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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.

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. See parent 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



-Sonia Shabbir 2015-03-11 6:37:13

My father came in my dream and asked me if I need money. What does this mean.


    -Tony Crisp 2015-03-11 9:38:18

    Sonia – Money in dreams is about getting more opportunity to do what you wish for. So your father is asking if you want his help in dealing with whatever faces you.

    Say YES.



-maddy 2015-03-31 10:12:45

I had a dream last night about my dad .. in the dream he drove off a cliff in his car and killed himself … what’s this mean??


    -Anna 2015-04-01 12:19:36

    Maddy – Not knowing anything about you, your father or your relationship with him, it can mean many things and what I can do is give you some hints, so you can explore for yourself.
    What is helpful is to remember/explore how you felt about your father killing himself in your dream, for that you do not reveal. Where you shocked, afraid, angry, sad, did you feel freed in some way etc.?
    It could mean that you did not express some feelings of anger (towards your father or anybody else) during your waking life and so rather than expressing these feelings you killed them.
    It could mean that you want your father out of your life. When you can relate to this, it is good to realise that you cannot get rid of your inner father and that rather than killing this part of you, it will serve a purpose to integrate him/it in your inner world.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/questions-2/#Integrate
    Also, taking into account that most people in your dreams depict an aspect of yourself, this may be illustrating that you lack pleasure in life or have little to live for in the way of satisfaction.
    The cliff is also the edge between life and death; between fear of death and exuberance of life; between being trapped in the concept of oneself as simply a physical form, and the freedom of realising oneself as naked consciousness.
    It could mean that you had an intuition about your father not being happy with his life.
    As you can see, I can go into many directions with this dream and so it will need your own efforts to come to some understanding.
    For that purpose you can use any of these techniques:
    Anna :-)


-Kit 2015-04-18 6:19:38

In my dream, a stranger attacked my father and my father was severely beaten and I remember seeing him with a swollen face and bruised eyes. I was absolutely seething with rage and livid someone had done this to and went to seek revenge but did no know who this person was


    -Anna 2015-04-21 10:40:54

    Kit – In your dream you are working your way through a conflict with the different (partly unconscious) parts of yourself. There is a part of you which is the attacker: this part is about an attempt, however short, to distance yourself emotionally and mentally from your inner father.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/father-dad/#InnerFather
    The attacker you perceive as a stranger, which may be referring to an unrecognised part of yourself, your behaviour or character, or something you fail to see or recognise as you. In a way this might even be a new growing part of you you haven’t met before.
    Distancing yourself emotionally and mentally from your inner father is about your (first?) attempts to break free from him. It means to sort out, digest, integrate or release all that you took in from living with him.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/integration-meeting-oneself/
    Your dream figure getting angry without it bringing any satisfaction – “and went to seek revenge but did not know who this person was” -may indicate it is still linked with childhood dependence, when our personal well-being was intricately bound with our parents, and we depended upon them for our good feelings.
    In other words, this dream is about the process of individuation http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/individuation/ and all the inner challenges that come with this push towards inner growth.
    Anna :-)


-komal 2015-04-20 3:43:30

I saw my dead father dying again and again in my dreams, and saw his funeral. What does that mean. Whenever he came in my dreams and said something, it became true in reality.


    -Anna 2015-04-20 10:20:09

    Komal – Without knowing anything about your relationship with your father in your waking life, it is difficult to fully understand your dream.
    Also I wonder if you perceive this “function” he has in your dreams as helpful or as disturbing; “Whenever he came in my dreams and said something, it became true in reality”?
    In general dreams recur because there are ways the dreamer habitually responds to their internal or external world. Because their attitude or response is unchanging, the dream that reflects it remains the same. It is noticeable in those who explore their dreams using such techniques as described under processing dreams, that recurring themes disappear or change because the attitudes or habitual anxieties that gave rise to them have been met or transformed.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/processing-dreams/
    Because your dream recurs it could also be that you have problems breaking free from your father’s dominating influence in your inner and/or outer life.
    I hope I gave you some thoughts to reflect on.
    Anna :-)


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