This has a great many levels of meaning. Basically it is a looking at yourself, a self examination; and the face in the mirror may not match your own. It may be better or worse. That is, in self examination you may come across, or see, parts of our nature that are the worst side or the best side of yourself. These re the things you do not usually see about yourself. You may, for instance, see innate possibilities as they would be in full bloom. But the mirror might only reflect your negative worries about yourself, or how you think you appear to others. Worries about ageing might be one of these. Nevertheless, the dream process usually tries to lead through worry to growth.

This can show concern over ones ‘image’ or how others feel about you, self examination, self love, negative only if the love is not shared with others. In some dreams it reflects anxiety about changing or ageing. There is the possibility of self assessment, so how you are judging yourself a the moment. But also being absorbed in yourself.

The mirror particularly depicts self awareness in the sense of insight into your behaviour or character traits.

The mirror appears in many religious symbols and in much folklore. Water was probably the first mirror, and as such represents human consciousness, soul, or self awareness. This looking at oneself can therefore be a way of depicting self awareness, your ‘I’, as a distinct individual.

Alice goes through the mirror to enter Wonderland, which is again symbolical of looking within self, and exploring unconscious contents.

Indian and Buddhist philosophy use it in a slightly different way, as also Yoga teachings. It is explained that when we look at a mirror we do not see its actual surface. We do not see the actual mirror, only the images reflected on its surface, which appear as reality. Likewise, mind or consciousness is like a mirror. In it we see the images of physical existence and life experience, which we take to be the only reality. But the Yogi asks himself, what is this that is conscious of all these images? What is this mirror we call consciousness? Who am I outside of the images?

 The mirror is also similar to water and can depict looking into the unconscious to see who you are. But like a crystal ball, sometimes you see things that your intuition is telling you. The following example illustrates this. 

Example: Was looking in a mirror. Suddenly a shadow appeared on it. At first the shadow seemed threatening or frightening. Then I saw it was only a directive, a figure with its arm and hand extended as if pointing. Looking behind me I saw the shadow was cast by a featureless cat or animal. Its head was completely smooth, without eyes or ears. At first I thought it could not see or hear, but then realised it must be able to, as it was pointing to a man out in the rough sea. The man had a lifejacket on, so was in no immediate danger. But the sea was very rough. I went out and brought him in, dried him off, put him in my house to recover.

Here the cat is the dreamer’s intuition telling him that inwardly he is experiencing some stormy weather, and needs to take care of that part of him. It also points out that his intuition does not depend upon having physical eyes.

Changed face in the mirror or multiple selves: Becoming aware of aspects of ones character which are usually unknown or not accepted.

 Example: ‘Getting ready for a wedding in an upstairs room, feeling a bit unsure of what to wear. I look in a mirror and see I have on stockings and suspender belt with a very short frilly petticoat. It looks very sexy. I am aware the door is open and have an urge to close it, but then feel okay about looking sexy and people seeing me.’ Nora LBC.

Nora is looking at how she may appear to others if she allows her natural feelings to show.

Cracked or broken mirror:  Distorted self image. A poor understanding of yourself, or perhaps a warning that your sense of self is cracking up.


Useful Questions and Hints:

Is what I see in the mirror pleasnt or unpleasant?

Can I accept it may be a side of myself?

What can I do to meet the image I see?

See The HarvesterResistancesArchetype of the ParadigmTechniques for Exploring your Dreams


-Rita 2016-09-10 1:15:00

I had a dream about a mirror and I was kind of freaked or mad because my reflection was not following my movements. It was doing its own thing. Looked just like me no younger no older not uglier or prettier and not doing anything bad but I didn’t like that it wasn’t reflecting any of my movements

-Ryan 2016-08-21 6:56:42

I came across your website as I had awoken from a dream whereby I am a white male aged 40 and got up on Sunday morning to go shower and looked at myself in the mirror and suddenly I am a black male in the mirror same age. I don’t remember feeling scared. I was admiring my face as it did have some adult acne which I have been suffering from in my adult life but actually liked the look in the mirror without feeling worried and concerned. I then went to go shower and woke up. I am on a bit on a spiritual journey trying to find out where I fit in the world but I would like to know what the resemblance means.

