When I had a psychotherapy practice in New York City in the 1980‘s, I was using a regression technique that enabled clients to examine past incidents that needed healing so their issues could clear up. One woman was afraid of male relationships, and when she released old trauma in this way, she gained a new freedom around men. However, once in a while a client would drop into an incident that was clearly from a past life whether the person believed in past lives or not. The client would see inwardly a different time, a different culture, and a different dress. When we healed that past life incident, the client’s problem would clear up.
One man had a tremendous fear of water. He never learned to swim and couldn’t go near the ocean. In a regression, he went to a time as a fisherman off the coast of Norway when his boat was in a fierce storm. He said, “I could feel the force of the waves slamming my body. It was so real.” The boat sank, and he drowned. After he released that trauma, he was able to take swimming lessons with his son and enjoy the shore with his family.
In my own life, I had a visceral terror of using my spiritual gifts. I went to several lives when I was killed for speaking out, for using my psychic gifts, for being a healer. After healing all that, I was able to embrace my abilities and start developing them. The freedom I gained empowered me to become the healer I am today. I have helped many people who had similar fears stemming from former life trauma so they too could claim their gifts and use them to help their families and communities in this lifetime. I thought that was the only way to utilize past life work, but I now see several other possibilities for exploring past lives:
- Clearing the ancestral line of a generational pattern so it doesn’t continue.
- Exploring past lives for spiritual development.
- Accessing a past life that expands a talent or skill.
- Healing a past life issue personally as well as globally.
- Recalling a life when you were in service to the light.
- Explaining an instant attraction or an on-going challenge with another person.
1 - Clearing an ancestral line to heal a generational pattern
During one of my many shamanic trainings at Esalen, Big Sur, California, with Dr. Hank Wesselmen, we journeyed to clear an ancestral line. Since I had had breast cancer, I used that issue. I went in journey mode to a time in Scotland when I was a young mother tending my sheep. I was so happy, barefoot, hair blowing in the breeze; and I was singing. I had several little kids all helping with the flocks. Then I got breast cancer and died too young, leaving those kids and my husband whom I loved dearly. After asking her if she’d like some healing, my spiritual team went to work. I then saw her disease-free and happy and very thankful.
Since then I have assisted others in healing ancestral patterns such as alcoholism, depression, and poverty. We do not know for sure if or how this work makes a difference, but shamanism says that breaking the energetic pattern affects the physical; I believe that is true.
2 - Exploring Past Lives for Spiritual Development
Here are two examples:
A woman, who had been divorced for a long time and lived alone, told me, “I knew that I wanted to explore my past lives but I wasn’t sure why. It just felt right. I saw myself as an old Native American woman who was married and had many children and grandchildren. I had such a deep sense of belonging I cried. It was a peaceful life of plenty, living off the land, being productive and living in harmony with Nature. That gave me a calm and peace I needed.”
In another instance, a man, who has a healing center with his wife, wanted to use the work to learn more about himself and connection with his wife. He went to a life as a Druid priest in England. He was calling on the Earth for energy and healing and doing ceremony with his community in a sacred grove of oaks. And, there was his wife. He told me, “I have known for some time that we have been together before.”
These people not only gained insights into their important relationships, but they gained deeper understanding of themselves.
3 - Accessing a Past Life That connects or Expands a Talent or Skill
I have seen several examples of this in my sessions. In her current life, one of my colleagues has not just an interest in essential oils, but a passion and even a fascination with them. She learned that she trained in their use in an ancient healing temple. Another woman, who had resolved village disputes in a past life in England, runs a conflict management program at her school in her present life. Yet another person has a passion for gardening and herbs; in a life in Eastern Europe she had knowledge of infusing her plants and herbs with energy so they would be more nutritious. This was important because her rural community was very poor.
One example, however, stands out. This woman, who is a classically trained pianist in her present life, was trained by her father in medieval Europe to be a classical pianist, but she was blocked from studying or performing in that time because she as a woman. After her session she has found a new, freer relationship with her music. Here are her words:
“I came to my session with Jill skeptical about the story that I have had previous lives. And, I have moved from ‘no way is this true’ to ‘what if it might be true.’ Since the session I have been savoring my musical talent I had not been expressing for many years. It feels like reclaiming a part of myself that I had been missing. This is the most outstanding outcome of Jill’s work, and I am very grateful for it.”
4 - Healing a Past Life Issue Personally as we as Globally
We can use this work to ask a past aspect of ourselves to represent all those people with that issue. A man came to me stating he had an energetic hole in his heart. When I put him in a meditative state, he saw a battle where he had been killed by a cannon ball blowing his chest out. Energetically, my spiritual team rebuilt his heart center in this life and reached back and did soul retrieval on the soldier aspect of him. Then, I asked the soldier if he would represent all the other soldiers who died. Yes, he would. A team of angels cleared their trauma, brought back their soul parts that had been lost, and took those who were ready to the light.
