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: Dreamt that while talking with my wife I remembered that my son and I had murdered someone years before, and buried the body under a great slab of cement. After the murder the guilt – or rather the fear of being found out – was awful, but as each period of time passed, we gradually managed to lose memory of what we had done. But now I had remembered and felt the anguish of the guilt and fear of discovery. C.R.

When exploring his dream, he says: “I was led to a direct feeling link with my mother as the dead body. I saw, or felt, that when I cut off from her at 5 and attempted independence of my need for her, because of the pain she brought about in me, I had killed her as an inward figure in my life, and buried my feelings of need for her. The cement represented the energy I had used, the decisiveness, to bury her, to get her out on my life. I went on to recognise that killing and burying my mother, or my relationship with my mother, in that way was not in my own best interests. It was really an expression of my own lack of love and awareness of my best survival direction. So imagined I took the bone’s and carefully and reverently buried them, along with my father.”

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 bits 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

Many people are lost and feel as if they cannot more, are trapped, even by past loves. But in fact the more people we can ‘digest’ or accept as part of our own experience, the more freedom we have. Each person we have within us in this way is a new space, a new area or space to live in.

Example: Then I slowly became aware of a deeper sense of the discomfort. It was a feeling of being stuck in one place and not being able to move. It wasn’t anything to do with moving physically but was as an awareness. It felt awful and I tried to move but couldn’t. The only way of describing it was as if we are all made out of the same stuff – as an example concrete – and as such we filled all space. So the little space I filled could not move because all around was filled by others. I felt really stuck and wondered what I could do, but there seemed no way out of it. Yet I could not believe this was really how things were.

Most of this was spontaneous thoughts and movement through the experience, so that was how I was led to thinking about my cousin Sid again, and his situation of being constantly linked with his mother even after he died. Then I realised that I was linked with Rita, and in feeling that I realised that I could move in at least two positions – me and Rita – because of the loving connection I felt.

Then came a flood of realisation, every person I had loved was another position I could be in; and then I knew all the animals I had loved and even people I had a casual relationship with. But there was even more because in dreams and sessions I had become or encountered amazing things, people, creatures, the alien beings and others. I knew then that I was FREE to go anywhere and be almost anything, because their life pattern was now part of me. Then with a rush of wonder, I realised that the more people and creatures I loved, the bigger I became. See Digest

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.

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



-Paul 2015-03-01 9:19:21

My father is still alive. In my dream, doctors told me and my father that he was sick and he had a shorter time to live as the disease will take him quick. I don’t know what it was. (He actually had two minor strokes almost a decade ago leaving him partially paralyzed which made me, as the eldest in my late teens at the time, take over his business to provide for out family.) I took him to our Christian religious gathering and got him seated. I went to the back to let someone know I am here and available to volunteer to what I had been asked to assist with, as these are large gatherings and the men help organize and attend to things. Then I became aware that he had died in his seat so I went to him and picked him up and carried him outside to some large garage. There was a dumpster inside and I had him on the floor in a black trash bag. My sister was outside with another woman I know from our congregation, and if my sister was only here because that woman was forcing her to be here because it’s our father. I don’t remember what she comes in to say to me, something about putting him in the dumpster. I opened the bag as I have to collect his belongings, mainly wallet cellphone hat, as my sister neglected to do that. As I’m hugging him goodbye, he comes to with labored breathing. I clutch him and beg him to accept out faith so that we will see him again. He says in labored voice to give him a good sticker, or give a good mark(I forget now exactly what) every 6 months, but no more than that. Then he dies in my arms, again I guess? I cry in my dream. Then I woke up confused, very sad and disturbed. I do love my father very much. My wife and I are planning to buy our first home soon as an income property and plan to move our father in with us in one of the units this year. He still smokes despite his strokes.

    -Tony Crisp 2015-03-01 11:53:50

    Paul – I don’t know, but I feel your father’s two strokes left you with many strong feelings. Some caring feelings, some shock and also a lot of realisations.

    So you must have internalised the thought that your father will die at some point. I know that many people feel that, but the strokes made you very aware of the certainty of death. And I think this dream is a preparation for you in really being ready for your father’s death. Such dreams often produce strong emotions, and that is good because when the time comes you have already had a dress rehearsal.

