When does mot mean towards vs against? I know it can translate to both (as well as other things), and I am uncertain as to the correct contexts for using mot because of this confusion.
Roughly, it means towards when there's some sort of distance involved, physical or not. For instance, gå mot dörren = walk towards the door. And it means against when there is a struggle or contact, e.g. hon står själv mot världen = she stands alone against the world; mot alla odds = against all odds; ställ den mot väggen = put it against the wall. I should say though that mot, like many other prepositions, does not really have a fixed set of correct definitions, but rather varies with individual use. And to complicate things further, there's also emot, which may or may not mean the exact same as mot - it's debated. :)