A New Case of Mother Switching

When someone dies, they can reincarnate in the same family—sometimes only a few months or years after death. The signs that a child is a loved one reborn are often apparent in the young child’s personality, quirky mannerisms, or shocking statements he or she makes about their previous life as a family member. The statements can include details of the death the family never talks about. In Return From Heaven, I describe a number of these amazing, not uncommon, cases that show the different ways parents recognize their child as a relative who had died before the child was born, someone they knew well and loved.

Now, here is a case that just came to me from a participant in one of my recent workshops. Her name is Tricia. It’s an example of how just knowing that souls can reincarnate in the same family can change a person’s perceptions about life, death, and the meaning of reincarnation.

This is how Tricia described it to me in a recent email.

Carol Bowman's book, Return from Heaven, is one of my top five books of all time that have had an impact on my life.  I was reading Chapter 5, called "Mother Switching,” when I had an epiphany of enormous dimensions about my own situation.

My beautiful but mentally-tormented mother, Mary, died when I was 16 years old.  I was married at 19 and gave birth to my only child, Lauren, right after I turned 22.  When my daughter was only a few years old she was already an artist, as my mother had been all her life. She also had very dark hair and very white skin, as had my mother.

My daughter began having nightmares around 3 years of age that never made any sense to my family: In her nightmares she would scream that she was being flushed down a black toilet. These nightmares would wake her up with bloodcurdling screams.  I would run to comfort her.  One night, when she was about four years old, as I was tucking her in, she looked up at me and said, ‘This time you get to be the mommy.’  Her words ran right through me. I immediately called my sister to tell her.

In Return From Heaven, I read the cases of “mother switching” in which a mother dies and is reborn to her own daughter. As I read these stories, I understood that if a person dies traumatically, when they reincarnate they bring back memories of their former life, and sometimes may have nightmares about their former death. Finally, my daughter’s nightmares made sense. My mother died when she fell through ice in a pond and became trapped under the ice.  It would be very dark in a pond under the ice, and I sensed that my daughter could relate this to “water in a black toilet.”


There were other things about their lives, too, which suddenly made sense.  My mother married a man who wore glasses named Edward, who was an English teacher.  My daughter married a man who wears glasses named Ed, who was an English major, writes reviews, and wants to be a teacher one day.

When my mother died, I cried so desperately for her, because she died a death that was as sad as the rest of her life. She had so many responsibilities. She was the oldest girl in her family, and was responsible for the care of her six siblings. By the age of 26, she was the mother of five children. There was never enough money to buy art supplies for her to nourish her talent and love of art.

I always wished I could go back and fix my mother’s life. I always wanted so badly to do a do-over for her. I never realized before now how our intentions can manifest things on an unseen level.  Now I see how this played out with my daughter. Lauren had no siblings to take care of. We always supported her in her artistic endeavors, and she graduated from a prestigious art school. Now, at the age of 30, she just got married and is free to pursue her art—like her grandmother always dreamed of doing, but never could.

I can bless and release now.  Thanks to Carol for writing the book that made it all make sense. Even now, years after this epiphany, seeing how all the pieces fit together still amazes me.”

[I asked Tricia how knowing that her mother is back as her daughter has affected her emotionally, or changed her beliefs. Here is the rest of her story]:

At 16, my mother’s death left me numb, with a sense of anger with God for how unfair her life was for a woman who was named Mary and born on Christmas Day. My mother was tortured by mental illness that greatly affected her life. Then, for a beautiful woman who never intentionally did a wrong thing, who loved and cared for others, to die in such horrible circumstances, made no sense at all. I stopped going to Church. I stopped crying. For over five years, I was numb. Then my daughter was born and I got very emotional and started crying again.

“One night, when my daughter was less than a year old, I was thinking about my mother. I was thinking how my Catholic teachings said that those who committed suicide did not go to heaven. My mother was in a mental hospital at the time of her death. They ruled her death a suicide. I did not believe that was the case, since there was no letter and no intention. And, she did not believe in suicide, and she never liked water and could not swim. She had a prior history of escaping from hospitals; it happened multiple times. She died on the grounds of the hospital, in a pond that was between the hospital and the road to escape. I believe the hospital ruled it a suicide to lessen their liability in the circumstances of her death.

“I was sitting alone on my sofa, wracked with crying and tears. I was thinking about my mother, contemplating whether her soul was saved, if she was still in pain, or worse. I needed to know that she was okay and that this world had some sense of fairness. Suddenly, my steel-bolted door blew open and a rush of calming wind went through my body. I stopped crying, went to the door and looked out. There was no wind blowing. I washed my face and knew she was okay. I knew, in that moment, that even for all those who commit suicide, a loving God would never condemn those who are afflicted with mental illness and cannot make good decisions. The wind that blew through me that night was very special, indeed. It gave me a sense of peace about her soul. We are not alone here.

But, even after that, I still felt that her life had been unfair. It was when I read the story in Return From Heaven, and recognized my mother in my daughter, that I had a sense of peace about everyone’s life. Because, I realized that our souls are able to come back again and experience new and different things.”


More about my book Return from Heaven which features the chapter Mother Switching is here.

