Reincarnation has never been an easy issue for me to deal with. My mother believed in reincarnation. But then again, she was a burned out hippie who had 6 children with three different men, all of whom she abandoned.
She was convinced that she had been Cleopatra in a past life. The older I got the more puzzled I became at her claim. Surely Cleopatra would have had something better to do with herself then sleep with every half way decent looking man she could find. So irresponsible was her behavior, and that of every other person who claimed to believe in reincarnation, that I had fully rejected the concept by the time I was in my 20s.
I wanted to be nothing like her or the verbose tree huggers I had encountered. They spoke highly of their plans to tear down the American way of life, but never accomplished much except the consumption of massive quantities of salty snacks.
Despite the disdain I had for Reincarnationists, I saved my most serious contempt for they way that reincarnation had been handled in the modern media. They mishandled the reincarnation so badly as to leave one with the impression that only the mentally ill believed in it.
Ever since I was child I was fascinated by paranormal phenomena of all kinds. My first book about psychic abilities was Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain by Sheila Ostrander and Lynn Schroeder…when I was 8 years old. It didn’t hit me until years later that most eight year old children don’t read such books and even less understand them.
My father had a small stash of occult and metaphysical books on the lowest shelf on his bookcase in the living room. I started reading these book in earnest at 13 and had read all of them by the time I was 15 and needed more from the local bookstore.
It was also during this time I acquired my first deck of Tarot Cards, which I had always been fascinated by. It was a deck of miniature Rider-Waite cards. I gave my friends Tarot Card readings to their amazement, with remarkable accuracy, very often shocking myself.
One of the books on my Dad’s shelf was The Black Arts by Richard Cavendish. It was an absolutely fascinating exploration of black magic and witchcraft that Cavendish had collected from other writers. He quoted Aleister Crowley, whom for some reason, I instantly despised. At a later point in the book, he quoted out of Arthur Edward Waite’s The Book of Black Magic. Going quite unnoticed to me at the time, I started critiquing Arthur’s work…as a 15 year old who couldn’t write very well. The passages seemed overly wordy to me and I became slightly irritated. I had no idea why this was.
A year later I came across a magazine (the way we got relevant culture news before the Internet) advertisement for The Rosicrucian Order, AMORC. The symbolism of the rose coupled with a golden cross absolutely memorized me. Without permission from my father, I sent a request for an application to join the Order. I was disappointed when it arrived, however, because minors had to have their parent’s permission to join.
My interest in psychic abilities already seemed to frighten my father, so I gave up the idea. I was sure he would never approve. I planned on joining when I was eighteen. But life, girls, and work got in the way.
It was in the mountains of Colorado, at the age of 27 and a newly baptized member of the Mormon Church, when I finally join the The Rosicrucian Order. I instantly took to the teachings and seemed to understand the structure and symbolism behind them. The Rosicrucian teachings always advocated humility, which I agreed with. Not because one might not have great abilities, but because the ego can blind one to great truths.
Taking this admonition at face value, I certainly didn’t think there was anything special about my progress and believed that every Rosicrucian had similar results when applying the training techniques and experiments. My growth was fast, however it wasn’t until later, after touching base with older Rosicrucians from the Mountain Rose Lodge in Denver, that I realized just how fast it was.
One of the most interesting things the Rosicrucians advocated was a dedicated Sanctum Ritual Altar with a mirror and two white candles. The mirror is to be hung on the wall so that the student can see his or her head and shoulders. I remember thinking as I put mine together how arrogant and self-serving it seemed to be! “Wow, I’m going to sit here and stare at myself every time I study! How absurd!” Nevertheless, I followed instructions.
Between my conversion to Christianity via Mormonism and my application of the Rosicrucian teachings, my psychic abilities, which had always been prevalent, increased considerably. But the most rewarding aspect was that I had far more control and direction over them. I was no longer subject to wild, spontaneous psychic visions that had overwhelmed me in the past.
During this period I was struggling with marketing my psychic abilities, traditional 9 to 5 work, school and my young family. I still dedicated myself to Rosicrucian studies. I had a few surprises, such as expecting to be bored by the Ancient Greek Philosophers, which turned out to be one of my favorite degrees of study.
Over my years of meditation, I saw many people, places and events, while in it. But there was one very wrinkled old man I saw over and over. I could never figure out who he was, but he was the most consistent person by far.
In 2001 I knew I was approach the area of study that included reincarnation. My feelings were mixed about this. But considering how much the Order had helped me already, I was determined to apply myself to the experiments with the same force I had the other degrees. Before I got the chance, I had a spontaneous experience in meditation that I shall never forget!
