Books by Melissa Bowersock

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Past Life Regressions

I am often asked about the hypnotic past life regressions that take place in my novel, Queen’s Gold. In the story, a man witnesses a past life where he found and then hid fabled Aztec gold. The story unfolds as he and others try to find the ancient treasure.

But that’s all fantasy, right?

In a word, no.

Past life regressions are very real and very powerful experiences. Unlike having a psychic tell you that you were Cleopatra or Napoleon (and why do they always pick famous historical people?), under hypnosis the past life unfolds in your own mind—you see it, hear it, feel it. You’re the one telling the hypnotist what you see. Actually people can experience the regression in a variety of ways depending on the mode, or sense, they use most. When I am hypnotized, I see the past life in my mind; others may hear it but not see, or simply feel it. I once hypnotized a woman who described the life to me in very clear detail, but after the session revealed that she didn’t “see” anything, but simply felt it all. Whatever modality the brain uses to review the past life, it still conducts the information to the person in a very real and compelling way.

What if you don’t believe in past lives?

Actually belief is not required. This seems to run counter to so much that we have been taught about spirituality, but it’s true. I’ve had clients who have told me flat out they don’t believe in reincarnation, others that they weren’t sure about it, but all were still been able to review past lives in order to understand issues at work in their current lives. For people who are (pardon the pun) dead-set against reincarnation, I tell them to simply view the past life as a metaphor. Applied to their issues in this manner, much like a dream, it can still tell them vast amounts about who they are and why they do what they do.

So how does hypnosis work?

Hypnosis is a very normal and natural altered state of consciousness, a state we all experience from time to time. Have you ever “zoned out” while watching TV? Or driven to work on “auto pilot?” That’s the same kind of altered state as hypnosis. Some misconceptions about hypnosis are that it’s a magical or eerie state, or that it feels very weird, but it’s actually very normal. Some people wonder if they’ve really been hypnotized at all (like my character in Queen’s Gold), just because it feels like such a normal state and they were expecting something otherworldly. The zombie-type states you see depicted in movies and on TV are pure fantasy. 

Induction is accomplished by the gentle use of my favorite things—words. Using only words, clients are invited to visualize a peaceful and restful place in their minds where they can relax and enjoy the experience. The old “vatch de vatch” technique is silly and unnecessary, if it was ever used at all. You just feel as if you are relaxing in a comfortable chair with your eyes closed. You’re conscious the entire time, aware of everything going on around you as well as what your subconscious is revealing to you. I liken it to watching TV in one room while a radio plays in another; you can shift your awareness back and forth between one (the present time) and the other (the past), concentrating on one but still aware of the other. 

There are several things that hypnosis is not.

It is not mind control. No one can force you to do anything you do not agree to. I found that out personally when a hypnotist asked me to describe a meeting in one of my past lives that I knew was leading to a sexual encounter. I simply told him I was not going to talk about it and we moved ahead to something less intimate. A respectful hypnotist will never push such an issue. Usually, if a hypnotist’s suggestion conflicts with a client’s value system, the client simply brings him- or herself up out of hypnosis; they just “wake up.” I always give my clients a “release mechanism” so they can bring themselves out quickly and easily anytime they feel a need to do that. They’re in complete control at all times. 

So what about those stage hypnotists who make people act like chickens? The “control factor” is still zero. Think about it: we’ve all seen or heard about those stage shows—we all have expectations about what happens there. Does anyone really think that if they volunteer to go on stage that the hypnotist will suggest they do something BRILLIANT? Anyone who volunteers is agreeing to play the part, whether they consciously admit it or not. For some, hypnosis (like alcohol) is a convenient “excuse” to act out and not take responsibility for their behavior, but in reality, no one is forcing them to do anything. 

But back to past life regressions …

People who have never experienced it are inclined to say, “Oh, your mind is just making that stuff up,” and that’s certainly a possibility. I’ve found, however, that when I try to guess what’s going to happen next in a regression, I am more often wrong than right. If I were making it up, wouldn’t I know what was going to happen? In addition, most people agree that they would not choose to fantasize about the incidents that come up. I kid my husband about the fact that he gets killed more than any other person I know. He’s had his throat slit, been clubbed to death, been stoned (literally), and been poisoned. I think if I were making this stuff up, I’d chose less traumatic ways to die.

And speaking of death, experiencing it in a past life regression is much easier and more peaceful than you might expect. I know death scares a lot of people to death (?), but in a regression passing over is usually a very simple and painless matter. As happens in my book, it can be done without pain and without emotion and reviewing it does not scar the present-day person. Actually, in my own experience, I’ve found that reliving past lives and deaths has actually taken away any fear I might have had.

And what about that part where people recognize each other from past lives?

That definitely happens. In all the past lives that I’ve reviewed and helped others to review, this scenario comes up quite often. It seems that we interact with important people in our lives over and over again. The relationships often change, as do the sexes, but the feelings can be constant and vivid. In my past lives, I’ve encountered many from my current life: my husband, my father, my grandmother, my daughter. When we “meet” someone like this in a past life, we are able to recognize them even though they don’t look the same. Apparently their essence, their soul, is visible to us behind the unfamiliar face.

 So is Queen’s Gold a true story? No; it’s pure fabrication.

With the exception of the past life regression. That’s as real as you can get.


  1. I love this! I've experienced 11 previous lives to date through past life regression, discovering a lot about my present self in the process. Recognizing people in those pasts as people in my present both startled and comforted me. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Glad you enjoyed it. I've probably seen about 20 of my past lives, and it never ceases to amaze me. Like you, I've learned a lot about myself and my progress. One of these days I plan to write a book about my regressions, but so far it hasn't made it to the top of the priority list!