These are archetypal figures of wisdom or spiritual power in dreams. For many people, the role of the father or mother has been lost in society through either divorce, workaholism, or some other emotional dysfunction. The psyche is prone to look for versions of this loss wherever it can create them, even out of the self.
Often times, these characters personify and validate an internal source of wisdom that has been written off by the psyche. It may be that you are confronted with a problem that escapes solution because of the most conscious worldview you ascribe to. However, another means of problem-solving that you view as old-fashioned may be effective. The wisdom figure in your dream is trying to teach you this truth.
Do you fear or disdain either your lineage or the prospects of your own aging?
Are you ambivalent about the purported wisdom of your elders concerning life choices you are now facing?
Are you looking for or missing some wisdom that would aid your life-quest?