Working with Past Life Memories

Artist Unknown


“The white dragon is a pure, unbiased spiritual being, the subconscious part of each of us that subtly demands that we acknowledge and live by adherence to spiritual laws. We may think we have skirted any retribution of the flaunting of such laws, but somewhere along our path we will discover that we can no longer move forward without facing the consequences of past actions or inactions.”

A Guide to the Celtic Dragon Tarot” by D.J. Conway and Lisa Hunt

I remember walking into a convent to begin my religious studies within the Catholic faith when I was twelve years old and feeling like it was all so comfortable and familiar. It was a strange feeling because I’d never been in a convent in this lifetime until that moment. As I walked through, guided by the head nun who was touring me around, I seemed to intuitively know a lot about devotional life practices that I’d never been exposed to. This information I was “picking up” was later confirmed by things the head nun was sharing with me. It wasn’t until I was working as a Pranic Healer in my late twenties that I understood what I experienced at the convent all those years ago: I was in a past life memory. This a-ha moment hit me when I was in a healing session with my teacher, an experienced Pranic Healer, when she described what she was seeing: a nun praying in front of a huge Gothic-style rosette window. I immediately began sobbing. I remembered that life and the solace of living in a consecrated place at a time when women were unsafe in a violent Medieval world. It was and still remains a touchstone life for me when I need to re-live a feeling of inner peace during times of struggle in my present life.

People ask me all the time how I can “believe” in past lives. And my response is: I don’t believe anything until I’ve experienced it. I’ve had enough of these moments where my psyche breaks through to show me that time is not linear and that my consciousness can roam freely through time that I now simply know these things to be true. Although we can’t go back and change the past or necessarily interfere with the outcome of the future, we can travel backwards or even forwards in time to shift our perceptions and how they are negatively impacting our lives today. In the same way, we can use our lifetimes of power, beauty and shining to help us recall our energy back to us when we discover have given our power away in this lifetime–something we all do now and again. If we don’t like the “us” we are becoming when we journey into the future, we can also take steps in the present to alter our course. We’ve all had light and dark lifetimes that we are living the consequences of until we bring our past actions into consciousness to transform them. In other words, unless we are an enlightened being who has already figured out how to live a life of absolute balance (i.e. like the Buddha, Kwan Yin, Jesus, or Muhammad) we all have to work with past karma until we come to a place where we are living in dharma.*

Dharma is really about making a conscious choice to step away from the effects of the past karma incurred in relationships. It’s about awakening to our part in keeping alive the pains of the past and taking an active role in cutting away from these karmic attachments that keep us wrapped up in playing out past pain tapes in cycles. This is an area where shamanic medicine really shines because it is we who keep these very real energetic cords active and it’s only we as individuals who have the power to break them and say, “No more.”

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’s Shamanic Journey into Healing” by Jennifer Engracio

The folks in our lives today are not there by accident: often times, we are attracted to the souls of people we’ve traveled with in other lifetimes. Many times, there is unfinished business from past lifetimes that is asking to be resolved. You know those people you love but have tumultuous relationships with? That’s an indicator of karma. In fact, the parent-child relationship is a classic example of a contract that is made between the souls of parents and children before the child is born so that karma can be healed and the spirits involved have an opportunity to move forward in light. Early on in my shamanic studies, I went on a drum journey to understand why my soul wanted to be born to my parents and what I had to learn from growing up in my extended family. When folks feel ready inside themselves to face this information, I recommend finding a shamanic practitioner who is skilled in leading this type of journey. It can be especially helpful to folks who feel like they are the black sheep of the family or to anyone struggling with why they were born into a family that struggles with mental health, violence, or addiction issues, for example. And there are ways to cut the harmful karmic ties while keeping those of light that run between us and all those we love. I’ve found that keeping the karmic ties cut and choosing life-giving relational patterns is the key to developing healthy relationships and boundaries with the people in our lives.

The way I live my life and the choices I make really do impact the generations ahead of me and behind me. Seeing how all the generations worked together to make sure we all survived was really good for my heart.

The Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within” by Ann Dickie, Jennifer Engracio and Katherine Inksetter

When I do this work, I am continuously reminded that we humans are all connected and that we will keep meeting up together throughout time to create mirrors of reflection for one another until we’ve all healed our past and become enlightened beings. We have the power to break lineage patterns that have plagued our blood families by doing this past life and karmic work. All it takes is one person in a family to commit to doing this work to create a healthy, new energetic path that future members of the lineage have the possibility to follow if they choose. Those who know about healing work in any tradition are in a good position to surrender to this journey. Though it’s not for the faint of heart, it is a worthwhile venture that will build the character traits of courage, faith, and compassion.

There is a gospel song that states: “None of us are free. One of us in chains. None of us are free.” I always loved singing that song. It makes clear what the boddhisatvas of the Buddhist tradition know: that until all of us have evolved, we will continue to experience suffering. We are all part of the same energetic soup. We are all one–inextricably linked throughout time. Indeed, we are all relations.

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’s Shamanic Journey into Healing” by Jennifer Engracio

*To learn more about the spiritual concepts of karma and dharma, I encourage you to study the Buddhist teachings they originate from.

**This article first appeared in the Mar. 2019 edition of Pagan Pages Magazine.

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