Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Do Animals have Past Lives?

Sephira - coloured pencil drawing by Jay Linden
This can be a burning question for those of us who have strong heart bonds with our animal companions.

You may be aware that we travel through our lives on earth in soul groups - often incarnating with the same souls, over and over, in different roles.

The wonderful news is that animals are part of our soul groups too - and they can also choose to incarnate with us many times.

If you have an intense bond with an animal you can take that as a sign that this is not the first time you have been together.

A common soul contract with animals is that they come in as support, for company and encouragement, particularly in lives where we are in lonely or painful situations.

My current cat, Sephira, was with me in a past life where I had run away from a very unhappy home after my father accidentally killed my mother in a drunken rage. I ended up in a monastery where I felt a deep connection to the figure of Christ, but was abused by the elder apprentice monks - a practice that was common.

Lacking any human friendship, my comfort and support came from a wild cat that befriended me. There was an intense bond between us and her love kept me from falling into utter despair.

In this incarnation Sephira is the one who has experienced being tormented - she came to me as a rescue cat, so terrified, she spent the first four months under the house. Patience and loving reassurance encouraged her to trust once more and now she is happy and content and fiercely loving of her people.

When they are not incarnated with us, our soul group animals will often act as guides - part of our support team and may often appear to us in dreams. This is not limited to domesticated animals - wild animals can be part of our soul group too.
             Can we choose to incarnate as an animal or a human?

Some souls only incarnate as animals - other souls incarnate in many forms - human as well as animal.

Tristan - oil painting by Jay Linden
In past life regression you may find that the soul who is an animal in your current life was actually a human in a past life. A soul may reincarnate as an animal in order to resolve difficult past life experiences with us.

Below I tell my story of how a soul who had been both brother and son to me in previous lives came into this life as a cat - in order to to heal some deep wounds between us.

Tristan came into my life as a two year old rescue cat - I was guided by the spirits of my previous two cats as to where and when to get him.

From the beginning there was an intense bond - I adored him - my heart felt like it would burst with joy - and he became the most important being in my life. I had loved my animals before, but never like this.

Then five months later I found him one morning with his back legs paralysed. Shaking and sobbing, I rushed him to the vet, but he'd had a massive thrombosis and was already cold and going into shock. He died in my arms.

The grief was overwhelming - but I knew I had to feel my way through it. I kept his picture as my screen-saver, spent hours feeling every ache of grief. Still the pain did not lessen. I was guided to channel my grief into a creative expression and began to paint pictures of him.

But after six months the intensity of grief was still there. I could feel Tristan all around me - loving me, giving me big furry cuddles - but could not move through the pain and despair of losing him in physical form.

Two intuitive friends told me they were getting the message he had been a son in a past life - and I felt guided to do a past life regression.

                             Soul Lesson  -  Can I protect what I love?

In that past life my family were part of a cave community. I never felt particularly attached to my family though they were kind to me. We herded goats on the top of the red, sandstone cliffs, hunted small animals and gathered fruits and herbs - a simple life.

When I was 14 the slavers came on their wild horses and took several of the young men and women. They beckoned me and I went gladly. I felt no fear, only excitement. Now I would have an adventure, now my destiny was beginning.

Others were struggling, their families crying out, begging the slavers not to take their children. I walked freely over to the man who beckoned me and held up my hand. He pulled me up in front of him and as we left I turned and waved at my family as if I was going on a holiday.

When we reached Sparta the man whose horse I rode did not take me to the slave market, but instead took me to a man who had asked him to look out for a suitable wife. His own wife had died in childbirth many years before. This man was in his mid-thirties with dark hair and a dark beard. He seemed okay and when the transaction was complete took me to the home of his parents.

I was there for many months and his mother taught me the language, how to cook their food, how to shop in the market, the rituals of the temple. We became friends, often laughing together at some funny misunderstanding I’d made with the language.

His sister hated me. She was jealous of my relationship with her mother and she was very angry her brother was marrying again. The family wealth would pass to whoever provided a male heir. I was seen as a threat and she tried to delay the marriage as long as possible.

When I was 16 I became pregnant. This was a huge joy for me. I knew it was going to be a son and already in the womb I felt such a strong connection, so much joy.

I gave birth and was totally in love with my son - carrying him around with me all the time, even though that was not the custom. I hardly let him out of my arms. I was very proud of him and showed him off to all. My sister in law was beside herself with jealousy.

One day at the temple she accused him of not being a true son of Sparta since he had not been proved by the custom they had of leaving new born sons outside overnight. 
Sparta was a warrior culture and this was supposed to weed out any weaklings.

My husband retaliated that of course he was a true son and we were merely waiting for an auspicious time for the ceremony. He said as a matter of fact the next full moon in two days time would be his proving time.

I was horrified, struck through with dread. When we got back home it seemed everyone knew and crowded into our house to celebrate the forthcoming ceremony.

My heart was clamouring, I clutched Tristan to me. Only an hour before I had felt such bliss and connection, now I felt as though he was already lost. In my mind the words - don’t do this, don’t do this - kept repeating, but I couldn’t speak, I could barely move.

