28 03 2014

Past Lives Present Dreams coverDenise Linn was one of the first to popularise the whole modern (and I suppose by that I mean Western) approach to reincarnation: learning how to recall one’s past lives and perhaps also undergoing past-life therapy either by oneself or with the help of a professional past-life therapist. She is a writer and lecturer to whom many (if not all) more recent writers on this topic are indebted.

This does not mean that I, or any other student of reincarnation, is going to agree with everything she says. Personally, I take issue with her on several points.

Let’s start though, as she does, with her being knocked off her motorbike by a man in a car who then got out of his car, aimed a gun at her, and shot her. Miraculously, she survived. But the Near Death Experience she describes in detail changed her life, and led directly to her subsequent studies with teachers and gurus as diverse as Zen Buddhist monks, a Hawaian shaman, a Japanese Grand Master of Reiki, and a wise old Native American named Dancing Feather.

The best part of the book is perhaps the chapter on How to Recall a Past Life, which includes a section of Past Life Clues under eighteen different heads ranging from Childhood Games to Food Preferences to Books and Movies, and of course including Déjà Vu Experiences, Personality Traits, Fears and Phobias, and Dreams (as in the title). (If it had been me writing, I would have at least mentioned aptitude for particular foreign languages, which I consider one of the most significant clues.) In the same chapter there is a section on Visualization Technique with a whole series of “different methods that can help you make a successful transition”. Of these, I particularly like the “time tunnel”, the “river of time” and the ‘room of doors”; the method she calls the “mists of time” was new to me as she sets it out but I have tried it and it works – rather more abruptly and completely than the others, so it should be approached with caution (don’t do it alone first time!). This is followed by an actual script you can either record and play back or get someone to read to you while you set about making the transition.

All this is fine, and as I say, indispensable reading even if much of it has been copied and repeated by other authors.

Where I have trouble is with Denise Linn’s concept of changing the past, a form of past-life therapy she seems to particularly favour. Something that happened in a past life is having a traumatic effect on your current life? Then change it. You weren’t drowned, you survived – you didn’t have an abusive step-father, you had a very kind and loving one – and so on. “I believe that you can actually change the past,” she says, but continues “if this is too much for you to accept, then imagine that you are changing the images that are stored in your brain …”

And then there is the problem of Future Lives. Predestination, and its corollary, possible foreknowledge of the future, is a subject on which the great philosophers of the past have disagreed and modern philosophers still do disagree. I obviously cannot begin to go into it here. I would just like to quote one more line from this book and then leave you to read the whole thing for yourself and make up your own mind.

“The future,” she says, “is as malleable as the past.” Surely it should be much more so? No one has any trouble with the concept of planning the future, it is the concept of planning the past which is difficult to grasp – or to swallow.

Gauguin quote

13 04 2011

“When the physical organism breaks up, the soul survives. It then takes on another body.” (Paul Gauguin)

To which I really should (!!) add the painting: “D’ou venons-nous? Que sommes-nous? Ou allons-nous?” (Click on the image for detail)

Moon in Scorpio

6 04 2011

What do these two have in common?

Apart from appearing on the cover of Time Magazine, a couple of other things are obvious. But I’ll come back to that. My Moon in Scorpio article today is dedicated to the memory of Elizabeth Taylor, perhaps the most beautiful woman and certainly the most passionate actress Hollywood ever made a superstar and household name out of.

Will the stories of Liz and Richard Burton ever be forgotten? Their tempestuous life as the married couple of the 60s and 70s, and probably of the 20th century, and all the wonderful films they made together … ?

But back to the Moon Sign.

(And first, if you haven’t already done so, read about Moon Signs, here, in my article on Moon in Aries.)

The key words for this Sign are: loyalty, insecurity, and incomparable depths of emotion.

This last is due partly to Scorpio being a Water sign, but people born when the Moon is in Scorpio experience the swirling depths of their emotions more profoundly even than those born with the Moon in Cancer and Pisces, the other Water signs. For Scorpio Moons, this is the distinctive feature, and it results in a sense of vulnerability, which in turn leads to mistrust and – sometimes compulsive – secrecy, two other typical Scorpio traits. They feel deeply but try to conceal this, are easily hurt, very defensive.

People born with the Moon in Scorpio need a passionate and fulfilling love- and sex-life. They are heart-rendingly loyal to their partners (which is perhaps why Liz Taylor found it so trying to play the whore, as in Butterfield 8, a film she apparently hated despite the fact that it was one of her greatest successes) but at the same time, as I say, they never entirely trust their partners. It is all bound up with their need is for emotional (not financial!)  security and is because in so many previous lives they have been betrayed, abandoned, rejected. But along with that, this is the soul who in other lives has been intensely involved with the mysteries and the occult, the shaman, the medium, the priestess.

