Archive for July, 2011

18th and 19th century parties the new fashion?

Posted by Jessica Jewett 1 Comment »

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A rockin’ Victorian party.

Today I discovered an awesome blog called American Duchess: Historical Costuming from the 16th to the 20th Century (click the link to see the blog) and I noticed that the blog owner goes to a lot of parties thrown in the style of different historical periods. For example, she recently got together with other costumers and had an 18th century ice cream social in the period between the American and French Revolutions. In another blog, I saw that she went to a Christmas dinner done accurately to the Regency period. I remembered as I looked around the American Duchess blog that the ladies over at Marie Antoinette’s Gossip Guide to the 18th Century and The Duchess of Devonshire’s Gossip Guide to the 18th Century have talked about having parties with a historical theme too.

*Carrie Bradshaw voice*

Then I got to thinking … are the 18th and 19th centuries the new 21st century parties?

I partied Civil War style in Gettysburg.
More of the Civil War ball in Gettysburg.

I have partied in period style, as you can see from the pictures above, and it was an amazing night! I really think that this could be something to change the way we have events and make them more unique. Reenactors and costume enthusiasts could go full out for holidays with their chosen period of expertise, while non-reenactors could do scaled back versions of historical parties by adding elements of history into their food, decor, activities, etc., without cramming into corsets and massive skirts. Let’s face it – there are only so many parties we can throw before they all blend together and stop being memorable. Why not add something special to impress your family and friends?

I decided to put together a few ideas to inspire you in creating your own historically themed parties.

18th Century Parties

The hardcore reenactor. – Choose a specific period for your guests to emulate in their attire. Suppose you’re throwing a birthday party. It has become popular to emulate the French court around the Marie Antoinette era of the 1770s and 1780s before everything went to hell in the 1790s. Make sure you have your guests excited about dressing up and help them out if they’re not familiar with the period. What did they do at parties back then? They ate rich food, they gambled (look up period games like faro or pour et contre), they drank, they danced, they played music, etc. Research dances and songs popular in the period. The dances may look complicated but they are actually quite fun when you’re being whirled around the floor. Learning is half the fun! Another idea, if the weather is good, is to take the party outside to a beautiful garden. The 18th century was populated by people of the Enlightenment who explored ideas about returning to nature. It was fashionable to go rustic for entertainment.

The lite history fan. – If you’re not a reenactor and you don’t have the time or resources to go the completely authentic route, you can add historical elements to your party without overpowering it. Focus on food and decor to give your party an 18th century flair. Food at that time was a visual expression of beauty as much as it was an expression of taste. Find a few fabulous historical recipes that are visually stunning and tell your guests about them while they sample the flavors. Desserts usually make the biggest impression. Rococo design was massively popular in the 18th century, so decorate your party space by inspiration from art of the period. Use lots of lace, flowers, soft colors, and so forth. Crystals were hugely popular. The more your party space looks like Versailles, the better.

Inspiration for your 18th century party.

19th Century Parties

The hardcore reenactor. – I typically favor Christmas and New Years Eve parties with a 19th century flair as opposed to more decadent parties of the 18th century. The Victorians really knew how to do Christmas in style thanks to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert bringing traditions to the Western world that we have yet to abandon. Victorians were all about making comfort food beautiful. They were meat and potatoes kind of people but they dressed up these things to be fabulous for parties. There are countless sources on holiday foods that the Victorians left behind and they will make your table gorgeous and impress your guests. Choose whether you would like to do a Regency Christmas or a Victorian Christmas and have your guests come appropriately dressed. Teach them Christmas songs from the period, eat, drink, play games, teach dances of the period, play music and be merry.

The lite history fan. – Luckily with the 19th century, everything is fairly easy to do. As with the 18th century, you don’t have to ask your guests to come dressed in period attire, but you can serve authentic food and add authentic decorating elements. They liked a lot of natural greenery, homemade ornaments, and berries for accents. They played word games and loved singing around the piano or violin every chance they got. You will be surprised to find out that a lot of Victorian traditions are things that we still do today. A big element to make a party truly Victorian is cutting electrical light and illuminating your party space with candelabras, oil lamps, and so forth. Candlelight always creates an old atmosphere that people love.

