I interviewed Dr. Janet Cunningham in Maryland using my reliable, remarkable, Radio Shack recording device on February 8, 1997.
I find myself reflecting on how remarkable our modern devices are whenever I use it for an interview. Internet practically throws me into shock, computers still make me feel terribly "mod" and I can remember radio, when I was little, seeming to be a "magic box."
And since many of the things touched on in my interviews have to do with times long past, it seems disjointed in a Buck Rogers, time-travel way, to be making a record of them with such a "now" device.
This interview is the second installment in a series I began in the previous issue of this newsletter. As I started writing this, I glanced through "We Are One Another" again. That's one of Dr. Guirdham's group reincarnation books that I wrote about in the first part of this series.
I read these words from "Note to New Edition":
"Perhaps the most important issue arising since the publication of We Are One Another is that there is clear evidence that a further group is forming. Braida (the entity who taught Miss Mills healing both in the 1200's and today) and Bertrand Marty (a Cathar also in Spirit) are still active in guiding new sensitives and have been joined by Miss Mills, now passed over but carrying on, from the other side and as a revenant, guiding others as she did in this life.
"The revenants are now by no means exclusively concerned with the Cathar incarnation. They are going further back in time and encouraging those they guide to perceive the unchanging common denominators of truth. Aided by the revenants this new group is concerned with the nature of Godhead itself and, paradoxically, considering its preoccupation with antiquity, with wisdom and the future rather than with history and the past. The wheel has indeed come full circle."
Here is my interview with Janet Cunningham, the author of "A Tribe Returned," a book about the group reincarnation of an early native American tribe:
PC (Pat Chalfant): Hi, this is Pat Chalfant.
JC (Janet Cunningham): How are you, Pat?
PC: I'm good. I've been sitting here having more questions occur to me that I should have written down, but didn't, and trying hurriedly to write them down at the last minute. One thing was something that Dr. Guirdham mentioned in his books about group reincarnation--I probably will refer to his books from time to time in this--
JC: That's okay.
PC: --That the people he interviewed had many different psychic gifts, as well as being able to recall a past life. Was that your experience with the members of the tribe?
JC: That's an interesting question. Well, my experience with people in the tribe was very definitely yes! They are a group of people who have individual gifts, each one of them, but as a generalization I would say they did have psychic gifts. I attributed it to that particular lifetime we had had, or perhaps other lifetimes we had had. In that particular lifetime we were a very early native American tribe and we were very much attuned to the land and Great Spirit. We worked in harmony with the land and that's what I attributed it to, plus other lifetimes. But it may also be that people who spontaneously remember past lives are people who have psychic gifts that they may have worked on in several lifetimes.
PC: I wondered if you also had physical healings that happened among your people at that time because Dr. Guirdham cited several instances of people being healed by others in the group.
JC: I remember someone asking me about that when I gave a talk about the tribe and I couldn't think of anything at the time. There were experiences of something that would rise up I would say on a temporary basis before someone would have a regression, such as a pain in the shoulder...
PC: Oh, yes, I remember that because I was just rereading that last night--Deb, wasn't it?--
PC: --who came in for a regression with a pain in her shoulder?
JC: Yes. So that's an example of something that would begin to rise up through cellular memory and would be released as a result of the memory coming forward more. Another experience that stands out is the experience of Marta who was so very allergic to metals and during the time of the writing of the book she was having braces put on her teeth as a gift to herself for her fiftieth birthday. No one anticipated the kind of pain and difficulty she would have with those braces and it really confused the dentist. He'd never had anyone who had as many problems with braces. During that time she was also beginning to have some really traumatic memories of the end of her life and dying with a gun in her mouth.
PC: I remember the story and remember wondering how many people who have had unusual trouble with braces may have had some similar traumatic experience in a past life.
JC: Watching her go through that, it was obvious that there was something else that was very big and very deep that was going on. There isn't anything that comes to me right off the top of my head that was a spontaneous change but there were definite healings that took place over a period of time.
PC: When the paperback of Dr. Guirdham's "We Are One Another" came out in 1982, he noted in the introduction that many people had asked him if there were any other developments since the book's first printing in 1974. (His information had come almost exclusively from discarnates who spoke to, or otherwise impressed the two women who came to him with their evidence of past lives.)
He said that there had indeed been developments and that they were working with new sensitives on earth to bring more proof of the continuation of life and of reincarnation. One of the two women who had told him her story, Miss Mills "... has since passed over..." and is "...carrying on from the other side and as a revenant, guiding others as she did in this life."
