Dream volcanoes symbolize powerful forces inhabiting the psyche, forces that can be divine or destructive. Often, volcano dreams suggest that a force building up in the unconscious is about to blast its way into conscious life.
Volcanoes as Symbols of Conflict and Emotional Pressure
Volcanic eruption occurs when gases and other materials break free from containment beneath the earth. What makes these eruptions so powerful is the opposition of two powerful forces, the force seeking release set against the force suppressing it. The forces seeking release will continue building until not even the mountain under which they are housed can pressure them to remain under cover.
Volcano dreams, especially ones involving eruption, can therefore symbolize an intense pressure the dreamer is experiencing. They indicate that not only is there a pressure to release energy, there is also a powerful force seeking to suppress that release.
These dreams often manifest when the pressure of one area of life conflicts with another. Work and domestic life can create friction and leave the dreamer feeling there is no arena in which to vent frustrations.
Volcano dreams can also symbolize the pressure that occurs when one wants to follow a certain course of action but that action is suppressed or sabotaged by another. This often happens when one wants to follow a path to fulfillment that is looked down upon or seen impractical by others.
Volcano Dreams as Symbols of Violent Emotions
An erupting volcano is easily interpreted as a symbol for a coming violent emotional outburst. This interpretation is especially apt given the similarity between a volcanic eruption and the signs and symptoms preceding an emotional eruption.
When a volcano spits out small ash clouds and belches hot air, these are signs that the mountain is losing its battle with what lies beneath. In waking life, violent emotional outbursts are also usually preceded by warning signs. Unsatisfying work is endured day after day. Angry emotions are suppressed and denied. Toxic relationships are maintained rather than resolved.
Even when the danger signs of heartburn, indigestion, and high blood pressure manifest, those warnings are ignored in favoring of believing that it is still possible to keep everything under control. Volcano dreams emphasize that emotions cannot be controlled indefinitely. It is imperative that the dreamer make life adjustments and find healthy ways of emotional expression.
Volcano Dreams as Symbols of Divine Power
The connection between volcanoes and deities extends into antiquity. Pele, the Hawaiian goddess, is perhaps the most recognizable of the deities linked to volcanoes.
Volcano dreams can stand in as symbols of divinity or divine power and may indicate that an awesome power is at work within the dreamer's psyche. The volcano can symbolize an eruption of the unconscious that results in a dramatic shift in consciousness.
Volcanoes can also symbolize spiritual work conducted with the hope of a divine encounter. While such an encounter is usually the goal of aspirants, the divine must always be approached with caution.
Carl Jung warned of the need for such caution when working with archetypes because the human psyche and form has no means of absorbing the whole of the universe. Contact with the divine can consume as easily as it can inspire.
Volcano dreams are, in the end, essentially dreams of power. Whether that power manifests as a miraculous, awe-inspiring display or as an embarrassing, destructive spectacle ultimately depends upon how the dreamer chooses to address the waking life issues the volcano dream symbolizes.
The Portable Jung by C. G. Jung.
Flight of the Wild Gander: Explorations in the Mythological Dimension: Select Essays, 1944-1968 by Joseph Campbell.
The Mythic Dimension: Selected Essays 1959-1987 by Joseph Campbell.
Mysterium Coniunctionis: An Inquiry into the Separation and Synthesis of Psychic Opposites in Alchemy by C. G. Jung.
Psychology and Alchemy (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol.12) by C. G. Jung.