Archive for September, 2012

Elizabeth I: Killer Queen?

Elizabeth I: Killer Queen?
Posted by Jessica Jewett 7 Comments »

I’m taking a pretty big risk by opening myself up this much but I’m going to do it anyway. I’m not sure why. Call it instinct, I suppose.

I recently had the opportunity to watch a documentary on PBS called Elizabeth I: Killer Queen?. The show piqued my interest when I saw it listed on my guide because it went over theories that connected Queen Elizabeth I to the death of Lady Amy Robsart Dudley.

You see, the Queen had been involved in an affair with Robert Dudley in the first few years of her reign. They were in love, according to many rumors at court, and they wanted to marry each other. The thing was Robert already had a wife – Amy. He married her when she was 18 in about 1550 but there were long separations and after a while, he all but abandoned her for the Queen. Her Majesty was head over heels in love with him, although many believe (myself included) that his love only extended to the power that came with her favor. I personally feel that Robert was not capable of loving anything beyond himself. Anyway, two years into Elizabeth’s new reign, Lady Amy suddenly turned up dead. She was found with a broken neck at the bottom of a staircase in a home where she had been staying, far away from court. Some said it was an accident. Some said it was suicide. Some said it was murder. Centuries have passed without the mystery ever being solved and Amy’s death ensured that Elizabeth could never marry Robert. As history famously records, she became The Virgin Queen and never took a husband at all.

What does this have to do with me? Well, as many of you already know, Amy was my other identified past life much earlier than Fanny. I have known I was Amy for years, although I’m not very vocal about it. I don’t hide it but I don’t go around yelling, “Hey, I used to be Lady Amy Robsart Dudley a zillion years ago! Cool, right?” because the truth is it’s not cool at all.

Before I even knew about Amy on a historical level, I spent the majority of my life battling an irrational and bizarre phobia of staircases. It’s such a weird phobia but it has been with me for as long as I can remember. My family often veers between making fun of this phobia or losing patience with it. Since I’m disabled, I have to be carried up and down stairs a lot and simply being on a staircase at all sends me into a panic attack even if I’m totally secure and surrounded by people. Basically everyone in my life has witnessed the intense fear I feel, especially going down stairs. The only people I really feel secure with on staircases are my brother Michael, my uncle Ben, my friends Lindsey, Sarah, Ryan and Sergey. Even with them, I still find myself either repeating, “Don’t let me fall,” or fighting the urge not to repeat it out of embarrassment.

I never attributed this phobia to anything past life related until well into adulthood though. It’s perfectly natural for someone with a disability to be fearful of staircases but the difference with me throughout my life was I never saw myself falling in a wheelchair. Even in childhood, visions of falling down stairs were of me on my feet. That’s not normal. I don’t have a clue of what it feels like to stand on a staircase or feel like I’m being pushed down them.

When I was about twelve or thirteen, we lived in a townhouse on Dorset Road in St. Louis. The stairs in that townhouse were split, meaning it went down about four or five steps, made a 90 degree right turn on a small landing, and then made another 90 degree right turn down to the first floor. I often found myself looking down the first portion of the stairs from my bedroom having strange visions of being thrown down the stairs. It repeated over and over again in my mind’s eye if I gave into it, so I simply avoided it at all costs. I always felt myself pitched forward against my will when I was on those stairs.

Much later in life, I found out myself as Amy had been found at the bottom of stairs of a very similar design. It was such a similar design that I was experiencing flashbacks without knowing it.

The question if whether Amy had been murdered or not will always be hotly debated by Tudor historians unless a confession document by her murderer is ever found. I have maintained since I came forward with who I was that I was murdered. The anger, resentment, sorrow and abandonment that I feel in connection to that time does not coincide with someone who accidentally tripped on her skirt and fell. The question of suicide has always made me cry out, “NO!” with the kind of fervor that translates in me as being insulted. I don’t know exactly how it was done or by whom but I’m certain I didn’t go of my own accord. My feeling is that someone came up behind me on the staircase and hit me with some object, which sent me flying down the stairs. I also feel that my body was arranged by the killer to look like an accident. I was found with my dress in order and my head veil still in place despite gaping head wounds and a broken leg. Things don’t fit.