It is difficult to explain just what deep meditation is to someone who has never experienced it. Because it is not like sleep. You are conscious and even can be conscious of the room you are sitting in. Your psychic vision and senses are simply awakened to a point where they can supersede your physical environment. It is transcendental and usually very therapeutic and positive. I was in my room with my dedicated Rosicrucian Sanctum one February day in 2001, if memory serves, in deep meditation.
I had not entered meditation to ask a specific question, as was often the case or for the solution to a problem. I simply wanted to connect with Cosmic Consciousness. As I drifted in a relaxed state I noticed someone sitting about 45 degrees above me and to the left. This was not unusual. I often saw visions of people, places and events while in deep meditation.
As I glanced up, something extraordinary happened. The figure noticed me. This had never happened before. Any time before that when seeing visions of people, places and events, I was detached, as it were, like a third person passive observer.
Like noticing someone staring at you in a crowd, I took a second glace to confirm that his mysterious figure could indeed see me. He was just as shocked that I could see him looking at me. I could see him in his ritual regalia, which is again, was not unusual for me, being both a Rosicrucian and a Freemason.
I could see his ritual altar and area and took note that he looked familiar. In my mind I struggled to remember his name, realizing that I had seen many images of him in occult books over the years. It was Arthur Edward Waite, in his white ritual garb. He was even holding his staff.
As his name came to me, there was an incredible rush of energy and movement, that took only a split second. And suddenly I was Arthur Edward Waite, in the 1930s, looking across time and space at my future self, in 21st century America! Both of us still just as confused!
Then I experienced the unmistakable sensation of being in two places at once, being both Arthur and James simultaneously. I know this was to convey to me that we are one in the same and I was not watching Waite, but that I am him.
As the realization of who I was, who I am, hit me, so did a monstrous wave of guilt. Guilt, I thought? Why? What would Arthur Edward Waite have to feel guilty for, having dedicated his life to mysticism and writing?
The answer hit me like a ton of bricks: Arthur Edward Waite’s sins, his transgressions, where not one of commission, but omission. Arthur had sinned by not being as compassionate, serving and dedicated to his fellow man as he should have been. He was arrogant, elitist, and insensitive to the plight of people of ‘lower society.’
Arthur withheld more knowledge and service from people then he revealed. He certainly would never have provided psychic insight to the uninitiated masses, for an affordable price! That was beneath him.
I bolted up from my seated position, instantly breaking out of my meditative state! “Oh, bullshit,” I said out loud! “Absolutely not!” I paced around my room, with tears still flowing down my face from the pangs of guilt, saying “No!” repeatedly.
As I reflected on the entire experience over the next hour, I suddenly realize just who that old man was I was always seeing in meditation! It was a very old version of A.E. Waite!
Within about two hours, I had talked myself completely out of the experience and went into denial. Now, I’m a strong personality, but this was too much for me. I was just at the point of giving up on public psychic work because of the social stigma associated with it. And this “memory/vision” had made it clear that I have been on the mystical path for a very long time. That was not something I wanted to face. I certainly could not abandon it now.
It took me about six months to finally come to terms with who I was and understand all the ramifications implied by it. I finally understood why the Rosicrucian teachings encouraged members to keep their reincarnational memories to themselves. I have for 11 years. Only a few of my closet friends have known.
However, after seeing the trailer for the new movie, Cloud Atlas, and having my new friend, Karen Kubicko on my internet radio show, I finally decided it was time to come clean. As a teacher and public psychic, I think my experience is more beneficial for others who may be having their own struggles with their life mission and identity. We must all come to terms with this issue at some point.
Reincarnation is not a game, it’s not a fantasy, and it’s not an escape from the pressures of life. It is rough and sometimes ruthless process of joy, guilt, loss and trauma that will change you forever.
The most important thing for us to ‘remember’ are the life lessons we learned and how to apply our acquired skills in this life, here and now!
Waite wrote many books and pamphlets and I have my own to write…and I am more than a little behind schedule.
One note about the Tarot: while I designed it and wrote a few books about it. The Tarot certainly is a most eloquent mystical tool for self-exploration. However, it was a relatively minor project compared to all my other works and writing. I am stunned that the Tarot itself has so many groups, versions and forms today. It’s like people have become caught up with the form itself, rather than the content and message that it has to convey.
Remember, it’s a tool, nothing more, nothing less. We are the Temples of God; human beings. And our own brains and bodies are the true source of mystical knowledge.
There are many correspondences between my life and Waite’s. Far too many for me to go into in this already prolonged blog. Feel free to research more about Waite here. There are also many online references and works available.