    I am not sure what reactions you felt in the proposal of putting the dead body in the dumpster, and I see the second ‘coming to’ was a way of showing that death is not the end, and also it, along with the good marks were a part of your feelings about you father mixed with his message to you to remember him often.

    So the dream was a way of helping you not to be shocked when he dies – probably suddenly.


-Sadiq Mohammed Hashim 2015-02-16 7:13:28

I had somany dreams about my father but the one i had today is making me i want to know why.

I had a dream that my father built a very big house and i enter the house but my father sent people to monitor me in the house as he cant trust me, at same time i was with my friend. The house is very big and so beautiful.

-kali 2015-02-08 23:53:55

i often dream about an ex that, in real life, symbolizes a father figure to me. in my dreams we are having sex, but it is always secretive and loaded with shame because i am trying to feel taken care of, feel security, but i am (or we are) in relationships with other people whom we love. many times this dream is accompanied by my seeking a father for my child through sex with other men. the most prominent feelings in the dreams are longing, shame, and self-loathing. i am lost as to how to move forward in my day-life to work through this stuff!

-Siwan 2015-02-04 8:25:04

I dreamed that my father killed my aunty (who in reality died suddenly years ago). My Uncle (my mother’s brother and the husband of the Aunty that my father murdered in the dream…he is also dead now but was alive in the dream) said that my father killed her…but no one was doing anything about it and we were all kind of carrying on with things, but everyone was talking about my father as if they hated him. At first I stuck up for my father and felt strongly there was no way it was him who killed anyone. Later in the dream, I wasn’t as sure, I began to believe he could have done it and started to feel scared that he might try to kill me.

In reality my father is a very sweet natured man who does his best not to kill any insects or anything! So I know this must all be symbolic of something that is not to do with murdering people what so ever!

    -Tony Crisp 2015-02-05 9:30:41

    Siwan – Yes, it is certainly symbolic of things other than a direct murder. You have to remember that the dimension of experience we know in dreams is completely different to what we know when awake. Please read http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/questions-2/#Summing as it will save a lot of explaining.

    Nearly always when people dream about someone they know or a strange new person they automatically believe the dream is about that person. But when we think of our friend or partner our thoughts are not them – just our thoughts and feelings about them. So your father and relatives are all the many experiences, memories and things learnt by living in relationship with them.

    As I do not know what you inwardly associate with your father and relatives I cannot really tell exactly what your dream means. But even a sweet loving part of your experience can kill out another part of you – such as ambition, striving for independence, having your own feelings and thoughts – only you can really say. See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/characters-or-people-in-dreams/ and http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/association-of-ideas-with-dreams/#Working


-Neha 2015-01-28 11:29:55

Last week I saw my sister death in my dreams, two time in a week . i also experience similarly before my father’s death. My Father died 10 month ago, one week before his death i had a dream and saw him dead twice a week. now m afraid with my latest dream . is that any kind of sign or prediction

-yashi 2015-01-24 5:11:17

I simply had a dream dat my father died 1 morning… i dont stay with my family right now. When i reached home and enquired about what happened i came to know he was suffering from cancer and having no money for treatment..so noone even took him to the doctor and yes,he smokes too much
does dat simply means i should change my relation with my father or some changes in my personal lyf

-Tatherine 2014-11-01 13:55:37

My father passed in Jan and I have dreams of either his funeral or going away. Last night I dream that he remarried and moved away. I’m trying to see what that means. Does it link to my sister dating a younger guy? Or the older guy that is dying that I take care of ? I’m quite confused and concerned

-Gloria 2014-10-24 10:45:32

I have just woken from a dream where I watched my father shoot my mother in the head. My paternal grandparents were present in the scene, although in reality my grandma passed about 3 years ago. My parents have been divorced for a number of years and have actually become friends, so it disturbs me that I would dream of my father committing such a violent act on her. Also, my relationship with my father has finally reached a point of comfort and enjoyment(perhaps because I do not live with him.) in the dream, I was unable to find the cause of why he did this, I was on the path of vengeance in my dream, seeking a lawyer and hiding from my father. I had several bouts of crying and an underlying feeling of anger throughout the dream; I still feel the burning in my chest as I write this. Just curious what this could mean.