Child's Case Going Viral

This case is going viral!  It was first published in Trutz Hardo's book, Children Who Have Lived Before, in 2000, along with two cases from my book, Children's Past Lives.  He featured my son Chase's case and another one from a little girl who had vivid and fond recollections of a past-life grandmother. There have been other published cases of children remembering being murdered, and in some cases, identifying their murderers!  I had one of these cases a few years ago of a two-year-old boy from Ohio who was the reincarnation of his father, who had been murdered a short time before his son was born.  The police were never able to solve the case, but this child remembered the circumstances of his most recent death and gave his mother some clues as to what happened that dreadful night when her husband died.  It's an unusual case because the father was murdered while his wife was pregnant (yes, this is possible), and the child remembered details about the murder no one knew, including the name of the man who last saw the victim alive.  The mother didn't wish to pursue this with police, or want me to go public with the case, because she felt it would be too traumatic for her son and her family.

You can find more amazing cases of children's memories in my two books, and current cases unfolding on my Past Life Forum, which you can enter through this website.

3-Year-Old Remembers Past Life, Identifies Murderer and Location of Body

By Tara MacIsaac, Epoch Times | May 17, 2014


A 3-year-old boy in the Golan Heights region near the border of Syria and Israel said he was murdered with an axe in his previous life. He showed village elders where the murderer buried his body, and sure enough they found a man’s skeleton there. He also showed the elders where the murder weapon was found, and upon digging, they did indeed found an axe there.

In his book, “Children Who Have Lived Before: Reincarnation Today,” German therapist Trutz Hardo tells this boy’s story, along with other stories of children who seem to remember their past lives with verified accuracy. The boy’s story was witnessed by Dr. Eli Lasch, who is best known for developing the medical system in Gaza as part of an Israeli government operation in the 1960s. Dr. Lasch, who died in 2009, had recounted these astounding events to Hardo.

The boy was of the Druze ethnic group, and in his culture the existence of reincarnation is accepted as fact. His story nonetheless had the power to surprise his community.

He was born with a long, red birthmark on his head. The Druse believe, as some other cultures do, that birthmarks are related to past-life deaths. When the boy was old enough to talk, he told his family he had been killed by a blow to the head with an axe.

It is customary for elders to take a child at the age of 3 to the home of his previous life if he remembers it. The boy knew the village he was from, so they went there. When they arrived in the village, the boy remembered the name he had in his past life.

A village local said the man the boy claimed to be the reincarnation of had gone missing four years earlier. His friends and family thought he may have strayed into hostile territory nearby as sometimes happens.

The boy also remembered the full name of his killer. When he confronted this man, the alleged killer’s face turned white, Lasch told Hardo, but he did not admit to murder. The boy then said he could take the elders to where the body was buried. In that very spot, they found a man’s skeleton with a wound to the head that corresponded to the boy’s birthmark. They also found the axe, the murder weapon.

Faced with this evidence, the murderer admitted to the crime. Dr. Lasch, the only non-Druze, was present through this whole process.

My Favorite Doylestown

I always look forward to giving my past-life regression workshops, but one coming up in Doylestown, PA on May 31 is very special.  What makes it special is that this is the first time in a few years I've done a workshop in Doylestown, and it's sponsored by my friend, Susan Duval. My history with Susan goes back to 2002 when she first invited me to do a workshop with her.  At the time, Susan was brave in starting what she hoped would be a continuing seminar series on topics of health and spirituality.  I was her second speaker.  At the time, my second book, Return From Heaven, had just been published and I was teaching around the U.S., Canada, and Europe, but had only done a few workshops in the Philadelphia area.  I was thrilled when Susan invited me to do a workshop in my own back yard (almost—Media, PA, is an hour away).

Over the next ten years I did many more events with Susan.  They were always special times, both because Susan is a joy to work with, and because of the wonderfully curious people she attracts to her events.

As in all my workshops, I do a group regression each time.  A group regressions is only a sample of the full experience of a private session.  Still, some people described having strong positive experiences that changed them—right then and there in the group regression.   I think the comfortable, healing environment that Susan creates for her workshops has something to do with the quality of the experience.

The group regression is the climax of the workshop.  Before that I explain the principles of regression therapy with adults, and tie it to my research of young children's spontaneous past life memories.   Some told me at the time how much my true stories of children’s memories meant to them—they validated what they were seeing in their own children or grandchildren, or what they had experienced when they were a child and never forgot.

I'm still in touch with many of the people I've met at Susan’s workshops over the years, and many have come for private sessions in my office in Media to continue their exploration.

Now I look forward to seeing new faces and making new friends.  It's always a treat for me to share what I've learned over the past twenty-five years about the connection between our past lives and our present life.  And it's a pleasure to be a part of one of Susan’s events again.

The workshop is Saturday, May 31st, 2014 from 10:00-12:30 at 1 Scout Way, Doylestown, PA 18901.  The cost of the workshop is $55. 

For more information and to register, contact Susan Duval at Sduval53@aol.com or by phone at: 215-348-5755


Workshop In Doylestown, PA

I will be returning to Doylestown on Saturday, May 31, 2014, to do a comprehensive workshop on past lives, covering the fascinating spontaneous past lives of children to regression therapy with adults. We will do a group past life regression, a good way to "get your feet wet" and experience a past life memory yourself.  To register :  http://www.susanduvalseminars.com or call Susan at 215-348-5755.