I have had a couple of repeating nightmares about that time since before I knew someone named Amy Robsart Dudley existed. They began by being triggered by encountering who Robert is today. I had fallen for a man who was – big shocker – a womanizer, a liar, and manipulated people to get further in life. Basically “Robert” hasn’t grown or changed much at all in 450 years and we were briefly reconnected in a toxic relationship. Such relationships often repeat in different lifetimes until they are done correctly or until they are resolved. Being with him again (without knowing it yet) brought on nightmares about his abuse and abandonment during the Tudor period. I was very confused and disillusioned by the nightmares because I couldn’t believe this “knight in shining armor” brought out such darkness from my subconscious.

They were not very lengthy nightmares or filled with historical detail. One was of me in a nightgown reaching for a candle on my bedside table and seeing bruises on my inner wrist. I pulled back the sleeve and saw what looked like marks from someone wrenching me by my forearm. Then fear set in until I reminded myself that he was gone. I looked in a foggy mirror and saw similar bruises on my face. Does this mean Amy was a battered wife when he did see her or is this a visual representation of how abused and alone I felt? I doubt I’ll ever know for sure.

Another dream involved being almost full term pregnant and thrown against a stone wall by him. I actually saw him that time. I felt my back and my head smash into the stone wall. It led to a stillborn child. Officially Amy had no children but so very little is known about her life that it’s entirely possible a stillbirth has been lost to history. I have searched high and low for evidence of a pregnancy but I have found that Amy has largely been reduced to a scandal in Robert’s life. Only two letters of her entire life survive in the present. The only chatter about her from other people was gossip in Elizabeth’s court. Amy almost never set foot at court because Elizabeth was notoriously jealous of other women. She needed to be the center of the universe.

I also have one very clear recollection of begging Robert not to go back to court. I could describe in great detail what the room looked like, what the clothing looked like, what was said, etc. It was that vivid. What was equally as vivid was the sensation of being no more important to him than a valued servant, not a wife, and how it wasn’t always that way. There had been love once, before her.

Lastly, I have the slightest hint of a recollection of what I think was my last moments. It was shadowy and difficult to pinpoint because I have meditated on it numerous times instead of it coming by spontaneous recall like the other clearer memories. I was in a confined space and felt someone behind me so I looked over my left shoulder. There I saw the leg of a man before everything went black. It was an intense moment of fear like when you think you’re alone but you realize you’re not.

The majority of my recollections came before I knew about Amy yet I had knowledge of certain things. I called my former involvement “Robert” in one of the recollections without knowing who he was at the time. Most importantly, I described what he looked like to multiple people before Robert Dudley ever came across my desk as a historical figure. It could not have been more exact than if I had drawn a picture of him. Added to that are repeating date and name phenomenon often seen with past life evidence. As I put together the case, I found the repeating dates and names lining up with both “Robert” and myself. None of it came to light, however, until after we ended our toxic relationship. I knew that he was a stagnate soul unwilling to learn from his lifetime upon lifetime of mistakes. No matter what I did or how I loved him, he was not going to be worthy of that love.

My theory about what happened to me in 1560 is that Robert Dudley’s men, his supporters, thought if I was gone, he stood a shot at marrying the Queen of England. If Robert rose, so would his friends. I think no more than three discussed it and just one did the actual deed. It was not as simple as being pushed down the stairs and breaking my neck. The man approached from behind and struck the back of my head with some object of force and I went flying down the stairs, breaking a leg on the way, and breaking my neck at the bottom. Then I think he messed with the position of my body and the layout of my clothes and veil to ensure it resembled an actual fall. Robert was not directly involved but he was indirectly at fault for his ambition becoming bigger than himself. It destroyed both of us.

I don’t think I passed into the afterlife for many years either. I think my sense of anger and betrayal about how everything played out meant that I was unwilling to die – unwilling to accept my end. In other words, I was a ghost for a long time before something intervened and I moved into the afterlife in order to reincarnate again. Not every haunting is a permanent state of being. In fact, very few are permanent. Spirits can move into the afterlife of their own free will or they can be “rescued” by those in both the living world or the spirit world. I have no idea how I managed to move on from that kind of life, to be honest. I still feel quite a lot of anger when I hear those names.