-Hannah 2014-10-12 7:43:39

Hi there,
I’m going through a confusing and to be honest really “sucky” time in my life right now. My dad is living in a different country to my family and I working and sending money back. I’m not exactly happy with this new country I’m in.
I had three dreams in a row last night. I’ve been able to successfully interpret the other two on here but the third is puzzling me.
I had a dream that my dad was trying to save me from prison, but kept being pushed back by destruction or even being abducted. He kept trying to call me and write to me but he kept being taken away.
Please help,
Thank you!

-Chantelle 2014-08-28 7:36:27

I lost my father when I was 4 years old and can only remember him through pictures. I am now 20 years old so I felt as if I was kind of over the fact that he’s never coming back, until last night. I had a dream that I was calling a stranger my dad, he had a partner and a baby on the way aswell from what I can recall. He told me to take a walk because me and his partner did not get on but he would ring me on the phone so me and him could talk about things. I think this was because I hadn’t seem him in a long time but I’m not 100% sure. Anyway, I walked a short distance away from the
House telling my dad how I feel, he seemed distant and only answered with one word at a time. The phone then went off and I heard his car race off. I remember falling to my knees screaming dad over and over again crying, I was betrayed and hurt. I knew he had left me but I still kept looking round his house to find him. I don’t usually have dreams about my dad so I would be grateful to know what this could possibly mean. Thank you.

    -Tony Crisp 2014-08-28 9:33:59

    Chantelle – You are facing the enormous feelings and passions of being abandoned. As a child we have an inbuilt instinct that we will be wanted and loved by both parents. We have no way of dealing with the betrayal of that trust. Our inner computer as a child cannot compute that a parent will leave us. It is because for millions of years in our past, to be abandoned meant death. So of course we try everything to avoid it, and when it happens we feel we will die.

    But fortunately we have an ability to tightly encase the hurt because we are not strong enough to meet it. But if and when we gain such strength we start to unwrap our hurts and dream about it.

    Here is my own experience similar to yours. “We were waiting at traffic lights to change when she suddenly asked me to go into the hotel and she would be along shortly. So I went into our room and read a book, but my impatience to be with her got hold of me so I stood looking out of the window hoping to see her. But a terrible fear filled me, a fear that she had gone off with someone else, and as time passed I was in terrible anguish. I went out of the hotel and search for her without success. Then anger and anguish mixed into awful feelings. When I found her in the hotel shop nonchalantly browsing, I felt like hell. But I recognised the feeling. It was the murderous rage I had felt when I was suddenly abandoned by my mother. So I felt I could not face her, but went for a walk until I calmed down. When I entered our room I was calm, without the raging volcano that had erupted in me. She asked me what had had happened and I explained as simply as I could, but was met with disbelief, and was accused of being angry with her. In fact I held no grudge against her, fully understanding my own inner torments. But she had come from such a loving family that she had no experience of such traumas, and had no way of understanding what had happened”.

    Chantelle, please do not try to escape from the pain you feel. Let it out as fully as you can, for it leads to healing. See http://dreamhawk.com/approaches-to-being/lifes-little-secrets/


-Liza W 2014-08-07 15:23:50

I keep having dreams about my dad who recently passed away. He pretty much drank himself to death. He has been a drinker all my life but retired 3 years ago and went on a binge, then cirosis of the liver kicked in and he was diagnosed with end stage liver failure. My dreams about him are usually dramatic. Last nights was I was trying to help him and I couldnt. That seems to be the theme in my dreams about him. But he is still drunk in my dreams, he is still unable to function cause he is wasted and im just crying trying to help him. Yes i know I tried to help him when he was living but to no success. I guess i am wondering why I keep dreaming about him being so messed up still. I would like some nice calm dreams so i can remember him in a different light. Instead I keep getting the ones like he is still here and im dealing with him and its just another day.

    -Tony Crisp 2014-08-10 13:01:50

    Liza – In dreams and in death we tend to create the world through our feelings. So your dad created the world of the attitudes he had in life and it seems they have carried on in death.

