Guest post by Jan Scarbrough, author of Timeless
As a novel writer, I like the idea of reincarnation. Writers always explore a character’s past, usually his childhood or early life, to find his “backstory,” his reason for behaving the way he does in the book. The paranormal element of reincarnation adds a complete new dimension to a character’s motivation.
At a state fair many years ago, I was introduced to the concept of reincarnation. My daughter wanted her palm read by a “gypsy” at a medieval faire. I had my palm read too and was surprised when the palm-reader told me I had known my ex-husband in a “former life.” “Cool!” I thought.
The potential of using reincarnation in a book was apparent to me from that first introduction. So, the research began.
One of the first things I did was hear Jenny Cockell speak when she came to my hometown. Jenny Cockell is an English author who wrote a book about reincarnation called Across Time and Death: A Mother’s Search for her Past Life Children. In it she describes her “past life memories” of life as Mary Sutton in early-20th century Ireland. Cockell tells how she researches Sutton’s life and then reunites with Sutton’s children, who were still living. Some of the 80-year old “children” accepted Cockell as the reincarnation of their mother.
By chance I discovered Dr. Brian L. Weiss. His website explains: as a traditional psychotherapist, Dr. Brian Weiss was astonished and skeptical when one of his patients began recalling past-life traumas that seemed to hold the key to her recurring nightmares and anxiety attacks. Using past-life therapy, he was able to cure the patient and embark on a new, more meaningful phase of his own career.
As time went on, my research became more personal. Was the palm-reader’s revelation true? Could I be reincarnated? Could I have really known those around me in a past life? Unlike Jenny Cockell, I’d never had vivid dreams of a past. I didn’t know a psychotherapist who could hypnotize me so that I could reveal my past life. Then I heard a psychic medium on the local radio. I scheduled a “past life reading.”
It wasn’t very satisfying because, of course, I didn’t remember a thing about the past life he described. More interesting was that he communicated to the spirit of my grandfather who stopped by to say hello.
The late Sylvia Browne, James Van Praagh, John Edward, and Theresa Caputo, the Long Island Medium, are well-known psychic mediums. What little I knew about psychic mediums was from reading a few of their books or watching them on TV. Shows like Medium staring Patricia Arquette and Ghost Whisper staring Jennifer Love Hewitt were also popular on television then.
Unlike the television shows, mediums don’t have to work with departed souls or ghosts. A medium can channel energy from angels, spirit guides and teachers. A medium (mediator, go between) is sensitive to vibrations from the spirit world and is able to convey messages from that world.
Then I met Dale Epley.
Dale was seated in a room with other psychics at a “psychic faire.” I paid for a fifteen-minute reading. I felt comfortable with her. I felt a connection. When I discovered she taught continuing education classes at a local university, I took them. Later, I attended her workshops and meditations at her home. I scheduled readings. What Dale told me was “right on.”
Dale doesn’t profess to be a “medium.” In her own words from her website, she tells us:
I am a channel of Michael Darius, a facet of Arch Angel Michael.
It is our endeavor to reach as many people as possible to help them heal mentally, physically, and emotionally.
In one of her workshops, Dale taught us that we are more than what we realize. We are spiritual creatures, after all. And these spiritual entities that protect and guide us are an aspect of the presence of God in our lives. We must not fear exploring the metaphysical aspects of our being.
Author Catherine Ponder in the The Prosperity Secrets of the Ages explains: “Don’t let the word ‘metaphysical’ disturb you. It simply means that which is beyond the physical…it refers to the mental, emotional, and spiritual phases of man’s nature. You are metaphysical. Every time you use your mind to think and your emotions to feel, you are using what lies ‘beyond the physical’ realm of your five senses, and you are being metaphysical. Since you are constantly thinking and feeling, both consciously and subconsciously, you are constantly functioning metaphysically.”
Dale believes we all have an innate ability to communicate with people in spirit. We simply need the desire to learn how and with practice, the more success we will have.
Meditation is an important tool to help us clear away our stress, anger or fear—things that block our ability to channel or that might even make us ill. In her workshops, we practice meditation. Before we begin to work with one of our guides, teachers or Angels, we offer a prayer of protection—something like: “God, thank you for your love and protection.” Always remember to thank the spirit guides for their help.
My favorite way of communication, because it’s the only one I’m good at, is called automatic writing. I simply do a meditation, and then go immediately to a desk where I have paper and pen. I ask questions and then begin to write on paper whatever flows from my hand. Thinking ruins the exercise. It’s amazing to go back later and read what I’ve written.
Psychic medium Blair Robertson has recently written two short ebooks that may explain more about the concept of communicating with spirit—Spirit Guides: 3 Easy Steps To Connecting And Communicating With Your Spirit Helpers and Psychic Development: 3 Easy Steps To Developing Your Intuition.
Dale has also written a book, or more correctly, Dale channeled the book that was actually written by her joy guide Daisy. Dale explains: Our Joy Guides are magical in their efforts to help us in all our adventures, as well as our daily lives. Daisy’s book will help you in many ways to recognize your Joy Guide and the many other Angels, teachers, and guides… but will also help you know how to get to know your own Joy Guide.
Daisy, My Life as a Joy Guide, is part of Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program as well as available in paperback.
Over the years, Dale and I have become friends. I continue to schedule long-distance readings with her, and we sometimes email. I dedicated my contemporary Gothic romance to her. Timeless tells the story of a medium hero reconnecting with a woman from his past life.
So what about reincarnation? We’ve all experienced déjà vu (from French, literally “already seen”). We’ve had the persuasive sensation that an event currently being experienced has been experienced in the past. We’ve met that familiar person with whom we’re totally at ease, as if we’ve known them in the past. I can’t say with authority that I’m a reincarnated soul in a physical body. I only know what Dale and others have described.
But I have a little anecdotal proof, enough to convince me. One little grandson horded coins until his piggybank was stuffed full. Dale tells me it’s because he was a street urchin in a past life, and he doesn’t want to be without necessities ever again. There’s another little grandson who from age three knew about World War II and loved airplanes. Dale tells me he was a young hero during the war, a fighter pilot who sacrificed his life to save others. And then there’s the grandson who is obsessed by the Titanic. He tells his kindergarten teacher he has read the book about the Titanic. Dale believes his past life parents were onboard the ship.
Believe it or not, the concept of reincarnation can play an important role in a novel. As a novelist, I’m intrigued by it. As a spiritual being in a physical body, I’m fascinated about the possibility.
A member of Novelist, Inc., Jan Scarbrough has published with Kensington, Five Star, ImaJinn Books, Resplendence Publishing and Turquoise Morning Press. She writes paranormal Gothic romances and heartwarming contemporary romances with a touch of spice. Her favorite topics are families and second chances and if the plot allows, she adds another passion–horses. Living in the horse country of Kentucky makes it easy for Jan to add small town, Southern charm to her books, and the excitement of a horse race or a big-time, competitive horse show. Join Jan’s mailing list at janscarbrough.com/contact. Follow Jan on Twitter @romancerider.