Mary Elizabeth Raines, past-life regressionist, hypnosis instructor and author of "The Laughing Cherub Guide to Past-life Regression: a Handbook for Real People."

by Mary Elizabeth Raines

© Laughing Cherub Unlimited, 2004
All rights reserved
Copying or duplicating in part or in whole is prohibited by international copyright law and is very bad karma! Please ask for permission.

Excerpted from "The Laughing Cherub Guide to Past-life Regression: a Handbook for Real People"


The fundamental theory of reincarnation is that our souls are reborn many times in different bodies. We may come back as a male or a female. We return over and over again for new experiences and growth. We reap precisely what we have sown. Once we have learned a lesson, it becomes part of our soul's knowledge, and we move on to the next lesson.

If one believes that the soul is infinite, it is no more miraculous to be born many times than to be born only once—and far more reasonable.

Reincarnation involves the law of karma, which is the most just belief system going. It boils down to this: everything we do, positive or negative, comes back to us. This is the perfect manifestation of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

Reincarnation offers a system of justice and fairness in a world that can otherwise appear random and cruel. It answers many of our perplexing questions, explaining why one child might be born in a comfortable home with perfect health, while another is born to starve to death in a third-world country; or why one individual is always broke, but is well-loved and nurtured, while another might be wealthy, but repeatedly has encounters with mean and destructive people.

There are multitudes of theories about the finer points of reincarnation. One such theory is that we are all one, and so we can access all memories. When we are being regressed to a past life, our soul simply selects a memory from the pool which is pertinent to our current issues.

Some believe that there is no such thing as time, and that all of our lives are occurring simultaneously. Another speculation is that we may have overlapping or even parallel lives. According to that theory, someone who was born in Chicago in 1957 may also have had a life as an Egyptian street vendor who died in 1963.


Recently a young man said to me, "I don't believe in reincarnation...and I didn't in my last life, either!"

Libraries today contain books written about people who have had uncanny remembrances of former lifetimes, including very specific details which can be validated. Certainly most of the people I have observed have had experiences during past-life regression which appear to be authentic.

Sometimes this sense of reality stems from their strong emotional involvement, like the man who remembered being an Amish farmer and began to weep tears of joy while he was looking at his farmhouse and his beloved wife. Other people may have an overwhelming memory of a sensation, such as a bad odor or a vivid image, that leaves no doubt about the validity of what they are remembering.

Recently a woman during past-life regression recalled a previous lifetime when she died from a gunshot wound. She kept wrinkling her face in disgust, because she had such an acute memory of the taste of blood in her mouth.

Other validations occur when individuals have automatic, unthinking responses during their sessions that are historically correct, responses that they would not have had the time to fabricate.

One woman remembered being a Roman soldier. She found herself in a strange foreign city, and described the way the streets and buildings looked. When asked the location of the city, she replied, "I don't know where I am. They never tell us where we're going." The logic of her answer was convincing, for it is doubtlessly correct that nobody held up maps or described to the ancient Roman soldiers the destinations of their marches.

In that same memory of being a soldier, she found herself breaking the rules and pillaging in an abandoned house in the town. She remarked that she never discovered anything of value when she did that; to expect to find valuables in such humble dwellings would be absurd. Nor was she interested in intimidating or attacking the few huddled women who had not managed to escape before the army arrived. What she really hoped to find was extra food. The best "loot" she ever rooted up was a round loaf of bread in a basket.

Another person had the grisly recollection of being tortured and then pulled apart by four horses. He remembered the tremendous physical agony. Almost as soon as the horses began pulling, though, he sighed with relief. The pain had suddenly disappeared. For a few brief seconds before he died, his body was free of suffering. After emerging from his session, he deduced that the violent pull of the horses had made something in his spine snap, and this had removed all physical sensation.

The kind of information these stories contain is not something that would readily be invented, and strikes me as authentic.

Opponents of reincarnation point out that because of our present-day exposure to multitudes of films and books, our subconscious minds have more than ample material to fabricate multiple lives, which we absorb and then "remember" as our own.