Must-see interview with Leiningers and me

Suzanne Stratford, from FOX TV-Cincinatti, put together these interviews she did with the Leiningers and me.  It's a great short piece that talks about this amazing case I started working on in 2001.  I spent years working with the Leiningers, at first guiding them when James had his terrifying nightmares, and then reassuring them along the way that what they were experiencing was real, and then standing back in awe as they discovered who their son had been in a previous life. [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dD8ldjdW8Cc]


Check out their book, Soul Survivor, for more of their story.   This is a wonderful story about rebirth and the healing of a soul.

Synchronicity and the Samurai

Samurai_hand_colored_c1890I had an amazing past life regression with Carol in 2007. As the regression started, I was looking into a Japanese room from the outside, from a garden. I could see people mourning in an elegant space in deep brown reds and gold. The images were clear, but I had little sense of my physical self. Carol asked me to look at myself: my feet, my clothes. I then realized that I had no body; I was a bodiless orb, floating. I knew I was watching my own funeral. I knew that I had been a popular samurai. As a samurai, killing another man was elevated to a spiritual art. In that life, I found my core, a place of clarity that enabled me to remove another’s life and retain my own, and in that, know a deep inner purity. After realizing that state of clarity, and repeatedly reaching it, I no longer felt a need to kill. Others wanted me to continue, but I had to abandon the killing.

In 2011, soon after the tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan, I volunteered to do clean-up work in Otsuchi. I had never been drawn to doing disaster work before.

One day, when the rains were too heavy to continue working, the group I was with decided to go to Chuson Ji, a temple not far out of our way. It had just been registered as a World Heritage Site that week. I really did not want to go to yet another temple or shrine. I was cold, wet, and tired. The earth was still shaking every now and then. And things were so muddy. But, I had little to say about the choice. I politely went along.

When we arrived, we walked around and saw gift shops, big trees, beautiful walks, and small buildings. We went into a museum building. The displays were interesting. Then one of the display cases caught my attention. There was a picture of the room I had seen in my regression! I stood staring at it. There was a description of the room in Japanese, so I couldn’t read it. I walked up a hill and arrived at the room I had seen in the photo in the museum. It was the same room I had seen in my regression. I got some headphones with an English translation which described the room. I learned that the space contained the remains of some of the samurai leaders. I started shaking intensely. I felt that the present me was in the same space as a mummified body of my former self! I suddenly felt confirmation and connection to the life I had seen in the regression. Being in that place, and seeing the room, made my story feel real. Had I not been in the room, and felt what I did, the images and feelings from the regression would have been more like an unlikely dream. I realized that the man I saw in the regression was part of me, and that I can connect with his strength.

Nightmare from the Past

One client came to me because she was haunted by recurring nightmares that had begun in childhood and continued to bother her into her forties. These nightmares were always the same: She was surrounded by a group of children; she was telling them to be quiet, feeling that she had to protect them from some looming danger.  She would awaken feeling very frightened and bad. We focused on these dream fragments in the regression and here's what she experienced:

She saw herself as a sixteen-year-old boy in poor clothing, in a ravaged, devastated landscape. She felt it was in Italy. She said that a priest had entrusted a group of 10 children to this boy, who was charged with hiding the children in a bombed out church. Some of the children were whimpering, and they were found. The boy was tortured to death; as he died, he felt guilty about not fulfilling his duty to protect the children. When my client  went through the past life death in that altered state, she realized that as that boy, he had made the ultimate sacrifice of giving his life for the sake of the other children.  My client was finally able to release the guilt that she had carried into this lifetime, which came up in her dreams of her life as that boy at the time of his traumatic death.

This client reported that after the regression, she never had the nightmares again.

Sometimes  past life dreams are clues to unresolved issues that have carried forward into our current lives. By using  dream images and feelings as an entry into the unconscious, and bringing up the past life memory, these unfinished feelings  can be resolved.

My Past Life Dream

Vivid, memorable dreams or nightmares may be past life memories. Some of the most vivid past life recall I've ever had was through dreams, some that began in childhood, and others that emerged as an adult. I distinctly remember having a recurring dream throughout childhood: I saw myself as a woman in 1940s style clothing, wearing a saucy little hat, a coat down to my knees, and a brown shoulder-bag. As this woman, I was walking down a broad boulevard in a city; there was a stone wall along the side of the street. I remember having this dream often. I remember thinking as a child that this woman was probably who I was going to be when I grew up. During my mid-thirties, when I started getting sick with lung problems, this dream progressed: I saw myself as this woman approaching a large, palatial building. I entered the building and saw several soldiers behind a table. I was arguing with them in German, a language I don't speak, and have had little exposure to. I was asking questions, and they were not giving me answers. I saw myself walking away from the building with a posture of dejection; my head hung low. When I woke up, I tried to utter the words I heard in German in my dream, but they were gone.

About a year later, I saw the same images when I did my first past life regression. During the regression, the dream images expanded and I got a fuller story of my life as a woman during WWII, in which I died. I believe that the images and the memories of that lifetime were so charged, and so vivid, that they came up very early in life through my dreams.