Have any of the people in your returned tribe had further communication with the discarnates you were in touch with since the time of the events described in your book? Is there still communication with the discarnates who came to you and brought information to you? Have they let you know what they're doing?
JC: Most of our memories and our experience came directly from people as we lived our lives--and we are in bodies. However, the whole experience of memories coming forward came as a result of my former husband giving me that painting of Silver Eagle. So I would say that he was the one entity with whom different people could communicate. So, to answer your question, yes, there are experiences that people still have with just feeling his presence sometimes. It seems that he will go to different members of the tribe when they need him or when they need support. It seems that he checks on different members of the tribe. And sometimes when Delaine is doing body work, especially with members of the tribe, she will feel his presence.
PC: Mm, that's very nice.
JC: Yes, it is.
PC: But that's the only entity that this has happened with?
JC: Yes. But there are others who have their own personal connections to either a spirit guide who may have a connection to that past life time or to a mate that's on the other side, but I would say that as a whole with the group, Silver Eagle is really the only one who spoke to us on any regular basis.
PC: There was something I looked at last night in your book. It was a regression you did with Deb, and she was saying, "The earth is shaking, is off balance. The earth is to change. We have heard that. Don't be fooled that there is an easy way out. The tribe will be gone, the tribe will be back." What do you think that means? What does it mean to you?
JC: Deb really seemed to be in different levels of consciousness. She mentioned to me that she felt at that time that she could even have spoken that language but couldn't quite get it through her mouth, but it was that close. I believe that she, as that warrior, was having a realization that the tribe would return. And this work, from my point of view, of evolving in consciousness, is something that must be done and that we are all a part of it. And that in order to continue with the evolution of consciousness, we do have to return and we have to clear our own traumas. We have to lift in consciousness to understand that we really are spiritual beings and to do what is required of our spirits. Am I answering your question--I'm not sure--?
PC: Yes, you are.
JC: So I think that there was a realization for Deb in that lifetime as a warrior. I think there was a realization for Deb that there was going to be at some point in time a tremendous shakeup of the earth...I think that she was seeing what has been referred to by many as a shift in the axis, or the shift of the ages, it's been referred to in different ways and there was also the realization that these members of the tribe would come back during that time period.
PC: That's what it seemed to me to be, but I wasn't absolutely positive. I thought you might have some other thoughts...
JC: That was my feeling at the time.
PC: Are there experiences that people have had (members of the tribe) that have been a sort of continuation? You know, as you go through therapy, there will later be developments that are a continuation of the process?
JC: Many of us have moved to different places so I'm not as in touch with them as I was on a regular basis. There was a nucleus of a small group of us that lived in a particular area of upstate New York for a short time, but I was told that before the end of my life in this lifetime I would meet other members of the tribe who were incarnate. And I have met a couple of people who seemed to have been from the tribe and who have been confirmed by other members of the tribe. I might mention one person who's a friend who wanted to read the book.
I gave her the book to read before it was published, while it was still in a spiral binder, and she could never get around to reading it. And she said, "Janet, I would really like to have a regression first before I read it." I said that made a lot of sense. Terrific. We made an appointment and she was to come to my office and she got violently ill and she called up. She sounded terrible. We postponed it. Several months later she made another appointment and again she got very, very sick, lost her voice, couldn't talk and was physically ill. She would just keep stalling and I said, "Why don't you just go ahead and read it?" And she said, "I will, I will." Months would go by and I'd ask if she had read it and she would say, "No, it's in my closet, behind the closet door. I'm going to wait until it's published." At that time the publisher was working with me. It came out in hardback published by DeForest Press.
I gave her a copy and she said she was going to read it. And that was two years ago. Today, she still cannot read it. The few times that she's tried, she will see flashes of her own lifetime and she cannot bring herself to read it. So, it has been going on six years now and she still cannot read it. That's an example of the kind of power that these memories have for those who were there. It's very, very strong. You don't just jump into it and say, "Oh, yes, I was there. I'm going to read this book." Not when it touches the very deepest level of your being. Not when you truly have those memories.
PC: After I had first read the book I thought I remembered that I had come across some historical evidence concerning the tribe's existence. I know that you got help interpreting the phrase you kept repeating over and over again. Was that evidence that it was the same tribe?
JC: Yes, I'm not the person to do that. I did go to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. and I talked to someone there about the time period of the native Americans. And she indicated that at that time period there were no records kept of births and deaths. They were considered to be less than animals. They were not valued as people. As far as government records of births and deaths, they did not exist. No, I did not have any historical evidence.
