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Friday, January 25, 2008

Dream Symbols 23: Fire

Fire is a great nature element, which evokes - even today in our 21st Century - something of that feeling of awe that must have struck mythological man when he stole fire from the gods in order to force it into his own service and advancement. Fire stands at the birth of all human culture and this primordial creation value can be discerned through the red glow of a fire dream.

In a dream about fire, it is very important to determine:
  1. whether fire per se is being dreamed about, we might say a contained fire, as in a campfire, or fire in a fireplace, the light (fire) of a torch or candle, or fire in a wood-burning stove, or a bonfire, such as those that take place here in Spain on Midsummer's Eve (la noche de San Juan)

  2. or whether the dreamer is faced with a burning, or a non-contained fire, such as a room or a house on fire, or fire due to an explosion in a war scene, or a fire due to self-immolation, or fire in the kitchen due to hot oil catching fire, etc.

Such a dream brings us into proximity of the great power of the soul, because one of the values of the soul is its fire. It is for this reason that the appearance of fire on the outside is so seductive for most of mankind. Fire attracts us, calls us into its proximity, whereas burning causes panic and fleeing. Where there is fire, people tend to stop and look: a blacksmith working with his tools, an open fireplace, etc.

Fire as a symbol of eternal life burns before altars, on the altars of the gods fire consumes sacrifical offerings brought by supplicants. In this process God may be found, and hence this is also an important symbol of dreams of fire.

Imagine what fire must have meant to mankind before electricity or gaslight. An eternal night of darkness, danger, and cold was suddenly transformed ... light and heat were now available ... marauding wild animals could be kept away, hours of productivity increased. Fire became the center of home life, the hearth was the heart of a home, its heat transformed food and metals, and in symbolical fashion, in the glow of spiritual and psychological fire the hardest substance of all - the human heart - melts and becomes malleable, soft, and tender. Additionally, fire purifies us of all circumstantial values, of all unworthiness that may still cling to us.

Are you approaching a great fire in your dream? Is firelight appearing in the heavens? The symbolism refers to coming close to numinous (godly) forces. Many religions refer to fire with great awe, fires in which God appears to chosen ones.

If, however, you dream of a great fire blocking your path, you may need to endure and persist...those who battle their way through generally find themselves in great danger.

A bright fire may burn in a dream, symbolizing being taken by an idea, by something new. Even erotic longings and the glow of sexual desire are often symbolized by fire in dreams. Where there is fire, there is life, something new is happening. And just as one can be burned by a fire in real life, so can one be burned by the fire of sexual longing and desire. The lion is symbolized by fire.

Fire dreams are never small dreams, where they arise, there is heightened and great life, but also life in danger.

If the fire in the dream is burning a house, a room, or in some way indicating obvious danger, it is very important to determine what exactly is smoking or burning...is it the room of one's partner, one's children, one's parent? Is the supply room burning, or the library, or is the fire in the stable? It may symbolize something "burning" in that sector of the dreamer's life, and that something else must be undertaken in order to "put out" that fire.

Sources: Aeppli, Ernst; von Franz, Marie-Louise.

In the first case

Previous posts in this series are:

Dream Symbols 1: Pregnancy and Birth
Dream Symbols 2: Death
Dream Symbols 3: The Snake
Dream Symbols 4: The Butterfly
Dream Symbols 5: Flying
Dream Symbols 6: The House Part 1
Dream Symbols 7: The House Part 2: The Kitchen
Dream Symbols 8: The House Part 3: The Bathroom
Dream Symbols 9: The House Part 4: The Bedroom
Dream Symbols 10: Marriage
Dream Symbols 11: The Spider
Dream Symbols 12: Sex
Dream Symbols 13: Exams
Dream Symbols 14: Murder
Dream Symbols 15: Water, Swimming and Drowning
Dream Symbols 16: The House Part 5: The Cellar
Dream Symbols 17: Types of Dreams Part 1: Paralysis Dreams
Dream Symbols 18: Types of Dreams Part 2: Lucid Dreams and the Senoi
Dream Symbols 19: Sweets, Chocolates, Pastries
Dream Symbols 20: Animals in General
Dream Symbols 21: Animals (2) Fleeing From a Pre-Historic Creature
Dream Symbols 22: Finding Buried Treasure

You may also be interested in viewing some of the recommended dream books and books on symbolism on my website, as well as some of the dream links on my links page.

There are also some videos posted about Carl Jung and his take on dreams. Click here to view them.

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