When I work with clients, I always ask about recurring dreams or nightmares. Many of them tell me about recurring, vivid dreams from childhood in which they appeared to be in another time, as someone else, in a dangerous or difficult situation. The dreams usually begin and end at the same point. Some feel that they are about to die in the dream.


Past Life Regressions by the untrained

Here is a piece I wrote for http://www.reincarnationforum.com, which I started in 1997. Since then Deborah Barr has been charged with guiding a diligent volunteer team in responding to hundreds and hundreds of posts about reincarnation and past lives. There is a wealth of information on reincarnation on the Forum. I encourage you to check it out. The following post is in response to questions as to whether one can access past life memories through CD's or with the help of someone who has no training in past life regression--usually a friend who wants to "experiment". This does not necessarily apply to responding to children's spontaneous memories, as I describe in my books. That is a special case, since the memories surface on their own in early childhood. This is about prompting unconscious memories, mostly with adults. Here's my response:

Q.: What about regressions by the untrained? I know that many people experiment with self regression, having no experience other than following the example in books or from CD's. If they are lucky, they have some experience which might be beneficial, or a fragment of a past life comes through that is interesting. And, if they are really lucky, they gain some insight or actually resolve something in their present lives.

I have also heard from people who are not trained in past life regression techniques who guide regressions with others and get backed into a corner when they run into some difficult material (trauma) in the past life or PRESENT life and aren't quite sure what to do with it. That might cause some problems when you leave someone hanging with images, feelings, and even body sensations that they can't process or are uncomfortable for them.

My feeling is that past life regression can be very powerful in accessing unconscious material. If you run into something that relates to trauma in this life or a past life, you better know what to do to help the person move through it. If not, it's like leaving an open wound that might need suturing; it might heal on it's own or become worse.

I've had clients come to me who said they worked with a past life regression therapist who cut the session off mid-way because they were out of time. Or, they go through a past life experience without processing the death or trauma. I think that's irresponsible, unprofessional, and not helpful to the client.

There are certain aspects of a regression that need to be considered and worked with: understanding trance states, getting to the heart of the past life story, processing the thoughts and feelings around the death, sometimes re-framing the experience while in an altered state, and making the connections between the past life and present life. We do this so the client can "make peace" with the past life, forgive others or self, and release emotional and physical impressions from that life so they can let it go. By missing some of these steps, you may not resolve anything, and could make things worse by opening up the issue and not showing the client a way through.

If you want to explore past lives yourself, great. Read about it. Try it through meditation or with one of the CD's out on the market now. Often the best past life material comes up spontaneously in dreams or waking visions. These spontaneous experiences can actually heal us and give us great insight, and often prompt us to want to explore more.

Past life regression with others involves techniques that have been developed by therapists over the last 40 years or so here in the West. If you are going to regress others, you should know the territory first and be ready to take some responsibility for what happens when you start exploring the unconscious.

These are my feelings about the issue. I speak from 20 years of experience.

Almost Made It

When my son was five, we had seen Abe Lincoln on TV one night.  When I was putting him to bed that night he asked, "Mom, am I going to die by getting shot?"   I answered, "No, honey, you'll probably just get old and sick and die one day." Suddenly, his face lit up and he smacked himself on the side of the cheek and exclaimed, "Mom, I've already done that!  I died once."  I said, "You what?"  And he repeated, "I died once."

I wondered where this was leading so I asked him, "How Jamie?"   He said, "I was a very old man and I was on a ship, a wood ship with a tall pole.  We had just gotten to America and everybody else had gotten off.  But, can you believe it? I just died before I got there."

I asked him where he had come from.  He said, "It was so far away, somewhere across the sea. It was so cold, and we didn't have anything to eat and we were so hungry.  And they shot me before I could get off the boat."

I said, "And you remember this?"  He said, "Yeh, and everybody else got to get off in America and I just died."

I knew enough about past lives at that point to draw him out, but it was unsettling hearing him talk about his death.  But I realized that he was recalling a past lifetime with great clarity, and I let him talk.  His memory seemed to be triggered by what he saw on TV, when he heard that Lincoln had been shot.  He sounded a little disappointed when he said he never made it to America, but I assured him that he had finally made it.

The Sound of German Music

When my son was two years old, and barely putting sentences together, he spent the night at his German grandparents' house. They liked to sit on the patio in the evening, and Opa would play the harmonica while Oma sang. On this particular night, my son started crying and told his grandparents that he needed to see me.   This was unusual, since he often stayed there with them, and was always happy to go. They tried to calm him, but he just sobbed. Oma brought him home, and I was surprised to see my son at the door in his pajamas, sobbing. I took him from Oma, but he wouldn't stop crying, even though I rubbed his back and asked him to stop.  I sat him down on a kitchen chair, and kneeling in front of him I asked him why he was crying.

He said,  "I fell down a mountain and I lost you."   I was really confused that this was why he would be crying, so I said, "What mountain?  When were you on a mountain?"  He seemed to be a bit perturbed that I didn't  already know, and said, "I fell down a mountain and lost you a long time ago when I was big!"  I asked, "A long time ago?"  He replied, "Yes!  When I was big!"

So I said, "What happened after you fell down?"  He said, "I was hurt, and my friends came and took me up home, and I lost you."  When he said "they took me up home," he made a wavy hand movement like he was going upwards.   This produced a new round of intense sobbing.

