What does it mean when I dream of my family?

I’m about to get on a plane to go back to New York to visit my family for my mother’s 75th birthday.  This past two years is the longest period of time in almost a quarter of a century of living on the west coast that I have not been back to visit.  Consciously, I am very excited for the trip and am looking forward to seeing everyone and for the celebration we have planned.  Unconsciously, something far more interesting has been showing up in my dreams.

As families go, I am pretty fortunate.  I was not abused or mistreated.  I was loved and cared for by both my divorced parents.  There was a great deal of chaos, but all in all, the challenges were nothing like some of the tales I have heard over the years.  That said, I am a human being, complete with wounding and pain.  And much of that pain has centered around the role I was cast in as a child that still plays out, despite the fact that I am old enough now to be closer to my death than to my birth.

In the weeks leading up to this trip, I have been dreaming almost nightly of my family of origin.  And while those dreams have run the gamut of scenarios, themes, feelings and constructs, it has been a fascinating thing to observe:  As I get closer to connecting with my family after a long absence, my unconscious is revealing to me my underlying anticipation of the role I play in the dynamic that is my family.  So much has shifted in my life in the past two years and now I get to face head on what my dreams have been preparing me for; the challenge of maintaining my sense of identity in the face of a life-long role that has been mine to play out (often) beyond my ability to avoid or shift.

In that spirit, I am sharing with you the dictionary term Siblings from Dream Sight.


Universal Landscape:  Character aspects related to waking-life siblings.

Dreaming Lens:  Were you dreaming of your own brother(s) or sister(s)?  Do you have siblings in waking life or were these dream characters?  Were the siblings in your dream related to each other but not to you?

Personal Focus:  All people in dreams relate to some aspect of your own personality.  If you dream of your actual brothers or sisters from your life, the character aspects that they represent as part of your psyche should be investigated in the same manner as any person known to you who appears in a dream.  However, because of the powerful dynamic of family systems, the relationships between siblings will connect to various roles each member of the group often find themselves locked into.

When a sibling appears in a dream, there is a great deal of complexity to explore; from your current relationship, to your childhood history and even how parenting styles impacted each family member.  With careful and unbiased investigation, a sibling dream can offer a penetrating snapshot of where you are in your development as an individual, separate from the limitations of your personal history.

If there is little or no complication associated with the sibling you dream of, treat the interpretation process the same as with any cast member in a dream using the character aspect technique.  If you have no brothers or sisters in waking life, the character aspect of one appearing in your dream will be based primarily on the context in the Dreaming Lens.

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