“Dear Claire,

The dream that I would like an answer to is kind of a reoccurring dream with me. I am driving my car, and I see warning lights (like police lights and like an accident in front of me). But, all of a sudden, the road ends, and I go over a cliff. But instead of falling, I fly. I fly over all of the warning lights, a car crash, a fire, and the police. At first, I’m very euphoric. Like, woo-hoo! But then the car starts veering towards whatever. I don’t know what, but it all looks scary; it all looks like danger. I’m still in the air, but I can’t control the car. Then the car turns back and heads towards those warning lights, going really fast. Even when I hit the brakes, the car just won’t stop. I try desperately to steer away, but it just keeps flying right back towards where the danger and the warning lights and the car crash are. Then, I wake up.”

Any moving vehicle in a dream, especially an automobile, is usually a symbol for motion, progress, and change—a symbol for moving in a certain direction in life, getting ahead in life, or moving from one stage in life to another. Furthermore, being the driver of the vehicle in a dream usually indicates that the dreamer is in control of that motion or direction—or wishes to be. In fact, driving an automobile in a dream is usually the ultimate indication that the dreamer feels in control of—or would like to feel in control of—the course, quality, and/or direction of his/her life.

In addition, the manner in which the vehicle is moving, or being driven, can also be symbolic of how the dreamer feels about the manner or quality of his/her life—and is often a direct reflection of how the dreamer feels his/her life is progressing at the time of the dream. Having no control over the motion of the vehicle, or losing control of the vehicle altogether and crashing into something, can indicate that the dreamer feels out of control in his/her waking life and fears that he/she may fail—or “crash.” If the dreaming driver is having “near-misses,” but makes it to his/her destination successfully, it could indicate that, while things may not be easy at this time in the dreamer’s life, he/she feels competent in overcoming the obstacles and dangers in his/her pathway in life. Furthermore, if the dreamer drives successfully and unimpeded in his/her dream world, it would, more than likely,  be a reflection of success and ease in his/her waking world.

However, the fact that this dreamer is not only driving—but also flying—is significant. Flight represents movement and progress; but it can also represent ambition, power, and an elevated status. Flying means we rise above the earth, which can symbolize the unlimited possibilities and potential for success in life. Furthermore, flight is a symbol for freedom—breaking free of routines, restrictions, negative patterns, or outright oppression in life. As a result, flying in a dream can not only represent forward movement or progress, but it can also represent the desire to “fly away from” the decisions, challenges, and problems of the waking world—and can be a reflection of feeling held back or restricted by someone or something in our conscious lives.

Unless this dreamer has had a lot of recent exposure to airplanes, automobiles, and accidents, this dream seems to indicate that the dreamer feels a lack of control in his waking life—and indicates that he has a desire to escape certain aspects of his waking world, but has a fear of doing so. Although the dreamer is the driver—which does indicate some measure of control—he is unable to direct or stop the vehicle, and the vehicle drives itself over a cliff. Although the car flies—and flies away from the original chaos—it still is not safe or under his control. This illustrates his desire to escape—but warns that his attempt to escape could lead to him to other dangers in life. Symbols of these dangers would be the police warning lights, the car crash, the cliff, and the fire.

However, this dreamer never encounters any actual danger in his dream—only the promise of it. Instead of crashing to the earth, his car flies off after driving over the cliff—and never actually stops at any of the danger or warning light areas. This would indicate that the dreamer has the fear of danger, disaster, and failure in his waking world—but has not yet had the actual experience of it. However, the fact that his course is altered and reversed—when the car heads back to the chaotic, warning-light area that he had already passed—indicates a definite conflict, with his path, in his waking world. Perhaps, the conflict is regarding decisions, choices, or changes made in his waking world.

As it turns out, there were changes in this dreamer’s waking world which left him feeling out of control and doubting the outcome and success of the current path that he was on. For quite some time, he had been longing to escape the situation—and felt euphoria at the prospect of leaving, just as he felt euphoria in his dream when his car flew off of the cliff. However, he feared the outcome of such a decision and so avoided making it. As a result, his angst over “flying off of the cliff” and making it safely to his next destination in life—and his inability to make the final decision to leave—were being reflected in his dreams. By repeating this  dream journey, the brain was allowing him to vent his feelings of conflict and not being in control—and trying to motivate him to make the change needed to bring back his sense of fulfillment, safety, and self-power.

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