This question and answer post is a response to an email query I received in regard to my work with Hypnosis (specifically, my work with Past Life Hypnosis, such as my current LIFE TRANCE DVD set that is on pre-release sale through June 15) combined with my work with Tarot.
A very well-known Tarot scholar (if you know anything about Tarot, you have probably read, if not seen, a number of her books). She writes:
At first blush, I would say I agree that it would be very difficult to do this without being on the contrived and hokey side of things.
It really depends upon what they mean by "concrete" as far as the "past-life details" go. If they're looking for things like "in a previous incarnation you were a dentist living and working in Prague, born in 1836 and died in 1888 of a gunshot wound to the head – shot by your stepson Jahn from your third marriage to a former prostitute named Butterfly McToots," then they're just being as unrealistic as they come. Personally, I don't think it's possible to have that sort of detail in a regular Tarot reading let alone one that adds in the construct of past-lives and the absence of an interactive relationship between reader and quearant (the uberproblem of all such computer based readings is the lack of reader intuition and adaptation to the querant's "energy" within the mix – without the skill and/or intuition of the reader working off the feedback loop created between reader and querant brought to the mix, one comes out of it with a very cookie-cutter reading which may not reflect a particular query session as well as would occur otherwise). I am, of course, biased in this regard as I tend to approach Tarot as an inspirational intuitive introspective construct rather than as a book of what must or must not happen; less the "this card must always mean this" sort of reading than the "in this context, this card might mean this as it sets off these ideas" sort of an approach.
Another problem with most past-life Tarot spreads (and many past-life hypnosis sessions) is the presupposition that the sitter must have had a past-life. There are metaphysical theories that assume that all souls are old souls (the nine-soul and scattered soul theories play well for that) but most folks assume that when we talk about transmigration and the like we are dealing with a single soul traversing the wheel from life to life. Since there are certainly many more folks alive today than were alive in antiquity it stands to reason that some of the souls alive today are indeed new souls or at least newer souls than others.
So, a past-life reading would have to assume that at least some of the folks who sit for a reading do not have a past-life. Of course, one could create a mechanism so that the possibility comes up (perhaps drawing a major arcana card to represent the energy of the current life's maturity – not number of lives per se but the soul's maturity on its way toward its journey upon the wheel of life – and a drawing of the "fool" might represent a new or at least immature soul energy, still ready to learn). Another solution might be to focus the reading on past-life resources (what I call "lifegift" resources when I do past-life trance sessions and the like).
Of course, one can simply ignore that question, assuming that only persons who "need" a particular sort of reading would be coming for one – the metaphysical assumption being that souls do not ask for a particular sort of guidance unless they are qualified or ready for that guidance (the esoteric cop-out or commercial customer gambit).
Basically, you're very unlikely to get specific information about a "past life" (real, imagined, or metaphorical) from a random shuffling of cards via a computer code thingie, so don't go that way.
I'd suggest going more for a life resource or other sort of result. One variation of past-life hypnosis regressions is the "lifegift" process which focuses less on the specifics of a past life and more upon the gift or resources one might carry forward from that life into this one (it does not matter in this case whether the life being visualized is a genuine metaphysical occurrence or simply a metaphor conjured up by the unconscious mind). In terms of Tarot, perhaps a reading that gives impressions of lessons, faults, and resources that are to be taken from that life into this one.
The lifegift process is explained fully and demonstrated in my Lifetrance DVD set along with a number of other pastlife and other life trance processes (see http://www.briandavidphillips.com/products/lifetrance.html for details as well as how to order your set on pre-release sale before the June 15 deadline).
As far as concrete data, I can imagine someone building a system, but it would by it's very nature have to be very complex and even contrived since there's no body of shared knowledge that really reads into this line of reasoning, at least in terms of Tarot (most of the past-life spreads I've seen go for a resonance as per what I suggest above or they seem to be more about creative storytelling than any connection to a solid system – the past-life decks even more so, in my opinion). I'd give it a miss and assuming that you still want to work with these folks steer them in a more productive and worthwhile direction based upon the solid body of work you have already achieved elsewhere.
I would strongly encourage you to stay with your strengths for something that is intended for public consumption. If the client won't budge and insists on absolute concrete stuff in there, then I'd walk away as it's not your strength or area of interest and that will likely reflect in the final product. However, I am certain that you can find a way to lean the client towards a more workable product that you can indeed work with and that would have more value for the end user (pastlife hypnosis regressions are usually for curiosity and recreational purposes or for therapeutic change . . . for the curious, it's interesting but usually has no lasting impact upon a person's life . . . for the folks seeking therapeutic change, the details of the "life" are of less importance than the growth and understanding of how to bring positive things forward in a constructive way or to release negative energies holding us back . . . the concrete details matter less than the resources and such sessions tend to have lifelong positive impact . . . I'd suggest leaning more towards the latter type of spread than the former).
When I do a Lifegift Tarot reading, I tend not to look for concrete information. The spread I use is one of six cards.
0160; The first card is placed in the center of the table and the other five are placed around the hub, representing spokes on the wheel of life. The hub represents the querants soul and the surrounding spokes represent aspects of a past life that have everything to do with that person's current issues. If there are enough queries, I will detail the actual reading pattern at another time. Or, folks can just sign up for one of our infrequent Tarot workshops (contact Lorraine via my webpages at http://www.briandavidphillips.com to be placed on the mailing list).
I also have a Lifelove Lovers Tarot reading pattern that is based upon the Lifegift pattern with two individuals represented by two different hubs with one spoke intersecting on their wheels, representing the main point of intersection for the two. Usually the querant is placed on the left and that person's love on the right. This layout and pattern is partially based upon the Past Lives, Past Loves hypnosis process which is fully explained and demonstrated in the Lifetrance DVD set along with a number of other pastlife and other life trance processes (see http://www.briandavidphillips.com/products/lifetrance.html for details as well as how to order your set on pre-release sale before the June 15 deadline).
Of course, either of those processes can also be combined with the Tarot Trance process, a hypnosis technique that employs Tarot cards for introspective enlightenment. You can learn that process in a number of my seminar DVD products or purchase the stand-alone Tarot Trance DVD. See http://www.briandavidphillips.net/store for the product list.
For those interested in the solid base material for this discussion, in addition to more standard Past Life Regression Hypnosis techniques as well as the Lifegift and the Past Lives, Past Loves processes, the Lifetrance DVD set covers a full compliment processes, including:
- Past Life Regression
- Christos Variation (hypnotic approach)
- Past Lives, Past Loves Imagery
- Future Life Progression
- Immediate Life Imagery
- Life Between Life
- Life Relationships Pattern
- Lifegift Technique
- . . . and more!
It's a very comprehensive set. Additionally, for those with an interest, this video seminar covers all skillsets required to examine for Specialist Certification in Pastlife Hypnosis with the Society of Experiential Trance (http://www.trancesociety.org). Those interested in comprehensive instruction in this area, should go now to http://www.briandavidphillips.com/products/lifetrance.html for details as well as how to order your set on pre-release sale before the June 15 deadline).
In any case, good luck!
All the best,
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See http://www.BrianDavidPhillips.com for details
Brian David Phillips, PhD, CH [email@example.com]
Hypnotist, Hypnotherapist, Intuitionist, Trance Wizard
President, Society of Experiential Trance
Associate Professor, NCCU, Taipei, Taiwan