The Big Questions About Past Lives

This article was first published in Psychic News, March 2019.

Q = Question from Psychic News Magazine

A = Answer from Atasha Fyfe

Q: Did any great civilisations of the past accept the notions of rebirth and past lives? If so, why did they fall out of favour?

A: Since ancient times, all tflower buddhahe great religions believed in reincarnation – Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam and even early Christianity. The Bible is full of references to it.

Socrates, Plato, St Augustine and many others in the ancient world taught a lot about the effects of past lives.  

Then in 553CE the Emperor Justinian declared this belief a Christian heresy, punishable by death. This increased control over the masses by replacing the reassurance of eternal life with the threat of damnation. However, for cultures everywhere else, going back to very ancient times, rebirth was always accepted.  

Over time, Islam and Judaism both dropped teaching reincarnation to the general public. Nevertheless, they didn’t refute it or make it a heresy. Belief in past lives is still part of the mystical branches of Judaism and Islam, such as the Sufis and the Kabbalists.sufi teacher

Q: What sparked your interest in the subject?

A: It began when I discovered Dion Fortune’s novels in my teens. I enjoyed the way she worked past life effects into her stories – it made so much sense. Then when I took up yoga I loved hearing about the Indian view of reincarnation.     

Q: Can you describe a past life you recall?

A: Also in my teens, I had a very vivid dream of being executed in the French Revolution. When I put my head on the block I was shocked to feel other people’s wet blood on my throat. Then I suddenly woke up with a gasp, sitting bolt upright. Over time, other dreams about that life would come up now and then.french-revolution

Eventually I had a regression, and accessed a life as a young man in revolutionary France. I was very keen on the new ideals. But it looks like I wasn’t politically correct enough!  

Q: Are children especially adept at recalling a previous life? Are they usually believed or do parents generally dismiss their accounts out of hand?

A: In the 1970s Professor Ian Stevenson, Head of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia, did some major research to find out if past lives were real. One of his discoveries was that children under the age of eight often remember their past lives quite clearly.  

Until recent times, western parents would dismiss a child’s chatter about previous lives as nothing but childish babble. In places like India, where reincarnation is accepted, this kind of talk is not dismissed. Even so, many eastern parents are not always happy to hear about other families or lifetimes that might have been more comfortable. Perhaps they fear it will make the child discontented with them.

In the western world, more people are becoming aware of this now, and are prepared to listen when their child talks about former lives.  

Q; Why do most people not recall a previous existence?

A: It’s best for those memories to come up only when it’s the right time for them. If not, they might distract or interfere with the person’s purpose or path in life. For example, recalling a negative former life could destroy someone’s self-worth just when they are meant to be rebuilding their confidence. So it’s not always the right thing for everyone. Lack of interest or wariness about their other lifetimes works like a protective instinct for many people.

However, I think everyone benefits psychologically and spiritually by accepting past lives as natural – without necessarily having to recall any of their own. This is because just believing in rebirth means we are less likely to over-identify with the ego. When we know that our true identity is the spirit within us that goes from life to life, we aren’t so pulled down by the issues and complexes of the temExpanding Consciousnessporary self. This also releases us from fear of death, which exacerbates many other fears.

Q: What are the benefits of remembering a past life?

A:  The biggest one is that it helps us to understand ourselves. We can find out where any unconscious patterns, habits, neuroses or phobias may come from. Doing that is more than half way to overcoming the issue.

It helps to understand other people in our lives, which improves all our relationships.

It can also help with health problems, as the body often carries and expresses issues from past lives in a number of different ways.

And of course past life awareness adds so much to the interest and richness of the reality we inhabit.

Q: After someone passes on, who decides if they are to return to earth again and as what? Is it always voluntary?

A: I think this differs quite widely, depending on the individual. Some come back almost immediately because the attractions of physicality are hard to resist. People who die suddenly may also return quickly, from a sense of unfinished business. Anyone who feels a strong wish to do something – perhaps to continue studies or to follow an ideal – may soon choose another life to continue their work.

