Faery Magic: So You Think You Were Cleopatra – Past Life Healing
(Originally appearing in Gaywired.com)
Ever experience déjà vu, an odd feeling that you have been someplace or done something even though you know you never have? You can be on vacation, perhaps somewhere historic, and suddenly overwhelmed by a feeling of familiarity. You can watch an educational program on TV about some culture you have never studied, and suddenly you know what comes next. Well I have had quite a few experiences, and never quite understood it until I started studying world mysticism.
In my search for spiritual understanding, I came across quite a few traditions, particularly from the East, that believe in past lives. The concept has gotten quite popular, even in the West, though most people don’t take it seriously. Neither did I, until I started to reflect on some very interesting personal experiences.
When I was a child, my mother and I would often watch television together. I was about five and we were watching a program on the Native American Trail of Tears. We both started crying and I turned to her and said, “Do you remember?” We didn’t really talk about it until much later in life.
I had a similar experience with a friend’s son. We had just met, and spent the afternoon in the park. We really clicked. Suddenly this five year old turned to me and said, “Do you remember when we were here before?” I told him we had just met, and he gave me a scowl, saying, “Not now! You know. Long time ago. Long, long time ago. You know.”
I’ve come to find out that this is a very typical story. Another friend told me her young daughter said to her, “I’m sorry I wasn’t as good a mommy to you as you are to me.” The Eastern traditions say that a child retains past life awareness until they start formal education. Then memories fade as we focus on day to day life.
Past Lives 101
Most spiritual teachings believe everyone possesses an immortal component, and energy that lasts after we shed our bodies, ego and personality. Call it the soul if you will. Most spiritual traditions believe in life after death. While some believe in a judgment and ultimate reward/punishment, many do not think its that simple. If you look to the Earth, things always come in cycles, repeating over and over again, like the seasons. To the mystic, the soul comes back to repeat cycles, incarnating through many life times. The Earth itself acts like a school where you learn lessons through experience.
The motivating factor for reincarnation is karma. Many people use the word karma as a judgment. You do something bad and something bad will happen to you. When you think of it without judgment, it simply means all creations return to their source. When you put out a certain intent through your words and actions, it returns to you. You can create pleasant experiences, or unpleasant experiences. Because of the nature of time, not everything can return to us in one life, so we must return to the mortal plane to experience all our creations. Ultimately we too, as souls, are seeking to return to our creative source, to the divine spirit, God, Goddesses or whatever you choose to call it. From this perspective, a spiritual life is about freedom from karma, good and bad, and living in oneness with the divine, fulfilling our life’s purpose. When we experience everything we’ve created and fulfill our purpose, we are freed from the wheel of rebirth and return to the source.
Everybody ’s a Queen
If you believe this to be true, then why does everyone think they were someone historically famous in a past life? Many people have claimed to be Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth, King Tut and Julius Caesar. How can that be? Well, no one knows for sure, but there are several theories. Perhaps the soul is not as separate and distinct as we think it is. Our own ego prides itself on individuality, but perhaps the soul is like water. The body is like a glass. When you die, your soul gets poured into the collective ocean, and when you reincarnate, you are scooping up a new glass of water. That water can contain a portion of the energy that was once Cleopatra, so many people share in her lessons, experiences and karma. In the Hindu traditions, the world is called the Maya, or illusion, because we think we are all separate, but in reality, we are all one, like the ocean.
Gay Past Lives
Aleister Crowley, western ceremonial magician, bisexual and often erroneously referred to as a Satanist, greatly explored his own past life recall. He believed every soul alternately incarnated seven times as one gender and then seven times as the other. During such “transition” lives between each set of seven, homosexuality and transgenderism is common. According to Crowley, we have all experienced gay past lives. We are still dealing with actions and feelings from those past lives regardless if we identify as gay, straight, bisexual or transgendered in this life. Those in “transition” lives are often adept mystics, magicians, witches, shamans and healers because of their unique blend of male and female energy.
Letting the Past Heal the Present
The practical purpose of past life regression is to understand how past life patterns, or karma, are affecting your current life. If you have unexplained phobias, or find yourself repeating self destructive behavior with no known root in this life, then you may be trying to resolve past life issues. Even when you take care of current life issues through conventional therapy and find something is still out of balance, you may be digging back to the original past life issue. Only with understanding can come healing. If you are not aware of the issue, you will probably never heal it. Sometimes simple awareness is all that is needed to bring dramatic healing.
In a past life healing session, a “coach” or therapist will help you get into a deeply relaxed and meditative state. Then, through the use of visualization exercises, your coach will guide you to experiences in your past life, asking you questions to help explore and resolve your past life patterns.
After undergoing several past life regressions myself, I learned this technique and now share it with my healing clients. One of the most amazing experiences was with a woman suffering from severe back pain. She tried convention and alternative therapies with no avail. In session, she came upon a past life where she was a farmer, solely responsible for her family with a dying crop. In the past life, her animals died, so she tried to pull the plow herself, strapping it to her back. With that revelation came hysterical crying, but her shoulders relaxed for the first time. In this life, she was feeling pressure between pursing her passion and providing for her family, and this conflict registered as her past life memory of back breaking work and the responsibilities towards family. She manifested this physically in her own back. When she understood, and allowed herself to really feel it, she was cured.
If you would like to explore further into the experience of past life regression, I suggest Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian Weiss, M.D. (Fireside Books).