Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Wednesday Woo-Woo ~ Past Lives

This topic takes us waist deep into tangled woo country. In common with most other woo-ish subjects, it offers opportunities for fascinating journeys into mysterious and mist-ridden mental landscapes. Nobody can possibly know for sure whether human beings have the capacity to recall a past life, whether their conciousness existed before this current sojourn here on Earth. Even those people who have experienced vivid flashes of deja vu, or under hypnosis have been able to reveal minute details of another lifetime, cannot be absolutely certain that what they experience is proof of past life - or something else.

Belief in past life is a feature of some Eastern religions. Astrologers have found a way to relate the theory of past life to configuration of the natal chart. Some tarot readers relate certain cards to past life. Regression hypnotists and therapists seem to have no lack of clients. None of this, however, makes the idea of past life any more valid. I'm not trying to denigrate the theory - simply trying to arrive at balance. There's equal chance of us having lived before as there is of the idea being nothing but imagination and/or wishful thinking. This phenomenon, in common with all of woo, resides in that vast grey area incapable of proof.

A point that comes to mind: if, as we now suspect, time is circular, or spiral, rather than linear, and there's a possibility of our consciousness being "re-used" multiple times, we should be able to experience future lives too. News along these woo-ish lines doesn't seem to have surfaced yet.

Among several well-publicised examples of past life recall, the one that springs to mind first, for those of "a certain age", is the case of Bridey Murphy. The following is a concise rundown of the case from, where several other instances of past life recall are listed, as well as a possible scientific explanation of the phenomenon.
Perhaps the most famous case of past life recall is that of Virginia Tighe who recalled her past life as Bridey Murphy. Virginia was the wife of a Virginia businessman in Pueblo, Colorado. While under hypnosis in 1952, she told Morey Bernstein, her therapist, that over 100 years ago she was an Irish woman named Bridget Murphy who went by the nickname of Bridey.

During their sessions together, Bernstein marveled at detailed conversations with Bridey, who spoke with a pronounced Irish brogue and spoke extensively of her life in 19th century Ireland. When Bernstein published his book about the case, The Search for Bridey Murphy in 1956, it became famous around the world and sparked an excited interest in the possibility of reincarnation.

Over six sessions, Virginia revealed many details about Bridey's life, including her birth date in 1798, her childhood amid a Protestant family in the city of Cork, her marriage to Sean Brian Joseph McCarthy and even her own death at the age of 60 in 1858. As Bridey, she provided numerous specifics, such as names, dates, places, events, shops and songs - things Virginia was always surprised about when she awoke from the hypnosis. But could these details be verified?

The results of many investigations were mixed. Much of what Bridey said was consistent with the time and place, and it seemed inconceivable that someone who had never been to Ireland could provide so many details with such confidence. However, journalists could find no historical record of Bridey Murphy - not her birth, her family, her marriage, nor her death. Believers supposed that this was merely due to the poor recordkeeping of the time. But critics discovered inconsistencies in Bridey's speech and also learned that Virginia had grown up near - and had known well - an Irish woman named Bridle Corkell, and that she was quite likely the inspiration for "Bridey Murphy." There are flaws with this theory, too, however, keeping the case of Bridey Murphy an intriguing mystery.

Suspicious minds would wonder about the money Mr. Bernstein stood to make from his book and spin-offs, including a 1956 movie. Still though, even if the guy made his name from it all, and a nice pile of dosh, it doesn't mean that Virginia Tighe's experience was an attempt to defraud the public. Skeptics have picked holes in the story over past decades. Doubts remain as to its true significance.

Still from the movie based on Bernstein's book

There's an odd lack of photographs of Virginia Tighe on-line, the only one I can find of her, with her grandchildren, is at this website:

Virginia Tighe's birth date is available, so a look at her natal chart might reveal whether she'd be the type of person likely to lapse into daydreams or become seriously delusional: some heavy Neptune aspects perhaps?

Born on 27 April 1923 - no location, or time given, so I've used Pueblo, the town where she lived, and 12 noon to construct a chart. This will suffice to show most planetary positions, though the ascendant and angles will not be accurate.

It's a well-balanced chart - all elements and modes are represented just about as equally as possible. Sun in Taurus, Moon in Virgo (unless born in the last minutes of the day). Sun and Moon in Earth signs indicate a grounded nature, not usually given to flights of fancy.