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Jackie Kennedy in Paris

Jackie Kennedy in Paris
Posted by Jessica Jewett No Comments »

In honor of my decision to start saving in earnest (on a schedule and everything!) for my dream trip to France, aka the Motherland, I bring you pictures and video of Jackie Kennedy’s trip to Paris in 1961. There was also some guy called JFK on that trip. Wink, wink. I tend to be drawn to strong, elegant, fashionable women in history with troubled lives, such as Marie Antoinette, Princess Diana and so forth, so it’s no surprise that Jackie Kennedy is one of my biggest idols. She represents everything classic, elegant, educated, fashionable, well-mannered, nurturing, etc., that a real lady should be, despite a philandering, troubled husband. My admiration for her is so known that friends on a recent camping trip repeatedly pointed out, “Jackie would/wouldn’t do that!” to my various habits. And yes, I favor pearls because of her. I enjoy looking at pictures and video from Jackie’s time in Paris, so I’m sharing them here with you.

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Happy birthday, Lawrence!

Happy birthday, Lawrence!
Posted by Jessica Jewett 2 Comments »

Today Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain would have been 184-years-old. He was born on September 8, 1828, in Brewer, Maine. He was the oldest of five children in any very religious and sometimes rather strict family. After largely achieving a self-education, he attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and graduated in 1852. He then went on to the Bangor Theological Seminary where he crammed four years of education into three years. Originally he wanted to become a Congregationalist minister but I don’t think he ever really fully committed to that idea enough to make it his lifelong career. The woman he married, Fanny Adams, sort of pushed him away from the ministry because she had been raised by a minister and knew how difficult that kind of life was on the family because he would always be attending to the needs of his congregation over his own. So when they married, he became a professor at Bowdoin where he remained until the Civil War. Those with quiet years, between his marriage and the war, when he had a steady job and raised his small children.

Many of you already know about his service in the war – being commissioned lieutenant colonel of the 20th Maine, then promoted to colonel just before Gettysburg, and then receiving the only battlefield commission of the war by General Grant at Petersburg, followed by being selected by General Grant to receive the formal Confederate surrender at Appomattox. He was wounded six times during the war and once was nearly mortal. Many horses were shot out from under him in battle as well.

After the war, he was elected Governor of Maine four times in the Reconstruction years. There was talk of running for the Senate or even President but Mrs. Chamberlain absolutely refused to spend many more years parted from her husband and father of her children. The long separations took a toll on their marriage and it reached a point in 1868 that could have resulted in divorce. Instead, he agreed to leave home and they had a separation for a year before they were able to work on their marriage. Later, he became President of Bowdoin College for twelve years with popularity going up and down as he slowly changed the school into more of a military facility. Bad real estate investments and financial trouble prevented him from retiring in old age as a man usually did in his position, so he worked as a surveyor in Portland, Maine. He also toured and lectured about the war, published books, and worked with veterans to establish monuments, funding and so forth.

In 1914, he passed away after a lengthy illness related to the wound that nearly killed him in the Civil War. He lived into his 80s and saw his grandchildren grow.

I’m not really here to write another biography about him because there are plenty of books that do a much better job of that than I could. I just wanted to give people a basic idea of his life in case they are not familiar with him or other historical figures of the Civil War. After he died, he sort of slipped into history until Ken Burns heavily drew from his writing for his documentary on the Civil War, followed by Jeff Daniels portraying him in the films Gettysburg and Gods and Generals. Since then, he has become both a very popular figure in American history and a misunderstood and, at times, a villainous figure to people who don’t understand him or what he did with his life. He has been accused of everything from being a champion of veterans and quite humbled to being egotistical and rewriting his own history to make himself look like the savior of the Union. It really just depends on who you ask. Such tales are common with any historical figure who becomes popular in modern times. They are always picked apart and scrutinized, leading to some image of what we think they were as opposed to who they really were in their lives.

It used to bother me quite a lot that people couldn’t possibly know him the way I did. Given my unusual position of having rather intense past life memories of being married to him, it has taken me a while to reconcile myself to the idea that my contemporaries now are never going to see him through my eyes back then. We had an extremely complicated relationship that I have written about at length in different blogs around here, so I don’t really feel the need to repeat myself that much. I even published a book about my reincarnation experiences concerning this family and I do have plans to release an extended version of that book because a lot has happened since the original publication date. I used to feel the need to argue with people who didn’t understand my position or in believing that kind of thing but I have grown so much since I came to terms with my own history that it really doesn’t matter anymore if people understand or not. When everything is said and done, the only thing that matters at the end of a life is the relationship you had with your companion just between the two of you and no one else. There is a lot of freedom in no longer needing to prove yourself to outsiders.