    So I suggest that you should try giving up any efforts to help him, realise the ideas involve in the 12 twelve steps taught in Alcoholics Anonymous. Here the first ones – We admitted we were powerless over alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. Humbly asked Him/It to remove our shortcomings.

    So realise that whatever created us and keeps is going we usually call LIFE and I suggest you imagine that this force that is often called Creator, has full powers that we do not have. So imagine your dad being bathed in that glorious influence and ask it to help him. Being dead he is more likely to feel this influence, so watch your dreams for improvements.


-Brendann 2014-07-14 17:03:49

I had a dream last night where me and my father were living in a big city(strange because my parents aren’t divorced and I have a sister, we also live in a small town) and some dragon like thing attacked it me and some of my lacrosse teammates / friends escaped along with about half the city we were taken to anouther city where I found my father and had an argument after I saw him packing to go back I thought it wouldn’t be safe he said it would be and he’s going I said I was staying he said fine and I ran off ( I said that in the shortest way possible also we yelled a lot during the argument ) after running off I found I girl I know in real life and her family and was staying with them waiting to see the planes fly away that would take my father and alot of people back to the city we had fled from

-P. Rivera 2014-07-02 21:06:40

I dreamed that my dad died I don’t know how he died in my dream. But after his death I could see him, my mom, sister and husband couldn’t see him. But everytime I saw him I got really happy. I don’t know if it means that I should be more close to him. I’m 22 years old married and have a one in a half year old daughter and living with my parents for now, since we’re buying the property. Please tell me what it means and thank you.

-Rini 2014-02-26 15:16:47

I had a dream with my father ( who has been divorced from my mother since I was 9 years old, its been 13 years now) and in the dream he was driving and I was The passenger. I couldn’t see his face though it wasn’t covered by anything just wasn’t in my view or maybe I chose not to look at it. We were driving by the area I currently live in it was a sunny clear day. We passed by an open field which now has a church built there. I haven’t seen my father since the divorce. I remember having a conversation in the dream but don’t remember what it was about. He dropped me off to work and then I remember hammering a license plate onto one of the main bulletin boards in the hallway.

-Matilde Singh 2013-11-22 12:59:51

I was dreaming that I was at an outdoor party at a park with my friends and entire family even the dead ones. I was not aware that the celebration was in my honor because my mother would not let me even look in that direction. There were some homeless people and apparently that is why i was not to go and look around until Melissa came and told me that the homeless people where almost gone….I was upset that everyone thought I was not at the party because of them. I ran to the restroom and when I opened the door it was Paola ‘s inlaw’s blue restroom but it it smelled of urine, I could hear my mom yelling “huele a miados” I started to clean it after I was done I went out to tel mom that it was cleaned as I was looking for her among all my friends an family I made eye contact with one of the homeless man and realized that it was my father…I immediately woke up with tears running down my cheeks and sorrow. In my heart. I can remember the party with the smells as if I was there.

    -Tony Crisp 2013-11-24 11:17:19

    Matilde – Your dream paints a picture of you feeling as if you do not fit into the family scene as you should. It is probably a view passed onto you and may have been about your father. Something ‘smells’ bad about this situation that you have been or will be clearing. And as you clear it up within you, you see your father as a homeless man. I presume he is dead?

    If so he is still in an attitude that he hasn’t got a good feeling about himself. So please imagine him finding or creating home hat he feels good about, even telling him how sad you felt about the situation.

    Here is a suggestion – It is a dream I experienced after my best friends death. “Suddenly it was as if Kevin was with me, talking with me. He seemed in one of his pissed off moods. Not badly, but certainly frustrated. He said that no matter how he tried, he couldn’t get home. Being half asleep I started to feel sorry for him. Then I suddenly realised that this was Kevin and he was dead, and not being able to get home was his life-long problem – at least the feeling of it – because he had been put in an orphanage when a child. So I excitedly told him that his life problem was now his death problem. That because he felt he couldn’t get home, he created this environment for himself now. I tried to help him create a different feeling stance, one from which he could ‘get home’. He began to get the idea, and the scenery gradually changed. He created a walled courtyard, sunny with vines and plants, with an adjoining house. The house had a room with a huge window overlooking a view of the sea.”


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