Johnny Burke: Welcome to Closer to Venus. I’m Johnny Burke, and today’s guest is Steven Towill, a clinical and spiritual hypnotherapist based out of Glasgow, Scotland, Steven has helped many people overcome trauma, fears, and depression, and specializes in past life regression and spiritual hypnosis. Today we will be talking about all things past life and between lives through hypnosis. Steven, welcome to the program.
Stephen Towill: Hi Johnny. Nice to be here.
Johnny Burke: By profession, you are a hypnotherapist. How did you find yourself on the path of exploring past lives for your clients?
Stephen Towill: Yeah, it goes us back quite a long time. So I’m 48 now. I think it was when I was about 17. I’d quite a curious So I was really interested in all things unexplained, and hypnosis was one of these things that I just, the curiosity about, I think I saw it when I was even younger than that and always wondered what is this strange hypnosis? I think it was a, about 17, I taught myself, and my little brother, six-year-old brother who was my first ever Guinea pig, and also my first ever past life regression subject. It was just curiosity and real, just wonderment about what is this strange thing of hypnosis, but then why do people have this phenomenon of talking about these past lives?
From a little brother, it was a guy who was married, so a six-year-old, explaining that he was married with a child and he was worried about a skin disease that he was dying of. He wrote children’s books, but he was worried about leaving his family behind. So this is a six year old explaining this, so it’s amazing.
Johnny Burke: I didn’t realize that you actually taught yourself hypnosis ,and you were 17?
Stephen Towill: Yeah, it was, 1991, so there was no internet, found a book, it was one of the driest books I’ve ever read. It was very psychological, it’s kind of base book. It gave me a brief insight into what hypnosis was. It was the only book I could find in a library at the time. It had my brother picking daisies or flowers out of a carpet that weren’t there to start with. And I thought, wow, okay. And then after that it was friends and neighbors and my mom’s friends coming over.
I’ve done a lot of training in hypnotherapy later in life, but that was how I started. It was self-taught. There was no books that I’d read on spiritual concepts other than maybe these odd ghost stories, unexplained books that I used to read, but I was finding my own way, which was un tainted on influence by other people’s perception.
Johnny Burke: You mentioned ghosts a moment ago. When you were younger, were you that kind of kid that saw spirits or had any kind of mystical experiences or?
Stephen Towill: I didn’t have a lot of experiences. I’ve had a couple of little ghost stories. Funnily enough, my young brother, the six year old, he’s very, very tuned in. He gets ghost experiences quite a lot, but me personally, it was more just real curiosity. I wasn’t one of these ones that was maybe talking to the dead, spirits. Yeah.
Johnny Burke: It happens quite a bit. So this would explain how you went on the path of exploring past lives through hypnosis. You also explored the life in between lives space, which apparently takes place in between incarnations.
Can you tell us what exactly is that and how do you differentiate between a past life experience and an in-between life experience?
Stephen Towill: Yeah. So LBL or life between life, that’s a term that comes from a work by Dr. Michael Newton. So I call it between lives. When I was doing past life, I never did anything really spiritual. I had a couple of strange experiences actually doing the past life, but I never took it any further. But things like the Dr. Michael Newton work that when I read it, I discovered okay, there’s a transition point. So, I guess what the life between life, it’s really the spiritual experience.
It’s the transition point when they reach the end of that life, what happens next? You’ll find that most people just by simply asking them what happens next, they’ll start explaining this. It’s kind of afterlife experience of floating up, being lighter, having no body, and it’s from there, then you can really start interacting with more spiritual experiences.
Johnny Burke: So in that space that is the in between space, can you offer an example of an event that took place during one of your sessions?
Stephen Towill: For the between life experience? this is what we are, we are spiritual beings. The between life is more a reality than actually what we see here is a reality. From a session, if you take someone beyond a past life or to this between life place, what’s more likely to happen is that they’ll be aware of maybe guides that start to come in and the way that I’ll use it a lot for understanding what the past life was about. You find that what past lives really do for people is it brings healing, it helps them overcome the fears and phobias that they may have now.