Those who have given their lives some thought, and are aware of reincarnation, are more likely to accept the help of their guides when they reach the other side. It’s still up to them if they accept that advice or not – no-one is ever forced into anything.

Q: What’s the best way for someone to tap into a previous life?

A: While the most common methods are past life regression, workshops and guided meditations, there are many other ways.

Clues about our former lives are within and around us all the time. Some of these are:

  • Inexplicable personal or relationship issues
  • Strong likes or dislikes
  • Unexpected tastes in food, clothes or décor
  • Feeling either drawn to, or repulsed by, particular places in the world or times in history.
  • Historical books, films or pictures may trigger a past life memory.
  • Feelings of déjà vu when visiting a special place

When you’ve spotted a past life clue, you can then put out that question to the universe and your own greater consciousness, asking for more information about it.

avebury-stone-circle

The next step is to trust the answers that will start to arise. These usually come through dreams, messages or images received in meditation, synchronicities or sudden realisations.

Sometimes bodywork, such as massage or acupuncture, can be surprisingly effective in releasing and making conscious a former life memory that was held in the body.

Q: How would you answer a sceptic who dismisses past lives as an over-active imagination or wishful thinking?

A: While it’s clearly impossible to scientifically ‘prove’ previous lives by replicating them in a laboratory, there is enough strong witness evidence for them that would stand up as proof in a court of law.

There are countless documented cases about people who discovered past life experiences that helped to resolve all kinds of personal problems. If they were just tapping into any past life, or making it up, it wouldn’t have had this effect.

For example, one of my regression clients wanted to understand why he couldn’t lose weight. It turned out he’d once been a monk who’d resented that austere way of life. So he was now making up for it with lots of fast food. Once he realised that, it was much easier to change his diet and slim down.

birthmark 4There are many physical signs of former life experiences. Professor Stevenson discovered that birthmarks can look like the marks left by how someone died in a previous life. This is why some birth marks resemble bullet wounds, knife slashes or burns.

One young woman recalled a tribal life when she was executed by having to walk into a fire. Afterwards she showed me the red marks she’d always had on her feet. They looked just like flames licking up her ankles.

I’d say that people who scoff at the idea of reincarnation have probably not read much about it.

Q: Would you agree that too many people claim exotic past lives and were rarely a leper dying in the gutter?

A: The famous former life fantasy usually happens when people have just begun thinking about past lives – and before they’ve explored them properly to find out the truth. Maybe it’s natural at that stage to wonder if they were someone important. Also, many people may need this kind of fantasy to heal their inner wounds. This is why I’m always tactful when people confide these notions to me.     

There are sometimes clues to a real earlier life underneath the fantasy – not as the famous person, but from having lived in that part of the world, or in those times.

A young man I once regressed recalled horrific experiences in the First World War. He said afterwards that this confirmed what he thought – that he was the reincarnation of a famous poet from those times. I think if the reality of a past life is too difficult to bear, it may be psychologically necessary to gloss over it with an idealised version.

Another of my clients recalled a life in Biblical times when she was a young woman who gave up everything to join a religious group like the Essenes. She thought that meant she was Mary Magdalene. There are many cases like this when people identify with an iconic figure because it represents a quality they may need to emulate or strengthen within themselves. 

Those two are rare examples of people clinging to their fantasy after a regression. Most people who come to see if they can confirm an exotic past life through a regression are usually brought down to earth with a bump by the real memories that come up. It takes courage for them to face that, so I think a lot of them for it.

Q: What’s the best researched past life you have come across where the facts fit what someone claims?

A: Although there are many great examples to choose from, one that stands out is Professor Stevenson’s case of a little Indian girl called Swarnlata. Indian folk dance ggl

At the age of three, while travelling in the family car over a hundred miles from their home, she suddenly recognised the area. She directed the driver to a specific house, and announced that was where she’d once lived.  