That was one thing that was a challenge to me. Because it was very uncomfortable for me to tell that story and also have to say that I could not prove that the tribe ever existed. I think it was a personal challenge that I had to go through. Now I'm quite comfortable with knowing what our memories are. I still am more than willing to say I don't exactly know where they came from or what they are. But I'm very clear on the experience as it unfolded to us again and again from so many different directions and areas. But as far as physical proof, it hasn't come yet. I don't know that it's even possible. I don't know that anything exists. It's not something I've tried to put my physical energy into.
PC: Did you ever get any idea of what time period the tribe had existed?
JC: My hesitancy is only because I'm afraid that the conscious mind of some of the people may get into it. All I can say is that it was well before the civil war and there were men in dark uniforms. The native Americans had horses. They did not have guns. The white soldiers did have guns. Within that there might be a way of narrowing it down. At the time of our experience, we had not seen white faces before this onslaught began. It was in the area of what is now the Dakotas, what is now the plains. And we did move around.
PC: Did you move to the southern U.S.?
JC: I don't know that. We moved to where there was water and food.
PC: Since you've been doing work with the interlife, have you had any feelings, or has anyone come up with a recollection or any indication that a conscious decision was made that you would all return while you were in the interlife?
JC: We feel as if it was. Michael and I have joked about my making him sign a contract that he would come back with me. He laughs and says that he remembers that. It's kind of a joke that we have between us, but we really do have a sense that collectively we did make a decision that we would come back together. These memories were so powerful during the ten year period that I was working on it. And it required the love and support of each other to be able to go through those memories. We never could have done it on our own. One person would trigger another person's memories. One person would say, "I'm fine. I've got every thing wound up, I've got all the answers I need." Then someone else would walk in and trigger something else.
We were constantly triggering each other's memories. Sometimes it was very uncomfortable. But it was always done with a lot of love and caring for each other. And I think that within that safe space of knowing that, we were able to have these very horrendous memories come forward. I don't think we could have done it without each other. Most of us do have a feeling that we did make a decision in the interlife to return together. First to heal our own individual memories and then to heal those of the tribe and then to work in whatever way our individual talents can be used to assist the lifting of consciousness.
PC: And how many of those people are now doing that kind of work?
JC: Just about everyone that is in the book is doing that kind of work in some manner or another. Some of them through alternative healing processes. Some of them in more traditional lives and careers. But whatever way they're doing it, they're doing it with an intention of service. I would say that a very large percentage of them are working in the holistic health field in some manner. A small percentage of them are in more traditional lives, but at the same time, affecting other people's lives through their willingness to speak about their belief systems.
PC: How many of the original members (the first people you realized were part of the tribe) have since married or remarried and discovered their mates to have been other members of the tribe?
JC: At the time that these memories surfaced, most of the people were in middle life, shall we say. Two of the women appear to have been married to men who were soldiers in that life. Of the two, one is still with that husband, and one is divorced.
PC: Did the husbands get into this, did they have memories of that time and place?
JC: It has never been mentioned to either husband. They were recognized by their wives, as well as by other people. But no one ever said to the husbands that they were soldiers in that past life. But their actions continued to reveal that to us.
PC: As if they were atoning for what they had done?
JC: In some ways as if they were atoning and in some ways a real anger would rise up inside of them.
PC: About the Ph.D. you're getting. Where are you going to get it and what is the general thrust?
JC: I decided to go to a very traditional university. It's called untraditional because it's university without walls. But its program is very traditional. It's called Walden University and it's located in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Naples, Florida. The degree is in human services with a specialization in professional counseling. My dissertation is on modern transpersonal experiences.
PC: Such as?
JC: Such as people who have out-of-body experiences, people who sense the presence of the spirit of a relative who's passed over, near-death experiences, spontaneous past life memories.
PC: Sounds great. Have you had any problems with your choice of subject?
JC: I'll know after the next couple of weeks because I just turned my dissertation draft in. But quite frankly, there aren't professors at this university who understand my work and just what it is that I do.
PC: Good luck with it. And if I have more questions for you as I attempt to turn this into a book, may I call you again?
JC: Yes, of course.
PC: Thanks, Janet.
Kind of channeled this while I sat at this keyboard typing up this tape and felt repeatedly that I should try doing sort of inspirational writing, felt the front of my legs feeling abnormally cold and wondered if some spirit person was trying to sit where I was and wanted perhaps to add something to this account.