From the between life, you can get a lot more understanding. You can ask guides, why was this person showing this particular life in this session? What is it they need to learn about it? Is it something they need to heal? Is this life affecting them and it’s affecting them now? So really the between life place is a place where you can really interact with guides or beings of ascension, whatever you would like to call them, to help us understand and to move past blocks that we’re maybe in in this life. It’s a spiritual place. to me, the reality. That’s a bit closer to really what we really are, rather than this perception that we’re in now of some kind of earthly experience of living lives and working through it.
Johnny Burke: The in between space, implies we live, we die. We go to that space and then we eventually come back. Isn’t that right?
Stephen Towill: The way I like to look at it is we don’t really die, so what we do is we awake. A good way of thinking about it is something like a virtual reality headset that we’ve got on at the moment, and we’re living this current life to learn and grow and, then at the end of the life or the end of the game or the experience, we take the headset off and then we’re back to we’re a bit more than what we really are.
Johnny Burke: Very good point. It reminds me of a famous John Lennon quote: I’m not afraid of death because I don’t believe in it. It’s more like getting out of one car and into another.
Stephen Towill: Yeah.
Johnny Burke: I’ve also heard several times, that space that you just described is more of reality than what we are in currently in our earthly existence; really interesting. When a client has a past life experience, you also mentioned guides,
I believe you’re referring to spirit guides, right?
Stephen Towill: Yeah.
Johnny Burke: Do you have contact with spirit? during a session or does the client have the experience with the spirit guide?
Stephen Towill: It will be the client’s experience. I’m not communicating.
I see myself as a facilitator. If I was to try and connect with guides and then bring that to the session, I’m sort of see that as almost an interference in the experience for that person. I like to almost take a backseat as a facilitator, as a guide to guide them through their experience to help them to I guess learn what they need to learn, heal what they need to heal. What I’ve found is the less that I interfere in that session, it’s almost like the mind knows exactly where it needs to go, where it needs to be shown. When you’re allow that person’s mind to take them to their experience and let it flow as it’s supposed to, you usually find that it was a much more successful session.
Johnny Burke: I get that. People that that come on to Closer to Venus often talk about spirit guides. So as far as you’re concerned, that’s not a work of fiction. That’s a reality. Do you agree?
Stephen Towill: Yeah, the way that I see a spirit guide, they’re the same as us. They’re just another conscious being that has more experience maybe. So it could end up that we become spirit guides once we’ve worked through this earthly incarnation or number of incarnations.
Each life is bringing growth. Each life is bringing opportunities for us to expand and to learn. Eventually we will exhaust that learning. See, I think a game’s a great way of looking at it. Imagine playing through a platform game, and you maybe get your little character gets killed by a ghost or something. So you go back to the start, you start again, and then you think, okay, I get killed with that ghost. Or if I jump over? Oh, I’ve jumped over and passed that point. And as you walk through the game, through the levels, then eventually you complete the game. Then may be someone says, well, I’m stuck on level 54. All right, that’s a hard level. But if you did that and try that, see how you got on with that? And that person goes away and does that, they’ve passed that level.
So in a way, you’ve completed that game. You’ve got experience of the game, and you can help other people to get through that game. And that’s why I see a spirit guide as; they’re another conscious being with some experience and what we are maybe going through and they’re helping us to work through that.
Johnny Burke: Okay. So spirit guides do show up in a variety of ways.
They show up in sessions, they show up in memories. They are apparently present during mediumship readings and things of that nature. What are some of the characteristics of a past life reading or a session which the client clearly is convinced it was not a memory or a work of fiction? How do they know the difference?
Stephen Towill: What I would say to someone is, it’s a recall. So in a way it is imagination. You’re using your mind to reconstruct just in the way that, if I had to ask you about your vacation last year, what did you go? Or was it like?
You would need to use some kind of reconstruction and with your mind, your imagination to remember what happened.
It’s a reconstruction of what is. But I know what you mean in terms of, am I just making it all up? Is it this false? Is it a false memory or just imagination?
and some of the things that sort of support for clients that may help them to really accept it. There was a client yesterday, she was the opposite sex, so she was actually a male. It was quite funny. She said, “I’m hairy.” And it was this hairy guy that she was.