When she was ten, her supposed former life family decided to test Swarnlata. They arrived unexpectedly with several other unrelated people. Then they set all kinds of tests and traps for her. She didn’t fall for any of them. She immediately recognised her past life brother, calling him by her private pet name for him – Babu.

She also recognised her husband from that life, and her son Biya who was 13 when she’d died of a ‘pain in the throat’. She reminded her former husband of 1200 rupees she’d given him and the secret box he kept it in. Only the two of them ever knew about that.

When they then took her to visit her previous home, she immediately noticed changes that had taken place since she lived there. She asked where the veranda and the neem tree had gone. Both had been removed since her death. She also correctly identified the room where she’d died in 1939.

Professor Stevenson did his usual rigorous investigations to make sure there was absolutely no possibility of fraud about this case – and passed it with flying colours.

Q: To put it very clumsily, if someone is currently having a terrible life are they paying for sins or bad behaviour in a previous existence? 

A: That is sometimes true, but not always. Often a soul will take on a difficult life because it gives them an opportunity to grow quickly and forge ahead on their spiritual path.  

Other times, people may be punishing themselves. It seems we are the only ones who judge and sentence ourselves – judgement doesn’t come from any gods, guides or angels.

When people have behaved in awful ways, looking at that lifetime afterwards can make them feel rather ashamed or guilty. The natural reaction is to decide to have a life suffering in the same way they made others suffer.

scroogeHowever, self-punishment only creates fresh wounds for that soul, as well as perpetuating negativity in the world. A better solution is to decide to then do the opposite. For example, someone who’s ashamed of having been a bad parent can make up for it by being a good parent next time. Doing better next time may be the unconscious drive behind at least some charity workers, philanthropists and reformers.

 Q: Why are some people princes and others paupers? 

A: Nobody ever experiences only one type of lifetime – we go through them all to experience and learn about every side of life. And despite how it looks, privileged lives also have their tests, lessons and challenges.

I think we enter a reincarnation cycle from a joyful curiosity to find out everything we can about life – and along the way, to benefit from the personal growth every different lifetime gives us.

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Atasha Fyfe is the author of Discovering Your Past Lives and Magic Past Lives, new book cover 1published by Hay House and available on Amazon UK and Amazon USA

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A Dramatic Near Death Experience

blue angelMany people have now heard about Near Death Experiences. This happens when someone is so near death that they actually do leave their body and travel to the other side. There, they go through experiences that are common to many NDEs and yet unique for each individual.

The experience ends when they learn that their life is not about to end – most often, because they still have things to do here. Next thing, they find themselves back in their earthly body.  A return to health usually follows soon after that. Many people say that after their NDE they felt inspired to move their lives in more positive directions. 

Ged Feast, author of My Life, My Soul and I, sent me this interesting NDE that he had, and gave me permission to share it on this blog site.  

Ged: 1999 was the year everything changed for me. I was struck down with the flu. The problem was, my body was never very good at defending itself. This time however, it was much worse. I could not eat, and what I did was coming out faster than it went in. The doctor couldn’t help and told me I was sick, looked terrible, and should go home and rest.

I was now in a bad place. The dreams I was having were turning into nightmares. I knew if things did not change soon I was going to die. That fear gripped me, making my dreams even worse. I was afraid to die – like most people, fear of the unknown was the biggest fear of all.

After about three weeks of this I was really ill.  I was lying in bed because now my stomach was in pain. Suddenly I got three jolts to my body. I thought this was it – I was dying and I was alone. I noticed the flashing light of my old DVD player. It was annoying so I leaned over to switch it off.

I never made it. At that very moment I felt myself lift away from the bed and kept moving upwards. At that time I knew I was dead. For a second I thought of my wife and children but just had this knowing they would be okay.

angels around earthI continued to rise higher. I was now outside of my home – higher than the trees, which were now below me. Very quickly I was so high I could see the blue planet of earth and it looked alive – something I never imagined it to look.

