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Father Dad

General positive: Your father is often the authority figure in your early life, and may represent this influence or power in you as an adult.  Your dream father is a link with the patterns of survival behaviour passed on for generations. It was the attitudes of how to cope with social activity or work – the external world. But he is part of your creation.

He therefore also depicts the ability to be productive in the external workaday world. Depending upon what level of relationship you have developed with him, your dream father is the power of creative life in you, the power to do, to create, to transform; the power in you to grow and unfold your potential. It has to be remembered that the dream father is not an image of your external father, but of what you carry of him inside you; what you have managed to develop of a working relationship with the power he represents. So you may, because of difficulties with your external father, be in conflict with your internal father, and so be lacking your full power to transform and create. See Integrating Parent of Ex; Power DreamingFamily.

The dream father may depict family or social conventions along with physical strength and protectiveness; the will to be and to do, and so your outgoing energies. As such he represent your confidence as you go out the door of your home into the arena of public life. A poor relationship with your external or internal father leaves you somewhat crippled in that area. But by working with your dreams on your relationship with your internal father this can be changed. See: Using Symbols to Change Life Problems; working with dreams.

General negative: Introverted aggression; dominance by fear of other people’s authority; uncaring sexual drive; feelings of not being loved, inability to be creative in the world, in your outer activity; inability to relate well to men. See: archetype of the father; man.

If there are feelings of abandonment then it can feel very emotional. Please see abandoned

Either represents the feelings you have about your father, or the characteristics in your nature that have arisen from this relationship; or can represent an authority figure. Can also stand for a teacher, or person by whom you are much influenced. Or else your own positive, protective qualities. How you relate to the ‘doer’ in you; physical strength and protectiveness; the will to be.

Example: Began to go into the back pain again. Words came about carrying feelings about on my back all these years. Get of my back. It’s my father. I wanted my father to be perfect like God. I wanted a strong, perfect father, not a human being.

Then I saw how I was trying to be the perfect father with my own children, instead of the human me. “It’s too much of a bloody burden being a perfect father.” I could see how this idea of drive to be the perfect father has directed a lot of my relationship with my children. In the early days I hated them at times because they showed me so often how human I was. Recently I still planned things out of that desire instead of letting what I want. Although lately there has been a swing to the human me. Yesterday I took them for a walk instead of a sauna. I do want to take them to a sauna some time, but yesterday I did not have enough cash, and to go would have been out of the perfect drive. Instead we went for a walk.  

Hurting, burying or killing parent: In the example below Audrey’s height shows her as a child. She is releasing anger about the attitudes and situations her father forced ‘down her throat’.

To be free of the introverted restraints and ready made values gathered from our parents, at some time in our growth we may kill or bury them in our dreams. Although some people are shocked by such dreams, they are healthy signs of emerging independence. Old myths of killing the chief so the tribe can have a new leader, depict this process. When father or mother is ‘dead’ in our dream, we can inherit all the power gained from whatever was positive in the relationship.

Seeing parent drunk, incapable or foolish: Another means of gaining independence from internalised values, or stultifying drives to ‘honour’ or admire father or mother.

Dead parent in dream: Either the beginning of independence from parent; repression of the emotions they engendered in us; our emotions regarding our parent’s death; feelings about death. See: dead people.

Example: ‘My father was giving me and another woman some medicine. Something was being forced on us. I started to hit and punch him in the genitals and when he was facing the other way, in the backside. I seemed to be just the right height to do this and I had a very angry feeling that I wanted to hurt him as he had hurt me.’ Audrey V.

Sometimes a dream about our family is a literal statement in symbols, of what we sense is happening in the family.

Example: I was on a train with my family – wife, and two daughters. The train was derailed but nobody was hurt and we got off the train. I was walking in a field near the train. I thought my wife and daughters had got back on the train. Then suddenly another train smashed into the rear of the derailed train making it concertina into a heap. I wasn’t sure if my family were still on the train.’

Roger associated the theme of derailing with a change in direction – the change that was coming about through his children becoming independent. Some months later his wife and daughters left him. Divorce followed.

Example: The movements gradually led to feelings. These expressed a living connection existing between my ancestors and myself. This surprised me because I had years ago gone through the realisations of what I carried from my father and his fathers – the subjugation by church and state. But this was different. It was not that I was still carrying the attitudes and fears, rather that because I dared to step out of dependence and subjugation by authorities, deeper levels of influence of a transpersonal nature were being called out of my body. I experienced the sense of our family having lived for generations under fear – fear of death – fear of what people would do to us if we didn’t conform. My breaking away from such conformity was the activity that was squeezing it out of my body. It felt like changes had occurred in my body to adapt to that way of life. 

Inner Father: Many people do not realise that they have an inner father equally as powerful as an external father. You have taken in millions of bit of memory, lessons learnt, life experiences along with all the feelings or problems met by loving and living with your father, and they are what makes you the person you are. This is true even if your father was never there for you – you still have all the memories of him not being there for you filed under ‘Father’. The memories and experience we gather unconsciously change us and are not lost. It is part of you and is symbolised in dreams as a person or event. Such an inner father can appear in dreams because you are still deeply influenced by what you hold within you.

