past lives is not a parlor game
by Laura Zohman MA LDN CHT

INTRODUCTION
 
Reincarnation is a practical study of spiritual lessons, karma, transformation, healing, and life’s journey. To know the past is an excellent way to evaluate the present and to improve the future.
 
You don’t have to believe in reincarnation to experience it. Discovering your Past Lives is a key to self-knowledge. Remembering who you were, what you have done, where you have been, and who your friends were can explain personal mysteries, odd dreams,and unfinished business.
 
Our souls are on a continuous journey from one lifetime to another. It is the physical body, the story, the scene, and the players which change from lifetime to lifetime. We discard our bodies at the end of a lifetime and choose or receive a new body for each incarnation. 
 
Many current day issues originated in past lives. Some difficulties may repeat as illnesses, habits, addictions, or relationship problems. Past Life positive karma may appear as athletic skills, musical or artistic talent, financial prowess, technical abilities, beauty, an exceptional mind, a strong body, and psychic powers.
 
Our cells remember everything and everyone from this life and other lives. 
 
Reincarnation explains compelling connections to fellow travelers we have known before. These people feel familiar. We are aware of their patterns, habits, strengths and weaknesses, even on first glance. Having knowledge of past life relationships may even  improve current ones.  
 
Many of my past lives connect with those of friends, family, or clients. It is not surprising that clients who seek me out for a regression have known me before.
 
BEGINNINGS
 
I began this life as a painfully shy, only child, raised in an apartment in the Bronx, New York. I disliked my mother. I had an unconscious memory of being poisoned by her. (Yes, babies know and remember on a cellular level.) In this lifetime, it was her karma to take good care of my physical body and to feed me well, which she

did. It was my karma to understand the reasons for our rocky relationship and to ultimately forgive her.
 
I loved my father. He was fun. We had intellectual discussions, and visited fascinating places. I loved the outdoors, parks, beaches, museums, movies, and ice cream parlors. No one knew more about ice cream than my father and me. My family spent summers out of the city in the mountains of New York and New Jersey. We celebrated Christmas and New Years at a hotel in the Catskills where we enjoyed ice skating, tobogganing, and being entertained at night, by comedy, magic, hypnosis, music, and dance. Being away from the city and experiencing nature, entertainment, and feeling free, is of paramount importance in this life.
 
A PSYCHIC GIFT 
 
As a child, I had an uncanny ability to sense when people were unwell, or upset, or when something bad was happening within the family. When I spoke of  my feelings, I was told I was wrong. No one was ever sick or upset. No one ever died. They just disappeared. Nothing was ever wrong. Years later, truths were revealed. My observations and feelings were correct. People had been sick, people died, and there were financial reversals.  My mother and father protected me from anything ugly. They also sheltered me from my early psychic gifts. After all, intuition, clairvoyance and knowing were not acceptable, particularly for someone so young.
 
As a child, I asked myself all the questions I couldn’t ask anyone else. “Who are these people who are supposed to be my family?  Why are they here? Why am I here?” I always felt I was special. But I did not know for what. I felt like an alien, disconnected from family members around me who were supposed to be “normal.” I looked for some unknown mystery which finally began revealing itself decades later. It was then, when life turned topsy turvy, that old beliefs were thrown out the window. Luckily, I landed feet first on the Spiritual Path. 
 
Everything happens at the correct time. When the logical mind feels it is falling apart, the spirit is finding its way home.
 
THE SEARCH CONTINUES
 
At a rapid pace, my Spiritual Path began to open in 1970. Life had the outer appearance of suburbia perfect. I was married, with 2 children, a husband, a dog, 2

cats, a bird and a lovely house. But nothing felt right. It was worse than my childhood. I was an even squarer peg that had become even more impossible to fit into conventionally round holes. The difference was that now, as an adult, I could take action. I started yoga and meditation classes to quiet the part of me that was relentlessly searching for something “more”  I was living Peggy Lee’s song, “Is that all there is?”
 
THE ASTROLOGY CONNECTION
 
Life was becoming weirder as I relied more and more on intuition. I felt guided to make an appointment with an astrologer. I needed answers. My 11-year-old son, David, was having problems at school, at home, with friends, and he was fired from his newspaper route. He was falling apart. It was totally out of character for the overachiever he had previously been. 
 
Ken, the astrologer, was highly recommended by a friend and the local book store owner. I knew intuitively that he would help me understand the cause of David’s problems. It seemed a better solution than taking him to a shrink and having him medicated.
 
Climbing three flights of stairs, I found myself in a scary unlit hallway in Marblehead, MA. I was on my way to see a man I had never met before. It felt dark and possibly dangerous. Uncomfortable and shaking, I rang the bell and was greeted by Ken, who was holding a crying baby. The fear disappeared. All was well. After a friendly greeting, I was escorted inside and new chapter of my life began.
   
