In my last (first) blog post, I alluded to the discoveries I made when I visited a past-life regression therapist in February of 2009. Here are the details:
While I have been aware of (and believed in) reincarnation for quite some time (The Reincarnation of Peter Proud stands out in my memory), I hadn’t heard of past-life regression therapy until October of 2008 when Oprah had psychologist Brian L. Weiss on her show. He was there to talk specifically about his work as a past life regression therapist. A what?, I thought. What does he mean by past life regression therapy? That would imply that we can remember past lives. How is that possible?
I was riveted to the television for that hour as Dr. Weiss regressed audience members and Oprah herself. Some of the results were more profound than others, but all of them left me gasping – and grasping for more. I began researching past-life regression and was finally able to wrap my head around the fact that our wandering souls carry memories with them from lifetime to lifetime. Past-life regression therapy, therefore, aids the process of accessing those stored memories.
I read two of Dr. Weiss’ books (Many Lives, Many Masters and Through Time Into Healing), which pulled me ever deeper into my exploration. Finally, near-obsessed with the whole subject, I decided to look for a reputable, certified past-life regressionist in my area. There was only one and I found him through a link on Dr. Weiss’ website.
Michael Hathaway is New Hampshire’s only Board Certified Past-Life Regression Therapist; he may be New England’s only one, as well. This gentleman (and gentle man) can be found at White Mountain Hypnosis Center, located in Madison, New Hampshire. His property, perched on a hill, includes a walkable labyrinth, a fairy ring and hiking trails, and is minutes from Conway.
An Unexpected Greeting, and Preparation
The greeting I received from Michael upon entering his office – “You’re one of the teachers who is going to lead us through the transition.” – was certainly unexpected, and yet it set the tone for that first session; it was all unexpected.
After a brief “getting to know you”, I settled into a comfortable recliner while Michael set up his video camera and asked me questions about how I perceive things. When I dream or meditate or envision, do I smell? Feel? Taste? See? Hear? Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. My answers, as it turned out, would help him in his questioning of me for information during the session.
Ready to begin the regression, I was encouraged to simply relax. It was up to me if my eyes were open or closed (closed), if I wanted to sit up or recline (recline). I was told I could end the session anytime I wished; I had total control.
I was guided to relax even more and allow myself to either see whatever appeared or to look for something specific. I chose the latter, because in the midst of all my research I had a major realization: a recurring dream I’d had since I was a very little girl was likely a past life memory.
It was always the same: I was running through a damp, stone hallway and my father was running after me. I was wearing a dark blue velvet cape and I had a bag of jewelry in my hand. The dream would stop there and I would wake with a sense of unease and sometimes panic.
So, as I relaxed deeply in that comfortable recliner, I focused on that dream…
Past Life #1
I found myself standing on a lush, green hillside studded here and there with large rocks. The view was breathtakingly familiar and I took a deep breath of salty air. Salty air? I looked to my right and saw a cliff and beyond it the glistening, silver-gray ocean. How I love the ocean… (Now, too.)
I described the scene aloud, and was asked to look down and see what I was wearing; to remove myself a short distance and see what I looked like. I was wearing a dark green velvet dress trimmed with gold, and velvet shoes to match. My hair, pulled back from my face, was long and auburn. My name was Isabel (“I’m named after my mother.”) Drury, I was 23 years old, it was 1761, and this land – Ireland – was my home.
I turned around to see more and faced my house: an imposing, gray stone castle. I described my life within that castle as being “as gray as the stones from which it is made.” I was well-educated, played piano (“I prefer the dark pieces”) and my mother died when I was born, or very shortly thereafter.
My father was most displeased with me because I had fallen in love with one his employees; a dockworker and therefore not good enough for his daughter. My father didn’t know (or so I thought) that I was going to run away with that dark-haired man; that we were going to sail to America and start a new life there.
Suddenly I was plunged into my dream – that same, repetitive dream. I was running through a hallway that was really a tunnel leading out of the bowels of the castle, and my father was running after me, calling my name, intending to stop me. He knew what I was doing. I emerged from the castle at a dead run, heading toward the cliff side and from there down to the docks.
Then, there was nothing. I felt that I was floating in space, wrapped in a soft, warm blanket. Michael suggested I look back just a very little bit to see what had happened that the images ended so abruptly. I took his suggestion and saw myself – Isabel – lying at the bottom of the cliff where I – she – had plunged to her death.
I didn’t know there were tears falling down my cheeks until Michael gently told me that if I reached out my right hand I would find tissues on the table beside me. I didn’t take one. I let the realization of what had happened settle in.
The question that lingered on my mind was this: Did my father tell my fiancé what happened, or did he sail without me when I didn’t show up, thinking I’d changed my mind? It’s a question that likely can’t be answered.
Past Life #2
Michael eased me back into the black cocoon of the in-between and suggested I look for something else to see. I found myself sitting at a small desk made of very rough wood. I was writing frantically on heavy, sepia-colored paper. The prevailing sense of urgency had me looking over for my shoulder, because “they” were coming.
“I saw too much. I saw him taking the money and they’re coming to get me.” What I had seen was “the Governor,” as I referred to him, taking a bag of money for himself that was meant to be distributed among the people. He was stealing their desperately needed money and he saw me as I stood just outside the doorway of the counting room.