So I took him off the chair, put him on my lap, and said, "If you did fall down a mountain, it was a long time ago, and now you are here, and so am I, and we are together again.  So you didn't  lose me at all." He suddenly stopped crying, as if he realized I was right.   He sort of blinked and cleared, and then he nodded, and suddenly he was all right.  I asked him if he wanted to go back with Oma now, and he said no, he wanted to stay with me.

I don't know who he was to me then.  But I do know that as a child, I had a recurring dream of escaping some terror through the mountains, through very bad weather.  Something very trying was happening. In these dreams, my heart would feel as if it were breaking, or squishing in my chest, and I would wake up screaming. I would have this dream all the time.  I actually had to tell myself not to dream about it, because I was really tired of the terror.  The dreams finally stopped when I was around eight years old.

I think that the German music, some familiar song, made my son remember that lifetime.  I even thought maybe we were Jews escaping across the Alps. I actually looked into that possibility, but from what I read, that trek didn't sound all that dangerous. But who knows what could have happened in bad weather.

What I do know is that I am now here in Canada with my son, probably living the easiest life I have ever lived.  And no one can tell me reincarnation doesn't happen.

Anything can trigger a past life memory in a young child: a sight, a sound, a smell, a familiar-looking place--anything.  In this case, the sound of German music triggered a memory.

The mother responded in the best way to her son's experience:  She listened to him, asked open-ended questions, and allowed him to tell her what happened, without judgment. She also assured her son that whatever happened was a long time ago, and that they were together again.  Sometimes, with very young children, acknowledging the child's experience, and then clarifying what was past, and what is now present, works wonders.  I have seen this happen again, and again.

I think it's amazing that the child's mother had recurring dreams that dove-tailed the child's memory.  I believe this confirmed the reality of her own dreams and her son's memory.  What a gift it is to know that even in the face of death and tragedy, souls can be re-united, as in this case.

"When I Was Your Father"

My husband, who is now 45 years old, lost his father to a massive heart attack twenty-three years ago, when his father was 51. Obviously, this traumatic event left my husband Fred deeply scared and angry, with feelings of resentment and feeling cheated of a life with his father. When our fourth (and last) child was born, he was a boy, and we decided to name him after Fred's dad, Robert, as a tribute to his memory. Since my late father-in-law died 23 years prior to Robert's death, he knew almost nothing about him, other than they shared the same name and that he died young. Robert may have seen an occasional picture or two, but there weren't many photos taken back then. Anyway, before our son Robert had ever even saw a photo, or knew what a heart attack was, or even fully understood the concept of death, he made some interesting remarks.

Ever so matter-of-factly, on several occasions, around the age of two, when he was just starting to form complete sentences, he started claiming that he was my husband's father. He would snuggle up with his dad and stare into my husband's eyes and tell him that he was his father. He would sit on his lap and say, "You know I'm your daddy.  Remember when you used to sit on MY lap like this?"

The first time he said it, we thought it was a little strange but mostly just a cute remark. We simply chalked it up to a "Well, that's a weird one!"  But this one-time incident became a regular routine, each time with slightly more details. For instance, when he was four, my husband and I took him to the park. While my husband was pushing Robert on the swings, he said, "Daddy, remember when I was YOUR daddy, and I pushed YOU on the swings?"  As he got older there would be other instances when we would be driving somewhere or at an event and Robert would recall specific places and events from Fred's life with his father. Robert would say to Fred, "Remember when YOU were little and I took YOU here?" The really odd thing is that most of these places and/or events were ones Robert never personally experienced himself. Therefore, it's not as if he could have been recalling something HE actually did with his own father (my husband, Fred). Little episodes such as these continued throughout Robert's  life. Now, at age ten, every now and then he will look at an old photo of my husband's father and say something like, "I remember the day this picture was taken, I was at my moma's (his great-grandmother's) house."   Fred and I will just look at each other when he Robert makes one of these remarks.

I asked Robert today to tell me what he remembers about being Daddy's dad. He just laughed and said, "I was only kidding, Mom."  However, when he was very young, between two and five, he hardly seemed to be kidding at all. His statements were so sincere, honest, serious, and too matter-of-fact. Perhaps he is just forgetting.

I should mention that we are Catholic and though not totally devout, we do attend Mass occasionally, pray often, celebrate all of the traditional Catholic holidays and practice the Sacraments. The Catholic Church does not believe in nor encourage the exploration of reincarnation. Still, we can't help but wonder.  Additionally, we do not feel that we would be betraying our Catholic beliefs if we are open to evolution, past lives, reincarnation and/or other such psychic or paranormal beliefs. We believe it is possible to believe in both philosophies, without going against and/or compromising the religious beliefs with which we were raised.

"I Died in a Fire"

Here's another fascinating case from my archives.

I wanted to share the story of my son David,  who was born in February of 2000.

I was sitting on the couch watching David play when he was around three years old.  He suddenly stopped playing  and walked over to me and said, "Mom did you know that I was a fireman?"  I said, "No.  I did not know that."  He continued, " I was a firefighter and I died in a fire and it was very hot and I could not breathe."   I asked him again and he repeated what he had said, word for word.