I went even higher until I seemed to find myself going through a fog. In this fog I saw my life flash before my eyes. I even saw my funeral.

Then all at once I was through the cloud. All around me I could see fantastically beautiful shining stars. I was taken aback by it. I could hear singing like the sound of a choir of angels.

Then I heard someone call me by my name. A pure clear voice that told me I was going to be okay. I was told to go over to a bed and rest. Everything was going to be okay. The bed was in an area of whiteness. It was a four poster bed with white blankets. I lay on the bed and felt at complete peace. Never in my life did I ever feel so at peace .

wild pathwayThe next thing I remember was walking down a grass path. It was a well trodden path but something gripped me – it was the smell of flowers so strong it’s best described as walking into a flower shop. The air was so clear.

I had no doubt I was dead and that I was on my way to meet somebody. I was not sure who, but knew somebody was waiting for me. I came across some small cottages that were white with a fence and a small gate.

It was then that I saw who was waiting for me. It was my wife’s grandfather who had died some time ago. He was happy to see me. He welcomed me inside and made me a pot of tea. I laughed because he had an orange in his hand – just as he did when he was alive. His wife was in the kitchen. She came and we talked – not sure what we talked about. Once I had drunken my tea and eaten my piece of orange, my wife’s grandmother suddenly said, “It’s time for you to go. You still have things to do”. 

I then almost instantly felt a big bump and I woke up on my bed. I was hungry -something I hadn’t been for three weeks. I ate a full lasagne that my wife made because I just felt like that’s what I wanted. 

I have no doubt that I was healed so I could complete my life’s task. I don’t fear death now. That was the beginning of new chance of life.

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HOW TO CONNECT WITH YOUR PERSONAL GUIDING STAR

Christmas scene with the three wise menThe expression ‘follow your star’ feels right, and resonates well. But what does it really mean? While it sounds like a New Age mantra, the idea of a star representing higher guidance runs deep in the psyche, and goes way back into prehistory.   

This is because stars are one of our oldest and most powerful symbols. At a deep level, light stands for information and darkness for ignorance. The stars twinkling out their little points of light from the immense darkness of the night sky are like signs of hope that there are answers to the great mysteries of life. Stars are therefore an important archetypal symbol that runs deep within our psyche, representing higher guidance.

PRACTICAL GUIDANCE

From the most ancient times, people knew that the stars were good guides. Hunter-gatherers used them to find their way around at night. Sailors steered their ships by the constellations in the sky. The stars have always helped camel caravans to find their way across the desert.

As the medieval Persian poet Rumi said,

“There are no signposts in the deserts,

Caravans are guided by the stars.

In the darkness of despair, hope is the only light”.

Constellations in sky

ASTROLOGY

From Babylonian times, centuries of study developed the astrological systems that we know today. Astrology was also important to the ancient Chinese, Indian, Arab, Mayan and Aztec cultures.

“Heaven sends down its good or evil symbols, and wise men act accordingly,” said Confucius.

In Europe as recently as the Middle Ages there was no division between astronomy and astrology. Being scientifically observable didn’t make the stars any less meaningful. Only 500 years ago, a European law decreed that before doing any major surgery, physicians must calculate the position of the moon.

Astrology had to be reliable, because its first use all over the world was to predict the weather for farming. That expanded into foreseeing natural disasters and war. Later on, kings, emperors, and even popes used to consult astrologers about their current dangers and future prospects.

These days, anyone can get their own star chart. If you’re looking for astrological clues about your life purpose, the South Node represents what you’re meant to leave behind this time around, and the North Node what you’re now moving towards.

star-2THE TAROT STAR

In the Tarot cards, the Star is one of the most hopeful and positive of all the major arcana. It represents freedom, safety, abundance and healing. When it appears in readings, it’s to give reassurance that you really are following your star.  

