During my recent symbol therapy work (see previous posts) I received a little red magic car as a healing symbol to assist me with a particular social fear. I was delighted to receive my little red car. It reminded me of a car I loved in a book from my childhood. In the book, the car was magical and could fly, just like my new one. It would take it’s owners to magical lands, where of course they would get up to all sorts of adventures.
If you have done any dream work, you would be familiar with the concept that cars and other vehicles are often symbols for how we move through our lives, psychologically. There are many aspects to consider when trying to work out the meaning of the relationship between the dreamer and the symbol, for instance whether the dreamer was driving the vehicle or not, whether they felt in control or whether perhaps the journey was stressful and ‘out of control’
If you are using a vehicle as a symbol for healing work it would be used in a similar way you would use a real vehicle- to get you from one place to another. If you stuck, afraid, or lacking in confidence, use a metaphorical vehicle to get you moving. Of course the beauty of working symbolically is that you’re not limited by a budget. Stretch your imagination and create the most wonderful vehicle you can think of. It could be a magic carpet, a whale, a horse, an aeroplane or whatever your limitless imagination conjures up.
The color of your vehicle is also significant. Red, evoking for me: life, blood, the heart, passion, and energy, all of which are very encouraging symbols to help me move forward, face my fears and meet with some new adventures.
Below is an extract from a philosophical poem written in 1913 by Percy Shelley. I found the work whilst trying to find reference to the original red car story of my childhood. I became quite carried away by the whole poem during the course of writing this article and can’t resist the temptation to include just a snippet.
Shelley’s poem begins with Ianthe, a sleeping maiden, who is transported by Fairy Queen Mab’s in her chariot (car of magic) on an imaginative flight across space and time:
The chains of earth’s immurement
Fell from Ianthe’s spirit;
They shrank and brake like bandages of straw
Beneath a wakened giant’s strength.
She knew her glorious change,
And felt in apprehension uncontrolled
New raptures opening round;
Each day-dream of her mortal life,
Each frenzied vision of the slumbers
That closed each well-spent day,
Seemed now to meet reality.
The Fairy and the Soul proceeded;
The silver clouds disparted;
And as the car of magic they ascended,
Again the speechless music swelled,
Again the coursers of the air
Unfurled their azure pennons, and the Queen,
Shaking the beamy reins,
Bade them pursue their way.
extract from Percy Shelley‘s