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



-Cari Lee 2015-07-11 15:11:58

I keep having dreams that my father is a different man, a fictional lightskin black man who teaches at the fictional school I go to in the dream. I’m a caucasion female and I know who my father is….so why do I keep dreaming of this other guy being my dad ?

-Philly R. Britton 2015-07-03 19:35:49

I had a dream of a little boy saying daddy telephone and I have any kids..

    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-07-05 12:33:47

    Dear Philly R. Britton – While you may not have any physical child, you do have an inner child and it is telling you to connect with someone or some inner aspect of you.
    In general the telephone depicts the desire or attempt to communicate; an attempt to make contact with an aspect of oneself or someone else. The telephone can also have the meaning of reaching to, or becoming aware of the huge potential of the mind, or of consciousness. This is because via the telephone new people, new aspects of life previously unknown, can be experienced
    See also http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/archetype-of-the-child-bab/
    Anna 🙂

-marianne 2015-07-03 18:11:14

Bonjour:), can you tell what that meen?? Thank you!:

J’ai rêvé que j’ai appris que mon père venait tout juste de mourir le premier dans un “crash” d’avion. J’ai triste et anéantie.

English : dreamed that my father died in plane and it was the first to died in the plane. I was really sad ….

    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-07-05 12:15:57

    Dear Marianne – Your dream is like a snapshot which captures one brief moment out of your lifetime. Without knowing something about your waking life it is difficult to understand such a short dream.
    In general the air plane in your dream shows all the amazing possibilities of change, of varied experience, of romance, business and discovery in life today. But it also holds all the possibilities of failure, of not being able to get your projects or relationship off the ground, along with delays, unexpected threats, and the possible tragedy and loss you might meet in life.
    The crashed or wrecked plane depicts worry about failing. It can be anxiety bringing down your ambition or adventurousness; a loss of self-confidence or mental equilibrium; warning about a business project; broken dreams and hopes. Sometimes shows or refers to a break up in a relationship
    You can use “Being your dead father” and “Talking as your dead father” to explore which inner part your dream figure perceives as dead:
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson
    Anna 🙂

-SIddanth 2015-06-25 21:35:40

I had a dream that 2 people carrying my dead father and kept him in front of my house when i saw him his mouth was full of blood.After seeing that I hold him and take him inside the house and walk couple of steps with him .
i was not well when i saw this dream.
what does this mean.

-Monique 2015-06-23 16:10:07

My friend dad never been In his life and had a dream that they were fighing but he says it felt real. What does that mean

    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-06-24 11:44:29

    Dear Monique – Because this is your friends dream I will respond to him.
    Many people do not realise that they have an inner father equally as powerful as an external father. 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 http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/ancestors/
    You did not reveal what the fight was about in your dream and/or if you are angry or frustrated that your father was never there for you or perhaps this fight is a symbol for your search for masculine identity; your difficulties in regard to independence or self-confidence.
    The key to healing might be to learn to be a father to yourself; to your inner child.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/health-and-healing/inner-baby-and-child/
    Anna 🙂

-Zooa 2015-06-22 14:54:51

I had a dream where me and my father were going somewhere. I was afraid of my father because in the dream when i saw his face I believed that the man was not my father. I was terrified at the begining. However others were telling me that he was my father. He actually looked like my father but a bit younger. At the end I had to accept that not everyone can be wrong and so despite i was still afraid of him I walked with him…
Can anyone help me undrestan what this dream mean?

    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-06-24 10:02:46

    Dear Zooa – Your dream makes me wonder if you have had some (unrealistic?) expectations of your father which were never fulfilled and if it is because of that that you believe that this man cannot be your father.
    In other words the inner image you have of how a father “should be/should have been” did not comply with your real father in waking life.
    I feel it will be helpful to explore why you were afraid of him. Was it something he might do to you or were you afraid of accepting him the way he is?
    When you accept him the way he is/was, you can start to digest your relationship with him.
    See also http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/father-dad/#InnerFather
    At the end of your dream you made a courageous decision to walk with your (inner) father despite your fear.
    So keep on walking with him and in case you are a female – your name does not reveal that – please also read http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/archetype-of-the-animus-jungs-view-of-the-male-in-the-female/
    Anna 🙂

-SIddanth 2015-06-09 18:59:24

I had a dream that 2 people carrying my dead father and kept him in front of my house when i saw him his mouth was full of blood.After seeing that I hold him and take him inside the house and walk couple of steps with him .
i was not well when i saw this dream.
Any idea what does this mean.

