By Karen Billing
Ever had a dream that you’re back in high school, a nightmare that you’re being chased or that your teeth are falling out as you ride in a car with Oprah Winfrey?
Helle Brandrup has heard them all.
The Rancho Santa Fe resident is a dream interpreter who specializes in unlocking the meaning behind those images that come awake in the mind at night.
“Looking into your dream is like opening a treasure box with information about yourself and once you open it, you’ll never want to close it,” Brandrup said. “Our dreams are there to help us, they are messages we send to ourselves. It’s just a matter of listening to them and interpreting them to understand their message.”
Brandrup has lived in Rancho Santa Fe for almost a year, moving here from Denmark with her two children and her husband Jan, the founder and CEO of Hyperikon, a LED lighting solutions company. The couple’s two older sons attend college in Copenhagen.
“We love it here,” Brandrup said.
She has worked as a dream interpreter for 15 years.
She studied personal development and astrology and while getting her education to become a therapist realized how important dreams are and focused on interpretation, an art of deciphering dream symbols that goes back to Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.
In Denmark, she did private consulting, wrote a newspaper column on the subject and was a frequent contributor to dream segments on television.
While some people may say they don’t remember their dreams when they wake up in the morning, that doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.
“Everybody dreams,” Brandrup said.
Brandrup said people dream over 100,000 dreams in a lifetime, which breaks down to about 1,300 dreams a year and 35 dreams every night.
Brandrup said every dream means something — it’s never just a “crazy dream” and even if it seems like gibberish there is some meaning behind the symbols. That’s where a dream interpreter can come in and tip you off on something your subconscious wants you to know or something you can work to change.
“Everybody knows it’s important to exercise our bodies, but what about exercising our minds? It’s just as important. The body and mind need to be connected to be in good health and to find balance,” Brandrup said.
There is not a stock reason for every symbol in a dream.
“No two dreams are the same, it depends on the dreamer,” Brandrup said. “What might not mean something to me might mean something to you.”
Still, there are some common ones.
To dream of falling down usually indicates a lack of control; a dream of water is about feelings or emotions, and to dream of a car is usually about where you are heading. Brandrup said the interpretation looks into all the details surrounding those basic symbols to see what it means.
“Death is one of the most common dreams and people are always afraid to dream about it, but it only means a change in your life,” Brandrup said. “It’s never about someone you know, it’s always about yourself. You don’t have to be afraid that it’s something that is going to come true.”
Nightmares can sometimes be a good thing, Brandrup said, as they are strong messages from the subconscious to get you to listen.
She said nightmares could be more frequent with children because they are growing so fast and so many things are changing. The dreams represent the mind trying to catch up with the ever-changing physical body.
On Danish television, Brandrup was on a children’s program and helped children with nightmares.
She once had a case with a boy who kept having the same nightmare about werewolves and couldn’t sleep, having to sleep in his parents’ bed and causing everyone to have a restless night.
“I talked to him and found out his challenge was that he did not feel good enough in his big family,” Brandrup said.
She gave the child and the family some suggestions on things they could do to make him feel more connected and the nightmares were able to stop.
It was rewarding for her to see how a situation could change with just a little tweak—that’s something she hopes parents would take advantage of.
Brandrup said she often hears people say that if they dream so much, 35 a night as estimated, why can’t they remember them?
To remember dreams, Brandrup said people have to set their minds to think about dreaming and wanting to remember. She then suggests putting a piece of paper or a notebook by the bed so you can immediately write down your dream as soon as you wake up, even if it’s just a glimpse or a few words.
“Dreams offer solutions to issues in your life, coming to you in a symbolic way,” Brandrup said. “I’m here to help people understand their dreams…I just want to help get people ‘out of the bushes’ as they say in Denmark.”
Brandrup also runs wellness trips in the Mediterranean. Her staff is based out of Turkey and the trip sails out on a wooden ship—she is booking now for a May excursion.
A total of 16 people can go on the ship and each gets a double cabin and their own bathroom. Packages include meals from a private chef, yoga, meditation, massages and a stop at a Turkish bath. Dream interpretation is, of course, a feature of the trip.
To learn more, visit HelleBrandrup.com or dreaminsider.wordpress.com