Aleister Crowley thought that developing the “magickal memory” was an important part of magickal training. The magickal memory is the ability to recall past lives. In Magick Without Tears, chapter 37, he points out that one of the values of remembering past lives is that it helps you overcome a fear of physical death. In Liber ThIShARB he goes into methods for remembering past lives, but for a different reason. Here, there is far more than merely overcoming the fear of the inevitable. Rather, remembering past lives has the goal of seeing a thread that unites all of the past lives and how those lives apply to your current life: “let him apply them [memories] to his own career, forging the links of memory into the chain of necessity.” He also advises that you be aware that the mind can create fantasies. You should check out your memories of the past for validity, and “avoid as if it were the plague any speculation sentimental or fantastic.”

Crowley believed that he was the reincarnation of John Dee‘s assistant, Edward Kelly, and famed occultist Eliphas Levi. However, he speaks little of his past lives in his voluminous writings. Even though he felt remembering past lives was important, and he felt he had famous past lives, the important thing is not the past, but how the memory can be used to give guidance, direction, and clarity to your life today. Dion Fortune wrote that a famous past life doesn’t add glory to this life so much as make one wonder what you did to end up in this lower state!

Both Fortune and Crowley grew up in the late Victorian period. The vast increase in scientific knowledge during this area resulted in a desire to “prove” everything. This reached its apex, perhaps, with their contemporary, Houdini, who spent much of his later years trying to disprove the paranormal (primarily as part of getting publicity for his act).

Which Side Are You On?

So do you side with Crowley and Fortune or Houdini? Do you think past lives are real and valuable, or do you think they’re fake or false memories?


I’ll give you a second to think about it….


My guess is that some of you will think they’re real and amazing aspects of the past, some of you will think they’re real but no big deal, and some of you will think they’re not real at all.

Do you agree with one of those concepts?
Have you clarified your thoughts?
Feel free to make your comments known to readers.

Now, I’ll share mine. It’s what I call…

The Tripper Solution to the Reality of Past Lives

Do you know who Tripper is? Tripper is the character played by Bill Murray in the movie Meatballs. In the film, he gives a rousing speech to a group of discouraged campers, getting them to shout, “It just doesn’t matter! It just doesn’t matter!”

When it comes to whether past lives are objectively real, it just doesn’t matter. While interesting—and perhaps able to produce some new historical information—whether or not a past life is “real” is of little importance to a magician. Often, you’ll read about some debunker who says, “Why is it that everyone who remembers a past life was someone famous?” Well, I’ve helped over a thousand people remember past lives and none of those past lives were famous ones. To a magician, being famous in a past life isn’t important.

Uh, Wait a Second…

You may have noticed a real contradiction. First I point out that according to Crowley, developing the magickal memory, remembering past lives, is important. Fortune was a believer in past lives and both wanted people not to become enamored of a belief in a famous past life. It really wasn’t that important. But if they’re not that important and, as many debunkers accurately point out, could be the result of false memories, why deal with them at all? And why have I bothered to help over 1,000 people remember past lives? The reason is simple:

The objective reality of a past life may be questionable,
but the experience of a past life is undeniable.

In fact, it’s quite common for people to have experiences of past lives. The objective reality of that past life may or may not be accurate, but the experience of that past life, whether it’s “real” or not, can be of vital importance.

Crowley, I think, had an idea of what was going on. He wanted those past live to be real and help point a direction in your current life. But even if they’re not objectively real, the experience is real and that experience has meaning and value.

Experiencing a past life is, at best, interesting. Determining why you’re having that memory now, and how it applies to issues in your life now, can help you through rough times, overcome challenges, get added insight, get over old issues that are holding you back, and much more. So even if a past life isn’t objectively real, the experience of a past life can be highly valuable.

How to Experience Past Lives

The memory of a past life can occur in dreams, can be triggered by some current event, can present themselves during meditation or ritual, or through the use of hypnosis. There are other means to discover past lives, too. You can meditate on the meaning of the past life experience and how it applies to your life today. This, as Crowley points out, can be invaluable. If you’re looking for guidance, here are some great books for you:

Doors to Past Lives & Future Lives
How to Uncover Your Past Lives
Hypnosis for Beginners

Practical Guide to Past-Life Memories

There are many other books that have sections on past lives, reincarnation, and even on how to experience your past lives, but the above books specialize on the practical aspects of the subject.

Are You in the Los Angeles Area?

If you are, and if you’re interested in actually experiencing one or more past lives, I’ve got great news for you! This Saturday, February 25, from 3:00–6:00, I’ll be giving a workshop on how to experience your past lives with hypnosis at The Green Man in North Hollywood. Here’s the information on the workshop:

Experience Past Lives
The Green Man
5712 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601

You may have read about past lives. You may have even taken workshops on past lives. But have you ever actually experienced a past life? In this workshop you’ll discover what past lives are and have the opportunity to experience one or more with the aid of hypnosis. You’ll also discover hypnosis and the techniques of past life regression therapy, the ability to learn lessons and change your life today from those experiences. You can observe or participate. All people who want to be hypnotized will be able to experience this wonderful state and have a true past life experience.

Written by Donald Michael Kraig
Donald Michael Kraig graduated from UCLA with a degree in philosophy. He has also studied public speaking and music (traditional and experimental) on the university level. After a decade of personal study and practice, he began ten years of teaching courses in the Southern California area on such ...