With the help of our guides, we decide on our life purpose before reincarnating. Once back here, we seem to forget about it. This is because it’s not always a good thing to know too much too soon about our purpose here. It could feel overwhelming, which may throw us off-course. Or the mind might jump to incorrect conclusions that send us on a wild goose chase, which just sets us back.

However, even if we never consciously know what our mission is, it remains at deep levels of our inner knowing, like a guiding star which leads us ever onward.   

TYPES OF PURPOSE

ancient greek scholarsIt is possible to figure out at least the general outline of your personal quest. You can look at your life and see what has driven you, made you happy, and excited you the most. These signs are like milestones, saying you’re on the right road.

At least one of these life purposes will probably ring a bell for you:

  • Personal growth. This takes as many different forms as there are individuals. It’s likely to be an important part of anyone’s intention for their life.
  • Completing unfinished business from a former life.
  • Healing an old wound.
  • Recovering self-worth.
  • Developing an area of study or expertise.
  • Helping others in some way.
  • Undertaking reforms or initiatives to create a better world.

Most people will have at least one of those as their life mission. Our personal projects then weave their colours through those themes, making up the rich tapestry of our lives.

HOW TO FIND OUT IF YOU ARE FOLLOWING YOUR STAR

Here are four ways to find out if you’re pursuing your purpose, and to get back on track if you feel that you’re not.

  1. THE TOUCHSTONES

These are the main signs that all is well:

  • When you set off on a path, begin a project, or discover something that is key for you, it feels exciting. It’s what Joseph Campbell meant when he said, magic door3“Follow your bliss, and the universe will open doors for you.”
  • Allowing for life’s ups and downs, your default attitude is generally positive.
  • You feel at ease with the many different paths that others may take.
  • Your see your way of life as basically good.
  1. WISH UPON A STAR

To find out if you’re truly following your life purpose, put out that question to the universe. Perhaps wish upon a star, asking for a sign. Signs and synchronicities will then come in all kinds of ways that have special meaning for you.

  1. ASK FOR A DREAM

Ask for a special dream to show where you are on your life path. Dream messages come in symbolic details. Does your dream show you on a clear path or road, and moving ahead eaThe illustration shows the girl who admires the star skysily? Is the way difficult or confusing? Are you unsure about where to go?

If your dream says that you’re lost or on the wrong road, you can ask for more dreams to help you find the right path. Working at this deep level is hugely effective. We make some of the biggest decisions about our lives in dreamtime.  

  1. VISUALISE THE JOURNEY

This short visualisation will give you more specific information about your path. You can repeat it as often as you wish, learning more every time.  

  • Ask your greater consciousness to show you where you are on your life path.
  • Close your eyes and relax.
  • Imagine that you are on a long journey – whatever kind comes easily to mind. path in woodsFor example, you may be on foot, in a boat, on an animal or in a vehicle.
  • Allow yourself to drift into semi-drowsiness.
  • Wait and see how the images unfold. What is the way ahead like? Are you making progress or staying still? Are there any signs to show which way to go? What are the surroundings and the weather like? These details are like dream symbols, and will give you all kinds of important clues.
  • If a person or animal appears, this is often the form in which a spirit guide may choose to visit you. You can ask questions if you wish. Your guide might answer in words, images, actions, coloured light, or by transmitting feelings of peace and love.
  • Trust whatever has come up as a real answer from your own inner spirit to the question that you asked.

For many people, the biggest stumbling block is trusting messages from within themselves. Our culture has taught us to turn away from our inner selves. This is sad, because it means losing your greatest ally. Learning to trust it is one of the biggest favours you can do for yourself.

Thousands of years ago, our ancestors learned that they could rely on the stars to show them the way. We are now learning to trust the guiding star within us. I believe this is all part of a huge process in which humanity is moving away from lives based on fear and competition. Together, we can build a new world on a foundation of co-operation and love – which is surely the highest purpose of all.                                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This article was first published in Kindred Spirit Magazine, in Spring 2018.