Later that week he came into the living room and showed me what he had done:  He had taken apart his Buzz Light Year space ship cover, which was clear plastic, and placed it inside his plastic firefighter's hat as a face shield.  After that  he would not wear his fireman's hat unless he was also holding the face shield. I finally taped it inside the helmet so he could play and use both of his hands, rather than always holding the shield with one of his hands.

I began to see how some of David's other behaviors might relate to his dying in a fire.  He never liked hot food, or even slightly warm foods; he would simply not put them in his mouth.   Now,  at the age of six, he is getting better about foods that are slightly warm.  He has also always been very careful about bath water and anything that could be hot to the touch.

I was fortunate enough to have my son tell me early on about his past life and how he died.  I felt that I could understood his behaviors better.   Because of that,  I never forced him to eat hot food and have been very careful about the bath water.

He does not seem to remember any more about his life as a fireman.  But I still keep his fireman's hat with the shield on it.   I am sending you a photo of David with his fireman's hat and shield.   I think the expression on his face says it all.

DavidB2 DavidB1

Falling From the Sky

My second book, Return From Heaven, is devoted to cases of reincarnation in the same family.   This is a common phenomenon:  A family member or a loved one dies and reincarnates in the same family.  The surviving family members recognize the new child in the family as the loved one who died through the child's statements, specific, quirky mannerisms, behaviors, physical symptoms related to the death, and other personality traits that cannot be attributed to heredity.  Most people are surprised to learn that the turn-around can be very fast--even less than nine months. Here's a great case a grandmother sent me:

My grandson Alex was born in May of 2000. From the time he was born, he would wake from sleep and thrash, scream, and kick like he was in a panic. He acted as if he was terrified, and for the first ten minutes or so it was if he didn't know who his family was. He would not respond when we tried to sooth and comfort him and get him to calm down. He also frightened easily, and mechanical noises, like the vacuum cleaner, made him scream with fear.

I told my daughter Sally, Alex's mom, that I thought this was caused by some sort of trauma from a past life, and that we had to be extra patient with him. I told Sally that I thought Alex would eventually overcome his fears if he felt loved and cherished. That was our mission as parents and grandparents.

Alex started talking about his past life when he was three. He told his family that he used to live in Florida and he talked about fishing. (Alex and his family do not live in Florida and they don't fish.) A few months after making those remarks, he told a family friend that he had died outside. A few weeks later, when he spent the night with me, he told me that he had died in an airplane that burned up, like in a fireplace, and then it fell out of the sky.  I was shocked, to say the least, but tried not to seem overly concerned to Alex. When his parents came to pick him up the next morning I told them what he had said. Sally was interested. But Richard, Alex's dad, didn't  really want to talk about it because it brought back painful memories for him. His own father, Sam, had died in a plane crash in 1980 when Richard was only eleven. Richard never talked about his father's violent death in front of Alex.

Sam had been a businessman who had lived in Florida. He had owned several yachts and an airplane and regularly made business flights around the U.S. On this particular and fatal flight, he was traveling with his business partner, his partner's young son, who was seven, and a pilot who flew the plane. They had just made a flight to Philadelphia and were flying home. The plane was found crashed and burned in the mountains of Tennessee. It had crashed during a snowstorm. All the occupants of the plane had been killed. Sam's wallet was returned to his wife and it was soaked with blood.

When Alex was four he began talking more about the airplane crash with his mother, but only a few sentences here and there. Then one day, while was was driving in the car with his mother, Alex began to tell her about the plane crash. The details he related were so vivid she began to believe that the story was true, not just his imagination. Plus, so many of the details mirrored what she had heard about the airplane crash that had killed Sam, the father-in-law she had never met. Some of the details Alex told her were unusual, and they involved aspects about the crash she did not know.

Alex told her that when he died he had been a grown man, was married, and had four children. (Sam had been married, and had four children; Richard was his youngest.) Alex said that the plane burned as it fell and hit a mountain. He said the people inside the plane were screaming as the fire burned them. He said there was a “big boy” sitting in the seat beside him who had red hair. This did not make sense to Sally, because Richard had once told her that a young boy of three was on that plane and that the boy had been the son of Sam's business partner. But Alex was insisting that he was a big boy.

Sally questioned Richard about these details when Alex was not around, asking if the boy who died had red hair. At first Richard flatly refused to believe Alex's story. He said his dad's plane did not burn before it crashed, and that the boy was only three, so he wasn't big. He also didn't know if the boy had had red hair. Plus he said that he had never heard anyone say that the boy was sitting next to his dad when they crashed. Sally suggested that they call Richard's older sister, Beverly, who had been twenty at the time of the crash and would know more details.

Richard called Beverly who lives in Florida, and related to her what Alex had said. Beverly got upset and started screaming and crying. She told Richard that their father and the other people on the plane had been burned badly; the plane caught fire as it plummeted to the Earth. They did not tell Richard this at the time of the accident because he was only eleven years old. They were trying to spare him as many of the horrible details as they could. Beverly said that the little boy was older than Richard thought; he was seven years old and he was indeed a redhead. (So to four-year-old Alex, a seven-year-old would have looked like a big boy.) She also verified that the boy had been sitting in the seat next to Sam, not his own father, as Alex had claimed.

Richard was very upset when he found out that his dad had been badly burned before the crash, and that he had suffered terribly before he died. The news came as a great shock.