My name was Grieg (first or last??), and I lived in France. I was a young man; an apprentice of his. I ran home to write down what I had seen before “they” came to take me away. I believe I wrote what I needed to, and then there is a gap of some time because the next memory from this lifetime (I couldn’t give a specific date, but the time was the 1500s) was me crouching in a field with one rough, suntanned hand full of impossibly dry soil.
There was a terrible drought and the village I lived in, where I had gone to hide, was suffering; people were dying. I lived alone as my wife had already passed, and my two grown sons lived elsewhere with their families. I died alone at the age of 52.
Past Life #3
I returned to the in-between for what seemed only a moment and then I was standing in a forest that was striking for its marked lack of fir trees. I stood there with my arms flung wide and head back, long black hair flowing down my back, feeling the energy moving around and through me.
“The trees know everything,” I said. “All my power comes from the trees.”
I was a young woman of 17 named Anna (I think it is a nickname). I don’t know the year, and yet I know – can feel – it was ancient. I was living with my beloved grandmother in a rough, clean and cozy hut set into a hill within the forest. I was a healer, as was she, and she was teaching me all she knew.
I can vividly recall standing by her side at a table as she ground herbs with a wooden mortar and pestle, talking to me all the while. When she passed, I carried on in her stead as healer for the area in which we lived. Everyone came to me for healing; I was revered for my abilities. I died at the age of 43, having never married or had children, and yet totally fulfilled and happy.
Past Life #4
I was back in the in-between again, and then found myself standing in a bright, sunny kitchen. There were openings letting the air and light in; no window panes. The walls were pale and earthen. There was a rough-hewn wood table with benches on either side. It was 1352, and my name was Lucinda. I was thirty-two years old and very blonde; equally as blonde as my four beautiful children standing before me.
The youngest was three and the oldest was eleven. They were all smiling up at me as I was smiling down at them. The joy I felt as I gazed at them is indescribable.
I was a healer here, too, and well-known for my abilities. Unfortunately, I had stirred up fear or anger or both because in addition to my healing powers I also knew things – and in this case, I knew too much about someone in a position of power.
The next thing I knew, I was being held in a “jail cell” that was really a hole dug into a hill. There was a grated door that kept me within, and the cell was so small that I couldn’t even kneel upright. I was going to be burned for being a witch. From the door of my cell I could see the stake that had been erected and the dry branches piled around it.
My last thought in that lifetime was of my children. I don’t know what happened to them. I hadn’t seen a husband, so who would have raised them? More tears.
That ended my first past-life regression. I had been “travelling” for nearly an hour. Michael carefully returned me to the present, telling me I would remember everything I had seen and would experience no discomfort emotionally or physically.
I opened my eyes and stared at him in disbelief. He was right: all those images were right there, easily accessible in my current memory. All my senses were at attention, and I couldn’t speak. He asked me what I was seeing, and I realized that the image of those four beautiful children shimmered before me. My heart ached, and there was a lump in my throat.
I didn’t tell him that then and I still haven’t. With past life regression, it’s “supposed” to be like watching a movie; there’s “supposed” to be a disconnect. There wasn’t, in this case. I knew how Isabel felt as her father chased after her. I knew the well of happiness from which Anna drank. I knew how Lucinda felt as she was forced to leave her children behind without her care.
I stood up from the chair, wiped the tears from my cheeks, took the VHS tape of the session Michael handed me, thanked him profusely, and left with a sense of awe at what I had seen; at where I had been; at who I had been.
If I stop and focus, I can put myself into those other bodies. I’ve done that a bit as I’ve written this post. In doing so, more details emerge to tickle my senses. Right now my heart aches over those four children, and I am sending them love and Reiki… the wonders of distance Reiki.
What did I learn from the experience?
- I learned – again – that there is much more to our lives than this plane we currently inhabit.
- I learned that it is possible to look into the past and incorporate it into (or at least make sense of) the present.
- Learning that I was a powerful healer in (at least) two past lifetimes moved me to pursue becoming a Reiki practitioner. Doing so was almost involuntary, in fact – perhaps even necessary.
I also received a confirmation: souls do travel together; finding each other from lifetime to lifetime. I recognized four souls from that session: that of Isabel’s father, her fiancé, “the Governor,” and Anna’s grandmother. Since Anna’s grandmother is one of my closest friends, and one who is like-minded, I immediately shared with her the connection we had and who Isabel’s fiancé and “the Governor” are.
I have told very few others who the fiancé is, and that’s as it must be. I have told no one yet who Isabel’s father is, because I finally just realized now who it is and will share the information appropriately. I now know why I harbor the faded anger I do for him, so I will deal with it and let it go, because that’s as it, too, must be.
I have gone to see Michael Hathaway two more times since then. The second time was late March 2009, along with three friends who also did regressions. The third time was in June 2009 with four friends who did regressions; I didn’t that time but held space as an observer, instead. I’ll share my second regression in another blog as this one is necessarily long-winded. I look forward to going again some time in the not-too-distant future.
All I can say, in closing, is that I find wonder in the everyday; extraordinary side-by-side with the ordinary. More and more I find moments that take my breath away and open more doors along my remarkable journey in this lifetime.