Since I came to terms with who I was to him, I have found myself sort of using his birthday as a marker to examine my own progress in spiritual development. Lawrence, in his lifetime, used his birthday each year to write a letter to his mother and talk about how he has changed and developed from the last year or the years before that. I sort of follow his example and continue the tradition in my own way. It is my opinion that spontaneous past life memories, whether they occur in childhood or adulthood, are neither spontaneous nor accidental. Those of us who have such strong cases usually have leftover things that need to be learned which were incomplete or unresolved from the previous life. We’re also here to help people understand that life doesn’t end with death and neither does love. I no longer have the nightmares about Civil War military hospitals and different kinds of insecurities and abandonment that plagued me in that lifetime because I stopped ignoring what was happening to me and I pushed myself to understand what happened, why it happened, and why it was affecting me in this lifetime so much. As Fanny, I died with a lot of demons that most people don’t even know about today and only a few historians have touched on, but also, myself as Fanny had leftover demons from the lifetime prior to the 19th century that were never resolved. So what you have a snowball effect getting bigger and bigger until it became impossible to ignore here in the 21st century. This lifetime has been about melting that snowball and exorcising the demons built up from multiple lifetimes in order to make my future easier to swallow and not so complicated.

This September 8 is remarkably different from previous September 8 days for me. In the beginning, I would have just been coming out of the summer of nightmares. It was a bit of a cycle for me throughout my life to have repeating nightmares of the summer of 1864 when he was nearly killed. Something about the heat and humidity of the South triggered it for me and I spent many summers having bouts of insomnia and bouts of nightmares. When I began writing my book about my reincarnation experiences and putting the energy into understanding why things happened, the nightmares slowed down and eventually stopped. I don’t think I’ve had a nightmare for about maybe two or three years. That’s the longest time I’ve gone without having a nightmare and I have no desire to go back to reliving it. To me, it’s a victory. I let go of the trauma. I now have the ability to read books about Petersburg and I’m okay with setting foot in the state of Maryland (he recovered in Annapolis) without feeling panic in the pit of my stomach. In many ways, I’m glad he’s not reincarnated right now because I was not the one who was almost killed and I suffered for years with traumatic flashbacks. Had he come back soon, he would have had much more confusing and debilitating flashbacks. If we are ever together again, my idealistic nature likes to believe that because I’ve already been through it – uncovering the history and dealing with the flashbacks – that I could have the instincts to help him deal with it even if I don’t remember what I did in this lifetime. The instincts are always there even if you don’t have literal memories.

Another thing that has happened with this September 8 is I have more pieces of my soul group than I did before. I don’t actively search for people in my soul group. I don’t feel like those things should be forced. Everything has a way of coming to you when it’s supposed to and when you can learn the most from it. Pushing things before you’re ready will only result in more confusion and unhappiness. I’ve never actively sought out people for my soul group or filling those missing slots even though I do have an intense curiosity about the concept. I do notice that we will find each other. It happens naturally. This past year I found one of my children from that lifetime – Grace, nicknamed Daisy. Just as with Wyllys and I switching generations with “him” being older than me now, so his Grace switched generations with me. Now I’m younger than both of them and they are older than me. That’s actually very common for parents and children to switch generations. Knowledge has been passed between myself and someone in my life now who was a close family friend back then too. He was someone I recognized the minute I met him about five or six years ago but we never talked about it until recently. I also have suspicions about one of my other children from our lifetime who died as an infant but, like I said, I don’t actively seek out members of my soul group. I wait for the answers to come to both of us naturally.

I suppose the moral of the story today is to consider what you might be doing in this lifetime that could be considered harmful to you. If you think you’re going to leave it behind when you die, you’re probably mistaken. Take the time now to resolve relationships that need work, resolve the relationship with yourself, and stop ignoring your problems. Be proactive and take control of your problems so that they don’t follow you in the future. Don’t make the same mistakes I did because you may be me in a couple of lifetimes from now looking back and wondering what the hell you’re having flashbacks and nightmares of a couple of centuries ago. It’s better to resolve things now instead of taking the baggage with you when you go.

And the most important thing to remember is that love is not going to end when people pass away. These relationships last much, much longer than most people think. It’s so important to nurture the important relationships in your life because at the end, you’re not thinking about how much money you made or how much fabulous stuff you acquired in your lifetime. You thinking about being around the people you loved. You’re thinking about what you would give to have one more hug or one more kiss or one more adventure.

Or one more birthday.

Adieu mio caro.

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