Here we have Liz and James Dean on the set of Giant when they were both in their early twenties. Isn’t that a fantastic picture? Dean was also born when the Moon was in Scorpio, so naturally, they understood each other perfectly, but there is no way they could ever have been a couple.

And here with Richard Burton. His Moon Sign was Virgo, which (like Puff Daddy with Jennifer Lopez – see Moon in Aries) meant that he was something of an organiser, a tidier-up, a control freak even, an aspect of his character that would have driven Liz Taylor mad no matter how much she loved everything else about him. (He will also have been concerned about financial security, a thing which would never cross her mind.)

And so back to Stalin and Kennedy. Scorpio Moons have an overwhelming need to prove themselves in this life, having failed in other lives to win the love and respect and loyalty they so desperately need. But they often get it wrong and end up attempting (and, in the case of Kennedy and Stalin, certainly succeeding) in doing so in terms of sexuality and power and celebrity.

Which of course (bar the power-trip) is true of Liz Taylor as well, and no doubt of other typical Scorpio Moons like Steven Spielberg, Charlie Chaplin, Mel Gibson, Ben Affleck, Robbie Williams, Bjork and Elizabeth Hurley.

Don’t know your Moon Sign? Remember it is quite different form the Sun Sign. The sun takes a month to pass through each Sign of the Zodiac but the moon only takes two days! You can look it up at Lunarium.

ONE WINTER’S DAY IN JUNE by Stephen J Willis

31 03 2011

I came across this very original short story  on the site. It has a fascinating Past Lives theme.

ONE WINTER’S DAY IN JUNE by Stephen J Willis

Moon in Aries

30 03 2011


The sun, the moon and the planets all move (or rather, appear to move) through the sky following a circular route, a route which takes them at varying speeds through the twelve sections of the sky known to astrologers as the signs of the zodiac. So, at the moment we were born, not just the sun, but the moon and the planets were all located in one of those sections, one of those signs.

Basically, that is what your horoscope is: it charts the position of the sun, the moon and the planets at that moment, and indicates how they relate to each other uniquely for you. So when you were born, the sun might have been in Taurus, the moon in Libra, Mars in Gemini, Venus in Cancer, and so on.

Myself, I am very interested in the position of the moon, and have made something of a study of Moon Signs. Why? Well, partly because it is a very old form of astrology, possibly older than Sun Sign astrology. Certainly it was practised by the Babylonians hundreds if not thousands of years before Christ.

And partly because some say that while the Sun Sign shows the yang, masculine, outgoing, active and perhaps more superficial aspects of our nature, the Moon Sign shows our yin, feminine, introspective, passive, deeper and more private side. This is not to say that the Sun Sign is for men and the Moon Sign for women; far from it. It is very important for any man and especially perhaps for the macho man to know something of the feminine side he is perhaps at pains to hide from others and from himself, and for every woman to know something of the assertive self she perhaps keeps bottled up inside her.

The moon is about feelings, about aspects of your personality governed by the emotions – parts of you that the rational mind cannot reach, may not even be aware of.

Which brings us to another way of looking at the contrast between the Sun Sign and the Moon Sign. The Moon Sign relates to the sub-conscious, or unconscious. And as such, according to those who believe in reincarnation, it relates to past lives.

As Judy Hall puts it (in Past Life Astrology, a book I am reading – and learning a lot from! – now, and shall be reviewing on this site very soon) “the sign in which the Moon was placed when you were born [tells you about] your soul’s history and the deeply ingrained emotional response you have built up over many lives. Your Moon placement also shows what you need to nurture and comfort you.”

I have already posted articles on being born when the Moon is in Cancer, the Moon is in Sagittarius, and the Moon is in Aquarius. Today, I am going to look at what it signifies to be born when the Moon is in Aries.


The three key words here are: Emotion, Passion, Temper.

As you might expect, divas have a tendency to make their entry into this world while the Moon is in Aries. Angelina Jolie, for instance, who is famously tempestuous, and Jennifer Lopez – also notoriously fiery-tempered, and seen here with Puff Daddy (born when the Moon was in Virgo, and therefore liable to be something of a control freak – no wonder that relationship didn’t last!)

Outbursts of passion, then, are characteristic of those born under this Moon Sign. This will very often be a good thing, but of course will sometimes be simply a sudden and dramatic loss of temper. Thankfully, these outbursts of emotion are quickly forgotten (though not necessarily by those on the receiving end!)

They fall in love (passionately, of course!) at first sight, but need a partner who reciprocates on the same level, otherwise they quickly become disillusioned. And cannot stand anyone trying to control them.

While they tend to suffer from tension headaches when under pressure, they get relief from vigorous sports – letting off steam is, for them, the only way to relax. (People born under this Sign were definitely not born to be yogis!)

