A rock may symbolize permanence or antiquity; the most ancient -unconscious - part of the human mind; the foundations or essence of the self.
Rocks at sea may symbolize a threat of disaster. The threat could be external or internal. Are you getting too emotional? You may need to change course and take a different direction in life.
In the dream sense, Rocks may represent our own obstinate behavior, which must be avoided, or conversely stockpiled, to use as a form of psychological or emotional protection. Moreover, in the image of our resolute rock pile, we may find valuable gems and crystals of honor, courage and hope. Consequently, a dream of breaking rocks, may refer to a profound sacrifice necessary to reveal our hidden resplendence. Furthermore, the chiseling and shaping of hard stone may epitomize the sculpting and perfecting of our human psyche.
There are different aspects of rock symbolism. But the most obvious is that of unchanging motionlessness. In Chinese landscape painting rocks an; contrasted with waterfalls in the sense of yang contrasted with yin, the active but non-acting principle with the passive but impermanent principle.
This changelessness may be that of the supreme First Cause, as is the case when the Psalmist applies the term ‘Rock of Israel’ to none other than Jehovah himself.
A similar identification may be made in the case of the rock in the Wilderness from which Moses struck water, as a spring of life and a manifestation of primeval potentiality. In the Old Testament, the rock is the symbol of Jehovah’s strength, of the firmness of his Covenant and of his faithfulness. The Psalmist in his distress (Psalms 18: 3: 19: 15) calls upon God as his rock. Moses may also be regarded as the man of the rock from which he made fresh water spring by striking it with his staff. This rock is a prefiguration of Christ who is positively identified by St Paul as that ‘spiritual Rock' from which flow the waters of life (1 Corinthians 10: 4).
In Hindu tradition. Shiva's svayambhuvalinga the natural ltngams formed by bare rocks on mountain peaks, possess this same property of the active principle, the source of cosmic manifestation. In Japanese mythology, rocks symbolize firmness.
Ismaili esoterics believe rocks to be underground condensations of the mass which fell with the rebellious Angels since rocks are thick, hard and compacted.
One very special case should be mentioned, that of the two famous rocks in the Bay of Ise linked by a rope. The rising Sun is to be seen between them, symbol of the birth of life.
Sisyphus' rock or boulder, which always rolls to the bottom of the hill and has to be pushed up again, characterizes the insatiable nature of desire and the ceaseless nature of the struggle against its despotism. Sated, pushed away or sublimated, it is constantly reborn and returns in some fresh shape. Its own bulk makes it roll backwards and become a burden. Human laws prescribe a ceaseless attempt to shoulder this burden of one s desires and raise them to a higher level.
Sisyphus' rock is 'the symbol of the crushing burden of Earth [earthly longings]'.