-Meowchie 2016-08-10 10:26:35

I was looking at the reflection of someone getting ready (I think my sister or mother), when I became aware that I was in front of a mirror. I actually had the thought, ‘Oh yeah, they say that you can’t see yourself in a dream! I wonder if it’s true…’ As I look in the mirror, suddenly I see myself, except it is me from a picture from when I was 8 years old. I hear the screechy violins from an old 60s horror movie (like the shower scene from Hitchcock’s “Psycho”). I feel startled, and I have the thought, ‘Cognitive Dissonance! THAT’S why you can’t see yourself in a dream!’ And then I awake.

I’ll be turning 40 in a month, and am female, prone to lucid dreaming. I think it’s weird that the reflection I see is just my head cut out, because in the actual picture, I’m with my sister and two brothers. Also, I seemed to have zoomed in, such that I see the grainy texture of the photo/myself.

-John 2016-08-08 21:14:12

Had dream last night felt real got up went to bathroom after I was finished I had an urge to look in mirror saw myself as is but then I smiled a vary weird smile not quite malevolent and not quite mischievous somewhere in between then this shadow came fully out of me stood there for a second then reached through mirror into my stomach I tore away closed the door and woke up then all morning my stomach has been hurting and i was burping sulfur for half the day kinda freaked me out

    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2016-08-13 7:58:11

    Dear John – A very interesting and helpful dream!
    What I see in your dream is that you become aware of your Shadow and how certain symptoms can represent psychological attitudes; http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/the-archetype-of-the-shadow/
    “Carl Jung defined the shadow as the sum of all those rejected vital aspects of reality which people cannot or either will not make conscious and which therefore are placed within their shadow-unconscious.
    Jung recognized that the body reflected shadow issues people deny, reject and do not like to admit when he wrote, “The body is very often the personification of this shadow of the ego. Sometimes it forms the skeleton in the cupboard and everybody naturally wants to get rid of such a thing.”
    By listening to your body you can become more aware of the shadow message. The body follows where the mind takes it. Physical symptoms indicate in an honest direct way what is held for you in your shadow; things that require your awareness in order to heal yourself.
    So you could explore if there is “something rotten” in your life and how you meet these feelings.
    Rotten might mean a painful or rotten part of your feelings, life or relationships.
    A helpful way to learn to express what is normally rejected is http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/opening-to-life/
    Anna 🙂

-janeen 2016-08-08 10:34:05

Last night I had a dream that I was carrying a heavy mirror Part of the time the mirror was facing me and part of the time it was turned away from me.
My sister passed away about 6 months ago from complications resulting from an auto accident. Throughout this dream she was speaking to me, nothing specific that I can remember but all I can recall was carrying this big heavy mirror.

-Cheryl 2016-08-04 16:22:35

Hi, I dreamt of something last night that left me thinking about it the entire day today. Afraid i may dream of the same, again, tonight. The Chinese “Hungry Ghost Festival” has just started a couple of days back, and I’m suspecting it may have led to heavy imagination or the scary dream I had. The dream I had was of me, being the driver, in my mother’s car which i regularly drive to and fro from work. I looked casually into the rear view mirror to find myself catching a quick glimpse of a black silhouette at the middle of the back seat. I turned my head immediately to the back to find nothing behind. Nothing, no one. I looked back in the mirror again to find a completely dark silhouette again, the same one. I realised it was the silhouette of a very close colleague of mine, so close that we hangout as a “clique” even during the weekends. I’d like to know though, why her? In such a scary dream? I haven’t had any dream that scared me this much in all entirety of my life. I’d appreciate all advise.

