What Does Driving Mean In A Dream?

I had a dream the other night where the rear view mirror in my car had been stolen.  This led me to consider some of the circumstances in my life where I was making some changes.  I think it’s always important to keep moving forward in life and stay grounded in the present.  However, we must not loose sight entirely of where we’ve just been so that we can call upon our past decisions in order to better inform our present choices.   Without the rear view mirror, we can’t see what is just behind us.

Driving images in dreams are so very prevalent as we are a car-driven society.  In that spirit, I share this excerpt from my upcoming dictionary, Dream Sight, out from Llewellyn Press February 2011.


Universal Landscape:  Your movement on your path in life.

Dreaming Lens:  Were you driving or was someone else?  Were you in control of the car?  Were you in the proper seat?  Were you speeding, slowing or stopped?  Were you comfortable or was panic setting in?  Were you responsible for anyone else, such as passengers or pedestrians?

Personal Focus:  As a culture, we are dependent upon our cars on a daily basis.  They take us where we are going in our lives with such regularity that they hold the symbolic meaning of how we are moving on our paths through life.  The circumstances around the car and the driving experience will identify for you what emotional and psychic challenges are surrounding you at this time.

If you are driving out of control in the dream, you must consider what area of your life might be beyond your ability to regulate.  If you are in the back seat and need to gain control of the car, look for ways in which you haven’t yet stepped up to the plate.  You may not be able to do so yet because of circumstances beyond your control.  If your car isn’t responding to you, you may be feeling ineffectual about taking charge of some path you are traversing.  Varying speeds might be reflecting movement in life that feels either too fast or too slow for your comfort.

A vehicle other than a car might point to being in foreign territory.  You may not be feeling confident in your ability to work with the circumstances you have been handed.   Causing an accident could be inviting you to look at the consequences of your choices.  Being a victim of an accident might encourage you to look at the ways in which you have abandoned your own direction because of another person or outside force beyond your control.  Driving in the rain connects emotional issues to your current route.   Icy conditions indicate that emotions are being frozen over, making your way treacherous.  Down or up a hill would illustrate the sense of effort or ease involved in your life movement.