Ken’s astrological reading was incredible. How could he could know so much about David without meeting him? How could a pie shaped chart carry so much information?  This was very odd. Ken eased my worries as he told me David’s situation was transitional, not permanent. David’s progressed sun had just moved into Scorpio from Libra. It would take a year for positive changes to take place. I didn’t have a clue what that meant but felt encouraged.  My gut said Ken was correct. If he knew David so well from a chart, I wondered whether astrology could be a road map to life?  I needed to know more. 

BORN TO BE TOGETHER 
 

I decided to have Ken do charts for everyone in the family. Ken spent much time, explaining the art and science of astrology. Needless to say, I was hooked. Ken read my husband Harry’s chart and compared it to mine. Then came the surprise. Ken told me that Harry and I had been together before. Before what, I asked? Breakfast?
 
Ken respected my naivety and explained that people have past lives and come back to be together. An intriguing idea. I had always believed and was brought up with the idea that when you die, you’re dead. Dust to Dust. “That’s all Folks!” This strange possibility that life continued after death with many of the same people put a new spin on my perception of life, death, and the pursuit of happiness.
 
I was grateful to Ken for expanding my horizons through his amazing astrology readings.   David emerged through that difficult time, triumphant, to become a track star, a fabulous student, and then great achiever in the world, just as predicted. He married the prototype of the ideal wife that Ken had prophesied as David’s soulmate.  
 
Ken was correct about the link I had with my husband. Years later, and many past life memories later, I knew my husband and I had journeyed together for at least 4 lifetimes. 
 
ASTROLOGY AND PAST LIVES

 
I thought about this new information.  Hmm…. Life could be more destiny oriented, than I ever thought possible. The science and art of astrology could be a connection to past lives and possibly be a kind of guide for our present lifetime. In 1971, I took an astrology class with Jane. She became a dear friend. We met on a regular basis in Cambridge and attempted to sort out the mysteries of the universe.  
 
In 1973, I attended classes in Life, Death, and Reincarnation. This led me into my first regression It was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had. Only Jane knew that I was going through an intense inner makeover. My life was transformed forever.

When there is unfinished business, it remains in the unconscious mind and until it emerges into consciousness through dreams, body work, spontaneous recall, or regression therapy.
 
THE REPETITIVE DREAM
 
 I began having a recurrent dream and suspected traces of unconscious unfinished material. I dreamt about an eight year old blond girl standing on cobblestones. It wasn't scary. Every night the dream returned but never progressed. She was just standing there on cobblestones. During waking hours, I started to see young blond girls everywhere. 
 
 I had this urgency to be regressed. I thought this process would dismantle the dream and the parade of little blond girls. I found the perfect woman, Carol, who did regressions. I was ready. Nervous, but ready.  
 
THE REGRESSION
 
Carol greeted me at her door with a very large dog, a husky with 2 different color eyes. I wondered if  regression would create 2 different color eyes?  Shaking or not, I needed to do this. Those blond girls were driving me crazy. Could multicolor eyes be any worse than the blond girls and the repetitive dreams?
 
Carol had Harvard credentials which I realized later means nothing for this kind of work. I chose her intuitively and trusted her. What was important was her spiritual background, past life regression experience, and her ability to help me relax. I went into a deep state quickly and easily. I was a natural.
 
The facilitator of a regression session leads the client through a series of steps and asks pertinent questions that support and encourage the client to reveal the story line. Past life stories can be viewed as a movie or as an internal production in which one participates as an actor. Either way is correct. It is more than just a movie and clients can find themselves very involved and, frequently, very emotional.  
 
 I visualized impressively well.  I told my story in the tiny voice of an eight year old child. The words and past life story flowed from my mouth softly, without hesitation.
 
I became the blond girl and my life unfolded. My name was Gretchen. I was the daughter of a man who raised and traded horses in Kentucky, in 1830. My mother was of German descent and I had 4 brothers. I loved my father and being outdoors. My days were spent peacefully in nature, singing and dancing around a special tree and absorbing the sunlight. I had very little to do with my brothers or mother except at meal time. I did not go to school. Girls couldn’t go.
 
The facilitator can backtrack or fast-forward the story, just like watching on a DVD, if review or more information is needed.  
 
The first scene was a family dinner. Gretchen was 8 years old, sitting at the dining room table. Carol fast forwarded the dining room family scene, one year ahead. Gretchen was absent. What happened to Gretchen between the ages of eight and nine?  Carol asked me to move to the most important event in Gretchen’s life between the ages of 8 and 9. Instantly I was there. 
 
Gretchen went to town with her father. He had horse business to transact. She loved going with him. She was not quite 9 years old. I viewed Gretchen standing on cobblestones, peacefully with her father standing next to her on her left side. An  unfamiliar man on horseback was to the right of her. It was clear that Gretchen was the blond girl in my recurring dream.
 