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SECRETS OF THE DARK AGES REVEALED

mayan visionNew archaeological technology is now uncovering some exciting things about the past: for example, the Mayan world was as major as Ancient Egypt; there are large underwater cities all over the world; and an advanced ancient civilisation once flourished in Galloway, Ireland.

I recently heard about another new discovery – how the Dark Ages in Britain were not so dark after all. This demolishing of conventional history took place on a BBC programme on Arthurian Britain. In the documentary, researcher Alice Roberts set out to find out if King Arthur ever really existed. She focused on the findings made through new archaeological techniques.

The results were surprising. Perhaps disappointing in some ways, as those treasured old tales about Arthur were revealed as nothing more than that – just stories. In other ways, however, it was exciting to see the curtain finally lifted on the world of so-called ‘Dark Age’ Britain.   

arthur swordWe’ve always been told that after the Romans left, Britain entered a time of chaos. The people reverted to a primitive way of life. Then, to make it worse, invading hordes of Anglo-Saxons poured in to take over the land. At this point the tale of Arthur the great defender pops up, apparently killing 470 enemies on one day with his magical sword.  

Except none of that ever happened. There were no invading hordes. Forensic examination of thousands of skeletons reveals that most people from that time died of natural causes. There are no signs of great battlefields from that era, with lots of hacked corpses left lying around.

However, there is a lot of proven physical evidence that different peoples – the Angles, Saxons, Britons and so on – did mix in peaceful ways. They shared and traded things like their pottery and jewellery designs. They also inter-married.

iron-age-game-characterThis was because people in those days didn’t think of themselves as nations. There were no borders or passports. They likely thought of themselves much more locally than that. So it was easy for people to range freely as far as they wished. If they found a place they liked, they simply settled there. No warfare was necessary. In those days, the population was small, and the land was big enough to absorb all kinds of different settlements.

The original story of King Arthur came from Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of Britain. I think the date that was written is very significant – around 1136. At that time, the country was still suffering under the yoke of the truly unpleasant Norman invasion of 1066.  It looks like the legend of Arthur as protector and saviour arose to give people hope during that traumatic time.

Grail KnightOver the years, Arthurian legends were further embellished with the values of later times, such as chivalry, honour and spiritual quests. Although it’s all mythology, I don’t have a problem with that. The Arthurian ethos was a highly civilising influence, and has created a rich background for our culture.

However, I think the new view we now have of the Dark Ages is also significant.  Surprisingly, it was a time of peace, when people traded and mingled far more than making war with each other.  

The archaeological discoveries about Tintagel were especially exciting. It turned out to be a huge, wealthy, almost palatial centre of international trade. Ships would come from all over Europe and the Mediterranean, to trade luxury commodities in exchange for Cornwall’s greatest asset – tin. Maybe that’s how the name Tintagel evolved. 

Tin was essential for making bronze, which created the Bronze Age. Cornwall’s tin mines were its backbone and strength for centuries before the Romans came and long after they’d left. So it was natural to say that the legendary King Arthur was conceived at an important place like Tintagel.

knichtedThe Arthurian legends are beautiful. They have civilised and enriched our culture with poetry, art and spirituality. I’m happy for what has been called ‘The Matter of Britain’ to keep its much-loved place in our world.

But I’m even happier to discover that the so-called Dark Ages were actually quite civilised. Maybe even more civilised than the world has become since the development of nation states? It’s food for thought.

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FESTIVALS OF DARKNESS

At this time of year, as the days get darker and the nights get longer, it’s easy to be cat and candlemore aware of the mysterious side of life. Fear of the unknown is an important part of Halloween, Samhain and even Guy Fawkes Night. The ancient purpose of these rituals has always been to keep us safe from the dangers of the coming darkness.     

