If you’ve ever watched a volcanic eruption, you would be treated to something that is both horrifying and exhilarating at the same time. All that molten rock that you see pouring out on the sides of an angry volcano actually originated deep in the heart of the Earth.
What makes this so stupendous is the fact that on a day-to-day basis, the surface of the Earth, for the most part, is relatively cool or within a temperature range that is manageable. Even in a hot desert, human beings can still find a way to survive.
This is how we live on the Earth. We find a fairly temperate or manageable spot and make our living.
There’s More to You Than Meets the Eye
A volcano and its lava remind us that a lot is going on beneath the surface. In fact, if you were to slice the Earth in two and focus on its core, you won’t see anything solid. It’s all molten.
Imagine all that heat trapped on a relatively cool and normal exterior. This is the general motif of lava.
The general dream interpretation of lava is that it represents our inner state. When you have dreams about lava, your subconscious is telling you about your own mental, emotional, and spiritual state.
Looking Beyond the Obvious: A Reminder of Your Many Selves
Did you know that you’re composed of many different people?
No! Don’t freak out! I’m not saying you have multiple personalities.
Instead, I’m referring to the fact that you have a spiritual, emotional, psychological, relational, and physical side among others. Just as you have many different faces and roles depending on who you’re talking to and interacting with, the typical human being has many different layers.
We’re like walking and talking onions. When you peel back an onion layer, there’s another layer underneath and another one under that.
When you have dreams about lava, whether flowing like water or slowing down like a Gooey syrup or frozen solid, your subconscious is reminding you of this multilayered reality that makes up who you are.
This is what it means to dream about lava and why you focus on a volcanic eruption in your dream. That volcanic eruption, as terrifying as it may seem, is not prophetic.
Be Aware of the Volcanic Eruption Trapped Within You
The problem with most people is they focus so much on certain areas of their day-to-day consciousness.
For example, you may be so wrapped up in your work that you neglect other areas of your life.
Do you think this is going to go away? Do you think they are simply going to go dormant and are just waiting for you to reconnect or deal with them later on?
If only life were that easy! In reality, when you focus on certain aspects of your life, other aspects are pressed down, put under pressure, and will eventually erupt much like a volcanic eruption.
You Are Like a Volcano
Put in these terms, human beings can be likened to walking and talking volcanoes. Just like a volcano, things can only be suppressed for so long until, with a tremendous amount of violence, the lava spurts to the surface.
And what makes the typical volcano experience so scary is that you can’t control it. The suppression has built so much pressure over the years that it’s anybody’s guess how those pent-up feelings, emotions, ideas, tendencies, assumptions, expectations, and disappointments will be expressed.
Are You Setting Yourself Up for an Eruption?
Hot lava is just simply molten rock. Rock in turn is dirt and other rocks packed under a tremendous amount of pressure.
In human terms, this pressure takes place when we neglect or we reprioritize or otherwise focus on something else. Think of a volcano and its lava as a sign of your larger persona.
While it’s true that you are more than your emotions, feelings, net worth, income, potential, skill set, talents, connections, and social class — you are a totality — you have to achieve some sort of healthy balance among the different layers that make up who you are. That’s how you become a more complete person.
It is also crucial for you to become a more competent individual with a high level of mastery over many areas of your life.
Failure to Master Your Inner Layers Leads to Imbalances
It goes without saying that if you prioritize your career too much or a particular relationship too much, then other areas of your life begin to suffer. But when things do come to a head and there is some sort of eruption, much like a volcano spouting lava and magma, you feel helpless.
And this is precisely what you’re trying to avoid, and your subconscious is trying to draw your attention through one lava dream after another that this is coming.
Unfortunately, people don’t panic. People don’t take these volcano dreams for what they are: clear warnings of an impending emotional, psychological, and possibly even spiritual meltdown.
Things Will Go Well Until They Don’t
What do you think the people of ancient Pompeii were doing when Mt. Vesuvius finally blew its top and buried all living things within its blast radius?
To this day, we can see the residence of Pompeii frozen into place — their flesh and bones replaced by volcanic ash. It’s as if, in a split second, life froze into place, and what was once flesh, blood, and hair was replaced by solid ash.
Do you want to take a guest? Well, they’re doing what you’re doing.
If you’re like the typical average person, you’re going about your life. You don’t worry about an eruption. In fact, you may be even completely blind to the volcanic symbols or motifs in your life.
Maybe you’re focused on your relationships or your career. Maybe you’re even trying to explore Mother Nature and trying to bring some balance to your life. Maybe you’re trying to reconnect with your feelings.