She did not notice the rider until his horse got restless and started fidgeting about. The man lost patience. He began to whip his horse to make the horse quiet down. Gretchen watched the horse become more  and more agitated. She could not move. Her feet seemed glued to the cobblestones. Without warning, the horse reared, front legs up in the air, and crash-landed on Gretchen’s diaphragm. She was killed instantly. It happened quickly, her body fell onto the ground. The crowd gathered while her father held her little body and wept.   
 
Reincarnation usually brings up traumatic events including death. We all die. Usually we choose when we want to exit. Sylvia Browne, a noted psychic, says we have 5 exit points in each lifetime. I think there can be as few or many as the soul chooses.

MEETING THE SOUL
 
I saw Gretchen lift out of her body. There was no pain for her, only tears as she felt the sorrow of her father who loved her so.  
 
Meeting the soul or the higher self is possible when a person dies and sheds the body. It is the soul who can answer questions regarding our many lives from a higher and more comprehensive point of view.    
 
As is usually done, Carol asked my higher self or soul the following questions about the life of Gretchen. 
 
Q. What was the purpose and lessons of  Gretchen’s life?  
A. The lessons were about love, the love exchanged between father and child, the love of nature, and the ability to enjoy being alone and independent. 
 
Q. Why was Gretchen’s life ended so early?   
A. It was her soul who chose to end that life early. She had accomplished all she could in that life cycle. She wanted to learn more but was unable to have an education or career. She felt there was no future for her. 
 
Q. Were there regrets?  
A. Her only regret was leaving her father who she dearly loved.
 
Q. Did you recognize anyone from that life?
A. I did not recognize any one, at that time. However, years later, I  learned that my father had reappeared as Jane, my astrology teacher and friend. 
 
Q. Was there any similar themes, (there usually are) in Gretchen’s and Laura’s lives?. 
A. Both females were independent and self-sufficient with a love of nature and peacefulness. Both had a strong connection with their fathers. 
 
Q. Are there any current day fears for Laura relating to Gretchen’s life?
A. Laura always had a childhood fear of having her midriff crushed by a horse’s hooves. It was a very strange fear for someone born and raised in New York City. Laura also hates any mistreatment of animals, especially horses.

A PEAK EXPERIENCE - AN EPIPHANY
 
There was plenty of time to continue the regression since Gretchen’s life ended rather quickly. Carol asked me to continue my “soul’s journey.”  Following her instructions I drifted into a place which could only be called Heaven. There are no earthly words to describe it. I had no idea there was a place “in between lives”.
 
I was warm, comfortable, floating, knowing everything was better than perfect. It was wonderfully peaceful. I was an integral part of the universe. There was no separation. I was CONNECTED to Divine Light, God, and the Universe. I had never read or experienced anything like this at that time. It was similar to the near-death descriptions, that I read about years later. I was surprised to discover first-hand that there was a “home” for all of us in-between-lives, which I also read about long after my peak experience.
 
A Peak Experience is a connection to universal energy,   It's a state of being, a vibration, in which you're in touch with the transcendent and radiant power of the universe. 
 
AFTERMATH
 
The dream never returned. Within 3 days after the regression my family received an unexpected invitation to a wedding in Kentucky. I knew this was no coincidence, the universe was letting me know my Kentucky lifetime was real.  
 
I explored further and was regressed again and again until I could do it myself.  As an old soul, I had varied experiences and recalled 50-60 lifetimes. Having a peak experience kindled the flame of continuing my search, hoping for more glances of Heaven. And there have been.
 
Jane was a friend for about 5 years. I was told in meditation that Jane was Gretchen’s father in the Kentucky saga. Information from meditation is usually 95% correct. This explained my feelings that Jane was older and wiser than me, even though she was 12 years younger.
 
I assumed Jane knew nothing about horses. I told her about my meditation which indicated she was my father in Kentucky. I was shocked when Jane said, “I am an expert horse woman”. This confirmed what I knew. Within 6 months of this

revelation, Jane and her new baby moved to Hawaii. Sadly, I said good-bye to my dear friend knowing we will meet again.
 
When a relationship has served its purpose, it ends. This ending, although difficult, usually starts a new life chapter with new people to meet, new learning to assimilate, and new tasks to accomplish.
 
And, yes. I did meet the man who killed me. At first, I was angry at him, for no apparent reason. It was my unconscious knowing. As I learned more about him, I liked him. His impatience and cruelty were gone. He was still involved with horses in a gentler fashion, judging the performance and quality of competitive horses and their riders.  
 
EPILOGUE
 
Past Lives is not a parlor game. It is a wonderful tool to learn about Destiny, Purpose, and the Personal Journey of the Soul. It is no accident that as a seeker of truth, I pursued unconscious memories through reincarnation. I was able to discover, by experiencing many lives, who I am and what my soul’s purpose is.
 
This current life is the my longest to date. Living longer has given me time to analyze many lives and put them into perspective. I share my learnings with others through teaching, counseling, and hypnotic regression.  I hope this article will be inspirational and a comfort to those who wish to pursue this study.