Inspiration for your 19th century party.
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The Fanny Chamberlain FAQ

Posted by Jessica Jewett No Comments »

Fanny Chamberlain, Jessica Jewett So, here we are. Another day, another commonly asked question about my reincarnation case as Fanny Chamberlain. Some questions are so common that I have copied and pasted responses before, which I do feel guilty about, because everybody deserves a personal response. It dawned on me today, though, that I could write a frequently asked questions blog about my connection to Fanny. I looked back through my blog history to see if I did this before and I don’t think I have, although I did on MySpace a long time ago. I lost the password and I can’t get into the account! Who uses MySpace anymore anyway? Except Justin Timberlake, that is…. Without further ado, here is the Fanny FAQ.

Who was Fanny Chamberlain?

Fanny was the wife of Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, who is famous for being a Civil War officer and Governor of Maine. They were deeply in love despite long separations and a difficult marriage that produced five children altogether, but only two survived into adulthood. Fanny was unusually independent for nineteenth century standards. She was trained in fine art, music and voice by world class professionals and, before she was married, taught at a girls’ school a thousand miles from home in Georgia. She was stubborn, very educated, independent, and highly creative. She was also prone to chronic pain and depression throughout her life for various reasons. Fanny and Lawrence were portrayed on film by Mira Sorvino and Jeff Daniels in the movie Gods & Generals. Here are two clips of Chamberlains, one of Joshua L. Chamberlain in Gettysburg and the other of a deleted scene from Gods & Generals in which he and Fanny sing together.

Were you really Fanny Chamberlain?! Are you sure?!

Yes.

I don’t believe you! You’re a nut case!

That’s nice. Some things are true whether you believe them or not. There’s nothing you can say to me that hasn’t already been said. Let me point out something: no sane person in their right mind would make up a story like this and go public with it knowing all manner of insults will be thrown their way. I didn’t ask to remember. It happened against my will and I’m doing the best I can to do something good and help people in my shoes. Call me nuts if you want but it’s still the truth. I don’t really care if other people believe it or not. The majority do and I have helped a lot of people. That’s what matters – doing good with your hardships.

When did you find out you were Fanny?

I started having spontaneous past life memories when I was a toddler, around the time I became verbal. (See the video below for an overview of spontaneous past life memories in children.) I never had exposure to reincarnation or the Chamberlain family as a child. I didn’t know what was happening to me but as I got older, I actually thought I was being haunted because I knew about ghosts. It was distinctly different in this case though because my dreams and visions were always from within Fanny’s body. I was her and she was me. The soul, the consciousness, is one thing that moves from body to body. It took me a long time to understand this. I came upon a book about Fanny and Lawrence as a senior in high school and had such a physical reaction to it that I had to be taken outside for air before I fainted. I never asked to remember these things. In fact, I fought it for most of my life, which contributed to depression and an anxiety disorder. I was well into my 20s before I was able to accept it as truth.

What kind of evidence do you have to support this case?

There are a lot of kinds of evidence for reincarnation.

Children will exhibit knowledge they shouldn’t have, for example. I knew Gettysburg was a big deal when I was about 5 but I couldn’t tell you why. I just knew it was a big deal. Additionally, I filled – I mean filled – sketchbooks of the same drawings from about age 3 onward of women in hoop skirts, mainly one specific woman with a sad face and very dark hair. I was obsessively drawing Fanny. I also drew New England architecture as a child without having ever been there. I also had nightmares of army hospitals, ships and the ocean as a child, which were points of anxiety in Fanny’s life. My father bought me a keyboard when I was about 8 or 9 and I started playing tunes by ear immediately even though I couldn’t play with my hands and I had never played music. Fanny was a professional musician.

Handwriting, personality traits, personal tastes, etc., can remain from one life to the next. I write virtually the same as Fanny in style even though, again, I don’t use my hands. Teachers used to ride me because I wouldn’t stop writing “the old way” with flowy script. I have the same stubborn streak, the same distrust of men, etc., etc., as Fanny and I have the uncanny ability to decipher Lawrence’s handwriting, which, frankly, looks like chicken scratch.

I moved into my first home in my early 20s and decorated it in a specific way. About a year later, I found pictures of the Chamberlain home and realized that I had done the same paint colors and decor style in my own home.

