In known persons in the dream, e.g. Father or mother, the dream interpretation knows two possibilities: You can mean the real living persons or symbolize inner personality parts of the dreamer.
In important known dream persons, e.g. The Father, always first of all asks himself a question of principle which many laymen completely ignore: is the real person, ie, for example, meant one's own father, or inner parts of the dreamer himself, symbolically personified as father, mother, celebrity, etc.?
Whether a therapist interprets the dreams of a client as part of a psychotherapy or psychological counseling, or a private dream-dreamer his own dreams: Every one must first understand that these two different variants of interpretation and meaning exist.
There is no simple, reliable clue or hint to answer that question, and a dream lexicon online or as a book certainly does not answer that question for you. In the course of a normal, professional dream interpretation it will clear up. It is important to distinguish them especially in serious dream topics, e.g. the death or separation from the partner. If you dream of the death of the mother, it does not have to announce the death of the real mother. If that were always the case, humanity would have long since died out, because the dream of death happens quite often. Much more likely is a letting go of one's own attachment to the mother, or a fundamental change in the "mother inside," that is, the mother in me, my motherliness, and so on.
Many will now breathe a sigh of relief. From the point of view of your soul, however, you, the mother in you and her new birth by letting go of the real mother, are no less important than the real person. He who does not die inwardly will be hit even harder if the loved ones actually die at some point.
Prominent and unknown persons in dreams are almost always symbolic inner part personalities. That being said, there is no hard and fast rule.
If you are in a dream, for example Having a real work colleague in the butt of his lazy because of his laziness, then this dream can express that you feel little sympathy for this real existing in the workplace person. Dreams with such a meaning are quite possible.
But the dream colleague can just as well be a dream symbol for a personality part of yourself. Maybe the part that breaks through in stages as an "inner bastard" or "lazy dog" and goes about its work quite negligently, occasionally needing a kick. Her psyche symbolizes this part in the person of the colleague and this is no coincidence: he is known to prefer cigarette breaks and always dreams only of women and sex - instead of how to work hard and limit themselves to nocturnal sex dreams. It could also be both, that is, you own this inner pig-dog, but you also do not like the character-like workmates.
For celebrities, they are usually meant to be symbolic, that is, they stand as an inner dream symbol for the characteristics they are known to be embodied. A famous comedian in the dream means her inner, hidden humor and Carl Lagerfeld the repressed fashion-conscious artist in you. Depending on what you associate with them. You have nothing to do personally with the real celebrities, so why should your psyche deal with them?
The familiarity rule says: The closer a dream person is to the dreamer in reality, the more likely she is to stand by herself and not meant as a symbolic ego-share.
In principle, all kinds of persons appear in the dream - father, mother, siblings, children, relatives, work colleagues, former classmates, neighbors, celebrities, friends or also totally unknown persons, thus any woman or a man, unknown children etc. The degree of familiarity resp The familiarity rule of dream interpretation helps with the question of principle always to be asked at first, whether symbolic ego-share or real person. It has emerged in the course of practice, but can only indicate tendencies and not replace a detailed study of the dream.
The closer you are to a person, the more likely that the real person is directly meant in the dream. Father and mother are therefore usually for themselves. They have a relevant personal relationship with these people, and that is why dreams address this real relationship. If, on the other hand, a former classmate appears in a dream that they have never seen since childhood, this is probably a symbolic part of you.
Completely unknown people in dreams almost always stand for symbolic ego proportions. It would be conceivable, however, that an unknown person means a real person who, for whatever reason, is "disguised" as a stranger in the dream. In a repressed childhood trauma with the beloved father or the mother as the perpetrator, the dream will disguise this initially. Too big would be the shock and too unbelievable it appears to the dreamer, so the real figure is represented by the dream as a stranger.
Both variants can also apply at the same time. Almost always, intense dreams indicate more than just a meaning. In some ways dreams usually illuminate several truths.