In the realm of psychic phenomenon, amongst the many teachings and talents and mysteries, there are some ideas that hold tight to the sympathetic fancies of certain subcultures. Many of these ideas require, as a fundamental component of their practise, a suspension of the practitioner’s belief in certain scientific truths.
Past life regression is one such idea, in the eyes of the scientific world, those of psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists and the like, past life regression is a broken shard of medieval medicine, something to be regarded as a parlour trick or carnival side show.
To believers however, past life regression is a powerful tool in the quest to understand one’s purpose, path and destiny in life.
Unlike many of the popular ideas within the spectrum of psychic phenomenon, past life regression is now, and has historically been synonymous with religious dogma and practice. The concept of regressing ones self into the memories of a past life (or lives) is a particularly ancient teaching. Reference to the subject has been found as early as the Second Century BCE in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. This ancient Hindu scholar taught that the human soul was burdened with impressions of previous incarnations, and that these impressions were connected to the soul’s karmic energy, influencing the specific form of it’s reincarnation on this plane.
Now obviously, belief in past life regression requires an intrinsic, if unspoken, belief in reincarnation on at least a basic level; though so many who feel curious about past life regression will deny such a belief on questioning. It seems silly to hold even a passing interest in your memories from previous lives if you find reincarnation to be fanciful, but such is the case with these kinds of wildly infamous ideas.
Past life regression, or PLR, gained its infamous stature in the early to mid 1950’s, through the equally infamous Madame Blavatsky, co-founder of the Theosophical Society. From her teachings, many so-called credible practitioners popped up in western culture, and due to their credentials, which were often in completely unrelated fields and disciplines, the phenomenon gained momentum among the medium-crazy, death-obsessed upper-middle class of early America.
By this time, however, new techniques in hypnotism and mesmerism were widely used as tools for healing nearly any ailment even remotely concerning the conscious mind. Combining these two concepts proved to be a fantastic pairing for the future of past life regression; hypnotism, especially in its early use, is a highly suggestive and unreliable means of recounting, uncovering or relaying memories, of past or current life situations.
The problem, then as with now, lies both in the practitioner and in the unreliable nature of human memory. Hypnotism remains capable of planting, manipulating and creating memories that, once realised, are just as real to the experiencer as any actual memory.
History and science are really only a small part of the phenomenon of past life regression however, in recent times, the idea of bringing to bear any memories that might be retrievable from past lives has become a hugely popular part of earth based religious sub-cultures. Within the purview of Wiccan teachings, there are many spells, incantations and rituals that deal with either bringing forward these repressed memories, or with protecting them from negative energies.
What’s now somewhat unique about past life regression, in contrast to its practise even a few decades ago, is that it requires little more than basic Wiccan ritual items and an ability to meditate.
In my research, I came across an interesting technique for brining forward memories and visions of previous life incarnations that requires nothing more than a table, a white candle and a fixed or handheld mirror.
I have transcribed the technique verbatim for your interest:
Past Life Spells: Magic Mirror
Do not expect immediate results from this spell. It takes practise; an extended period of time may be required before results are achieved. It is more difficult than it seems; do not perform the ritual for more than fifteen minutes at a time, until a successful momentum is achieved. You will need a chair and a table, with a white candle and either a fixed or handheld mirror.
- Take all spiritual precautions. Cast a [protective] circle around the table and chair.
- Burn Mugwort and Sandalwood within the circle.
- Light the candle and place it between you and the mirror.
- Keep your mind clear and calm.
- Gaze at your face in the mirror neutrally – this is not the moment to count pimples, wrinkles or despair at your nose.
- Call your own name clearly and distinctly three times.
- Eventually you may be tempted to call another name, or another name will simply fall from your lips. Try it, ask the mirror to show you who you were.
Source: The Element Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells, by Judica Illes
Now, my own scepticism tends to get in the way of these types of ideas, and even though I personally know two people who claim to have achieved successful results from this “spell”, I still cannot help but wonder if wishful thinking played more of a role in their results than did magic or actual memory.
Regardless of what I think, I invite you all to try this simple recipe for reaching out to your previous self through the looking glass.