Getting an accurate view of yourself in a mirror in waking life can be challenging enough. In a dream, where the tether to physical reality is even weaker, you might see all kinds of things in a mirror.
No matter what you see in a mirror in your dream, however, it can tell you something important about yourself.
Mirror Dream Summary
Mirror Dream Symbolism
A mirror shows you how you look, so dreaming of a mirror can symbolize that you are concerned with your physical appearance. A mirror dream might also reach into broader questions of identity, like your achievements in life or whether you feel good about yourself on an ethical level.
A mirror may also be seen as a way of getting information, even if that information is just whether or not you have food stuck in your teeth. Problems with mirrors in your dreams can therefore symbolize distortion or bias in the information you are getting about yourself or about other issues.
Common Mirror Dreams
- Dream of a distorted mirror image
- Dream of a dirty mirror
- Dream of a broken mirror
- Dream of a one-way mirror
- Dream of looking in a mirror and seeing someone else
- Dream of seeing no reflection in a mirror
Mirror Dream Symbolism
Looking in a mirror in a dream could symbolize that you are concerned with your physical appearance. You may only be able to see the things that you think of as imperfections.
While a mirror is a way that you can see what you look like, you may never truly know how you appear to others. That might be part of your fear. More likely, however, the others are too busy worrying about how they appear to you to spend much time judging you.
Before there were glass mirrors, there were bodies of water to gaze in. In Greek mythology, the hunter Narcissus rejected all his suitors and instead fell in love with his reflection in a pool of water. The phenomenon of narcissism is now named after him.
Dreaming of a mirror could therefore symbolize a situation where you are so obsessed with yourself and your own experiences that you are neglecting or misusing your relationships with others.
What You Want to Hear
In the Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the Queen repeatedly asks, “Magic Mirror on the Wall, who is the fairest one of all?” The mirror usually tells her what she wants to hear – which is, of course, that she is the fairest one of all.
Your dream of a mirror could similarly symbolize that you have surrounded yourself with people or news sources who mirror your own perspective and tell you what you want to hear instead of challenging you with uncomfortable truths. While this may be comforting for you, you might miss out on something important that you really need to know if you cut yourself off from alternative views.
Seeing yourself in a mirror in your dream could symbolize that you are ready to face the reality of a difficult situation and take responsibility for your role in it. As Michael Jackson’s song “Man In The Mirror” states:
I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change.
When you look in a mirror, usually the reflection you see is a person who looks just like you. Dreaming of a mirror can therefore be similar to dreaming of a double, where the meaning often has to do with wondering what your life would have been like if you had chosen differently at a critical juncture.
Common Mirror Dreams
Dream of a distorted mirror image
Funhouse mirrors, which are curved to produce a distorted reflection, are a common attraction at carnivals and fairs. If you dream of seeing a distorted mirror image like that you would get from a funhouse mirror, this may symbolize that you are not seeing something about yourself accurately. Funhouse mirrors commonly make you look either thinner or fatter than you are, so this dream could especially refer to body image issues.
Dream of a dirty mirror
If you dream of looking at yourself in a dirty mirror, this could symbolize that you are being too hard on yourself. You may feel bad that you have not achieved some lofty goal. However, you might be overlooking smaller things you could do to make a positive difference in your life – like cleaning your mirror, for starters.
Dream of a broken mirror
The superstition that breaking a mirror leads to seven years of bad luck dates back to ancient Greece and Rome, according to The Conversation. While the Greeks believed that your reflection on the surface of water revealed your soul, the Romans were the ones who actually learned to make mirrors out of glass.
The Romans then believed that gods observed humans’ souls through mirrors and would punish humans for the carelessness of breaking mirrors. They also, however, believed that the body renewed itself every seven years, which is why the punishment for breaking a mirror only lasted seven years.
If you grew up with this superstition that breaking a mirror leads to seven years of bad luck, dreaming of a broken mirror may symbolize that you feel like you are going through a rough patch, especially if the dream and your current waking life share a negative emotional atmosphere.
You could also look at the claim of seven years literally. If your dream of a broken mirror feels good, you might be coming to the end of your seven years of bad luck. Think back to what you were doing seven years ago, and see if anything from that time is being revisited now.