In this place he was the one thing that was truly mine With him I felt bliss, a deep connection I had never known before. He was everything, without him I was nothing.

I had a true friend in that life, someone from Sparta who was well-off and respected. She took me aside and told me I did not have to go through with this. I begged her to stop it for me. But she said she couldn’t - it was something I must do for myself.

She also said if I did choose to go through with it that I needn’t leave him all night as the guards could be bribed. I could sneak back and spend most of the night with him, keeping him safe and warm.

But I didn't go back for him. I was paralysed into inaction - locked in agony and dread as the hours crawled by. In the early dawn one of the guards came with my baby wrapped in the cloak and shook his head. My son was dead.

Unbeknownst to me, my sister in law had sneaked out and bribed the guards, who thought she was me. She rubbed some cream that contained a poison on his skin and waited till he had stopped breathing, crushing him to her to stop him from crying out.

The only person who is able to console me in any way is my friend who holds me tight and tells me that he loved me and his soul will find its way back to me. She tells me this over and over again and I have some hope.

In the regression we skip to the death point - we find I have had two daughters, neither of them Tristan’s soul.  When they are older, on the anniversary of Tristan’s death, I kill myself by plunging a knife into my chest.

I do not die immediately. My daughters find me and carry me to a bed. They and my husband gather round and beg me not to leave. My husband repeatedly apologises for Tristan’s death. Does he know of his sister’s part in that? Perhaps he suspects.

I am unaware of their love and desperate to find Tristan - as I die I go into the dark, searching, searching for him. A bitter joy in the knowledge that at last I am where he is and will soon be with him.

I go to the underground caverns where we leave our dead, the realm of Persephone, Queen of the Underworld. They are wrapped in cloth with their knees up in the feotal position to await rebirth. I find him on the ledge and clutch him to me.

His spirit appears as a young boy and we are reunited. Together we re-script that life - looking to see what might have happened had I been able to save him. It is a good life and he is a gentle soul, a poet not a warrior. Exploring what might have been (and perhaps what was in a parallel life) is a deep healing experience. Together we go into the light.

                               How soul fragments influence other lives

My soul’s mission for that life was to hold onto that which I loved - to fight for what I loved most in the world and protect it. But I failed to do this - and did not understand what had prevented me from taking action to protect him.

It took some detective work - and fierce intention - to get to the root of this strange inability to protect the child I loved so much - but I finally discovered the cause in an earlier life we had together.

This was an Egyptian life where Tristan was my younger brother. He was exalted, ruling as a mixture of King and God, whilst I was valued only in how I might serve him.

Still only a boy, he was murdered by our aunt. who wanted the throne for her son. According to custom, I had to die so I could be buried with him and go on serving him in the next world.

My last hours were spent in a dark enclosed space, a stone tomb, filled with anger that he did not protect me - feeling abandoned and betrayed and worthless. The last thought in my mind was that in death, as in our life together, he was everything and I was nothing.

Now this was the same belief I had carried through into the life where he was my son. And I flick to to an image of me walking away from putting my baby Tristan on my cloak on the hillside in the full moon ceremony.

Finally I hear the paralysing thought in my mind, so quiet that perhaps I did not even hear it in that life. But it is the tip of the iceberg that reveals the hidden power of rage and hurt that was able to block all my soul intentions, my deep love and connection to my son and render me powerless.

This wounded fragment of my soul from the Egyptian life has driven me to lie my beloved baby down on the hillside and walk away and now she whispers: “He deserves to die.”

                                            Healing past lives

At last I understand what stopped me from saving him. The mystery is solved. Now I can feel how divided I was within and why my guides had cautioned I was not ready for that life.

Compassion and understanding flow in as I connect to the deep hurt and bitterness of the Egyptian girl. Healing occurs as that stuck fragment of soul has a witness to the pain and does not die alone. As we work to complete that life I call in the spirit of her brother. We learn he has always loved her and had tried to protect her.

The Egyptian girl was happy to let go of her dark tomb and go into the light and be with her brother again - Tristan's soul. She realised she had chosen that experience of being in a subservient role and it was part of a much bigger soul exploration.

With this understanding and completion the intensity of grief disappears and becomes a simple sadness.

So now, I understood why Tristan came to me in this life for such a short time - and why I chose to lose him again. I needed to connect to those old griefs and clear the energy between us - and reclaim those stuck fragments of my soul.

Whether we successfully fulfill our soul's intentions or not - we always learn from our experiences and our soul grows. I was not able to protect Tristan as I intended in that life - but I did experience the love and the loss and this has given me compassion and understanding for others who are going through that same experience.

From my past life I learned that when I refuse to feel grief my heart shuts down and I am cut off from others and shut out love itself. In this life I learned to embrace and move through grief - to channel it into a creative celebration of love and to let go of guilt. This is a major soul lesson and one which often takes many lives to master. 

Night Visitor - oil painting by Jay Linden
I also learned we do not have to master our soul's intentions in just one life - we can take as many lives as we need.

Those we love are never lost to us - but are with us in the higher vibration of spirit. We can come into physical lives together again and again.

Animals, who tend to have shorter lives than humans, can even come into the same life more than once. And that is the beauty of this great adventure we are on - love is always with us.

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