The word Halloween comes from the Christian festival of All Hallows Eve. However, this seasonal ritual began centuries before Christianity. Originally called Samhain (pronounced Sow’en), it marked the turning point between the end of summer and the start of winter.

Even with a good harvest stored away, people feared the deadly powers of winter on the way. So this was a time to make offerings of thanks to the sun god Baal – both for the bounty of the past summer, and for continued protection through the winter.

cauldron candlesPeople said this turning point of the year caused the veil between the worlds to become thin, bringing a time of danger, excitement and wonder. Charms and spells would be especially powerful at Samhain. Evil spirits could also come through, seeking humans to possess or destroy. Druid priests performed special rituals at this time to appease the spirits of the dead.

For additional protection, on the eve of Samhain the private home fires were put out. This made the houses look empty, so that malignant forces would pass them by. Instead, the people built a huge communal fire outside. They then feasted and danced around it, wearing fearsome masks and animal disguises of skins, horns and antlers to drive away the horrors of the dark.

The custom of trick or treat also has prehistoric roots. It began with people putting fall witchy lanefood in front of their houses to placate the demons then roaming the land looking for sustenance –preferably in human form. People later began to act out that drama themselves. They masqueraded as demons, going from house to house demanding offerings, with threats of retribution if unsatisfied – a bit like an early protection racket. The masked children who knock on doors at Halloween are performing the same ritual, still fresh from the wild side of the human psyche.

Much like our modern electoral system, in ancient times the tribe chose a leader to reign for just one year. During this year, their temporary king had every luxury available. Then they sacrificed him and chose a replacement.  

samhain-ritualThe sacrifice of the old year’s king was a central purpose of the Samhain fire. It was called the bone fire because when it was over, the shaman read the dead king’s bones in the ashes for good or bad omens. With one letter dropped, it’s now our merry bonfire. The annual burning of a man’s effigy on Guy Fawkes Night is a direct echo of this arcane ritual.     

Our early winter festivals are like a gnarled old tree. While their roots still go down to these ancient terrors, the festivals these days are more about fun than fear. It feels good to thrill to the mysteries of life when we feel perfectly safe. Or are we? Maybe the veils between the worlds really are thinner at this time of year. Wishing everyone a joyfully spooky Halloween, Samhain, and bonfire night!

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LEVITATION

DreamerPeople really can fly. Not just in the form of astral travel or on aircraft, but in their physical bodies. This doesn’t mean we can all suddenly start swooping around like Superman. So far, only rare and special folk have demonstrated this, and even they just rise in the air for a while.

However, at the height of his powers, 19th century Daniel Dunglas Home nearly did fly like Superman. His adventures in the air began one day when he found himself physically floating up to the ceiling. Understandably, this took him rather by surprise. But he soon got the hang of it, and became able to levitate at will. His most famous demonstration was to glide out of one upper storey window and float back in through another. He also learned how to suspend heavy pieces of furniture in the air. Many people saw him do these feats numerous times. Skeptics constantly tested him for signs of hoaxing, but never found any. 

9_18_Saint-Joseph-of-Cupertino_best_Another famous flier was Joseph of Cupertino. He had ecstatic visions from childhood, was intensely religious, and became a Catholic priest in 1628. His levitations began when Pope Urban VIII granted him an audience. This event thrilled him so much, he found himself rising in the air. The other priests quickly dragged him down, but that was just the beginning. In moments of religious fervour, he often floated. Over the years, countless churchgoers and priests observed this at least a hundred times.

However, senior clergymen felt uneasy about it. It was too sensational. Maybe it was the work of devil. And they disliked the personal following Joseph was attracting. For the rest of his life, they tried to hide him away by moving him from one monastery to the other. A century later, the same church made Joseph the patron saint of air travelers.

Saint Teresa of Avila was a medieval Spanish nun who also began to float when she felt spiritually uplifted. Over two hundred priests saw this happen. However, she wasn’t happy about it. She prayed for it to stop, and it did.