As they are impatient with anyone slower or more cautious than themselves (i.e. most people!) and have no sympathy with normal preoccupations and anxieties, they do not make good bosses. Or good subordinates. Ideally, they should be their own boss in business or in a demanding profession such as surgeon (though not physican – they do not make good carers, either) or as a performer – other performers born under this Moon Sign include Whitney Houston, Antonio Baderas and John Cleese.

The archetype for Aries Moon people is the hero, the knight errant, riding off to right wrongs. And in their past lives they will at various times have been just that: the warrior, the soldier, the crusader, the defender of the defenceless and the disinherited. But for this and their other achievements, they demand recognition and admiration – a weakness which frequently results in them lapping up flattery like thirsty sponges. This dependence on ego-boosting relationships, along with the desire for immediate gratification of every emotional need, are what those born under this Moon Sign need to grow out of and leave behind them during this present life – or failing that, during a future one.

Think not just of the performers, but of movers and shakers such as Bill Gates and Henry VIII (forget the wives, he took on the Catholic Church and made England a Protestant country), and highly original creative artists like Salvador Dali and Edgar Allen Poe.

Don’t know your Moon Sign? Remember it is quite different form the Sun Sign. The sun takes a month to pass through each Sign of the Zodiac but the moon only takes two days! You can look it up at Lunarium.

Schopenhauer quote

20 03 2011

Were an Asiatic to ask me for a definition of Europe, I should be forced to answer him:  It is that part of the world which is haunted by the incredible delusion that man was created out of nothing, and that his present birth is his first entrance into life.

Arthur Schopenhauer

Moon in Cancer

29 12 2010

(First, if you haven’t already done so, read about Moon Signs, here, in my article on Moon in Aries.)

As far as Moon in Cancer is concerned, the three Key Words are: Maternal, Sensitive and Imaginative.

The key characteristic of people born under this Moon Sign (whether they are male or female) is the desire to nurture and protect. They need to be needed, to be carers and home-makers. If they are not, they may comfort themselves with sweet things or alcohol.

Second comes Sensitivity. They are super-sensitive, sensitive to the needs of their partners and all those around them, and not only that but to the heartache and sufferings of the rest of the world. Obviously they are suckers for a sob-story. Equally obviously, they are easily hurt and have a deep-seated fear of rejection. As a defence mechanism, many of them have carried about with them since they were first hurt as kids a hermit-crab’s shell to retreat into when people they love turn nasty.

And then there is the Imagination. Most people born when the Moon is in Cancer are extremely artistic. They may be professional artists of one kind or another, but if not their artistic streak will come out in their beautiful (but often cluttered and usually traditional) homes and gardens. Their vivid imaginations, too, may lead to them conjuring worst-case scenarios.

Someone who was born under this Moon Sign and is probably at heart a frustrated home-maker is Courtney Love. (I’m serious!)

Others are Drew Barrymore, Clint Eastwood, and Franklin D. Roosevelt. (Oh, come on! Let’s have a picture of Clint. I used to love him as the tall lonesome cowboy in all those spaghetti westerns…)

The archetype for this Moon Sign is the Mother, and this soul will surely have had multiple incarnations as a woman and a mother (Even you, Clint!) but will also probably have lived out lives as the Mother, the matriarch, the midwife, the wise woman, the witch and/or the queen.

Don’t know your Moon Sign? Remember it is quite different form the Sun Sign. The sun takes a month to pass through each Sign of the Zodiac but the moon only takes two days! You can look it up at Lunarium.

Moon in Aquarius

17 11 2010

What do these two have in common?

Or these two?

Yes, they were both – all! – born when the Moon was in Aquarius.

(But first, if you haven’t already done so, read about Moon Signs, here, in my article on Moon in Aries.)

As far as Moon in Aquarius is concerned, the three Key Words are: Detachment, Simplicity and Eccentricity.

People born under this Moon Sign are detached. They make friends but always hold something back. This applies especially to love affairs. at least until the Soul Mate appears on the scene and then, perhaps, the wall will come down.

They prefer a simple life-style, simple clothes, simple food, a simple uncluttered living-space with lots of light and air.

The eccentricity displays itself most often in a total lack of interest in what concerns the rest of us combined with passionate concern about causes that the rest of us consider of no importance if not actually wrong-headed.

People born when the Moon is in Aquarius are often extremely ambitious, but the ambition is not so much a dream of being rich and successful as of achieving something special, making one’s mark, either in the arts or by making the world a better place.

This is because the archetype for this Moon Sign is the Revolutionary, the Rebel, and in past lives he/she will have changed the world, either on a small scale in the village community or, it may well be, on the largest scale. Now, in this life, they may still be rebels and anarchists, or may be simply independent thinkers, those who will always follow their own minds, their own paths.

