Fierce and fire-breathing, the dragon is a potent animal of dream-lore that is neither good nor evil, male nor female, light nor dark, but a symbol of the primal energy that upholds the world. The dragon embodies the union of opposites and the four elemental energies: of fire in its breath, air as it uses its wings, water because of its serpent scales, and earth as it dwells in caverns. In Chinese belief, the dragon is one of the creatures of the Chinese Zodiac, the Year of the Dragon being said to bestow energy, enthusiasm and charisma.
By contrast, Christianity brands the dragon as the embodiment of Satan, an evil creature who must be slain by the saintly hero; Jungian theory, meanwhile, suggests that the dragon may be a form taken by the terrible mother archetype who must be rendered powerless before freedom can be attained (we echo this personification in waking life when we call a fierce woman ‘a dragon’). So if you share the Chinese view of the dragon, your unconscious may have been trying to instill optimism by summoning it into your dream. If you are influenced by the Western view of dragons, your mind may have been trying to alert you to a hostile person or presence in your life.
Dragons were also said to be guardians of treasure, so your unconscious could have highlighted a desire to undergo a dynamic process of inner renewal. The fire-breathing dragon in your dream may be a symbol of great inner strength and vision that the dreamer can draw upon to overcome doubt. It also may be urging you to come to terms with and confront your own passions and chaotic beliefs; the only way to do this may be through your dreams.