LOCKED WITHIN by Paul Anthony Shortt

1 12 2014

Locked WithinWhat is locked within is memories of past lives.

Nathan, our hero, is haunted by dreams in which he half remembers, sometimes fully remembers, dramatic events that occurred during previous lives, but is unaware when the book opens of an organised group called the Reborn who remember clearly, and benefit from the experience gained during, their past lives. These Reborn are in a war against another, very different, group whose aim is to prolong this one life (as they see it) indefinitely, as vampires or whatever, and who will do anything to achieve that goal.

Needless to say, Nathan gets caught up in the battle which takes place in his home-town of New York, a battle which is just one small part of the on-going war between Good and Evil. And like all reluctant heroes, he has to make painful choices regarding his personal life.

Being a great believer in reincarnation, I loved this particular urban fantasy world with its reborns and its horrifying “soul-eaters”, and would welcome a sequel, preferably featuring Nathan and the witch Candace as partners. I always have difficulty identifying with male protagonists, even one as sympathetic as Nathan, though in this case I was certainly helped by the fact that the earlier self Nathan most closely identifies with himself is a woman, a warrior named Marjorie. We are even there with him while he as her is being gang-raped – and I mean gang literally: she is captured and raped by a group of ruthless professional thugs.

Reincarnation in action - male to female to male

Reincarnation in action – female to male to female to male …

Candace, who only has a very minor role in this book, but on the other hand is still very much alive, is just my cup of tea.


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 ShortFiction.co.uk 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


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