Richard then, for the first time, told us about the last day he saw his dad alive. His dad was flying out later that afternoon and was packing to leave on his trip. As his father was leaving, his mom decided to take all four kids to get an ice cream. Richard said he remembered his dad kissing him in the driveway and telling him he loved him very much. Richard climbed into the car and watched his dad wave good-bye as they drove away. He never saw his father again.

Shortly after this,  I was babysitting Alex one night. I was putting him in the tub when he turned and looked up at me with huge, sad eyes and said, "Grammie, one time I burned up and fell out of the sky. I was covered with boo-boos and I died."  He then started to cry. He sobbed and sobbed. I held him close and told him not to worry, that it happened a long time ago and he is now safe.

Since that day, he loves to tell me about "when I lived in Florida." He talks on and on about how he owned a boat and loved to go out on the ocean, sit in the sun, and catch fish and eat them. That is exactly how Sam had spent his spare time. He sailed the Caribbean, taking his family on long trips to the islands, catching fish and eating them! Unfortunately, now Alex belongs to a family that does not go fishing, we don't live near water, and we actually hate fish and never eat it. Alex is always begging his mom to buy him some fish to eat.

There are other similarities between Alex and his grandfather Sam. Both love to dance. And, according to Beverly, Alex behaves towards his other grandmother, Laura, who was Sam's wife, the same way Sam did. When Laura tells him to do something, Alex puts his hands on his hips and says, "Nana, no!" in this commanding voice that he doesn't use with anyone else. He also told his mother that he used to be married to Nana.  Beverly believes that Alex is her father reborn. She says that there is no other way that he could have known all the facts of the accident, and some of his behaviors are just like her father's.

Body memory

Physical marks, deformities, or symptoms on a body can correspond to past life fatal wounds, injuries, or disease.  This is an intriguing story I just received:

When my daughter was about three years old we drove by the hospital where she was born. I said, "Look, you were born there. She replied, "Yes, I know.  I was shot, a policeman brought me there, I died, and then I was born!"   At the time I just said,  "I'm glad you're my baby,"  and dropped it.   We talked about it here and there, but didn't focus on it.

A few months ago, about four months after her 16th birthday, she saw that she had round, light grey marks on her chest between her breasts.Because it didn't itch, and was not bothering her in any way besides the discoloration, we didn't focus on it.  For about two weeks after the marks appeared, when we went out for our family walks in our high end, very safe neighborhood, she would get this overwhelming fear that someone was waiting in a car to shoot at her, and us.  My husband and I let her know we were as safe as could be. Soon after she mentioned the marks to me and her fear of being shot, the marks began to disappear.  It seemed the marks were going away as her fear of harm was.

Sometimes, a fatal, traumatic injury can leave its traces in a future life as birthmarks, birth defects, or other physical symptoms  on the new body. Dr. Ian Stevenson wrote extensively about these physical links between lives in his tome, Reincarnation and Biology.

I know from working with children's spontaneous memories that in rare cases once a child talks about a traumatic past life death, and expresses the emotions around the death, physical symptoms relating to the death can clear up.  When my son was five years old, he recalled a battlefield death when he had been wounded in the wrist; after talking about it, a chronic eczema on that same wrist, which had not responded to medical treatment, cleared up completely. There are many documented cases (including my own) of physical symptoms clearing up after the past life story is recalled, expressed, and "processed".

This story above could be a similar case.  Although the marks were not present at birth, as they are in some cases, this child recalled her past life death of being shot at age three.   (Most likely, she was shot in the chest.) When the body memory surfaced at age sixteen, the fear about her traumatic death surfaced at the same time. Perhaps she died in her previous life around the age of sixteen. There's no way to know for sure without more specific details. But the fact that the marks disappeared after she talked about her fear, and was reassured by her parents that she is now safe, makes me think that these marks were related to the past life death she remembered at age three.

Visual trigger: a Native American deity

Here's an interesting little case, fairly typical of the cases I receive from parents.   Although I describe it as "typical", each story is unique in how it affects the child and parents, and what it shows us about these memories. This child's memory was triggered by the image of a Native American deity.


We have a clay artwork of a figure of an Indian playing the flute. My daughter, now six, used to show us this figure when she was two years old; she called it "Kopelnik". We could not ascribe anything to this, and decided then that she made up a name for it.

Last night I was at the Phoenix Big Sky Airport and was browsing around a souvenir shop. I noticed this figure, and to my amazement learned that it was called  Kokopelli, a southwestern Indian deity.

I am an academician in engineering and I am largely a skeptic about such things. However, there is no way I can explain this other than a past life experience. Our kids watch very little TV at home, only Russian cartoon movies for an hour per week.  (I am Turkish and my wife is Russian.)  So it is impossible, when she was two, that she could have picked it up from elsewhere. Also, as clear from the above, my wife and I were clueless about the Indian culture so we could not have possibly fed this piece of information to the child through second-hand conversation. We saw the clay figurine when we were in Phoenix before we got married and hung it on the wall.  It was just a piece of art we saw and liked. Otherwise we are not enthusiasts of Indian culture.

Other than this single episode, she did not tell us anything specifically about a past life experience. However, she loves her toy horse, and  when she was four or five she made a totem poll- like set-up and worshiped it.

