Dark, satanic mills: A past life regression

I have just experienced a past-life regression with a hypnotherapist. It was eye-opening in more ways than one.

By way of background, I have been suffering from various ailments over recent years. I have a rare and incurable condition affecting my respiratory tract which requires regular surgery, otherwise I would slowly choke to death. For some months I have also had post-viral fatigue — a debilitating state of weakness, severe aches and pains, and a constant ‘flat battery’. I have also been getting headaches and my eyesight has been going blurry. Oh, I also have a weird blotchiness on my skin, like reddish leopard spots. (I sound like a right old mess!)

Psychologically, I am dealing with a certain conflict around my work. I also have a lifelong problem with excessive shyness. This has been debilitating at times, but these days I am learning to handle it well enough. I do, however, often find normal conversation stressful and will generally try to avoid it.

My intention with the regression therapy was to see if we could get to the bottom of any of these issues.

(Note: The pictures I’ve used in this post illustrate the sorts of things I was seeing or sensing — not exactly, but close enough.)

The regression

After an hour-long introductory chat and exploration of my issues and symptoms, followed by the relaxation and induction procedure, we began with the therapist, Hazel, taking me directly to the source of my throat problem.

I immediately found myself writhing with discomfort. I seemed to be in a toxic environment. I had no visual imagery as yet, but when asked where I was, I got the impression that I was in a factory — more precisely, one of the classic ‘dark satanic mills’ of the Industrial Revolution. Possibly in Yorkshire (Northern England).

It was a dark, noisy, bad-smelling place, and I knew that I was slowly being poisoned by it. The word ʻmercuryʼ occurred to me.

I was wearing something like a top hat, an open jacket, waistcoat and checkered trousers, and I carried a pocket watch. I appeared to be a factory floor supervisor, keeping an eye on the workers. I hated my job. For some reason, though, I had no way out. I was stuck in something I loathed.

When asked for the name of the place, the first word that came to me was ʻGrimsbyʼ, and then I said with a smile, ʻbut thatʼs just because itʼs grimʼ. The next place name I got was ʻShelbyʼ or possibly ‘Selby’.

Asked how I died, I started choking and writhing in agony. I was dying on a stretcher on the floor of a very dingy little room. I think I was 24 years old.

We went back to an earlier time. I had been a child on a farm when I first saw this vast building springing up nearby: the new mill. I had been awestruck. I thought, ʻThis is the way of the futureʼ. I was so impressed by its grandeur, and by what we would now call the cutting edge technology, that I wanted to be part of it. I thought it would be so marvelous to join the Industrial Revolution.

I remember that I (Barry) was struck by the contrast between the smells of the countryside and farmyard I knew as a child and the disgusting smells of the factory in my adulthood.

We moved to the next significant event, which looked like my wedding. We were outside the church on a sunny day; petals were being thrown over my bride and me. I could see myself through others’ eyes: I was very cheerful, in top hat and tails. I had soft whiskers. I think I was 22 years old.

I could not get a clear image of my new wife — mostly just the shape of a figure in a wedding dress. I did, however, sense that it could have been a certain cousin in my present life (we were close as children).

I appeared to be under the thumb of my wifeʼs father. His name, apparently, was Arbuthnot. His first name may have been Reginald, but everyone referred to him as ʻOld Arbuthnotʼ. He was a round, unpleasant, domineering fellow, a loathsome Dickensian character. Perhaps he hadnʼt wanted his daughter to marry me, but she had become pregnant so marriage was unavoidable. I had the impression of him telling me, ʻI own you nowʼ. I was obligated. So I had to work in his factory.

I was the shop floor supervisor. My job was to keep an eye on the workersʼ productivity, and I was under constant pressure from the owner to make sure the workers did more than a fair dayʼs work for their meagre pay. He wanted me to ensure we squeezed every last drop out of them. He treated them like machines.

I was also feeling increasingly weak, sick. I knew that I could not physically survive in this environment. My body was poisoned. I could taste metal inside me.