The inner father can also signify what has been received via genes passed on or ancestral influences. See ancestorsparent integration

Useful questions and hints:

How is my father portrayed in the dream – dominating – caring – distant?

What does this say about the ‘father’ influences I carry inside me?

Does my dream show what impact on my present life my father has?

You can go back into the dream and become your father, and have a conversation with him.


Life’s Little Secrets - Being the Person or Thing - Techniques for Exploring your DreamsProcessing Dreams



-Veronica Racca 2015-07-22 22:14:29

Last night, 7/21/2015 was the first time since my daddy died that i had a dream about him, he died in 2005. I dreamt that i walked in to a store or room and he was sitting with a few family members, when i walked in daddy stood up, i was shocked and instantly started crying because it had been so long since i seen him and was so happy he was standing in front of me! He walked up to me and we hugged so tightly for a long. I then woke up!
Any idea why or what could that mean?


-Bob Banaszewski 2015-08-29 16:33:16

Woke this morning quite tired after a full night of sleep. Had breakfast and decided to take a nap. After sleeping for 2 hours, I awoke remembering the following dream:

The dream begins in my parent’s house (my childhood home) with my father following my daughter down the stairs into the basement where I am located. I know my father is saying something angrily to my daughter, but I cannot understand what is being said. My father walks by me and I ask him, “What’s wrong?” Dad stops, looks at me, and mutters something that I don’t understand. He’s struggling to say something and his face is distorted. I’m thinking he’s angry with me too. He walks away, stops, turns around, and mutters something again with that distorted face. He knows what he wants to say but struggles to speak due to some physical problem. Now I’m worried he’s having a stroke. He departs out the basement door to the outside, still muttering, and falls into the arms of my wife. She catches him and props him up in a sitting position. I grab the phone to call for help and dial “0” rather than “911”. After realizing I’m not calling the correct number, I hang up, and dial the correct number. Then I woke up.

Dad passed away December 2013 after having cancer (brain tumor). He would have been 88 years old this past Thursday. Our family (mom, my 3 siblings and their families) is gathering later today to celebrate a Mass in his honor and dinner together afterwards. He was a good man and only got better with age. He was quite strict during my childhood. We were all a little scared of him back then.

A month after dad passed, I lost my job – 34 years of continuous employment broken. I was a well-compensated account executive with a long record of success. I was devastated to hear I was being laid off along with 300 of my fellow employees. After 6 months of seeking employment without much results, I decided to go back to school to retool and am now looking to launch my own business. Have a lot of important financial decisions to make in the coming weeks that will a have long-term impact, either good or bad, on my family and me.

Eva, my daughter in the dream, is the youngest of my children (4 daughters and one son, ages 13-21). This past Thursday, on my father’s birthday, Eva and I had a little squabble that she took quite hard.

My wife, the miracle child, has small-cell lung cancer. She’s refer to as “the miracle child” because it’s rare for anyone to go inactive with that type of cancer for as long has she has. Looking at her, you would never even guess that she’s a victim of cancer. My wife and children loved Dad dearly and he loved them.

What does this dream mean?


    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-09-03 7:37:38

    Dear Bob – Thank you for sharing your dream and for sharing so much about your life. It clearly has been and continues to be a challenge in many ways and you sound like you are so willing to deal with everything and everybody in your outer world in the best way possible.
    So well even that it seems that you tend to forget about caring for yourself and your inner world.
    Whether you show or repress anger or fear in dreams it is important. This is because like any other basic or instinctive response, anger and fear use tremendous resources of emotional and physical energy. The repression of emotional energy can be a key factor in the breakdown of health, and in the lack of positive and creative self- expression. Blocked emotional energy tends to attack your sense of wellbeing and body if it is stopped from external expression.
    Could it be that you feel quite tired after a full night of sleep, because you do not give yourself enough space to express openly what goes on in your inner world?
    Are you still aware of what is going on in your inner world?
    I feel the best way to explore this is to use “Being the person or thing” and “Talking as a dream character”, especially for the role your father has in your dream.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson
    Making an emergency call in a dream is a clear sign of a call for help and support and it will serve a purpose to ask yourself what it is that YOU feel you need help with, for I can only share with you what I believe.
    Please also read http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/fall-fallen-falling-fell/
    I believe that both your calls – calling zero and the 911 call – express that you are aware that there is help available both from your unconscious mind – in the form of dreams for instance – and intuition and from the outer world; you answered the call yourself by posting your dream on the website.
    And so I hope I am able to give you a start in approaching your being in a different way.
    See also http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/lifes-little-secrets/
    Anna :-)


-Cleo 2015-09-28 11:13:34

I had a dream that the father I know wasn’t my dad. When I found out who my dad really was he only stuck around for a day and then he disappeared. In real life my dad and mum are divorced. I don’t have a father daughter relationship with my dad. My mom has never said anything bad about him to me while growing up. However I have this feeling of abandonment and not being fully loved by him. I was a baby when my parents divorced and I have always lived with my mom. Is this lack of love and nonexistent connection to him causing me to have a dream like this.


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