Physical characteristics, parallel dates, etc., will often carry over as well. Fanny’s life ended when she fell at home, broke her hip, and fell ill. I was born with serious hip bone deformities. Additionally, Fanny lost most of her eyesight in 1893. I was declared legally blind in 1993. Fanny’s first child was born on October 16 and I suffered a miscarriage in this life on October 16 as well. My ex-fiance was born on September 8, as was Lawrence.

That’s just some of the evidence. Read Unveiled: Fanny Chamberlain Reincarnated for the full story.

Why did Fanny never love Lawrence? / Is it true that Fanny was a lesbian?

These are the biggest myths about Fanny perpetuated by people who either didn’t know her very well or never knew her at all. Historians interpret Lawrence constantly begging for affirmations of love as Fanny being cold and settling for him because she was a spinster. They are failing to recognize the depth of his insecurity at that period of his life and the fact that Fanny was really his only girlfriend. He had no experience with women and he set his sights on a woman who never had any intention of marrying at all. The fact that the marriage happened in the first place is a testament to how much she/I loved him in the first place. Secondly, most of Fanny’s letters have been lost to history while there are dozens from Lawrence to ascertain the state of his heart. Some of the letters that do survive from her show a women utterly head over heels.

Jan. 1, 1852: “I am sitting now at the same window where we sat together all that night. How could you think that I would shrink from you ever! You who seem so holy, so pure and noble to me! — how could I even if you did press my finger to your dear lips? O! there was nothing even then, that you could have done that would not have seemed beautiful and right to me. Ah! those nights! so full of terrible beauty; will they never come again?…O! dear Lawrence I would know you more, and I would have you know me as you never have known me. My soul longs to speak to yours as it never has spoken…I rest in you as I never have rested before; — you know it, do you not? and I would be everything to you; I would nestle closely in your arms forever, and love you and cling to you and be your ‘bird’: dear, precious heart!”

New York, May 1, 1852: “O those beautiful, beautiful holy flowers, my dear Lawrence! how pretty they came to me!…I know and feel how full of love they came…Dear one! how sad you have been for me! and I not near to soothe and comfort you when you were ill! I shall never dare to leave you again Dear, shall I?”

Brunswick, Sept. 22, 1852: “Your Fannie has been thinking of you ever since you bade her good bye that sad dark night in Portland; and she dreamed about you all last night…with all that endearing tenderness that you love to show towards her. I never can tell you dear how desolate my poor little chamber seemed when I came back to it from Portland…I cannot tell how I missed you.”

So can we put the “Fanny was a frigid bitch” myth to rest, please? As far as the lesbian rumor goes, that was started by a man on the internet, not even someone she/I knew at that time. Shocking, I know. I can’t even begin to count how many ways that rumor is untrue.

Is Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain reincarnated too?

No. Read this blog about that question. – Why JLC isn’t reincarnated.

Is anyone else in the Chamberlain/Adams family, or family friends, reincarnated too?

Yes. These people have been identified in the present so far: Tom Chamberlain, Sae Chamberlain Farrington, Wyllys Chamberlain, Grace Chamberlain Allen, Reverend George Adams, Helen Root Adams, John Brown Gordon, and Amelia Adams. A handful of men from the 20th Maine have crossed my path over the years as well and some of them never knew who I was. They just told me about their memories and experiences as someone interested in Civil War history. The regiment is not in tact either. A number of them are still earthbound casualties of the war, unfortunately, as are a lot of soldiers killed in combat.

Do you actually remember stuff from Fanny’s life?

Yes. Most of it is quick flashes of things and nothing ever comes in chronological order, nor do people wear name tags. Again, I did not go seeking this. No toddler has the capacity to seek out things of this nature. Most of what I remembered came in the form of unusually vivid dreams and the initial recollections were all of Fanny’s deepest fears and unresolved trauma. Those things come back a lot faster than pleasant things because we have to resolve the bad things to let them go and learn from them. The things that came back first involved nightmares of abandonment and nightmares of army hospitals and facing the death of my spouse. It was too much for a small child to handle and I used to make my mom sleep in my bed sometimes because it didn’t happen when she was there. Pleasant things came later, such as holding my children back then or being funny with Lawrence. Most of it came between toddler age and about 9-years-old. It tapered off until I hit puberty and then it came back with a vengeance. It wouldn’t let me go. I made peace with it after high school and very few new flashes happen now. That’s typical though. The brunt of it hits most children when they become verbal toddlers and stops before they get too far in school.