I notice that Mercury at 25 Taurus is conjunct Fixed Star Algol - the star astrologers look on as the most unfortunate of all the stars. I don't know whether this carries any significance here. Because the personal planet involved is Mercury, planet of communication, it's worth noting. For this to be especially significant though it would be necessary to check the charts of others who have experienced past life recall, to see whether Algol/Mercury played a part in their charts.

Neptune, planet of dreams, illusions and delusions needs careful investigation.
Neptune in Leo is in square (challenging aspect) to Sun and Mercury in Taurus and square Jupiter in Scorpio, setting up a "T-square" involving Sun/Mercury Neptune and Jupiter in antagonistic configuration to one another. (See below).

There's also a Grand Trine harmoniously linking Uranus/Pluto/Jupiter in Water signs. Water signs are the emotional, occasionally psychic signs, and here we have a linked circuit of them.

A Yod (Finger of Fate) formed by a helpful sextile between Saturn and Neptune, each linked via quincunx (150*) to Uranus represents a kind of chanelling of the "flavours" of Saturn and Neptune (Saturn = work/business/time/tradition and Neptune = imagination/illusion/delusion) through Uranus in Pisces, planet of eccentricity and the future, in the sign ruled by Neptune.

Putting all of that together what've we got? A grounded, well-balanced personality with also the potential for emotional and intuitive bahaviour (via the Water Grand Trine), with her solid Earthy Sun and Moon holding back any exaggerated flights of fancy. The Yod is the mysterious configuration here. I could read it as dreams of history and time funnelled through the future, with Saturn representing time and history. But Saturn also represents business, and Uranus is in Neptune's domain - which makes this even more confusing and open to a variety of interpretations.

So what's the verdict? I'm still stumbling around in that vast and murky grey area!


gian paul said...

1) Wondering if the termites got rid of the bugs and this comment reaches normally it's destination.

2) Reincarnation/past lives: I have given this quite some thought. In some kind of flash, one day when I was reading about Edgar Cayce, it stroke me that what the Hindus call "akashic records" may help get to the truth.

Such records, I thought, must not necessarily be restricted to the past. If destiny is pre-ordained, they may as well already contain the future, or the present. Cayce may have had the ability to see exactly that, the present state of health and, if it was an illness, it's future evolution and cure for it.

Consequently the same records (misleading term as records refer to the past only), could be accessible to a person like your Virginia, even if they had nothing to do with her own past - and also and foremost - if reincarnation does not exist at all.

The person having such a vision, or a "déjà-vu" impression, may be able, quite unconsciously, to tap into the "akashic record" of SOMEBODY ELSE, but believe it was him or herself.

If my theory is true, it would explain why in hunted places the same gost appears to different people. The defunct who died (usually of a violent death), left some "readable" psychic imprints at that place and some people visiting are subsequently able to read them.

One can even wonder if the Monster of Loch Ness had not actually existed and the reported sightings were not readings by some more sensitive people of the "psychometric records" left by the monster in a possibly very distant past???

Twilight said...

gian paul ~~~ The Blogger comments problem seems, so far, to have been fixed. Fingers crossed! :-)

Yes, I almost mentioned the "akashic records" in this post, but decided to stay on a single track for brevity's sake.

The theory appeals to me. There's no way of proving such "records" exist, but it'd explain so much that is mysterious if they did.

I wonder if the ability to tap into the "records" (supposing they exist) would be shown in a natal chart. One would not necessarily need classic psychic skills, perhaps, though these could assist in deliberate attempts to access th "records".

Involuntary/accidental access could depend upon a quirk related to natal Mercury or some rare combination of factors in a chart.

Interesting thoughts!

gian paul said...

Twilight, one could imagine that you have chosen this pseudo because it corresponds to some of the subjects you investigate, or is it that there are indications in your map responsible for that? Whatever be the case, I think that access to the type of psycho-records I mentioned is a "reserved domain". Must be.

Imagine if modern science (and money-money behind) got hold of that. Nothing would be safe anymore. Manipulation would turn extreme.

Twilight said...

gian paul ~~ Yes, of course. It makes sense that if some "repository" such as the akashic records (or something similar with a title more in line with today's chaos theory, string theory and what have you) would be in a place practically inaccessible to the human brain - except maybe by accident.