Don’t know your Moon Sign? Remember it is quite different form the Sun Sign. The sun takes a month to pass through each Sign of the Zodiac but the moon only takes two days! You can look it up at Lunarium.

OLD SOULS by Tom Shroder

8 11 2010

For forty years, Dr Ian Stevenson travelled the world investigating the “claims” of children who recalled their past lives. I put the word claims in quotes because the vast majority of them never claim anything. They simply have a problem because as they see it their home isn’t their real home, or their family their real family. Often the parents find these claims upsetting, even infuriating, and forbid children to mention them ever again. Others, either out of curiosity or in an attempt to prove the child wrong, investigate, visiting the town the child says he/she lived in and the family the child says he/she was once part of. And the child is proved right, again and again, recognising and naming people and places and showing an otherwise inexplicable knowledge of the private life of the family and the dead person.

Tom Shroder is an investigative journalist who was commisioned to look into the work of, and write a book about, Dr Brian Weiss, the specialist in hypnotic regression. At that time, he was a total sceptic. However, during the course of his investigations he came across an article about “a Dr Ian Stevenson, identified as the Carlson Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia Medical School [...] What astonished me was that Stevenson wasn’t claiming to have investigated jsut a handful of such cases, but hundreds of them – more than two thousand, in fact, from all over the world.” He tried to find books by Stevenson, managed to get hold of one, read it, and knew that that was what he wanted to investigate next. “How in the world, I wondered, could I have never before heard of this man’s work? How was it possible that a rather flimsy case of hypnotic regression was the basis for a best-seller, while hundreds of cases of the spontaneous production of verifiable memories took a day at the librrary to discover? And, finally, I wondered this: Why am I writing about Brian Weiss and not Ian Stevenson? It would take a decade to set this right.”

This book is the fruit of that decade.

If you, too, are of a sceptical turn of mind, then after reading it you may well still not believe that reincarnation actually occurs, but you will no longer be able to simply dismiss the notion out of hand.


2 11 2010


No, don’t listen. Keep going. Everything depends on getting to her on time.

A heavy fog was rolling in. He stumbled, then righted himself. He took the corner.

On both sides of him were identical colonnades with dozens of doors and recessed archways. He knew this place! He could hide here in plain sight and they would run by and –


The voice sounded as if it was coming to him from a great blue-green distance, but he refused to stop for it.

She was waiting for him … to save her … to save their secrets … and treasures …


The voice was pulling him up, up through the murky, briny heaviness.


Reluctantly, he opened his eyes …

Josh Ryder is an American press photographer who was badly injured in a suicide-bomb explosion in Rome, and ever since has been suffering from what he calls “jerks” back into the past.

He lived in fear of his own mind, which projected the fragmented kaleidoscopic images: of a young, troubled man in nineteenth-century New York City, of another in ancient Rome caught up in a violent struggle and of a woman who’d given up everything for their frightening passion.

When the story opens he has returned to Rome, eighteen months later, now not as a press photographer but as a representative of the Phoenix Foundation, an organisation which specialises in investigating the claims made by children to be, or at least to have memories of being, someone else.

The elderly Professor Rudolfo and the young Professor Gabriella Chase are excavating a tomb where, it is believed, the last Vestal Virgin was buried alive in the fourth century AD. One morning, early, Josh joins Professor Rudolfo in the tomb, and sees for the first time the skeleton of the long-dead priestess. In her hands, she still clutches a wooden box. And in that box are six precious stones, the “memory stones” that reputedly hold the secret to uncovering our past lives. Suddenly, Josh experiences a powerful jerk back to the fourth century and, to Rudolfo’s horror, starts desperately clawing his way into a blocked tunnel that leads out of the tomb by another route.

Then an intruder comes down into the tomb and the elderly pofessor, trying to prevent him from stealing the gems, is shot. Josh, of course, who was there at the time (but stuck in the tunnel and unable to wriggle back out), becomes a prime suspect.

The story is a thriller, and none the worse for that, but the depiction of living in two (three!) different worlds simultaneously is very convincing, as also is the way in which people who have known each other in previous lives meet again in the current one.

If you know little about reincarnation, this book will be an eye-opener for you. Even if you are an expert, you will not feel let down: the author knows his subject.

I must add that I particularly like the quotations at the head of various chapters. It is amazing how many of the most eminent people believed that they had lived before and would live again. Three examp0les from this book:

As the stars looked to me when I was a shepherd in Assyria, they look to me now in New England. (Henry David Thoreau)

Finding myself to exist in the world, I believe I shall, in some shape or another, always exist. (Benjamin Franklin)

The tomb is not a blind alley: it is a thoroughfare. It closes on the twilight. It opens on the dawn. (Victor Hugo)


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