” or “She's fired up”). Fire is how we illustrate our anger. So if you’re feeling upset about something, it won’t be surprising to have a fire dream about that element of your waking life that is upsetting you.
Fire dreams can represent urgency
Think about it: when you’re in a situation surrounded by fire, there’s no waiting around and seeing what happens next. Fire requires swift action, which can translate into something in your waking life. “Fire can also represent an urgent situation,” says Loewenberg. It might not be an actual fire, per se, but a situation that needs immediate attention. For example, a phrase like, “I have a few fires at the office I need to put out,” shows that something requires an answer or solution right away. Take some time to consider if there’s a part of your life that you’ve been avoiding that might need some tending to, because your mind is making it a point to let you know that it does.
Fire dreams can represent burnout
Fire dreams can be your mind’s way of letting you know that you’ve been doing too much for too long and that you need a break — like, now. “Fire dreams can be a warning sign from your subconscious that you are on the verge of burnout, especially if you dream of a house fire,” says Loewenberg. It might be scary to see your house burning, but your mind wants to get your attention, and there’s no bigger way than by showing your home aflame. If you have this dream, be honest with yourself (and your loved ones) about your needs so that you don’t crash and, yes, burn.
Fire dreams can represent feeling trapped
Have you ever dreamt about being caught in a fire? Frightening, for sure. But, again, it’s your mind screaming to you that something in your real life is very, very wrong. “To be trapped in a fire would likely mean something is ‘consuming you’ and most likely, it could be that you are consumed by rage over something in real life,” explains Loewenberg. “Or perhaps you are feeling trapped by someone in your life that is consumed with rage.” More than likely, if you have a fire dream in which you are trapped, you’re probably trying to get out of it. So if you’re desperate to get out of the fire, find out what situation in real life you’re also trying to escape from.
Fire dreams can represent you letting go
Much like a phoenix rising from the ashes, a fire dream can mean that you’re ready to release some part of your life that you’ve outgrown. “The element of fire speaks to transformation and transmutation,” Adora Winquist, a dream analyst, tells Romper. “If it is a recurring message of fire, you may be called to let go of a pattern in your life that does not serve you, such as a habit, old emotional baggage or beliefs about yourself or others that are untrue.” Winquist suggests that you work with this alchemy before going to bed, inviting your intention to get go of the past, and eventually, you’ll be able to move on.
Fire dreams can be foreshadowing of things to come
Dreaming about witnessing a fire can be a big ol’ warning sign to you. “To see a fire would mean you are not yet in the situation in real life but that you are probably in the stage of recognizing a situation that has the potential to get worse,” explains Loewenberg. “Take it as a heads up from your subconscious to start paying attention to something (or someone) that is beginning to show signs of becoming a bad situation.”
Your dreams are truly a guide to helping you understand your day-to-day life. “In order to figure out the message from your fire dreams is to take note of your thought process and emotion in the dream and then see if that correlates to something in your real life right now,” says Loewenberg. If you can understand what your fire dreams mean, you can walk through the fire and come out unscathed on the other side.