-Tee 2015-06-06 10:55:22

I dreamt about my dad last night. We were driving towards the Coast and the sky was blood red. We turned away and headed north, where the sky was blue and beautiful. We left the car, and walked toward a small hill. I had a tremendous desire to reach the top of the hill. When we got there, we were greeted with a lovely sight of sand dunes and ocean. I wanted to continue walking, but dad said he was too tired to continue, his legs hurt. So I decided to take him back to the car and bring him home.

For some reason, this dream has had an impact on me today. I get on very well with my father although he is ageing now and I am concerned about him as I live a long way away.

Also, I am going through a tough time at the moment. I’m not terribly happy in my job and feel a bit stuck. I have a good life, but feel I need to make some changes. It’s a transitional time.

Any idea what this dream means.

    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-06-07 9:26:52

    Dear Tee – Every image and person in your dreams is an expression of your own life process. As such it is alive and intelligent and is something sent to help you. A dream is like a projection from a movie projector, except that you are the projector.
    Everything you see as outside you is coming from you, your emotions, your fears, your beliefs, your joys and explorations and are all you, clothed in the dream images and drama. You wrote “but feel I need to make some changes” and you made a change when you decided to turn away from the blood red sky and to head north where the sky was blue.
    In general when you live in the southern hemisphere like you do, heading north is about turning to the light, toward life, inner growth and warmth.
    I feel it is important to explore what you feel/think/sense when you switch between “Being a sky that is blood red” and “Being a blue, beautiful sky”(See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/acting-on-your-dream/#BeingPerson) because by switching backwards and forward it begins to clarify inside you what the change of direction is about in your inner world.
    See also http://dreamhawk.com/news/avoiding-being-my-own-victim/
    I see your going up hill as a desire to get a more overall view of your inner world.
    Another view is that this is about the transition from expressing energy genitally to expressing it in less physical ways and so please also read the next two links and explore this part of your dream. http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/hill/ and http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/energy-sex-and-dreams/
    When you reach the top you “are greeted with a lovely sight of sand dunes and ocean”.
    I take it you are aware of the function of dunes; they act as barriers against the action of waves, tides and salt wind.
    Waves in dreams are a symbol of impulses, feelings and emotions, such as sexuality, anxiety, anger. Waves can also indicate an impulse such as life in one that has its beginnings from a mysterious source.
    See also http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/tidal-wave-tsunami/
    Salt wind can also be a symbol of the winds of change.
    Once again it will be helpful to explore “Being at the Coast” – where you were originally heading at – and “Being on top of the hill behind the dunes” to explore the difference between each state of mind.
    I wonder if at this point of your dream you took your concerns about your father’s health with you in the dream or if being tired and having pain in the legs is part of your inner father.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-dictionary/father-dad/#InnerFather
    Perhaps you can use Power Dreaming to see where “I wanted to continue walking” will take you; into what direction?
    Because your dreams are a unique area of self expression, they are a safe area to experiment and experience things in any way you wish. Often we introvert, or take into our dream life, rules and fears that have no place there. For example, while dreaming, you may fall into the sea and be terrified you will drown. But that is impossible because you are only experiencing images of your feelings and thoughts. All you can do is to feel fear. You can easily breathe under water in a dream, or fly, or die and be re-born. So remove such limitations from your inner life by visualising such changes into your dreams when awake. Imagine yourself being what you can in your dreams.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/secrets-power-dreaming/
    Good Luck!
    Anna 🙂

-Debbie 2015-05-25 0:38:12

My dad passed in 2002, last night I dreamed I was at a hospital my dad in a bed me and a nurse was working a code on him, I pulled the code button More nurses came in and told me dad had passed. My dad passed in my home in FL I do not live inFL I live in GA now. What is this dream trying to tellme.