    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2016-08-10 8:10:15

    Dear Cheryl – A dark silhouette – or a shadowy figure – may reflect your own rejected emotions or potentials. It is the aspect of yourselves you do not allow expression; the secondary side of your personality.
    Being only able to see her in the mirror may symbolise self-reflection which will enable you to see more of what lives in your inner world; http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/self-observation/
    To get a better general understanding of why certain people appear in your dreams, please see http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/characters-or-people-in-dreams/
    You perceive the Shadow of your close colleague in your dream as scary, because you are afraid of becoming aware of whatever you associate with your colleague.
    The Shadow is any part of ourselves that we reject, and so do not allow sufficient expression in our life. We may so dislike aspects of our nature we fail to recognise them altogether and instead see them in other people and criticise them.
    If you can think of the characteristics you loathe in others, then you get a fair picture of what you repress in yourself.
    But as usual we all live a dual or many sided life. So there is what Carl Jung called our ‘Golden Shadow’; this is the creative, loving and powerful side of our nature that we also tend to keep hidden, repress or do not believe we are worthy of.
    In order to understand what qualities or faults or weaknesses or strength your colleague depicts for you, you can use http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson
    All dreams are attempts on the part of our being to move toward wholeness and equilibrium. At times this may necessitate disturbance, just as vomiting does when the body discharges poisonous food. Nevertheless, difficult dreams are a way of bringing attention to areas of your experience you may be neglecting to look at, or even powerfully refusing to see.
    The shock of the dream is therefore more to do with the strength of your repression of the insight it may bring.
    See also http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/opening-to-life/
    Anna 🙂

-Shae 2016-07-24 16:18:55

I had a really odd dream where I was trapped inside a really old house. A little girl came to me and told me that she was trapped too, and in order to leave the house we had to go through each room of the house and beat “challenges.” In each room of the house there were monsters or demonic-looking things that we had to “fix” in order to continue. (I really don’t want to go into detail about this part because it was genuinely disturbing to me, even now.)

Me and the girl eventually reached the final room of the house, but there was nothing in it but a dresser with a mirror on top. The room itself felt peaceful, the walls were light pink and there was light streaming in from a window. I was confused since there didn’t seem to be anything to do, so I looked in the mirror to see if anything would happen. The mirror suddenly started to crack around me. The girl was standing beside me, completely expressionless. She didn’t speak, but I got the impression that she was trying to trap me in the mirror so that she could escape. She wasn’t physically breaking it, but she seemed to be doing so with her mind. I woke up after that happened.

I had this dream about a year ago and I still have no idea what it means. For some reason the little girl felt real to me. I really don’t know what to think of this.

-Erika 2016-07-17 23:56:47

I had a dream that I was holding my youngest daughter and in my dream she was only about 2 years old. she is now 8. In the mirror I saw myself holding her and there was another child in the mirror who was also about 2 but was disheveled. When I looked away from the mirror, I only saw my daughter but when I looked in the mirror again, I saw the other child as well as myself and my daughter. At first, I felt scared but then I felt sadness. I woke up and felt very sad. What could this mean?

-Jeremie 2016-07-14 1:01:50

In my dream last night, I looked in the mirror to fix myself so I will look more presentable with other people. I also want to see if I’m beautiful enough because a guy at school is trying to get my attention (in reality, he is my current suitor whom I also like) but sadly, I looked ugly and tired and even though I put some lipstick, it didn’t change my tired, haggard and ugly looking face. I know I don’t always look like this so I felt frustrated. I also felt curious why the guy at school still pursued me when I’m not really that beautiful. He does extraordinary things to be near me, like when he lifted the tables in the restaurant so that my friends and I would sit near him and his friends. There was also a time when I saw our professors standing outside the school as if they are waiting for the school to open, and my vision zoomed to a man whom I know is my professor, but in reality, I don’t even have a professor that looked like him. He is very handsome indeed. Please help me interpret this dream. Thank you!