I found myself in a horribly awkward position. I did not share the owner’s view of the workers; I felt sorry for them, sympathetic, compassionate. In fact, in some ways I was secretly protecting them from Arbuthnotʼs worst demands, though they were not aware of it. I hated my role. But what could I do? I felt powerless.

I also suspected that the workers all despised me for being on the bossʼs side. And I could well understand why. So I kept away from the workers themselves. I watched them but did not interact with them as far as possible.

My feelings were also complicated by the fact that although Arbuthnotʼs actions and attitudes were despicable, I could nevertheless see him as a human being with ordinary human flaws. I understood him much better than he understood himself. But again, what could I do?

I seemed to end up playing a mediating role, serving the factory owner honourably but without letting him cause too much damage to others.

Then, one day, old Arbuthnot was upset about more local factories springing up, providing too much competition. He required even more out of his workforce, and it was my job to see to it. I knew it would be impossible, and it also felt absolutely wrong. I was in too much conflict, more stress than I could handle. I could see no way out.

I resigned myself to suicide, took hold of a flask of mercury, and drank from it.

A short while later I was dying on that stretcher, wheezing to death, my body clenched in agony. Breathing was too much effort and I let go.

I was above my body for a while, unsure of myself.

I then found myself in a healing space — a sphere of gaseous, multicoloured light.

The feelings of toxicity and illness gradually drained out of me.

It felt exquisite, but I wasnʼt sure if I was meant to be there. I think I was worried that I might be in trouble.

Asked if there were other beings with me, I was aware of one who seemed kindly and was leading me by the arm. There was more a sense of presence than appearance; the figure just looked like a cloudy humanoid shape. But when I put my attention on the head, a beautiful and loving feminine face came briefly into focus.

I think I was very disoriented, so I was being led gently, one step at a time, so as not to be overwhelmed.

When I looked around me, I could perceive mostly a foggy whiteness with a sort of rainbow effect marking the ʻhorizonʼ. But I could sense that this fog was partly in me, or designed for my perception. It was as though what I saw reflected only what I was allowing myself to see, or as much as I could handle. When I decided to really see what was what, I suddenly perceived this vast, multi-coloured three-dimensional vista of space filled with unknown beings. I was overwhelmed, like an ant in a cathedral, and somehow I switched it off, settling for the foggy whiteness, keeping my attention on whatever was going on just around me.

I was aware of a group of beings coming towards me. They were humanoid in shape, but more like golden light than solid form. We embraced and I had a sense of recognition that this was ʻmy gangʼ.

I was still quite unsure of myself, however. Some of my attention seemed to be still with the last life; I seemed to have brought a lot of that personalityʼs conflict and confusion with me. I hadnʼt quite disidentified from it as yet.

When I saw my wife from that life, there was a playful sense between us. She hadnʼt minded me leaving; it had been kind of understood between us. I had, however, become very worried about leaving behind a child. (The interval between the marriage and my death was, it felt, around two years.)

When the soul of this child was brought in, I got that my disappearance from the scene was precisely what he/she had planned for in that life. Thatʼs why they had chosen to be born there and then. My death had come somewhat earlier than I had originally planned, but it was an early ‘exit opportunity’ which I had allowed for in my own life plan.

I then met the souls of the factory workers. I was afraid that they would hate me, but found instead that they had been aware of me trying to quietly protect them. In fact, they hadnʼt despised me, as Iʼd assumed, but only what I represented, what I stood for. In fact, it was they who felt sorry for me.

I also learned that if I had persisted with that life, there would eventually have been the opportunity to work with or on behalf of the workers to change the system, to ensure better rights and conditions. I would have been part of a progressive movement. I had already probably missed that opportunity to come, however, by shying away from contact with the workers. I realised that, had I reached out to them I would have made some valuable contacts and friendships, and this would have built up into a kind of collective effort. My fear and misapprehensions had got the better of me however.

