Like many pagans, I tend to believe in reincarnation. I've had a few strange experiences that make me think that in a past life I might have been a soldier who who knew how to ride a horse and fire a rifle, and who died in a war.
When I first got on a horse, as child, my body seemed to instinctively know how to ride. An experienced horsewoman asked me how many years I'd been riding and didn't believe me when I said it was the first time. Some years later, when some male friends were shooting tin cans with an air rifle, I had the same feeling of familiarity when I had a go. (I was also a better shot than any of them, which rather annoyed them.) I had never to my knowledge picked up a gun before.
Moving on a few years more, I volunteered to take part in a battle re-enactment, but suddenly experienced gut-wrenching fear. It was out of proportion to what should have been a fun activity on a sunny August Bank Holiday in which no one was even going to be hurt. Emotionally, I felt I had already been in a similar situation, but faced real death.
So, seeing as I have a personal interest in finding out more about past lives, it might seem odd that my copy of Past Lives: Discover and Connect with Your Past Lives to Create Positive Change sat on my shelf for a couple of months before I read it.
The book is in the Hay House Basics series, which I've been reviewing. It was one of the first titles published in the series, which was launched at the start of the year, but I read several others, with titles including Angels, Mindfulness and Lucid Dreaming before starting this one.
I now suspect my reluctance might have been because I still had a few potential past life emotional issues. Apparently, quite a few people do. Author and past life therapist Atasha Fyfe says that everything from eating disorders to phobias can have their root in something that happened in a past life. For example, if in a past life you were always short of food - or even starved to death - it can make you want to eat too much now. Likewise, fear of fire, water or enclosed spaces could be because of a traumatic past-life experience - if nothing from the person's current life seems to be the cause. But I hope I'm not giving you the impression that most of Past Livesis all about scary stuff - it isn't.
The book begins by explaining how to find out about past lives. Our taste in clothes, home furnishings, art and music can offer clues to when or where we lived, and what we did. People who knew each other in one life can meet again and get a feeling of familiarity. As with my horse-riding story, skills and talents can sometimes carry over from one life to the next. Dreams can reveal past life secrets and young children are often best at simply remembering their past lives.
Atasha describes a range of techniques we can use to discover more. Experts offer regression through hypnosis, but there is also a lot we can do on our own including dreamwork, dowsing over maps or historical date charts, and guided visualisations. For those who do have lingering issues, often simply learning where we come from and the reasons we act in certain ways can be enough to help us overcome emotional or psychological problems.
There is, of course, the question of whether our suspicions of a past life are always accurate - sometimes, of course, they aren't. But, Atasha says, "Sometimes people identify with outstanding historical figures because of what they represent. This quality will often be something that they need to develop in themselves. In this way the psyche uses fantasy to lead people towards their future potential."
I'm really glad I faced up to reading Past Lives.I found it life-affirming and reassuring. Like all the Hay House Basics books, it is clear and concise, explaining an esoteric subject in a way anyone could understand.
Hay House's website for the series is: http://www.hayhousebasics.com/. At the site you can find free downloads to go with each Basics book. You can visit the author's website here: http://www.pastlivesglastonbury.co.uk/
Links and previous related posts
Past Lives: Discover and Connect with Your Past Lives to Create Positive Change (Hay House Basics)