-Lexii 2016-07-03 13:43:16

Ok so in my dream I was on my phone I believe reading a quote that a guy I really like had put up. It said something about how a woman show treat a man? Ending with ‘lovers rouge’ ..but in my own dream I understood it as lovers rough, like if it’s tough for him? I’m not sure. But then the image seemed to move and the quote turns into a caption and he’s recording on his phone, you can see him going somewhere and then he stands in front of a mirror that has red and yellow roses across a table that seemed to be connected to the mirror. With a round red base surrounded by the flowers where inside was only the blossoms of the roses with a candle lit in the middle which had a steady calming flame. ..
Can you tell me a bit of what this means? I have tried to find something similar but nothing seems to click.. Like seing someone else instead of yourself in the mirror.. Because in the dream after he moves to stand in front of the mirror I felt like it was me but when I stood in front of it ,it’s like he wanted me to see him.

-Lexii 2016-07-03 13:43:16

Ok so in my dream I was on my phone I believe reading a quote that a guy I really like had put up. It said something about how a woman show treat a man? Ending with ‘lovers rouge’ ..but in my own dream I understood it as lovers rough, like if it’s tough for him? I’m not sure. But then the image seemed to move and the quote turns into a caption and he’s recording on his phone, you can see him going somewhere and then he stands in front of a mirror that has red and yellow roses across a table that seemed to be connected to the mirror. With a round red base surrounded by the flowers where inside was only the blossoms of the roses with a candle lit in the middle which had a steady calming flame. ..
Can you tell me a bit of what this means? I have tried to find something similar but nothing seems to click.. Like seing someone else instead of yourself in the mirror.. Because in the dream after he moves to stand in front of the mirror I felt like it was me but when I stood in front of it ,it’s like he wanted me to see him.

-Cheryl 2016-07-01 17:02:35

I don’t remember my dreams often but I woke up this morning with a very vivid image. I was going about my business at work and right before I went to see a client I looked in the mirror and my face was aging before my eyes. Either sores or warts were developing on my chin and cheeks. It was strange because I love my job and the reflection of myself shocked me.

-Lina 2016-06-29 20:09:30

The last dream of seeing myself in a mirror was late 2014. I was checking on my own reflection in a very tall rectangle mirror on my desk. It seemed very real. I moved the mirror closer to get a closer look, but it got out of balance, it fell and knocked on my head. Shattered into hundreds if not thousands pieces. I woke up feeling shocked and heart pounding. The only good and strange thing was I wasn’t bleeding or got cut by the shards. Now, a year and half later, a few days ago, I had another dream of seeing myself in the mirror, but I saw a totally different person who looks like me, smiles like me, eyes like me, basically me but a very beautiful, stunning and happy woman smiling back at me in the mirror. This time the mirror is shaped oblong and stands on the ground. It didn’t break as I looked and turned away. Is this just my wish fulfilment dream? Or my subconscious have perceived myself differently since the last dream?

-Manahil 2016-06-21 5:05:11

I saw a dream where I supposedly moved with my family to another house, in which my room has the same furniture I do right now including my mirror. What happens is me and my parents (i don’t have siblings) figure out that there is something wrong with the house and somehow end up inside my mirror. The inside of the mirror is my tutor’s house where I used to go to study when i was little. Note that now this house is horrifyingly empty, dull and dark; inside the mirror. We start to become “haunted by the spirits in the mirror when we are in there with them but in a way that they are trying to lead us somewhere important or to show us something essential. We get terrified and leave the mirror to come and sit on my bed. My mother says: “Now I didn’t want to tell you this but seems like I have to. A few days ago I was hanging clothes out to dry when I felt something – a hand – on my foot and a raspy voice saying ‘[God] help me’. Then I woke up gasping.
Ever since I have had this dream I have been scared of my mirror in my room. Please tell me what this dream means.