Well, all of this was going on and things seem so normal on the surface until all of a sudden, things become far from normal. That’s when the explosion happened and everything changed.
You Need Self-Awareness
What I’m saying to you is that your subconscious is showing you, through the stark imagery of volcanic lava, that you are dangerously close to some sort of explosion. You need to practice some level of self-awareness so you can see where this internal hot lava will probably come from.
Does it have something to do with your anger or how you manage anger issues? Does it have something to do with certain events from your past that predictably trigger you? Is it connected to how you handle day-to-day stress or are you a prison of your unmet fantasies and failed personal ambitions?
There’s just so many things that could trigger this eruption, but one thing is clear. Until and unless you achieve some sort of balance, you need to pay careful attention to the symbol of lava in your life because the eruption will happen.
The Worst Part of Personal Breakdowns
Whether you view the upcoming moment of truth described by this dream interpretation as a breakdown, a meltdown, or eruption, it doesn’t really matter. Instead, what you should focus on is that suppressing certain parts of you or refusing to express different sides of your life, or just failing to even acknowledge them puts you in danger of a very bad choice.
And the choice we often force ourselves into is stark. We feel like we’re so busy and preoccupied with many different areas of our life that there is really one choice among two sad options.
Either we die or we explode. This is obviously not the way to go
You Are More Aware of Your Upcoming Challenges Than You Give Yourself Credit for
Do you think the people near Mt. Vesuvius or Pompeii knew that the apocalypse was near? Do you think they cared?
There are a lot of people who lived near the volcano and they were in the position to know. After all, a devastating volcanic explosion that extinguishes life doesn’t just happen suddenly.
There are usually warning shocks, possibly an earthquake here and there with increasing levels of intensity.
You Should Look for Such Warning Shocks
Maybe you should be on the lookout for areas of stress in your life because what makes all of this dangerous is for the most part, just like the lava is located way beneath the earth in the form of magma then it spurts out, a lot of your issues are so well camouflaged and hidden that even you are unaware of them.
The only way they enter your consciousness in your day-to-day waking life is when you finally explode. As you probably already know, by that time, it’s a little too late.
Your relationship is destroyed forever. You have lost key financial opportunities. Your health has made an irreversible turn for the worst. I could go on and on.
But you should understand what all of this represents.
So, the key is to practice a higher level of self-awareness. Things aren’t going as well as you imagined.
Stop Playing This Trick on Yourself
Part of the reason why a lot of people find themselves flat-footed when their personal volcanic catastrophe happens is the simple fact that they would rather look at their world as it should be. Whatever personal knowledge they may have about themselves or other people and whatever relationships and anger issues that they may have, all of these are subsumed to this illusion of how things should be.
The Volcano Is Indifferent
The problem is just like a ruthless volcano exploding and spewing ash up into the atmosphere, much like in Mt. Vesuvius, Krakatoa, and Mt. Pinatubo, the volcano doesn’t care. By the time you reach a point of no return as far as your finances, mental health, emotional balance, and all other sides of you read a breaking point, you’re really not in control.
So, the only way you can truly get a handle on all of this is to adjust your attitude towards reality. Instead of putting yourself in a position where you are simply redefining things or hiding behind the veil of denial because things aren’t working out according to your expectations, choose to see reality for how it is.
Do not be afraid to judge the quality of your relationships, your mental health as well as many other indicators of your personal performance.
It’s okay to realize that things aren’t working out. It’s okay to realize that there are areas for improvement in your life because a little bit of honesty can go a long way in you realizing the volcanoes in your life and preparing accordingly.
The More You Prepare and Adjust, the Less Likely You Will Face an Unexpected Eruption
Does this mean that there will be no symbolic lava in your life? Of course not!
There’s always going to be pressure in your life. You can take that to the bank.
The only difference that a deeper level of awareness and mindfulness brings to the table is that when these things happen, you’re better prepared. And the more you are prepared, the higher the chance that you can control your response better.
This leads to much improved outcomes.
At the end of the day, you’re no longer going to be somebody who is caught flat-footed and forced to just take things as they play out. Instead, you will be able to build on whatever competence you have managed to develop over your life.
In the many areas of your consciousness, this can then lead to a higher level of confidence and improved self-worth. So, you become more effective.
Dream Example #1
Today was the 20th Memorial Day for my father’s death, 2001-2021. My siblings and I gathered at our mom’s house. We were sitting in the living room while sharing stories about our father. It was my turn to tell a vivid memory about my dad.
Then, I recalled 4 years before my father passed away. There was a Merapi eruption, an active mountain in the middle of Java, Indonesia.