Occasionally there are those whose experiences are obviously, albeit unconsciously, contrived, with scenes they may have unwittingly pulled from movies or books. Their memories have a different tone to them, and include highly improbable elements or blatant historical inaccuracies.

Whether reincarnation is actual or fantasy, however, doesn't really matter! What does matter is that people find the answers and release/relief they are seeking. The source of the information that helps an individual's self-understanding is useful whether it comes from a former existence in another body, or whether it arises from a person's present-day subconscious.

Aslong as individuals experience the understanding and release that they desire, it makes no difference whether or not what they remember is the truth. The goal of a past-life regression isn't to prove or disprove anything. The goal is to experience personal growth!


Past-life regression offers us profound insights and revelations about the journey of our soul. We receive guidance, answers and assurance.

When a person has an experience from a past life that was never fully resolved, it's as though that person has been stuck in a time warp. Unconsciously, a portion of the individual's psyche is continuing to deal with a problem which has long since disappeared. These problems may emerge as emotions, attachments, physical ailments, unusual fears or perplexing patterns that cannot be readily explained.

The most wonderful benefit of past-life regression is when it helps us to find clues from the past which explain our puzzling behaviors and symptoms, and through the remembrance, to accept healing, release the stuck pattern, forgive and move forward.

Many people have past-life regressions because of relationships that bewilder them. One such woman was confused by an inexplicable sense of guilt she felt around her boss, whom she liked very much. He sometimes became unreasonably angry with her.

In her regression, she remembered a former lifetime as a man named Jack. The boss appeared in that lifetime as Jack's closest friend. They had many adventures together, but Jack gambled and was deeply in debt. One night he got drunk, robbed his friend and ran away in shame, never to return.

After emerging from her regression, she felt free to release the enormous burden of guilt which she had been carrying for so long—more than a century! She left the session, too, with a much clearer understanding of her boss's reactions towards her.

A bizarre phobia, an illogical terror or a frustrating pattern which has no reasonable explanation can be an indicator of a possible past-life condition that has leaked into the present day. These issues often persist despite all efforts to stop them.

As a child, I used to be terrified whenever a small plane would fly over our house at night. I never talked with an adult about my fear; I assumed that everyone was equally afraid of airplanes. It was only when I recalled a frightening previous lifetime during World War II that this childhood terror made perfect sense.

The patterns we carry in our energy fields from former lifetimes are as varied as the people who experience them. An indicator that a past-life issue may be involved occurs when we find ourselves saying things like:

"Oh, no! Not again!"

"I don't understand why I feel this way; it's not logical."

"No matter how hard I try, I always attract the same type of person."

"Why does _______[fill in the blank] always happen to me?"


Past-life regression permits us to find the root causes of our issues. Once found, we can heal through understanding, re-experiencing, forgiveness and love.

This does not need to be complicated. Sometimes, by remembering the triggering events from past lives, we are given understanding, which might be all that is necessary for us to experience closure and move on. I, for example, am no longer frightened by the sound of small airplanes.

In other instances we may have gone through an experience in a previous existence which produced guilt, anger, pain, shock or some other powerful emotion, but for some reason we didn't fully experience the emotion. Unexpressed and unreleased, these feelings got stuck in our energy patterns. Re-living such traumatic incidents from the past can be powerfully cathartic and unplug the blocks.

We may also have unfinished business. Examples might be a determination which we were never able to carry out, a love never fulfilled, or a broken promise.

The most common root of unfinished business involves a lack of forgiveness or a need for revenge. When we cannot forgive another person, we remain tied either to them or to the issue our relationship with them created. In lifetime after lifetime, we experience themes of the same situation—sometimes as victim, sometimes as perpetrator—until we are able to allow honest love and forgiveness to heal us.

Clients frequently receive bonus gains in the form of surprise lessons and information from past-life regressions. There is often what I call an ah-haresponse to what is discovered.


Probably not. It is very rare that anyone recalls being famous. One of my friends and mentors, Henry Leo Bolduc, who has conducted thousands of past-life regressions, says that in over 40 years he has never once hypnotized anyone who remembered being a famous personality!