Finally, I met the soul of Arbuthnot. I learned that it had been his task in that life to make my life hell — that had been our agreement. I realised that I had signed up for the challenge, and he had played his part very well. I felt no animosity, just relief that it was over, and a certain amusement at seeing his natural talent for playing such a role.

I was now ready to end the regression, and desperate for a pee!

When I opened my eyes I noticed that I could see everything extremely clearly. More on this later.

Reflections on the experience

I still haven’t put together all of the pieces, or identified what it means to me in full. I just have snippets and whiffs of meaning. It’s all a bit too big to take in at once!

My wife and friends have asked me some really useful questions about it, so here is a compilation of my answers.

Did it seem real?

I was not in a deep trance, so for much of the time I was mentally observing the whole thing and questioning the reality of it, but I had determined to surrender to whatever came up and just go with it. I had also just read a regression account by a sceptic who was blown away, and I got that it’s a matter of following/trusting the reality of the emotions regardless of whether I could get any images whatsoever.

So I just allowed myself to go into a raw emotional state and when the therapist asked me “What’s going on?” I told her how I felt and when she asked “Why?” I just opened up to whatever was there. And lo and behold this consistent scenario unfolded, one fragment at a time. Whether it was a creation of my imagination or a genuine memory I cannot say (I wish I could), but the more time passes since the experience, the more unlikely it seems that I could have imagined such a coherent story. Also, the real point of it for me was the emotional reality. I felt (and still believe) that I was at the core emotional source level of certain issues, and the scenarios that came to my mind happened to explain the emotions I felt in a consistent and coherent way which I found rather impressive.

I didn’t get very clear imagery — I wasn’t as immersed in it as I would have hoped. It was a bit like looking through murky water. I think if I’d had a longer induction I could have got there — but it was only the first attempt after all. What I got were flashes of imagery as the therapist asked me to look and see and report back.

There were some aspects of it that were “invisible” to me — like my wife’s face for example. I don’t know if this was because such details were (a) irrelevant to the emotional process, or (b) not for me to know right now.

What about seeing clearly afterwards?

Aha! Well, I’ve always had very good vision. However, over the last, say, 5 years the acuity has started to go. I have been getting increasingly short-sighted, unable to read small (and not-so-small) print, asking my kid to read out labels for me, straining to read newspapers and books. I got a pair of reading glasses 2 or 3 years ago, but after a year I lost them and have yet to replace them. I keep writing notes to myself to make an appointment because my eyesight is getting so poor.

Well, after the regression I found that my vision was completely back to normal. Seriously! I can read all the small print again without even squinting. In fact, I haven’t found any too small for me to read yet. It’s unbelievable!

I have no idea if it’s going to stay like this but it’s quite a surprising result to say the least.

How do you explain that?

I got the impression that the past life personality was suffering from chronic mercury poisoning, as well as using mercury to take his own life at the end. Perhaps my own issues in recent years have been evoking this past life because of the emotional resonance — and somehow the physical symptoms I was suffering simultaneously then have been ‘reactivated’.

I’ve been doing some research into mercury use and mercury poisoning since the experience. Until the late nineteenth century, mercury was used primarily in the processing of felt for hatmaking. It was also used in other industries, such as the manufacture of barometers, preserving wood, developing daguerreotypes, silvering mirrors, anti-fouling paints, herbicides, handheld maze games, antiseptics, laxatives, antidepressants and antisyphilitics — and, more recently, dental fillings. It was probably in felting and hatmaking, however, that workers were most exposed to mercury vapours. And there were many hat-works in northern England.

Mercury was discovered to have debilitating effects on people exposed to it over time. The term ‘mad as a hatter’ is associated with the hatmaker because of the psychosis caused by prolonged mercury exposure.

Mercury vapour is highly toxic if inhaled, causing severe respiratory tract damage. Now, for the last 10 years I have had a disease affecting my respiratory tract. Left untreated, I would choke to death. And this disease came on just when I discovered that I was going to become a father. I have always sensed that there was a connection between my (then) anxieties about parenthood and the occurrence of this illness affecting my ability to breath. The disease nearly killed me but I chose not to desert my newborn child.