So there’s this switching of gender sometimes that happens through the experience. When I’d done another client once, a big guy with s beard was talking about his little ribbons and his shoes. He was a little girl with a white frilly dress on. To kind of imagine something that, but then as the emotions, this really deep emotions, sometimes there’s a real, connection to their life and to the people. And it may be that they are. experiencing real love of a family and a family unit in, this past life. It may be that they’ve lost that connection in this life, and they’ve been showing some simple things like how important it is just having a family. But it’s the deep emotion that seems to be there when they love these, what we would say is imaginary children that they’ve got, if it was all imagination, why do they feel so connected to them?
What happens is that some of these family members are also members in their current life. So it’s like, soul group type things, but there’s a recognition of who this person is. The, the way they ask is , look into the eyes of this person.
Does it remind you of anyone? And you’ll usually say, “oh, that’s my mother”.
It’s like this realization that this person, male or female has someone else in their current life. so there’s that as well.
There’s also some people who have then went off and researched some of the actual things that had come up through the session and found that it ties into moments in history or things that happened in history, or even names that they’ve found. So there’s this element as well. I think you’d mentioned before, I think it was the police sergeant..
Johnny Burke: Bob Snow, the, retired homicide detective- that was crazy.
Great episode though, he was a hard-boiled skeptic. He eventually found the diary of the artist who painted the hunchback woman , J Carol Beckwith.
And he recorded all of his past life sessions. He eventually found the diary because he found the painting in a gallery in New Orleans and looked through his diary and corroborated, I think 26 out of 28 events that were in his past life regression sessions.
So what you just mentioned about confirming certain things, reminds me of what Dr. Ian Stevenson, one of the reincarnation research pioneers back in the day, I think he was the psychiatry chair at University of Virginia. There’s certain cultures where the kids, the children, remember past lives, he would go find them, do the research, find the family, then the child would talk to the family and tell them things that he or she could not have possibly known. I think in about 1500 cases, the family accepted the child as a reincarnation of their lost loved one.
Stephen Towill: Yeah. the doctor Ian Stevenson stuff, that’s fascinating as well. He said, children, they don’t even need hypnosis. A lot of children recall.
There’s actually a Amazon Prime show that’s called the Ghost Inside My Child which researched a lot of children that are affected by these past lives.
Dr. Ian Stevenson, said between about the ages of two and seven, the children seem to just naturally recall a lot of this stuff, and quite interesting because there’s a e Swiss guy, Piaggi, he did a lot of cognitive development. He was one of the assistants on developing the MENSA test. He did a lot of the research on cognitive development at that exact age, two to seven is before we start developing this critical element of the mind.
With hypnosis that’s what you’re trying to do is almost bypass this critical faculty that is probably deciding that this can’t be true or whatever. Getting past that so that we can work more with the unconscious experience. So it’s fascinating that Dr. Ian Stevenson come up with that age where children were recalling it, but it ties also to Piaggi’s cognitive development of before the critical mind starts to dismiss a lot of things.
Johnny Burke: Great explanation. I’ve actually never heard that before, but it makes absolute perfect sense. It’s great. It would explain why after a certain age, a lot of these intuitive types kind of push away, almost deny their experience. Inevitably it seems to come back where they think, okay, I have to accept it.
I’m able to speak to the dead. But it seems natural when they were young.
The experiences I’ve heard almost always involve a child before the age of 10 or even nine.
So you mentioned earlier that in some of your sessions, the client will recognize someone from a past life in their current life. Does that happen often?
Stephen Towill: It’s common. Not always, but it’s common. So sometimes I may ask, if you look into the person’s eyes, is there anything familiar? And they’ll maybe say no, but it’s very common. They will make a realization that, “that’s my mother, that’s my aunt, that’s my grand, that’s my daughter.” That also then sort of really ties in with, the doctor Michael Newton stuff.He did 7,000 test cases through his career researching really what happens at this death point- this life between life and that then brings you back to this soul family, soul group type of idea.
