Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Memories of a Native American Lifetime

For fans of my book, "Flipside: A Tourist's Guide on How to Navigate the Afterlife" you may remember that during my first between life session I "remembered" a previous lifetime where I saw myself as a Lakota "medicine man."

As noted in the book, I was not familiar with the Lakota, other than the film "Dances With Wolves" which does a pretty good job of depicting what life in the 1860's was for them.  Further, I was not a "believer" in past life regression, I was making a documentary about the work of Michael Newton (Also called "Flipside") and agreed to do one of his "between life session" with the idea that I could "disprove it" in some fashion.  

After all, I didn't believe I could be hypnotized, nor was I coming to a session believing I had a past life (or that the between lives realm existed) and thought that by participating in a hypnosis session, I was determined I would not be "talked into" saying that I was seeing anything that I wasn't seeing.
The Taj. With Santa Martini

However, as people who've read Flipside know; that's not what happened.

I started the session like most people do, talking about memories of growing up, and at some point Jimmy Quast (eastonhypnosis.com) asked me to "return to a lifetime that had some significance to this lifetime."  He gently talked to me about traveling somewhere, through space perhaps, until I saw something.  I saw nothing.  Blackness.  I said so. Repeatedly.  

I used space on the cover of "Flipside" as it reminded me
of what it felt like moving through it.

But Jimmy has been doing this a long time, and he made a simple suggestion.  "Just look down." That's when I began to see and visualize and sense a lifetime that I wasn't familiar with - but since then feel as if I become more familiar with it, the more I research the time and era.

I'm going to include that memory below.  But recently I traveled back to Wisconsin, back to the land of my Irish cousins, to attend the funeral of my dear departed uncle who had 11 children, and made it to 96 years old. And I spent some time with my cousin, his son, who is a historian of sorts, about all things native American about tribes of the region.  

It was at the funeral of his mom, some 5 years ago, when I first revealed to him that I had done a past life session and remembered a lifetime as a native American.  That I had claimed during the session to remember a lifetime as a Lakota.  

It turns out my cousin is an expert in their history.  He said to me "Just tell me what you were wearing."

I told him, and he asked "how many feathers did you have?" I said "two."  He said "were they up or down?" I said "down, tied in my hair."  He said "that would make you a medicine man."  I asked about the memory of a name I had "watanka." (something I searched for on the internet but could not find) and he said "it's a derivation of Wakan Tanka - which means "Great spirit."  As a spokesman for the Great spirit it's what they would have called you." 

Further, I asked him about my memory of my tribe being wiped out by Huron - when the Huron are traditionally near Lake Huron, and the Sioux were in Montana.  He said "You're sitting on the spot where they fought for 60 years. Eau Claire, Wisconsin."

All of these details were new information to me.  None of it I had read or could find online or in books.  Subsequently he's given me some books that contain the histories of these people, and I just finished reading William Warren's book "History of the Ojibway People."  Warren was an Ojibway (Chippewa) and he traces the story (through eyewitness interview of tribal elders) of how the Huron people fought and wound up in upper Wisconsin near Minnesota, and how the Dakota/Lakota fought for their hunting grounds along that region.

Ojibway delegation 1911.

It's a difficult book to read because it's 200 years of detailed slaughter.  The Ojibway fought their way across the upper midwest, and some claim their name comes from the look of someone who had been captured and torched by them; "puckered" as in "burnt flesh."  (Others claim it relates to other versions of the word, but their fire punishment is well documented.)  

Basically it read like two angry football teams eking out a few yards at a time over decades, except they were using tomahawks, arrows and axes to cut off the scalps of their victims.  It was a brutal tale of warriors fighting to earn feathers - each feather represented a dead member of the other tribe (basically.) 

One funny note; they invented lacrosse and played it like crazed teams. If a ball went into a house by accident the teams would "tear down the house to get it."  If the ball went into the water they would claw and drown each other retrieving it.  

According to the book, Chief Pontiac used a lacrosse game to draw the British troops out of their forts to watch it - 200 natives racing back and forth, and when the gates of the fort were opened, they threw the ball inside.  As they raced to get it, their wives handed over the knives, axes and sawed off guns they were hiding in their cloaks.  The Ojibway slaughtered the garrison (and took 13 other forts), which is why Pontiac is more than just a name of a city in Michigan.

In terms of observation from the Flipside perspective - I can see how choosing to be the member of a tribe was in many cases, a lifetime chosen to participate in the playing field of life.  Definitely not one in the stands watching others duke it out, but one in which they fought for every inch of land.  Many warriors were dispatched to the hunting grounds, and by the time the Americans showed up, many of their warriors were already gone.