If you think your seven years of bad luck might be starting now, though, you could think about what you expect to be doing seven years from now. For example, will you (or another significant person) in your life have a milestone birthday by then, or do you expect that you (or your child) will be done with school by then?
Aside from the belief about seven years of bad luck, a broken mirror could symbolize that things have really broken down in your life, like the Tower card in Tarot. You might feel like the rug has been pulled out from under you, and you don’t know where you fit into radically changed circumstances. However, this may be an opportunity for you to rebuild your life and eventually have a fresh start.
If your dream emphasizes the broken glass resulting from the broken mirror more than anything to do with your reflection, the dream symbolism of broken glass might be more relevant. This can include fragility and destruction.
Dream of a one-way mirror
A one-way mirror looks like a mirror on one side, but people on the other side of it can see through. Interpreting a dream of a one-way mirror depends on which side of the mirror you are on.
If you are on the mirror side of a one-way mirror, this dream could refer to a situation where someone in your life is not respecting your boundaries. You might also feel like information you need is being kept from you. Maybe you have been talking with someone who asks you a lot of intrusive questions but never reveals anything about their own life, and you wonder if they have a hidden agenda they are trying to get you to meet.
If you are on the window side of a one-way mirror, your dream could symbolize that you feel justified in going behind someone’s back to surreptitiously collect information. You may need to make sure you have a seriously good reason for doing something like this before you do it any further.
Alternately, dreaming of being on the window side of a one-way mirror could symbolize that you feel left out of a social activity. You might feel like no one notices you, or like you are always on the outside looking in.
Dream of looking in a mirror and seeing someone else
If you dreamed of looking in a mirror and seeing someone else, who did you see?
If the reflection looked like an uglier version of yourself, this could be similar to the plot of Oscar Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. In this book, Dorian Gray appears to not age, but a portrait of him grows old and ugly, made so by his own bad deeds.
Your dream of this sort might symbolize that you feel guilty about something you have done and gotten away with, and you think others would judge you harshly if they knew. Alternately, if you are proud of having gotten away with something bad, maybe others know more about it than you think they do and are quietly judging you accordingly.
If the reflection looked like a more beautiful version of yourself, your dream could symbolize that you are too hard on yourself. Regardless of what you are ashamed of, others might see your inner beauty.
If the reflection looked like a younger version of yourself, such a dream might have a similar vibe to “Reflections of the Past,” a series of portraits photographer Tom Hussey made of senior citizens looking at their younger selves reflected in mirrors or windows. Digital Synopsis reports that Hussey’s inspiration came from a World War II veteran who said, “I can’t believe I’m going to be 80. I feel like I just came back from the war. I look in the mirror and I see this old guy.”
The meaning of this dream might be that something good from an earlier time in your life needs to be rediscovered and brought into the present. Alternately, it could suggest that you are stuck in reliving your glory days at the expense of making something of your present life.
If the reflection looked like an older version of yourself, this could mean that you are thinking critically about your future – or, if you’re not, maybe you should be. Your current choices may affect your future self, for better or for worse.
If the reflection looked like some other person in your life, you might feel like the boundaries are blurry between you and this person, to the point that you are losing your identity to them. This dream could also have a meaning similar to the saying, “When I open my mouth, my mother comes out.” The person in the mirror in your dream could be someone who has strongly influenced you, for better or for worse.
If the person in the reflection was a stranger, maybe you don’t know everyone who has made an impact on your life. This could be someone you would not ordinarily meet, like a distant ancestor or even, if you’re into that, someone you were in a past life.
Dream of seeing no reflection in a mirror
Vampires allegedly do not have reflections in mirrors. The Conversation, however, connects the various allegations made about vampires to the symptoms of a blood disorder called porphyria; their explanation for the mirror problem is that people suffering serious facial disfigurement from porphyria simply did not want to look at themselves in mirrors.
If you are really into vampire stories, though, you might just have to run with it. Dreaming of seeing no reflection in a mirror could symbolize that you or someone else in your life has engaged in behavior you would associate with a vampire, like having poor boundaries or taking energy from others. See also blood dream symbolism.
Aside from vampire stories, a dream of seeing no reflection in the mirror could symbolize that you lack a strong sense of self. You might also feel like you are invisible in the sense that others ignore you.
A mirror may be the best source of information you have about things you can’t see otherwise. Whether or not you like what a mirror shows you, though, it might not be the final word on the subject.