By Lucy Roberts from Bartlesville, OK (Rainbow Rose Uploaded by LongLiveRock) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Past Life Experiences: Real, Fake or Genetic Memories

One of the questions that bear pondering continues to come up in the witches forums. Do past lives really exist? When witches talk about their past lives are they discussing an actual life, as we know and describe it, which was previously lived by their soul? Does the soul bring its memories with it when it reincarnates into a new body each time?

One conjecture that has come up recently is the idea of genetic memories as stored in the individual cells. Stories abound of the lab rats trained to run in specific maze patterns. They are bred, and the newborn rats removed from the parents immediately. When this new generation of rats is put through their paces, surprisingly, the scientists found that the new rats learned the same mazes much quicker than their parents. Somehow, they passed on some of the knowledge or experience of the maze patterns prior to the birth of the new generation.

Creepy as it sounds, we have all heard of the flatworm experiments that make these creatures even more mysterious. After training to expect an electric shock, when a bright light was used, the worms were then ground up and fed to other worms. The knowledge was hypothesized as being passed on in part either biochemically or via genetic memory of the ingested worms, because when tested, the worms who had ingested the train worms, reacted to the train much more quickly than the worms who were not fed the trained worms. Some people say that the worms followed the slime trails of those who had gone before. If this is so, then the trained and untrained “next wave” or “next generation” should have been on equal footing by following the slime trail, right?

Some people state an absolute belief that past lives are facts. They say that the soul inside the body is capable of remembering, given proper stimulation, the lives it has lived before and communicating them to the brain of the existing body.

Others are fond of stating that past lives are nothing more than the delusions of troubled people. Other people feel that the person reporting past lives, does so for the express purpose of deceiving others, and as such artificially manufactures past lives.

Another group, believes that the past lives phenomenon is the mind remembering, or extracting the past lives of the previous ancestors who donated DNA to the currently existing body, from the genetic material carried in the existing body. Such as, someone remembering a time when they lived in another country and spoke a different language is nothing more than a great, great, great, grandparent, or some such ancestor who shares DMA with the currently living person.

All the lives that we experience are like the petals of a flower, each different yet linked to create an overall beauty. There is no way to know how to explain the phenomena of past lives. There is no way to know where the memories come from. Each person has to decide for themselves what they believe is behind the memories that people discover and report. Have you tried to find out about your past lives? Where do you think they come from?