Aside from the sore throat, coughing, chest pain and breathing difficulties, other physical symptoms of mercury poisoning include headaches (check), loss of teeth (check, in childhood), muscle weakness (check — I have post-viral fatigue), blotchy skin (check) … and blurred vision…

What’s more, there are psychological symptoms associated with neurological damage caused by mercury poisoning, the main one being my biggest issue in life — extreme shyness.

What was it like in the between-lives state?

I was in an emotionally peaceful and expansive state, but mentally I (as that personality) was also in a state of post-mortem confusion. I still had much of that personality and I / he feared that he was in trouble. On another level, I (Barry) sensed that I hadn’t completed my reorientation to the afterlife.

Interestingly, the Conversations With God books talk about the death process as a sequence of three disidentifications. First you disidentify from the body (floating conscioiusness, moving to the light). Then you disidentify from the feelings (let go of pain, grief, anxiety, etc). Then you disidentify from the mind – download the memories of that life and remember yourself as soul. I presumably hadn’t got to that bit. I was still mentally identified with that personality. I seemed to feel overwhelmed by the vastness and purity of the afterlife realm and tried to shut it out.

By the way, this past life regression was merely a precusor to a proper life-between-lives regression which I hope to do soon. I will be writing about that here of course. which I have now written up. It is in two parts:


Hypnotherapist details: regressionacademy.com

For other past-life / inter-life regression therapists, see: spiritualregression.com


18 thoughts on “Dark, satanic mills: A past life regression

  1. Dear Barry, How beautifully you write! You have inspired me to re-listen to the CD of my between lives session. I will give you a ring during the week. Love P

  2. Congratulations on conveying the essence of your PLR so well. You had a terrific therapist!
    You will find many interesting things about reincarnation on the Spirit Masters’ webswite: enjoy!

    • Thanks Peter!

      Coincidentally, I am reading your book right now – Christy’s Journey. Great stuff.



  3. My PI in Ithaca told me that the Germans used to use mercury as a laxative. He said they would swallow tiny bullets of them to get their bowels moving.

  4. wow good thing i found this i keep getting poisoned many times and im only 20 i have been debilitated for a couple years now and i am really starting to feel that this has some sort of past life connection. thanks for your insight it has been a spiritual eye opener. i think i might look into a getting a past life regression now.

  5. Just out of interest… I haven’t read the article yet, but just as I was reading the beginning and your description of your troubles I found them interesting. And this is what came to my mind: Throat- communication, not able to speak your mind, serious stuff that is there preventing to be and communicate who you are and what you want! The other things they all related with spirituality and issues with accepting it, tends to happen when someone is awakening but is not listening or recognizing it. Shows a level of denial of their own abilities. No idea if this would have made any sense to you then… 2 years ago?… I will be reading article now 🙂 x

    • 🙂 and I wrote the above before I went back and read about you being shy, etc… anyway after now reading your story, still makes sense… fatherhood… responsibility, dough of self and communicating 🙂 due to your shyness… As for the rest… yes all related to spirituality connections that are not grounded in the present- past lives! I love your story! And all makes so much sense! I have done 2 regressions my self, very similar experience just that I didn’t go and meet the spirits involved as they were in my present life! I highly recommend as a way to heal and understand what is happening but never to do without a intention as you dont know where you will go and what you will find… 🙂 Cant wait to read your other articles x

  6. Barry, I just read your story and it made me want to cry 🙁 Not to be all sappy about it, but you poor soul! Forgive me, this is just my way, here is a link to a free energy healing you can do:


    Here’s another link, for a free Reiki energy healing:

    Your story is full of resonance and meaning. I especially like how you were able to meet the souls from that life after your death, even though they themselves were still alive.

    Another thing that gave me pause was how you had had a contract with Arthbutnot for him to treat you that way. It sheds a light on a bad time I had recently with a group of people that I just couldn’t grasp why it was happening. Perhaps makes forgiveness even easier to enact.