Several other levitators have popped up in recorded history. There are probably levitationyogimany more that we’ve never heard about. When they belonged to the church, they were usually canonised. If not – such as Simon Magus in the first century – their floatings were denounced as demonic.

Travellers have brought back many eyewitness accounts of levitation by Tibetan monks, Indian Brahmins and Japanese Ninja. The British explorer Alexandra David-Neel once saw a Buddhist monk fly several meters high. He said he did it by focusing on a star that only he could see in daylight.

From a few experiments I’ve seen and experienced, it seems that one big key is to find a way to draw the spirit body upward, above the body. That enables the physical body to then follow it.

pyramid levitationPerhaps the ancient people knew about levitation. They have left their enigmatic signatures all over the world in the form of pyramids, temples and stone circles. Experts are still trying to figure out how they transported stones sometimes so gigantic that neither super-crane nor helicopter could lift them. When we re-discover the science of levitation, we may not only learn how to fly – we may also solve the mysteries of those great monuments.

This article was first published in my ‘Tales From the Other Side’ Column in Glastonbury’s Oracle magazine.

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ANIMAL SPIRIT GUARDIANS

animal familiarsFolklore and fairy tales are full of stories about mysterious animals. Shamans all over the world have always called on power animals to guide them through the other realms. Witches and cunning folk were said to have helpful familiars such as cats or toads. Many traditions speak of both humans and deities who shape-shift into animals.

So it’s not entirely surprising to hear about people’s strange animal encounters. Although sometimes startling, these experiences are generally positive. They may happen for all kinds of different reasons. The following three accounts show how animals have acted as unexpected guardians.   

MEG: A load of timber I had delivered brought two rats into the house. They were huge, and they scared me. I lay awake for four nights listening to them bashing about in the kitchen. In the end, I reluctantly set a trap. Next morning, one of them was dead in it. I cried, and couldn’t do the same for the other one. Instead, I prayed, pleading for it to leave.

Suddenly, a cat from my childhood appeared at the window, which was quite high off the ground. Ignoring me, it quietly walked past me into the kitchen. After a scuffle in there, the cat walked back past me and out the window. I never saw the cat or the rat again.

LIBBY: I once rescued an Alsatian dog, and called him King. He’s gone to spirit now – Spirit-Animal-guidebut whenever things are against me, he comes back and sleeps on my bed. I know it’s him because he always slept on my bed, and would turn round three times before flopping down. 

When my boss at work was trying to sack me, King stayed with me every night. Eventually that boss left because he didn’t like the new company that took over. So I kept my job. It was a difficult time, and I’m sure my dog came back to see me through it.                          

JOE: I once worked with a band in Beirut. Near the end of that contract, we still had no idea where our agent had booked us next. I asked spirit for a sign. Then every time I meditated, all I got was a huge dog, looking up at me and wagging its tail. Next thing we heard that we’d been booked into Tehran. 

The first evening, I went on to the balcony of our first floor flat, and looked down into the street. There, smiling up at me was a huge dog. It was identical to the one in my meditations. I went down to pet it. It put its feet on my shoulders and welcomed me with big licks.

Next morning, the dog brought the rest of the desert pack with it – about a dozen dogs, all huge, and spirit animalsjust as welcoming. At the time the Shah still ruled. The people hated westerners and sometimes attacked them, so the streets were dangerous for us. The club where we worked was ten minutes’ walk away. But every evening, this pack of wild dogs escorted us there. People were afraid of them, and crossed the road to avoid us. I think that dog came in answer to my uncertainty about what was coming next.                  

Many people have felt a psychic connection to animals. You’re most welcome to share your own experiences in the comments section, or more privately via my website contact page: www.pastlivesglastonbury.co.uk

This article was first published in my ‘Tales From the Other Side’ Column in Glastonbury’s Oracle magazine.

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Find on my website: information about my books, Past Life RegressionReadings and Soul Path Counselling

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