Sometimes people who are perhaps overly attached to melodrama arrive for their sessions with expectations of high drama or glamour, and feel let down when they remember being, say, a potato farmer with arthritis. The fact is, most of us did not have glamorous or even extraordinarily eventful past lives, at least by TV movie-of-the-week standards.

To me, this is an excellent indicator of the validity of reincarnation. If all past-life memories were merely fantasies, people would doubtlessly invent situations much more colorful and exciting than the majority of stories I hear!

Yet, each past life contains a portion of our soul lessons and knowledge, without which we would be incomplete. Each lifetime has contributed an important thread in the extraordinary tapestry of our lives.

It is not the drama of a past life that makes it fruitful and compelling. It is the choices and determinations which we made in our past that are important, for it is these that have created our patterns.


No. People are often surprised at how easy and natural it is to remember. Try the following experiment:

This is an exercise about remembering your own bed at home. After reading the below instructions, close your eyes and remember! (You may read the instructions all at once, or go through them individually.)

1. [See] What does your bed look like?

2. [Touch] How does the bed feel under your body when you curl up under the covers? How do the blankets and sheets feel?

3. [Smell] Do your sheets or pillow, or even the room, have a familiar scent? How do they smell?

4. [Taste] Do you brush your teeth or have a snack just before going to bed? If so, how does the inside of your mouth taste?

5. [Hear] Listen for the sounds you make when you move under the covers, or when you pull a blanket up.

6. [Feel] Recall a time when you slept deeply and deliciously, and how good that felt.

Remembering a past life can be as simple as remembering your bed! The trick is to involve the five senses and the emotions.


Past-life work can be intimate and profound. Select your past-life regression counselor with the same care you would use choosing a doctor or dentist. Ask questions, thoroughly check credentials and experience related to past-life work, make sure the individual's belief system is compatible with yours, and--most importantly--determine how comfortable you feel with the individual providing the regression therapy. Keep in mind that high fees are not an indicator of a person's expertise.


"Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
 But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.
 You would know in words that which you have always known in thought.
 You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.
 And it is well you should."

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet


Mary Elizabeth Raines, founder of the Academy for Professional Hypnosis Training, is an internationally recognized instructor and clinical hypnotherapist, who has trained people from all over the world to become Past-life Regression Counselors.

An adjunct faculty member of the National Guild of Hypnotists, she offers presentations and group regressions at hypnosis conventions and conferences around the country. In 2010, she was inducted into the prestigious Order of Braid, honoring a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication, and service in the field of hypnotism..

According to the National Guild of Hypnotists, Raines is "recognized as one of the leading practitioners of the art and science of hypnotism." She has contributed to three books on hypnosis, written articles for professional magazines, and been interviewed on television, radio and in newspapers. The above article is derived from her book, "The Laughing Cherub Handbook of Past-life Regression: a Guide for Real People."

Click for details of our next  Past-life Regression Counselor Certification Training Course in Sedona, Arizona.

Past-life Regression Inquiry


Private Hypnosis Sessions
Past-Life Regression Sessions
Hypnosis Downloads (MP3s and CDs)
Learn Hypnosis
Past-Life Regression Counselor Training
Answers to Questions about Hypnosis
Hypnosis Today
Weight Loss Hypnosis
Sexual Issues
Hypnosis Today
A Few Client Testimonials
A Few Good Links
Just for Fun - A Completely Retro Webpage!


Feature Articles and Specialty Hypnosis Downloads by Mary Elizabeth Raines

  How to Stop Smoking with Hypnosis

  Why Hypnotists Suck

  Past-life Regression: Oh, Get a (Past) Life!

  Accessing Your Intuition with Self-hypnosis

  Past-life Regression MP3/CD

  Actor's MP3/CD

  Weight-loss MP3/CD

  Relaxation MP3/CD

  Stop Smoking MP3/CD

  Deep Healing MP3/CD

  Confidence MP3/CD

Web Site and most graphics © Mary Elizabeth Raines
All rights reserved

Our Affiliate Sites Include:

Hypnosis School    How to select the best hypnosis training for you


  The Laughing Cherub Hypnosis Store The Hypnosis Site