    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2016-06-25 8:54:14

    Dear Manahil – Do you know the story of Alice in Wonderland? This story reflects the ability to look within your own mind to explore unconscious contents.
    When you become aware that there is “something wrong with the house” it is like becoming aware that something – probably from your past learning – is withholding you from expressing more of yourself and your potential; http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/potential/
    The house that you meet when you have entered the mirror is a part of your inner world that is “horrifyingly empty, dull and dark”.
    Can you relate (yet) to any of these feelings as far as your waking life is concerned?
    The moment you will start looking within, it often seems as if your inner life gets worse. What is actually going on is that you dare to meet those aspects of your inner world that you have repressed before; http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/defence-mechanisms/
    In the context of your dream I see the spirits as past memories or experiences that still haunt you, perhaps because it has never been fully felt and that is why “they are trying to lead us somewhere important or to show us something essential.”
    The spirit needs your willingness to access and release what may have been bothering you (consciously or unconsciously) for “some time”. (Unfortunately you do not mention how old you are.)
    There are several ways available to explore what haunts you.
    Perhaps you feel like exploring your dream and your inner world with your parents; http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/peer-dream-group/?
    See also http://dreamhawk.com/body-and-mind/10-stress-busters/
    Anna 🙂

      -Gabriel 2016-07-13 7:48:35

      Thank you Anna, for taking your time to give a vivid interpretation of our dreams, thanks so much again.
      In my dream, i was in a cloudy hazy looking house, the same house i live in real life. In the dream i was moving stuffs from one room to another, all of a sudden a mirrow appeared in the passage as i walked passed it, i didnt see my reflection, i stood to stare at the mirror, i still saw nothing, out of fear i ran into my mum’s room and called on her but she couldn’t hear or see me, so i prayed & stared at another big mirrow beside her bed, it was still the same. Until i left to pray and i came back & saw my reflection, he was wearing rags and looking unkept, he was too timid too look at me, he kept his face down, i left again screaming out loud cause i was too scared, when i came back to look at the mirror, i saw an all bald, dark beard and very handsome looking reflection of me, he was neat but he was still timid & wouldn’t maintain eye contact with me
      Note: i have alot of hair & i’m 22.
      Pls help me

        -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2016-07-14 10:29:06

        Dear Gabriel – When you dream of a house, you are meeting a hugely important and many sided representation of yourself. It is both many faceted and multidimensional.
        Although you cannot see it, your mind, along with your beliefs, has a particular structure or form. If the shape of your mind could be built into a three dimensional model, such as a house, you would probably be able to see that your mind has as unique a shape as your fingerprints.
        Your dream may reflect your efforts to move from being unclear and uncertain about your personal identity towards daring to meet and face the different selves or parts of your nature in order to become a more self- aware and independent human being.
        Not seeing a reflection in the mirror may express that you perceive this individuation process as a struggle and as scary, which it is in a way; http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/individuation/
        I do not believe that your mother can help you with this process as it is merely about letting go of her and the (emotional) relationship that you have known so far.
        To understand this see also http://dreamhawk.com/pregnancy-childbirth/example-emma/
        To accept the different parts of your nature; it may help to “be your reflections”.
        Your reflection who is wearing rags and looking unkempt may express a part of you that needs to be allowed having your own thoughts without criticizing or editing them.
        See also http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/opening-to-life/
        Opening to Life is like praying.
        “An all bald, dark beard and very handsome looking reflection of me” may reflect a part of you that has stopped thinking and who can give sexual feelings a place in your life.
        But as I said, the way to explore and integrate these different aspects of yourself is to use “Being your reflections”; http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson
        Good Luck!
        Anna 🙂

    -Manahil 2016-08-14 14:00:38

    Im sorry i kind of lost the website thats why it took me so long to reply to you Anna. I am 17 years old currently, turned on May 26. My tutor used to scare me when I was used to go to study with her. Her and her mother would do that. I guess that is probably why I saw their house as being haunted. I kind of understand what you meant when you said [The house that you meet when you have entered the mirror is a part of your inner world that is “horrifyingly empty, dull and dark”.] but I need to know specifics. I currently suffer from depression and anxiety and have been diagnosed 3 times with severe depression. I think that is what you mean by what you said about the house. I have questions however: 1)what does the mirror symbolize?(i think you said my consciousness) 2) what is the thing with my mother’s confession at the end of the dream with the hand and god? Thank You so much!!! I am very much grateful to you.