    I agree with the poster above who thought that your throat was part of difficulties communicating. Seems obvious in your case, but there are cases where people have their throat chakras blocked (if you believe in that, which I do) and as a result are very quiet and/or shy. To clear a blocked throat chakra you can hum, and sing, other exercises too. Don’t know if these are viable options for you.

    I didn’t know so much about mercury poisoning, but I remember playing with a vial of mercury when I was a girl. The vial came off an old thermostat and I was just fascinated with the way the shiny silver liquid morphed back and forth. Good thing the vial never broke!

    At any rate, I too suffer from chronic fatigue and headaches. Not to the extent you do probably. It isn’t fun. Mine is caused by either sleep apnea or chronic fatigue syndrome (the latter is what my mother was suspected of having).

    Anyway, God bless you, barry. I am off to watch the NDE video now.

    • Bless you Lola, and thanks for all those brilliant tips.
      Yes, my entire life one way or another has been about finding my “voice” – this website was my biggest challenge but has also been my biggest success. I must start making some money out of it soon!

  7. Wow! Its amazing you went that deep into the regression! Very interesting! It’s funny how you listed not ready to know As I was thinking about that type of situation today. As a kid i had this name that came to me muffled. It was when I asked about a future husband. I met one guy who’s name was close, yet later I was positive this was the guy. I even had dreams about him before meeting and free drew a pic of him before as well. We eventually broke up but I have a feeling it was important to get the “wrong” info bc there were major life changes for both in that relationship. The other was not knowing I commited suicide in the one.
    As of now I’m frustrated bc all I have of another life is a picture and a slight idea of the way a house was. I don’t even “hear/see” words like places or things.

  8. Hi Barry,
    It was very interesting, thank you for sharing.
    You mentioned that some of your physical symptoms were relieved as an effect of regression, I wanted to ask you – do you still feel that effect after a few years time? I’m asking because I myself have quite a lot of similar symptoms (which I wasn’t born with) and they seem to constantly worsen despite of rather healthy life style. It seems as if I’m loosing control over my body and you know how debilitating it may be. I’ve already seen quite a few councellors, energy healers, tried meditation, affiramtions, etc., but nothing seems to work. I guess some problems might have come from unresolved childhood issues, very abusive parents, etc., but even though I accept my life more now, I feel physically worse, life has just became prolonged fatigue. So I thought maybe regression would have explained to me what I did so wrong in my past life, to pay so much in this one. Problem is, I’m very difficult to be hypnotised. Already 3 different people tried and nothing. So I was wondering how it was in your case. Was the hypnotherapist able to put you into trance during the first session? Was it difficult? Have you got any suggestion for someone who is difficult to be hypnotised?
    Thank you and regards,

    • Hi Nena

      First, I would say don’t think of it as “being hypnotised” if that doesn’t work for you. Instead, think of it as consciously playing along with suggestions to relax and go deep inside yourself. Allow yourself to be willingly guided – you are choosing to play along and you never lose the ability to choose to stop.

      Some people imagine hypnosis as being controlled like a puppet against your will. Only very few people are that susceptible. (Stage hypnotists like to pretend otherwise for effect.)

      My physical symptoms – you should read my more recent posts for an update – start here:


      In a nutshell, my eyesight has deteriorated (boo hiss) but everything else is much much better (yay).

      I think I have been on a long journey in which the past life sessions played a part. I came away feeling less like a victim of my body and more like an honoured guest in my body, and that my “host” needed more of my respect and attention.

      I have read of several people having a spiritual breakthrough as a result of chronic fatigue. It’s something to do with how we “force” our energy to work rather than allowing the universe to work for us or through us.

      The keys I think are (1) to really relax and (2) to be mindful of what our body “wants” in any given moment. In particular, I have found it important to try to always keep myself as physically comfortable possible. Don’t make yourself uncomfortable or override the need to rest for the sake of finishing a task. Prioritise relaxation and comfort.

      Hope this helps


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