In another instance, a woman who was a young healer in Puritan New England, was found out and burned for being a witch. Tragically, that happened to millions of women. In our session, she realized that one of her close women friends had been labeled a witch and died with her. Three men in her current life were her accusers and that explained her conflicted feelings about them. We healed the past aspect of my client and did soul retrieval for her. I asked if she would represent all the other women who had died for being witches. Yes, with tears in her eyes, she would gladly. So our spiritual helpers replicated the soul part and sent it to all those other women who were ready to receive it. A group of angels took all who were ready to the light. My client and I had tears of gratitude. She realized that her personal work made an enormous difference healing a global issue.
5 - In Service of The Light
As I was researching this material, my spiritual ally told me I would be developing new ideas. One evening I was reading Sharon MacErlane’s Casting the Net. Her guides suggest calling on ancestors who served the light. So, I asked did I have yet another life when I served the light. Yes, they said. And this is what they showed me:
I saw inwardly a nun in a brown habit with a simple black veil sitting in a church pew. She was in a gigantic cathedral, and I’m told its Chartres Cathedral in France while it was being built. This woman was holding the light, spreading the light, calling on the Divine. Chartres was and still is a huge beacon of Divine light. During her life this nun walked through the building and around the town lifting people up, spreading joy and light wherever she went. During these years she lived in a state of bliss. As this was revealed to me, I was overwhelmed with joy; I asked her if she would bring some of her calm and bliss and infuse me. And she has.
I have had other lives when I lived a more secular life, but still served the light; however, in this life at Chartres I led a cloistered existence with no daily concerns so I could be in complete service to the light.
6 - Explaining an Instant Attraction or On-going Challenge
Here are three examples:
At a drumming circle I listened to a woman, who was a high school teacher, told how she met her husband. She had a bright smile and a sunny personality that made me wish she’d been one of my teachers.
She began, “We were standing in line getting our college classes. We chatted for a while and went out for coffee after we’d registered. When I looked into his brown eyes, it was as if I’d known him my whole life. We married after we graduated; that was 43 years ago. Now we have three grown sons. My husband and I are both teachers in a poor rural community; my one son is a professor; the other two are teachers. As I have delved into our family soul commitments, I’m clear we came in as a team to be of service. We are all teachers; we teach our students, “our kids,” to be involved, to be of service, to be global citizens. Yes, we’ve had our challenges as any family does, but it is a deeply fulfilling life.”
In my own life, after meeting my good friend, I knew we had a friendship bond that would last for a long time. Over the past 15 years we have both explored past lives when we were sisters, best friends, neighbors. Even though we disagree on some issues, I know we have a family connection that will last across time.
In another instance, a client of mine was trying to understand her fatal attraction to an abusive ex-husband. During our work together we discovered a past life when she was abused by him and left to starve with her children. This poor, barefoot woman escaped and walked to the next village with her kids. She had already divorced this same man when she met me, but she learned in our session that she has the same guts and courage that that poor woman had. She has and will survive.
Dr. Michael Newton, well-known hypnotherapist and author of Destiny of Souls, reports that couples, families and even groups of souls tend to reincarnate together to grow, but sometimes to be of service. Dr. Hank Wesselman and his wife Jill, are once again together as a healing and teaching team sharing their vast shamanic knowledge and experience. Sandy and Lon Golnick and their colleagues have found each other again and are empowering families and relationships this lifetime.
A Word of Caution
When I first experienced a past life, I was fascinated and enthralled. I was grieving over my recent divorce and did not like myself or my life. I wanted to be in those lives and not my present one. So, my inner seeing shut down. Reflecting back to that time, I understand that I was becoming addicted to the regression work. It was an escape from my emotional pain. I did several transformational workshops and hours of body work to ground and balance myself. Only when I developed my shamanic skills did I gain a healthy relationship with my inner gifts. I learned that it's my spiritual team that does the work; I only make the request on behalf of my client or myself. And, they provide power, protection and support so I am taken care of and don’t burnout as I had done previously. I have come to understand that past life work is meant to empower and enrich this life, here and now. I share my story for anyone who may fall into this pitfall.
I have learned from and expanded my view of past life work tremendously since that first regression workshop some 40 years ago when I met my Greek doctor. We can not only heal the past and therefore have a different present life, but we can also reach beyond ourselves and heal others with the same issue both past and present. We can go back in time; we can ask that past aspect to come forward and assist us with skills, talents and/or qualities we need now. We can ask a past life aspect to strengthen us in this chaotic time. Connecting with our past lives gives us an expanded experience of ourselves that can extend beyond time and space; it can reach into aspects of self that had not been previously accessed and explored. When we integrate those aspects; we enrich our lives; and we contribute to our higher self, the higher self that houses all of our selves. Then, we can bring into awareness more of ourselves, more of our soul self. That is one way we evolve and become more conscious.
This article has examined the many ways past life work can enrich your present life. If you sense that there is something holding you back or that there is more for you to develop, you may find answers exploring lives you have lived before.