Then we thought this was some imaginative play, but now I think this was the emergence and re-creation of past experiences.

Soul Survivor--the book by Bruce and Andrea Leininger

In 2001 I got an email from a mother in Louisiana, Andrea Leininger.   She told me that she had just gotten a copy of my first book, Children's Past Lives, and she believed that her two-year-old son, James, was having nightmares about a past life.  He would wake up screaming about 3 or 4 times a week about his plane crashing. At the time, I thought their story was interesting, but not that different from other cases I had seen.  I told her to follow the guidelines in my book for helping James work through his nightmares, and let me know if anything interesting developed.  I filed her email away with hundreds of others.

In 2003, I was approached by a producer for ABC News, Shalini Sharma, who wanted to do a segment on children's past lives. Shalini's family was from India, and reincarnation was a part of their philosophical and religious beliefs. She wanted to expose American audiences to the phenomenon, and thought that a child's war memory would be just the ticket for one of their news shows. While going through literally hundreds of emails looking for a TV-worthy case, I came across Andrea's email and contacted her to see if James's story had progressed, or if his nightmares had gone away. Little did I know how extraordinary  James's case would become.  It turned out to be the most detailed case of an American child's memory I had seen in twenty years of doing this research.

I encouraged Andrea and her husband, Bruce, to write a book about James's memories.  Finally, after three years, they were ready to do it.  I introduced them to my wonderful agent, Al Zuckerman, and their book, Soul Survivor, will be released at the end of May.  They will be appearing on "Good Morning America" on June 8th to tell their story.  Tune in!

I encourage anyone has any interest in reincarnation, past lives, or what happens after we die to read it.


Here's a link to their website:  http://www.soulsurvivor-book.com/

You'll be hearing more about this case from time to time.

IN-DEPTH DISCUSSION Here's the link to a long-running discussion about the Leininger case that started a few years ago in the Past Life Forum. There's actually a whole section devoted to the Leininger case on the Forum, including the older thread, and the foreword I wrote for the book.   Go directly to that section by clicking here.

Chronic pain relief

Here's an example of what can happen as a result of a past life regression. This is from one of my adult clients:

"As you may remember I did two regressions in Nov, 2006 and Feb, 2007. Both of these have made dramatic changes in my life. I had decided to do past life regression because I had a short, very vivid vision, in the middle of the day, of being hit in the middle of my back with a tomahawk. Since I was having an ongoing intense pain in my back in that area, which had suddenly appeared about a year before and could not find relief, I made an appointment.

"In that first regression, I did not regress to the tomahawk incident, but instead went to a cold , damp debtor's prison in England in the 18th century where a woman and two children were near death from starvation. In watching from above, but feeling the woman's thoughts, I knew I was this woman- Catherine- who had been abandoned and had not able to provide for her children. She was dying and feeling very, very sad and especially guilty for the circumstances. It developed that she was also pregnant and she and all three children died as I watched. I slowly moved away from the images and came forward in time,  back to this time. In talking over the regression with you, I could see how this past life had impacted my present life. I have always been a rescuer of people with problems and tried to help, often to the expense of my own health.

"In the weeks that followed, I had many more insights and understanding as to why I am the person I am,  and why I respond to situations as I do. But something was still nagging at my mind and at my back.

I came for another regression in February and this time I immediately regressed to a log cabin in New York in early 1800s.  I was dying, alone, from a tomahawk wound. My husband and two children had been killed by the Indian attack. Again ,as in the first regression, I was dying and feeling very guilty because I had been the one who wanted to move from the civilized regions to the frontier and my family had been slaughtered because of my choices. This time, however, as I looked down on this scene and understood this woman's thoughts, I had three figures beside me- the deceased husband and two children on his other side. Without speaking, I knew that he did not hold his wife responsible and only loved her. With your guidance, I realized that this person was indeed my present husband and one of the children was my grandson.

"As you can imagine, these events have had a profound effect on my thoughts and attitudes, and the back pain has totally disappeared! I have become more comfortable with myself."

Past Lives and non-linear digressions

Welcome friends and strangers, My husband has been hounding me for months about starting a blog.  Being techno-impaired, (I actually once picked up the telephone thinking it was a remote for the TV)  I balked, resisted, fretted and said, "NO way." And after writing two books about children's past lives for commercial publication, which is a grueling process of writing, editing, writing, editing, writing, editing  (I think you get the idea), I was hesitant to start another writing project.

But recently my dear friends, Trish and Rob MacGregor, started a  blog on synchronicity as a tie-in for a new book they're writing.  (Check it out: Synchronicity Blog). I liked reading their stories so much that it convinced me that having a blog could actually be fun.   It wouldn't require lots of thought, work, or editing.  Perfect!

I've been working as a past life therapist for adults for more than 20 years, and spending as many years doing research of children's memories.  I constantly get new stories  I'd love to share with others.  Occasionally, I have moments of insight into the process of reincarnation that I know I should write down for a future book or article.  But sometimes that never happens, or I lose the napkin I wrote on.  I'm realizing this is the perfect medium for getting these ideas down, saving them, and sharing them.

Honestly, I think that some of these stories will blow your socks off, or at least get you thinking about reincarnation and past lives.

I hope you enjoy these true stories as much as I do.