What is your favorite memory?

There are two. They are nothing historically significant, just things that mean a lot to a woman. One was of walking along a riverbank and looking over my shoulder to see Lawrence carrying my easel and paint case with some difficulty, except he was trying to look cool about it. Young men don’t really change from century to century. They all want to look cool and impress girls. I thought to myself, “He loves me.” That was it. Nothing truly significant about the memory except I think that was the first time it really sank in that he was in love. The other favorite memory was even shorter. It was a glimpse of rocking a baby, very small baby like almost newborn, and studying the chubby cheeks, the dark eyelashes, etc., and feeling quite in awe yet still worried because the baby was a bit sickly. I think it was Wyllys. There were voices in another part of the house but I didn’t want to leave the baby. Mothers understand the feeling of your child in your arms is something you hold onto forever.

What is your least favorite memory?

The summer of 1864. Read about that here. – The Charge At Fort Hell: A wife’s point of view

Have you ever had another lifetime with Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain?

Yes. We are Twin Flames so we are together periodically. We had an early life in Africa in which we switched genders and races (not uncommon). All I know about that is I needed goats or something to take “her” as a wife and it was a bit of a struggle. He was also around during the last years of my Amy Dudley time but more of a background figure working nearby. There are a handful of others but I don’t know enough about them to comment in detail. I’m sure we are due for another trip around the sun.

Was Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain very romantic?

Hello, Chamberlain fangirls. I see you out there lurking around the internet. This is the tamest question I’ve gotten from you all, so I’ll use it as a blanket question. Yes, he was romantic. He was funny too. Very funny. He was the sort of man who, once he discovered his confidence, could charm a woman in white gloves into buying a ketchup popsicle, as they say. My trouble with his female admirers today is that they refuse to see his flaws. They have made him into a hero on the cover of a romance novel. While he was a wonderful, affectionate, loving man, who treated women like his equals, he was also plagued by bouts of despondency and jealousy when he wasn’t getting enough attention. Today we would call him needy. The jealousy issue that he called “suffering the demon” got so bad that the marriage almost never happened. After the war, he came home a man with control issues, used to people obeying him right away, and suffered with post-traumatic stress disorder that was never diagnosed because nobody knew about those things back then. I didn’t do well with being controlled. I kicked him out for a year. So, in short, he was wonderfully romantic and supportive when outside pressures weren’t wearing him down. The marriage was not a walk in the park but it was worth everything we went through. One thing that never changed was the fact that we loved each other very deeply.

Why do some remember past lives and others do not?

Truthfully, I don’t know. I believe that some people are simply more sensitive than others and things work that way because we need the spark of hope to keep faith alive. If past lives, the higher powers, the universe, and the afterlife were common knowledge, faith would no longer exist. It would just be fact. I suspect people would abuse the system if it was common knowledge as well. By that, I mean people would not hesitate to do bad things because they’d think they could just learn from it in the next life and that would be the end of it. It’s never that simple but people who are not spiritually evolved enough to understand the complexities of these things would dig themselves into a hole quickly. Not everybody is – for lack of a better word – spiritually mature enough to handle the whole truth. Would you, for example, explain sex to a 6-year-old? No. A 6-year-old is not ready to understand that yet. Also, not everybody wants to know either. The people who do know are, in my opinion, allowed to know so they can keep faith alive for others.

How can I learn about my past lives?

There are several methods. It just depends on what works for you. The most important thing is to develop a disciplined meditation regimen. Meditation keeps you centered, relaxed, builds confidence in your everyday life, improves your health, and clears your mind to allow spiritual information to come through. Once you are developed enough in meditation, you can ask your spirit guide to reveal past life information to you. Some people go to hypnotherapists too. I’d be very careful about that. A third party guiding you through hypnosis can lead you into false memories if they’re not experienced enough. Some go to intuitives who specialize in past lives, like myself – here are the readings I offer – but please remember that any good intuitive will only guide you, not do spiritual work for you. We give you past life information and what bad cycles you need to break but we don’t break those cycles for you. Only you can help yourself in those things. Above all, keep a detailed journal for reference later. Further reading – An Overview of the Basic Principles of Reincarnation and How to Validate a Reading and The Reincarnation of Famous People

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Hate Mail 101

Posted by Jessica Jewett 3 Comments »

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Sometimes I get some really interesting email. I operate two websites, a Twitter page and a few Facebook pages, so the occasional troll is to be expected, especially when I’m rather public about reincarnation research and paranormal investigation. That’s not always a popular topic among certain types of people. I’m quite used to the usual, run-of-the-mill, “You’re a crazy devil worshiper!” mail bombs that come my way multiple times every month. I delete things like that and pretend like they never happened.