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From the Forums: But You Don’t Understand… I am Special! by Kirt A White

~~~Bloggers Note: As usual, Kirt nailed a problem up on the wall for all to see and comment on. His post highlights a problem often seen in the forums and sadly, in real life, too, the problem with fantasy intersecting with reality in not so pretty ways.

For some reason a great many of the interesting posts seem to come from the same handful of people, one of whom is Kirt. He is not a part of SacredHandsCoven and I have never been graced to meet him IRL, but from what I have read of his posts, he strikes me as one of those guys you want to hang out with in a coffee shop all night talking over life, the universe and everything! Thanks for permission to post, Kirt!~~~

I just have to smile and nod sometimes when I see these young kids claiming this power, or that power, and all these titles. Granted some young kids are born exceptionally gifted in magic, but most aren’t. Magic is just like any other talent, it has to be uncovered and encouraged to grow or it isn’t going to work for you. And I’m sorry but the excuse that you started learning several lives ago doesn’t fly either. Most of us have been working magic for many lifetimes and you still have to work at it to recover what you used to know and learn new things. While some of the knowledge and tricks may come flooding back to, the ability to control your energy and direct your spell work is not a natural gift and needs to be practiced. Magic is hard work even for the most gifted. It is not a cure all for your social awkwardness, or a way to get back at mommy and daddy, it is a way of life that has its’ own set of guidelines and rules depending on the path you walk.

Yes, it is possible to learn things from your guardian spirits, or whatever you choose to call them but they cannot teach you everything and they cannot give you a title that will mean anything in the physical realm. If you want that kind of authority and respect, you have to go out, experience the world, and earn it with hard work and possible apprenticeship. Take what you have learned bring it into the physical, claim your power as your own and live the path that has chosen you. That doesn’t mean you have to apprentice yourself to someone. If you want to be a solitary there is nothing wrong with that, but don’t claim titles and achievements that can only earned through apprenticeship in a coven if solitary is your path. Claiming a title or status you may have earned in a previous life doesn’t cut it, being a person of importance in the past has no authority in the here and now. Sad to say, but not everyone is able to learn magic either, true the potential to learn it is in all of us but that doesn’t mean that everyone should learn it. Some people get twisted from it and others lose something.

Don’t confuse your imagination with your spiritual nature, if you “feel” something is a certain way then for god sakes do your research and ask others of similar traditions before making your grand announcement. You might just save yourself some embarrassment and learn a few things you didn’t know. When just starting out it is easy to misread the signs you’re given and start thinking things that are not necessarily accurate. Especially if you are trying to learn on your own. Don’t confuse real magical work with D&D, VtM, Final fantasy or any other game or book series, there may be some similarities in names, but that is about as far as it goes. Some authors are quite learned in their craft and that will show in their writing but a fiction story or game is still just that and if something you see or read strikes you as important, write it down and meditate on it later. Don’t assume that the whole document is divinely inspired or that it is a message just for you to earth up. That rarely happens in mass produced products.

Mythic creatures such as Dragons, the fae, angels, demons, mermaids, etc… no longer have a physical form in this realm. You cannot see one like that anymore, now occasionally you can see their spirit if you are sensitive enough, or are trained and have worked open your mind’s eye but that does not give them a physical shape and the laws of the physical world do not work the same as they do in the spiritual world. Just because your spirit, at one point in its travels, may have been born from a commingling of these energies does not make you in the here and now one of them, you are not physically going to be a genetic mix. In this life, you are human deal with it. Now I myself have spent more lives on four legs than two, my animal nature is very close to the surface, almost like a second personality, and strong enough that I would say I am otherkin. I find this human existence very limited, but this time I am human and a human life is a part of the deal so I must accept that. But I am not going to look back to what was and try to turn this life into something it is not meant to be. That is not striving toward balance and growth.

Witches’ Tools: Glyphs in Modern Magick

Many modern witches have taken to using glyphs in their magickal workings. Some glyphs are shapes and symbols used for thousands of years, some of the most ancient ones date back tens of thousands of years BCE, others may be created for a specific use by the individual  witch. The addition of glyphs to other elements of spell work can increase the power of the spell in many ways.

Think back for a moment; have you ever use a glyph before in your magick? It is entirely possible that you have. The most commonly used and easily understood of glyphs is the simple circle. Many wiccans have used it for decades as a barrier against evil and interruption. Some wiccans and witches on other paths raise a circle to create a sacred space to work out spells, yet some do not even realize that it actually is an ancient glyph in its own right.

Another way that many modern witches commonly use glyphs is in the reading of tarot. Many symbols on the more commonly used decks incorporate glyphs of Italian, Germanic, Hebraic, Nordic origins and more to foretell occult knowledge during readings. These glyphs worked into the foreground and background of the cards act as powerful symbols to help strengthen the meaning or the efficacy of the readings.

Some of the more popular glyphs for modern spell work are the symbols of Elder Futhark. These Nordic runes are used in conjunction with various types of spells every day. They are written as symbols included with spells on parchments, drawn in the air, and carved into spell candles. Some people even carry or wear them as personal talismans. As you can see from some of the spells on this blog, we use glyphs mixed into our magick on a regular basis to help increase the magickal properties of our spells.

Try adding glyphs to your next spell to add an additional level of power to your working and note the difference in the results. I am willing to bet that once you start using glyphs as potent additions you will not want to stop.