-Dreamer 2016-06-07 21:41:46

Last night I had a crazy dream, it genuinely freaked me out. Thus, how I ended up on this site, googling what seeing your reflection in your dream means.

I remember trying to leave a house, but felt very drunk, like I shouldn’t be driving. I imagine this was just me feeling tired and groggy and my conscious compared this feeling to being drunk. I’ve had this dream several times, while I drive and feel drunk. Although in real life it’s something I’ve never experienced or tried.

Moving on, I decided I couldn’t drive in my dream so I walked back into this house to go look in the mirror to see if I looked as drunk as I felt. The house wasn’t familiar, but the mirror was. It was the oval mirror I have hanging in my bedroom. When I looked at my face my eyes were SUPER tiny. Immediately, I scream and put my hands to my face. As I’m doing this the reflection changes. Not my face has shifted shapes, almost as if it were made of clay or something that could be easily morphed. I knew it was me, but it was scary looking version of me. In my dream I thought I had been roofied by someone.I thought I had taken drugs and that’s why my face looked like that. At this point, I realize I was in a dream and woke up. I was panicking and my heart was beating super fast.

I was scared because the first face I saw in the mirror I recognized as me but it didn’t look like me. The first face was, a demonic looking creature, with beatie eyes. It wasn’t an unfamiliar face though. I had seen this demonic looking face in the background of a friends photo years ago. The regular picture just looked like there was a white orb behind her, but if you zoomed in you could distinctively see two faces. One looked like a creepy clown and the other looked like a skull with small, sunken in eyes.

I thought maybe I saw what scared me most, because that picture was very real and freaked me out. So maybe I was seeing something that had been stuck in my head for years. But why would this be my reflection? Why when I screamed did it change shape into an ugly, ogre like figure? Is this how I appear inside my own head? Is this what my soul actually looks like? SO many questions, but it has left me very shaken since.

    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2016-06-12 6:56:02

    Dear Dreamer – What I see in your dream – and do continue to explore it yourself as well http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson – is that when you let go of control (get drunk or drive drunk) you are able to meet different sides of yourself; these are your disowned selves and facing them feels threatening to your “primary selves”.

    “We spoke to our “primary selves” which were very well developed. They ran our lives or, as we liked to put it, they drove our psychological cars. They were the ones that made up our personalities; the selves that “knew all the answers” when we first met. Then we went on to learn about our “disowned selves.” For each primary self there were opposite disowned selves that were buried or repressed so that the primaries could keep control of our lives. The primary selves were familiar and we were comfortable with them. It was easy to get them to talk and to tell us how cleverly and successfully they ran our lives. The disowned selves were unfamiliar and threatening to our primary selves. Each primary self felt that the disowned self on the other side was a potential destroyer of our well-being. For instance: “What happens if you really let go and learned to ‘be’ instead of to ‘do?’ You might never want to work again!” would be the Pusher’s concern.” Quoted from http://delos-inc.com/articles/Voice_Dialogue-_Discovering_Our_Selves.htm

    See also http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/demon/ and http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/whole-2/ and http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/autonomous-complex/

    To explore the different parts of your inner world you can use “Being the demonic looking creature” and “Being the creepy clown” and “Being a skull with small, sunken in eyes” etc.
    As you have become aware, your inner world that you see reflected in the mirror can be easily morphed by your thoughts, beliefs, fears, hopes etc. http://dreamhawk.com/inner-life/inner-world/#MakesInner
    I trust this will give you a start to continue to explore your dream and there is even more, because you wrote “At this point, I realize I was in a dream”.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/inner-life/lucid-dreaming/
    Anna 🙂

Copyright © 1999-2010 Tony Crisp | All rights reserved