What it really means when you dream about fire

If you dream of fire, it might seem kind of alarming — particularly if you flash back to high school English class and remember that poem that begins, "Some say the world will end in fire" ("Fire and Ice" by Robert Frost, via Poetry Foundation). Yikes, total nuclear apocalypse! What could be scarier? 

But both that poem and dream interpretation have another, more enjoyable interpretation of fire symbology — it can stand not just for danger, but also for desire. Although if you're in a train wreck of a relationship, there's a good chance that that dumpster fire in your dreams is made up of equal parts of both.

Positive interpretations of fire dreams

Dream expert Michael R. Olsen says that fire dreams can often be a good thing — fire may mean strong feelings, passion, your basic hunka hunka burnin' love. Fire can also be a symbol of cleansing and coming to terms with old hurts. 

An example Olsen gives is one of dreaming that your childhood home is burning down — this could mean that you're growing up and putting your childish ways behind you. Fire can be transforming as well, as a new and improved version of you prepares to rise like a beautiful phoenix from the ashes of your past mistakes and regrets.

Negative interpretations of fire dreams

While the My Dream Symbolism blog agrees that dreams of fire can mean good things like passion, purification, and even spiritual awakening, it also cautions that fire dreams can have some not-so-pleasant meanings. Dreaming of fire could indicate that you're angry about something or you might be feeling that a situation is getting out of control. Fire might mean jealousy, as well — perhaps the dangerous obsession that's the darker side of passion. 

Fire dreams may also be meant as a warning that you're headed into danger and need to be wary. Conversely, dreaming that you are on fire could indicate that you've been too cautious in your dealings, and it's time to shake off your fears and make a bold move.

Ultimately, the only one who can really interpret what your dreams mean in relation to your current situation is you. Just be aware that fire is a symbol of great power, so your subconscious may be indicating that no matter the challenges that lie before you, you have within you everything you need to face them head-on and emerge victoriously.