Salamanders are perhaps one of the stranger creatures to appear in dreams. Understanding what they may mean requires careful contemplation, for these creatures are nothing if not ambiguous. Fortunately, if you dream of a salamander, ambiguity is likely to be something rather familiar to you.
At the core of this ambiguity is the relationship salamanders have to both water and fire. Though they are an amphibian and live in and around water, they have been bestowed with a mythological connection to fire. It is suggested this belief stems from the fact that salamanders were sometimes seen in fires, likely because they were brought into houses unnoticed, hidden in logs where they lived, and only became visible once the wood started to burn. They also secrete a milky fluid from their bodies which was believed to protect them from the flames.
This substance they secrete is also poisonous, lending a fearful quality to such a mysterious behaving creatures. Some even have patterns resembling stars on them, further reinforcing the mystical element of the salamander.
Salamanders came to be associated with magical qualities, and elevated beyond the mere physical into the realm of mythology and legend. They have been important symbols in alchemy, the occult and art for centuries, from ancient Greece and Rome, through-out Medieval Europe, the Renaissance and into the 1800’s.
To dream of salamanders then can be a profound symbol of transformation, as the salamander represents the ideal of being consumed by the creative fire, but not being destroyed by it. The fire of passion and life is one that has the potential to destroy, but when the salamander appears in a dream it may be indicating that this process is one that will not end life, but reinvigorate it. You may dream of salamanders at importantly creative junctures of your life. This transformative fire also has a deeply spiritual association, representing the love of the Divine which consumes without destroying. Mystics have reported this kind of experience as a direct communion with the Creator, and are forever changed by the process. If you dream of salamanders you may be entering a new phase of spiritual development, often after a period of great suffering.
Fire is a purifying force, so salamanders in dreams can represent a process of spiritual purification, or baptism – symbolically or literally. They may appear if issues of chastity, loyalty and virtue are of prominence in your life.
Salamanders also undergo several metamorphoses, and thus are symbols of change through growth.
The dual nature of salamanders also indicates an ability to move between different worlds. If you dream of a salamander it is likely you have friends in very different spheres of life, and you feel at home amongst quite opposing groups of people and lifestyles. This ability to move between worlds is a gift of the salamander, but the challenge is that you may feel at home in neither. Finding your place in the world is part of the challenge of the salamander.
Just as the salamander lives in the wet, dark wood as well as the flames, a dream of a salamander may represent a need to tune into the emotions and be solitary, in order to balance the passions and expansive creativity that fuels you. Dreams of a salamander can challenge you to find equilibrium between too extremes, but rather than by compromising either, by becoming a master of both.
The salamander is also associated with secrets, with the hidden, and therefore with your own personal depths and subconscious. The element of water enhances this connection with emotions, intuition and imagination. Being a primitive “worm like” creature, salamanders can be symbols that rise from the deepest, darkest areas of our psyche. This will often happen during periods of seeking or deep reflection.
If the salamander appears in your dream, the chances are you have been struggling with some deep personal issue, but this mysterious creature reminds us that with dedicated work and a pure heart, we can move through even the most challenging periods of life and emerge the stronger for it.