I don't know what that would be but thought I would take a flyer and mention this and see if the entity (if one was here) would dictate something to me, perhaps. I got the sign that my guide, my doorkeeper was here (my head always turns quickly to the left after I start meditation and I had closed my eyes to type), after I had closed my eyes.
As soon as I closed my eyes, saw the keyboard as if it were with my spirit eyes. I had been having a headache off an on through the typing. The headache seemed to center now in my third eye. That felt wrinkled and tense, so I tried to relax it. Maybe it was just someone who came to assist me with the words while I transcribed.
You mustn't be fooled by your own reluctance to see what these things mean. Your rational mind gets in the way of such things a great deal of the time. Your friends on Spirit side of life would come and talk with you more often, and may in the future do so now that you are becoming more open to that possibility. We know that there is a natural fear that you have had concerning these methods of thought transference. We would like to bring a much more comprehensive view of these subjects if you could tolerate our intrusion on the work that you do. We know you don't think it work, but that it is just the expression of your life, that it is as natural to you as breathing or hands and feet. This we know. But we would like to add a dollop here and there of information and insight from the Spirit Side. We hope that you will be able to deal with this soon.
As for the subject that you are researching and writing about, we know that you have already guessed the way this goes. Those people on earth who hold certain "religious" persuasions, such as that there is no reincarnation, that there is reincarnation; there is a return of the master or there is not, there will be a shaking of the earth, there will not be, may or will, of course, be drawn by the law of vibration to the place in the afterlife where these are the beliefs, that is where what they believed on earth is also believed here. You have seen that and it is so. You've seen it with the help of books like "The Unobstructed Universe" and Robert Monroe's books. We are bringing you a message at the same time that we are commenting on the book you're making here.
A really lovely diamond solitaire is coming to you as a symbol of the future that you are building for yourself and we know that you can see it inwardly as we assist you in writing these words. Your work with the public, giving so-called readings, should now become easier for you and less tiring. There should be a flow. You don't trust this prediction, even as you write it, but when and as it comes about, you will know that what we have said today in this writing session with you has been the truth. We really were here and we really did communicate through this means. Your head feels tight as if a band were on it. Even so. Your bell has rung. Goodbye, simply.
(End of automatic, inspirational writing.)
From "A Seer Out of Season" by Harmon Hartzell Bro, Ph.D., P. 234, middle of page:
"Souls, the unconscious Cayce reported, typically chose to incarnate together, taking on the various roles and bondings of the family molecule. In scores of readings Cayce traced the specific opportunities from being married to a former brother, or having a child who was previously one's parent, or caring for someone long ago ignored in the family circle. Further, he described souls as incarnating in groups or waves coming from the same culture into another period of history, which allowed them to work together on the same social problems. Those who had sought freedom in the American colonies had often been together taking away freedom in the name of spirituality during the Crusades. And souls often incarnated in groups to advance causes to which they were committed--medical care, education, opening new markets, or perhaps international peace. Even to begin to conceptualize such patterns in which the chance meeting of strangers might not be chance, it seemed necessary to postulate ESP fields within which signals flashed from person to person, and joint thought forms created to last even across lifetimes."
Good evening. It is late and you are tired. But we want to touch in and say a few words. You are seeing pictures as you type with eyes closed. First a ring held by leafy prongs on either side. Then there is a table corner, one leg showing, which changes to a box, as well.
You will find a place in which to live for the rest of your life. You will be compensated for all the work you are doing. You have been financially taken care of because of this work you've been doing. You aren't aware of how much of the time we have protected you and helped you and we will continue to do so. We are glad you have found the book, "The Testament of Light", and we know that you will profit greatly from it.
Someone would like to speak with you but is concerned that you may not wish to do this. It's a personal message and it has made you uncomfortable in the past. The message is about his great concern for you. He does spend much time in your area just as the mediums in your church have said. We will now close this so that you may retire. If you wish to try to do this regularly, we are always here for you.
We usually think of reincarnation experiences in terms of one person recalling (either with or without a facilitator) one or more past lives. It is rare that an individual past life recaller tries to follow up historically on his personal past life information.
Please note that I am looking for more group reincarnation experiences. If you have had such an experience, I would love to hear about it and if this grows into a book (as I intend it to), an interview with you about your experience might become part of that--with your permission, of course. The category is broader than group reincarnation, because it includes experiences such as the Englishwoman who found her past life children in this lifetime. Then there is the rabbi who has had many people who believe they are reincarnated holocaust victims get in touch with him from all over the world. I hope to be able to interview people like this, as well.