Occasionally, however, there are some rather … erm … interesting emails I get from time to time. The interesting ones tend to ramble and not make much common sense, let alone grammatical sense. I never understood what possessed people to waste the time and energy attacking someone they don’t know – or in this case – multiple people they don’t know and how they choose to express their beliefs. If I encounter a website I don’t like, I just click away from it and move on to something else. Makes sense, right?

Here is an example of a very recent piece of hate mail delivered to my inbox. You might need a map to follow the logic in this one. While the hate wasn’t directed at me per se, it was by proxy because it’s my website.

I have something – ever so – well NECESSARY to say about THIS SUBECT, any MORON who claims to be Mozart reincarnated – especially a woman is a FRAUD,I’m quite sick of people claiming to be he reincarnation of peple they can study – possibly lie-laden historical details of BUT IT IT QUITE SIMPLE, if the GHOST OF SOMEONE IS STILL AROUND then anyone claiming to be the REINCARNATION of the GHOST IS A LYING FRAUD, and Mozarts ghost was seen – in four nations in the seventies, SHE”S TOO OLD to be what she’s LYING ABOUT. he is an inersting ghost, his medium seemed to be a teenager, french-gypsy. due to this fact, people were way more likely to learn more about Mozart’s teenage years. A suspectgerman parapyscholist called Wolfgang was suspeced by some trying to establish the full range of teh event to be the ghost – OR channeling him.

…. Huh?

Yeah, that’s what I said.

I’m pretty sure this email was in reference to the Mozart reincarnation case (click the link) profiled over at Historical Figures Reincarnated, a research website operated by my friend, Nellie, and me. Unlike the lovely person above, I actually know the people involved. I never associate my name with cases that I don’t know for certain to be true. That’s why such hate doesn’t really bother me – it doesn’t change the truth – but I do get a little curious about why people are that way. My uncle thinks I should be a psychiatrist.

What do you do when you encounter such intense negativity? Do you let it seep into your soul and fester like a rotting wound or do you wash it away?

I will certainly get hate mail as long as I’m working publicly in the paranormal field. That doesn’t bother me so much. Delete is the best button ever invented. What does bother me is the fact that there are people so mired down in their own negativity that the only way they know to cope is to lash out at everyone else. It’s always easier to judge other people when you really should be looking in the mirror and examining yourself. Nobody wants to face it when they do wrong, behave unfairly, etc., but that is really the only way to grow and develop a more evolved soul. Of course, in order to become a more evolved soul, a person has to be willing to go through the process of admitting they need to rethink the way they behave and interact with the world. Those who are not willing and seek shelter on the false security of a high horse will always look down their noses at everyone else, even when they engage in the same behaviors they claim that they can’t stand. That kind of thing runs rampant in the paranormal community especially.

What lessons can we draw from this example of hate mail?

We should all take a closer look at the way we respond to things we don’t like, whether it’s behavior, beliefs, etc. If you find yourself responding with either passive-aggressive or direct judgment, consider whether that response is really necessary or not. Everybody is different. Everybody has different beliefs, tastes, lifestyles, manners of doing things, and so forth. What may seem crazy and weird to you is perfectly fine to someone else. Is the behavior or belief hurting you directly? If not, then it’s not your place to pass verbal judgment on another person. The golden rule applies even when you’re an adult! If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all. Why? Because if it’s not hurting you directly, then being rude and passing judgment is just creating more negative energy around you. Once you get surrounded by negative energy, you can no longer take pleasure in life and you will be alienated from your loved ones because they will eventually retreat in order to protect their own energies. It’s instinctive.

Think about the purpose of your words before you react. The hate mail didn’t accomplish anything except making me stand up for the credibility and integrity of my very dear friends.

Let’s calm our nerves with my beautiful Nettl’s signing voice, shall we?


Mozartballs/ Abendempfindung

Lynette, (Nettl no “e”) | Myspace Video

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