My dad and I shared a common hobby, walking in the afternoon until the sunsets. In 1997, there was one day we walked farther than usual because the weather was so convenient. We reached 3 km back-and-forth, and it was tiring. We decided to sit in a park to give our legs a break.
Meanwhile, we noticed from a distance that Merapi erupted. A yellow river-like liquid flew out and streamed down from the mountain.
Actually, the lava looked fascinating. The darker the sky, the more it was highlighted from its surroundings. We sat a little bit longer than usual that time to witness the beauty of this monster.
Later in the morning, I remembered my father telling me a story about his dream during our breakfast time. It was just us sitting there. My mom and siblings are done with their breakfast. We were late because we were too exhausted for the walk.
I recalled my dad saying that he stood too close to the mountain and saw the mountain spilled out lava in his story. It was so real until he could feel the heat.
My dad described himself standing on a high rock that made him think he would be safe from the lava. There were existing tunnels that acted as paths for the lava. It looked like a river. So, he was confident that he was safe.
After a while, the mountain ‘coughed’ again and spilled more lava in a more immense amount. The tunnels were no longer able to contain such an amount of lava. My father started to worry about his position and jumped out of the rock. Then, he showed me his escaping gesture.
“I was trying to run from the lava as fast as possible”, he explained. I really couldn’t hold myself, and my laugh burst out so loud. My dad said that his legs were aching all over. He wanted to get more sleep that day.
His escape didn’t stop there. He told me that he climbed a big tree that looked solid. A moment after he reached its lowest branch, the tree collapsed and fell down. That was the moment when my dad woke up and felt aching in his legs.
I found myself sitting silently on my dad’s favorite couch after telling that story. I gazed at the ceiling and said I missed him so much. We all missed him, mostly my mom.
He was not only my dad. He was also my best friend and my mentor. Although I wanted him to be here with me badly, I knew he is with God now. That is the best position for him. Hopefully, I will meet him again and enjoy our time in heaven.
Dream Example #2
I was approaching the peak of a volcano along with my fellow hikers. Upon reaching closer, I started to feel the sweltering heat. I thought I might just get exhausted & could move no further. I started having breathing problems as I had already consumed a copious amount of all the toxic gases coming out of the volcano. It was just a matter of time until the asphyxiation would set in after which I might lose consciousness & fall.
I see a helicopter hovering around the volcano. My friend, an aerial photographer wanted to capture the beauty of the erupting lava lake below. Suddenly the helicopter started to swing back & forth losing control, while the dense ash clouds hanging above the volcano damaged the helicopter engine. In that swinging chaos, my friend got thrown from the chopper. The fall didn’t appear to last long because within seconds he passed out from the lack of oxygen and ignited into flames from the radiant heat.
It was a terrible scene. I could barely breathe. I couldn’t do anything. I felt helpless.
Suddenly I felt a raging heat around me. I got surrounded by lava. I tried to jump. When my body came in contact with it, I got hit real hard. Like hard enough to break most of the bones in my body.
I had this sinking feeling that I was about to die. My body was shutting down. I tried to look out for my fellow hikers. I realized the others got trapped in the crater. I was feeling so thirsty & then I became unconscious. Suddenly I heard a loud buzzing noise. I thought I died and in hell. God knows how long I was lying in there like this. I opened my eyes & I saw a chopper circling above.
I breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that it had come to rescue us. But moments later, it just passed overhead. It wasn’t probably the rescue chopper. Fear started to engulf me. I tried attracting their attention but couldn’t move much as I got surrounded by lava.
I was so thirsty that I could die due to a lack of water. I pulled myself up & attempted to make way through the lava. Surrounded by rocks, gas & molten lava it seemed like a futile task to look for water. But astonishingly over the last ridge, my luck finally changed. I could spot an oasis, which must mean water.
During all of this walking I was doing, I couldn’t find even a tiny puddle. Just as I got my first taste of water out of wet leaves in forever, I heard the copter buzz again. I immediately did a mad dash for survival. This time the chopper appeared to notice me. I was overjoyed & I felt like crying. As I stepped out of the oasis, I slipped into the lava that was waiting for me right beside me.
The next thing I knew, I woke up startled, heart racing & with unpleasant feelings. It was a dream that was quite vivid.
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Dream interpretation and symbology have fascinated me ever since I read Freud’s classic, “The Interpretation of Dreams.” Ever since, I have explored Christian, Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist as well as Jungian psychological ideas about the meaning of dreams. Thanks for joining me in my exploration of the amazing intersection between our conscious waking world and the rich expanse of our subconscious-the home of our intuition, instincts, and hidden potential.