The point being; we choose our lifetimes. Some of us choose lifetimes that are in the playing field fighting with weapons, others choose the stands to watch the action and root for their heroes.

Interesting how the book notes how the French did a masterful job of trading and honoring the native traditions, (doling out medals and awards, and leaving them in peace) which were followed by the British who had less sympathy, but still allowed the native Americans to follow their traditions - followed by the long knives (Americans) who did everything in their power to disrupt, change or wipe out their traditions.  

We all live with the after effects of that diaspora.

A white squirrel I saw in Eau Claire. 
But when I went to visit my cousin, I drove through the autumn leaves of the region, and opened my consciousness up to the possibility that I might have "lived there before."  There's an odd thing that occurs when one does that - certain vistas start to look familiar, rather than just beautiful. In this case, I was driving around Eau Claire, and it was the first snowfall of the season.  I stopped by to see my cousin after the funeral and we chatted a bit about this research.  He wrote me this note today:

"I have been researching the history of the Huron, as it relates to encounters with the Lakota/Dakota. Traditionally, the Lakota inhabited Minnesota and the eastern Dakotas. The Huron homeland was the Mackinac Island and Lake Huron region. So, they would not have been traditional enemies.

However, the Iroquois battled the Huron in their homeland and forced them from the region in 1652. Some Huron went South into Michigan. Another group moved farther Northwest to Chequamegon Bay on Lake Superior and allied with their old friends, the Ojibwa.

I feel that, IT IS IN THIS TIME FRAME THAT YOUR BATTLE WITH the LAKOTA and HURON ENSUED. (Between 1652 – 1670’s)

Historically, it is the only time that they would have crossed paths in a war-like manner. We need to find a battle, as described in your "memory" in that period of time, that occurred on one of the many tributaries of the Miss. (It could be the Crow Wing, St. Croix, Chippewa, St. Louis, Minnesota, Kettle, or a number of other rivers that empty into the Mississippi in that region.)"

I had not mentioned this to him, but during my session when I was asked "When did this occur?" I said "late 1600's.  Like 1670."  

The chapter doesn't include that note, I trimmed the transcript, but it exists in my notes.  So technically, the memory could be correct. I was surprised to read it in his email today, and felt that "zing" of truth about it.

  Here it is:

(reproduced with the author's permission from the book "Flipside: a Tourist's Guide on How to Navigate the Afterlife." ) Jimmy Quast, trained by Michael Newton in hypnotherapy, conducted the session.  After going through memories of my lifetime, a memory of "being born" we got to a point where I was saying "I don't see anything."  Finally, he said the following:

               Just look down. What do you see?
               This is unusual. (I saw my bare feet in a creek. The water was cold, soothing. My feet bloody, scratched.) What's coming to me is... Native American Indian. I'm a male. And I'm trying to get the impression here... What’s on my legs? I want to say buckskin, there's a feather. Two feathers, not up, but down... tied in my hair, black hair, and I can feel my clothing - suede vest, pants... bare feet.[1]
               How old are you?
               Seems like 28. I'm looking around; it's hills, trees and dried old grass. It's the dry season...
Are you alone?
Not around anyone else at the moment – I’m by a creek; I can put my foot in. I have wounds on my feet; don't know why, but... I notice they're beaten up, feels good to put them in the water.
               Is that why you've come here?
               I come here for solace to get away.  I think it's about my spirit guide. I come here to commune.
               A spiritual connection with your guide... what do they call you?
               I heard Tan’ tanka’ mon, I think that means “running bear” which sounds funny to me; tatanka... (Remembering the Kevin Costner film “Dances With Wolves,” where he was a Lakota Sioux named “ Buffalo ” – Tatanka). In my case it means “Runs from bear.”  (I said this as an observation that I was not a warrior)  It might be "Watanka"…[2] 
               Your spirit guide is here by the water?
               Not a human guide. It's a cougar.[3] Mountain lion.
               What does that mean to you?
               Hunter, alone.  
               Would it be okay to visit where your people are?
               (Sigh)  I’d prefer not to.
               Where is your village?
               My overall impression is that... it's gone. (Sigh) 
               Just relax... (Puts his hand on my forehead)
               I see. I didn't want to tell you about it. There's a wife, involved... there was a problem.
               You’re safe, tell me what happened.
               (I started to choke up. In my mind's eye a village of teepees and bodies everywhere. A massacre. Lots of blood. People hacked to death.)
               What happened?
               Hacked to death.
               By whom?
               Damned Hurons. [4] Everyone's dead.
               Except you?
               (Through tears) I was away. I was doing something else, picking something up. I just came back and everyone is dead.
               Your wife?
 NOTE: In my minds eye, I saw this village of massacred Indians whom I sincerely believed to be my people.  I went to a teepee, the class kind with leather flap and sticks holding it up, and pulled it aside to see a beautiful woman with long black hair lying in a pool of blood, dead. I was overwhelmed with the emotion of seeing my dead wife.  But I was also conscious of the fact that this emotion swept over me – If I was making this up, why was I so connected to this emotion? I started to sob.
                I had one child... My son was taken. (Feeling the full emotion of that thought.)
               And where do you go now? Do you have any place?
               That's why I'm here, by the river, soaking my feet. I'm trying to understand.
               I want you to move to your last day in this life. In this body. Are you still alone?
               I'm alone.  I see. It's alcohol and drowning. I got drunk and went to the river and just slipped away. (A muddy brown river, floating down, holding a whisky bottle, bobbing like a cork.)
               Not much else to do, was there?     
               No. Everything about my life that I cared for - my family, my culture, my world is gone.
               Move away from that body. You're free now.  Are you looking back?
               Much happiness.
               You feel any remorse?
               No, I’m just passing into "the Great White." I've done this many times. It's time to move home.  No reason to linger.
NOTE: I saw myself holding a whiskey bottle, clear, with half its contents gone.  Some years ago, I was at a Christmas party with some old friends, and they pulled out a bottle of whiskey from 1840 that had been in the family for generations.  We all took a sip of this concoction, which was smooth and burning at the same time – nothing like modern day liquor.  At that moment I had a flash of me holding an empty whiskey bottle. Also when I said "move home" my conscious mind said "Where's that? My home in Chicago? Or the home from this lifetime? What does that mean?"
               Tell me what this is like, you're moving away.
               Going home?  (I'm) Looking ahead. Just getting together with my friends. (I saw a fast field of white in the distance, then I moved into it at lightning speed until the faces and bodies came into full focus. A crowd of people greet me). They’re here with me... It's just lovely. Lots of friends.  Like 20. Smiling. Embracing me. Everybody's here.
               Recognize anyone?
               My wife. (The Indian one; long black hair, and a young boy next to her. A profound sense of connection with them.)
               The one who was killed.
               My son. (I see) Both of them. (I saw them standing together, smiling at me).
               Who else?
               My father. (Charles, who passed away in 2003, 5  years earlier.)
               How are they arranged?
Sort of a semi circle.  About 20 or so. Lots of them.
               Who comes out of this group first?
               An elder.  Comes out from the center, about twelve o’clock.  A male, white hair, somebody very gentle, welcoming me, he's my grandfather at one point... (Not in this life - He has a kindly, old face, very distinct, about 70 years old. Smiling. A warm greeting)

[1] I found out later from a Lakota historian that medicine men had two feathers pointing down.  
[2] Tatanka, means "Bull Buffalo" in Lakota. According to my historian, it‘s definitely a Lakota name. Watanka means “Great Spirit.”
[3] Some Native American tribes have a “Vision Quest” where they commune with an animal spirit, who becomes their “spirit guide.”
[4] My conscious mind thought - "If I'm calling myself by a Sioux name, I couldn't be fighting with a tribe associated with the East Coast.” But post session, I discovered through research that the Sioux and the Huron fought a series of battles in the upper Midwest, near Eau Claire , Wisconsin , in the 1840's." (END QUOTE)

Years later, I examined this lifetime again in a subsequent session, asking myself "So where was I, when the battle started?"  I offered that I was "out gathering medicine for the upcoming battle" that I had "foreseen" or felt was coming... and I had gone out to gather the healing herbs when the battle began, herbs that I would use to cure wounds... and when the battle began I had run up the hill to the creek... tearing my feet on the way.  

But I can tell you that I have never been inside a Teepee, but in this vision, when I opened mine, I could feel the raw skin of the leather - a feeling that I've not known in this lifetime but feel I now know.  Also, when I saw this woman with black hair lying face down at my feet in a pool of blood, I had the feeling "Oh no, they've killed my wife and taken my son."  

Consciously I was saying "wait, what? How do you know there was a son here? How do you know this is your wife?"  But physically I felt the deepest most profound sorrow I've ever known - and thank god have not had to know in this lifetime... but as I felt it I thought "If i'm making this up, why would I allow myself to experience this kind of pain?"  

Indeed.  Why would I allow myself to experience that depth of pain?  The only answer I can come up with is; to share it with you.

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