"Twilight". I was originally going to use the French word "Crepuscule" as nickname, because it appeals to me (don't know why). But on consideration thought it a bit pretentious, so went for the English version. Nowadays it can either relate to my "certain age": out of the bazing mid-day Sun and early evening brightness, into those gentle misty, shadowy grey areas which lead, who knows where. LOL!
I've occasionally considered using my real name, but decided against doing so for a variety of reasons.
It's fairly boring anyway. ;-)

Wisewebwoman said...

Of course, T, there is also "cellular memory" and I have a fascination and done some research on this topic myself.
Our forbears leave us other than our funny noses ;^)
I've had some experience with this myself.
I had read (with some scepticism admittedly) the story of Bridie.
I didn't see the movie but must at some point.
Interesting case study.

gian paul said...

Glad you chose Twilight over Crepuscule. More gentle to my ears. (Crepuscule = Goetterdaemmerung = Wagnerian).

Wondering about "reservoirs of inspiration": where do composers, writers, inventors get their stuff?

Have some experience with inventions, made recently my third one. And truly I have no idea how these ideas come about.

Quite a few inventions have happened at the same time in different places over the past. And are well documented. Is there an overall "Plan" permitting the release of ideas which will influence evolution? By asking, I guess, I have answered.

Astrologically and subjectively in my case, the last invention (about oil - spills) came when Neptune started transiting my natal Mars in Aquarius. Uranus/Jupiter also were entering my sun - sign, Aries.

Have to look up the transits of the first 2 inventions. But the point is not my personal history here, it's that if inventions, compositions, songs, fashion (s) come about, there appears to be some coordination, to say the least.

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ Yes, good point - cellular memory. That's something else to keep in mind as a possible explanation for some instances of past life recall, and even instances of child prodigy too I suppose.

Twilight said...

gian paul ~~~ What you describe is yet another mysterious phenomenon.
It almost seems that there is a pattern going on. Similar developments throughout history, arising in different parts of the world when, back in early times, there was little or no means of communication.

Life is built upon patterns (mathematical?) so maybe we shouldn't be surprised about this pattern as life and consciousness evolved and discoveries were made.

Astrologers do usually link Aquarius and/or Uranus to invention and inventors. Perhaps there's something in the brain chemistry of those with the sign or planet in certain positions or configurations astrologically, that enables the native to unconsciously "dip" into the pool of information which could be an offshoot of those akashic records we mentioned above.

I have Sun Aquarius, Moon Aries, but am not inventive in any practical way. Uranus is square natal Sun, sextile Saturn, that could put a damper on invention for me. ;-)

Twilight said...

That should read Sun sextile Saturn

Michelangelo 23 said...

Alright, I'll make up a word: Akashible ! (Akashic + Accessible)
I guess it's my Venus (in Aquarius)-Mercury (Aries)-Pluto Yod! Moon in Taurus quincunx Uranus, too!

Akashic records, cellular memory, destiny pre-ordained, déjà-vus, etc.

I really like this word given to me for word-verification here: "hyper". Comment moderation has been enabled.

In Greece, we use the word "spazocephalia" literally meaning "breaking oneself's head" (cephali = head), standing for "games/efforts made to innovate/break through". I think imagination as the essence of invention. Machina = Imagine (Imagination). That "Imagine" should read "Ithagena" (because the ancient letter tilted-M = Θ = W). "Ithageneia" in Greek language stands for "nativity/originality". Helping?

I'd like to comment that woman's Jupiter (Scorpio) - Neptune (Leo) square as "posing". This combination is really un-ground. Treason, is one of that square's interpretation. One's Spirituality is below zero, if equipped with this square.

Excuse me for being incredulous. Maybe it's my Saturn ascending...

Twilight said...

Michelangelo23 ~~~ Hi there! Thanks for your input. Interesting!

I do like your word Akashible :-)
Language is a fascinating subject for me, always, so your additions from the Greek are definitely welcome.

Hmm yes, that Sorpio/Neptune square is quite tight too. I wasn't aware of it being linked to treason though. I bet that comes from traditional astrology ?

I can see it more, as you say, indicating something of a "poseur", an over-imaginative person who cannot differentiate between reality and imagination. Which would fit that woman if we are skeptical about her past life as Bridey Murphy- as most seem to be nowadays. Yet I suspect she was sincere enough, not deliberately lying - simply misguided. :-)