-Missa 2015-05-12 19:59:39

Back in 2005 I had a dream of my dad all i seen was his face and part of his shoulders the background was pitch black he didn’t speak to me just had a look on his face of help me mixed with sad and pain. 🙁 i woke up crying few minutes later phone rang long story short he ended up passing 3days after his 46th bday.. what does this mean I strongly feel he was tellibg me something on regards to his death
Reply thanks

    -Anna - Tony's Assistant 2015-05-13 10:42:30

    Dear Missa – The way I see your dream is that you were able to receive for a moment what was on your father’s mind.
    Usually the first thing experienced at death is a vivid re-experiencing of one’s whole life in reverse order. These memories, Rudolf Steiner states, are only experienced in this way when the formative energies of our being are separated from their action upon the matter of our body. Occasionally, he says, a temporary separation is brought about by a shock, a bad fall, or electric shock, and the person then has the same experience. Bennet, writing about his experiences in Subud, tells how he was able to actually enter into his wife’s experience of her past memories as she died. Some Gurus of the East, such as Ramana, say they help their disciples by giving them strength as they face these memories. But in fact it has also been seen that some ordinary people deeply share the death experiences of those they are with.
    So although you were not present with him in the body, your minds were joined.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/interesting-people/rudolph-steiners-philosophy-of-life-and-death/
    Anna 🙂

-deb 2015-04-26 16:42:46

I hafd a dream that my mother and father were taking a trip to Las Vegas. We were waiting to board the plane and it was a small plane. I went to grab my dads hand and gave hi m a hug because I was happy to see him. He looked tired and he did not speak to me, he just recieved my hug and he hugged back and held my hand. I’m 45 but in my dream I was a young child. When we boarded the plane, I was tslking to all the people sitting next to me but I was an adult now. I remember looking out the window like a child in amazement and went to tell my dad to look out the window and see all the lights lit up. Then I woke up. My dad passed when I was 14.

    -Anna 2015-04-28 10:30:50

    Dear Deb – To climb aboard a plane is to embark upon dramatic movement from one way of life, or one situation in life, to another; a leap into the unknown, into chance – so it is a powerful symbol of change.
    I feel that the dream is about meeting your inner father with the intention to transform and heal “him from being tired”; which I see as a symbol for a lack of flow from your Inner Well, your deeper recourses.
    A hug is also a symbol of a meeting that can take many forms; a feeling of being family and connected, a sense of knowing the person in a deep way; a sharing of past pain and struggle.
    To get a broader understanding and appreciation of the symbol of your inner father, please also read this feature http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/archetype-of-the-animus-jungs-view-of-the-male-in-the-female/
    It will be helpful to explore the associations you have with Las Vegas.
    See http://dreamhawk.com/dream-encyclopedia/association-of-ideas-with-dreams/#Working
    Since Las Vegas is also known for gambling, I wonder if you also took off to explore if you are gambling with your life; with your physical and/or inner well-being. (The way your father used to do too?)
    The “well-being” association I have with Las Vegas in regard to your dream, is related to it’s past and so to the open and enthousiastic flow of LIFE you are about to meet again. In the 19th century, small parts of the Las Vegas Valley contained artesian wells that supported extensive green areas, hence the name Las Vegas, Spanish for The Meadows. The flows from these wells fed the Las Vegas Wash which runs to the Colorado River. (The springs stopped flowing by 1962, resulting in the lush grassy meadows to fade away.)
    See also http://ponce.sdsu.edu/nelson_081008.html
    While “being uplifted” and getting in touch with your childlike sense of wonder, you can “see the lights” of your inner world (again) and you share this miracle of Light – Lightness of heart, hope, confidence and release from dark feelings and fear – with your inner father.
    Through the use of dreams one can use these visions of the night to discover and heal the deepest issues in oneself, and to touch the high ground of their spiritual awareness. They can present in symbols past traumatic experience. If met this can lead to deep psychological healing. Such dreams are therefore an attempt on the part of our spontaneous inner processes to bring about healing change.
    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 🙂

-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 🙂

-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 🙂

-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.


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