“Fire enkindles nature in solar heat, stellar brilliance, and flashes of lightning, seethes and smolders in subterranean regions, erupts spontaneously in rippling ground fires or soaring infernos. All living things are in some way fertilized, tempered, ripened, or destroyed by forms of fire.” The Book of Symbols by Taschen (p. 82)
Fire, an essential element, creates warmth, heats, and casts light and shadows. It’s essential to our survival, too. Hypothermia is a condition where our body temperature drops below 95 degrees F. Next to water, heat is a crucial survival strategy. Without water, we do not live long, as our kidneys will shut down. If it is too cold, our organs will not work correctly, which, if left untreated, can lead to death.
What role does fire play in our Dreamtime? A core element and one contained in alchemy relates to our fiery sun and hearth, fires that keep us warm and heat our food. We need fire, that marriage of earth and air, to ignite literal, chemical, biochemical, and metaphorical reactions.
We can be warned in nighttime dreams and often with our intuitive radar. I know of a family member who was in a fire when she was young. When she smelled smoke in her dreamtime, she woke up knowing someone had died. I have heard this from others. Fire smoke in a dream could be a warning.
Fire, a potent symbol found in the realm of Gods and Goddesses, can signify light or destruction. We are taught as children to respect hot things. In older traditions, an ember carried importance from one fire to the next. In this case, it was about survival.
Fires are part of rituals and ceremonies. Fire lies at the heart of an Inipi Purification Lodge (incorrectly known as the Sweat Lodge), whereupon stones are buried under wood and kindling. They sit within the fire for a couple of hours. When brought into the lodge, some glow from within. When water is cast upon these heated rocks, the lodge becomes steam-filled. The intensity of the steam tests us and reminds us to give back to the earth.
Fire expressions are common:
- Fire away!
- Fired up
- On fire
- What’s the fire in your belly about?
- Add fuel to the flames.
- It’s as hot as Hades.
- He/she is a little ball of fire.
The above idioms can be helpful in cracking the symbols of a dream. At the very least, they add another layer of meaning I find fun and beneficial. So, a sun in the sky, a campfire, or a young child bursting with newfound discoveries carry a deeper meaning. It all depends on the dream.
This week is National Fire Prevention Week. I have family members who are or have been a part of firefighter squads. They risk their lives for us. I cannot imagine the training they go through to combat the numerous and untimely forest fires we see in our country all too often lately. Not only in America, but our news media reports on wildfires, for example, in Australia and even in the Arctic Circle. To our Firefighters who consistently teach about fire prevention: Thank you!
To my fellow dreamers: remember, dreams come to warn us first and foremost. We can tackle the symbolic meaning in our dreams once we rule out any danger. Understanding dream symbols enriches our waking life, strengthens our intuitive radar, and opens us up to more. And it’s the more that is exciting.
Sweet dreaming. Judith