Saturday, June 5, 2010

Past Life Regression

Whether you’ve had this experience or not, whether you believe it’s a form of creative imagination or brain chemistry in action, or just a lot of "hooey" (a term that lives in the cobwebs of my Iowa childhood), I have what I choose to think of as past lives recall. My friend Nancy is a hypnotherapist, and offered to lead a small group of friends in a journey backwards to connect with other lifetimes we may have experienced. Her protocol was gentle, and nothing was suggested in the way of information or material; the format was more about posing questions for our subconscious to ponder while in a light hypnotic trance. For example: Are you male or female? What is the year? How old are you? etc., getting more specific as we move deeper into recall, and adding any noticed sensory experience.

I’ve had other spontaneous recall experiences in my life—one while sitting at a stop light downtown during the Christmas rush. I “saw” myself as a forty-ish matron in a dark coat, a pillbox sort of hat, and black sensible shoes like the ones my grandmother used to wear, standing on a flight of steps under a clock tower. The afternoon sky was chalky gray, the weather was cool and slightly drizzly, and a flock of pigeons were flying overhead. The clock bonged and I said to myself, “I guess it’s time to go pick up the children.” I sense my position was as a nanny, somewhere in Europe—England, most likely. All of this happened between the change-over from red light to green.

In another recall, I was a woman in my early twenties, wearing a long plain dress, barefoot, and being dragged by men at either side of me down a path toward scaffolding where I was to be burned as a witch. As I was bound to a post, a looked out over the gathered crowd and saw their looks of pity, excitement, fear, lust, sadness. I remember the smell of smoke, the early lick of flames, and then nothing. I’ve often thought this may be the reason I’m not called to do fire walking at the various spiritual retreats I’ve attended over the years.

Here is what I recall from the experience with Nancy:

I am a woman either in my late twenties or early thirties—hard to tell, certainly of the age to be considered a spinster by current standards. Years don’t seem too important, they just pass. My name is Jesa—something—Jesamine, maybe? I don’t hear my name spoken often. The date is early 1800s, maybe 1802.

I seem resigned to life. I am standing in a meadow of fairly high golden, tawny field grasses. It’s hot, but the breeze is blowing making the grasses sway. My complexion is ruddy from too much sun. I can feel the swollen patches on my cheeks, my forehead and chin. We’re on the plains, somewhere west of where I came from, which is slightly east of the center of the country (which would later be called the Ohio valley area).

We’ve gotten this far by covered wagon, which is sitting off a short distance from where I stand. It wasn’t my idea to travel this way, or to even travel at all. This trip has been hard, hot, and dirty. I’m standing next to my horse which has a riding blanket thrown over her back. I lean my cheek against her flank. She’s hot and sweaty. She smells of dusty horse and dry weeds. There’s something very comforting about her physical presence.

Somewhere not too far away in the field is the carcass of a buffalo. The cooking meat has been removed, but the smell of blood and the sound of flies buzzing around the remains makes my skin crawl.

There is a man I am traveling with. I don’t feel love towards him; I’m not sure I’m married to him, but he is the person moving me across the country. Perhaps I’m to be a mail order bride? To be delivered into a fated future somewhere west of here? I sense there are others traveling with us, but they’re not present at the moment. I prefer being here by myself. What I learned is that I can survive; I can make it through adversity; I am strong.

What I need to do before I leave this place is move ahead in time and see what lies before me.

I am not yet at my destination. I am on the porch of a wooden shanty. There’s a wood railing around the porch against which I lean. I look out on the dusty dirt streets. It’s a small community of settlers. I am still on my own, but I have this little house. I’m still not sure why I am here, why I left my home. I need to do something with my days, so I create a library of sorts in an abandoned shack, where people can bring any books they’ve brought with them to exchange with others. Perhaps I’ll meet people that way.

About an hour has passed when we are called back by Nancy’s voice, back to the present, back to the room, back to the circle of friends to reflect silently for a moment on our journeys. Later, we will share our stories along with food we’ve brought. “Traveling” seems to have left us ravenous.

To reach Nancy please see her blog at:

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