Johnny Burke: Exactly. Many people have come forth and said that these soul families can be as many as like a thousand people. We don’t really know the mechanics of it, but the implication is this group travels and reincarnates together as long as there is something to be learned. And once I guess they can get through the maze or the game, as you would say, then maybe they move on. So certain people in our lives, we may have had several lives with them before.
Stephen Towill: Well, with the soul group or the soul family, I guess we would incarnate lot with these same souls because we work very well with them.
The interesting thing is that we hear these concepts of soulmate and it could be a soul that you’re just really tied to, that you work a lot with, so it may be that this soul is here to challenge you, to make life difficult for you, to help you to overcome a restriction that they may bring to help you to become stronger .
It could be a very dominating father or a restrictive, dominating mother or something that is actually oppressing us in some way.
But through our experience with them, we may rebel a little bit, maybe we are here to learn about standing up for ourselves or to overcome someone that will place a lot of overpowering sort of behaviors over us. These dynamics, it can be brothers, sisters, mothers, that whether it’s good for you or bad for you in the way that you perceive it, in a way it’s allowing you to sort of work through it and to grow and to learn and to come to a point where whatever they do doesn’t affect you because you don’t allow it to. You grew past it and you’ve strengthened yourself.
Johnny Burke: That would give credence to very well-worn platitudes like
God puts this person in your path for a reason. the other thing I’ve heard is, challenges are opportunities, right? Now that we’re talking about this, that in particular makes sense. Or another thing I’ve heard is, what’s the lesson here? When you’re faced with someone or something, which is oppressive, maybe in some cases really horrible. I’ve been told that in these in between spaces, a lot of these things, even the really bad things could have actually been planned.
Stephen Towill: Yeah. Yeah. A lot of the time. There are a few stories I could give you. There was one, this was something that happened over in Glasgow.
It was a girl that was murdered. Terrible thing. Her mother, real struggled after this happened, no support networks for her. Had to battle her way through this, dealing with the death of her daughter.
I had a friend at the time who had worked with her mother to try and help her. He was a practicing medium, and he was invited to this gala that she had organized to try and help the charity to support parents that had lost children.
I remember being at this gala ball and I realized that she just looked like a regular girl, just a regular sort of person. You wouldn’t expect to have done such an amazing thing. But she had set up this whole charity. She had been helping so many, many people to overcome death and bereavement for the parents, connecting them with these networks that through her experiences she eventually had found.
It brings you back to this idea of I guess the soul agreements and soulmates and that I can’t say whether it is or not. It’s very possible that daughter had made an agreement that she would come into this life, but she would leave early.
But by leaving early, it would present her with that opportunity to go on and become this person that has just changed so many people’s lives and set up this charity. And it shows that through adversity and difficulties, things that we see as bad events, sometimes it’s an opportunity to do something incredible.
Johnny Burke: So it seems to me that once we try to get an understanding of the cycle; living, leaving our earthly lives, going to the in-between space, coming back. It’s very hard for some people to get their head around the fact that this horrible event, like someone having cancer or some other really bad experience could have actually been planned so that the soul group, not just the person, could benefit by learning, and that way they raise their vibration.
Stephen Towill: Yeah. I guess it’s hard for some people to. The way I see that, it’s like a virtual reality. If we even look to into things like quantum physics that start to then tell you that the physical matter, at the atomic level, there’s 99% space. Even when you go into the nucleus of an atom, it’s a proton neutron, which then you go into quarks, which are events things that are appearing and disappearing. And they say that atoms are the building blocks of our physical reality. So if the atoms are all 99% space, it then means that we are living in this construct of something that’s not really physical as we think it is.
For me it’s a construct that has been created ;an energetic construct here for us to learn, to grow, to experience. And like you said, we come in and it’s like we take these roles, these characters, we’ve got these agreements, there’s free will and anything can happen. We can make any choice that we want, but it’s almost like there’s a sort of structure, there’s [ things that are likely to happen in this life to allow us to, grow, to face the challenges that we need to face to help us to grow past these things. And I think it’s a good analogy, the whole movie type thing, or the play; we take these characters and then at the end of it we return back.
And then it may be that we take new characters in the next one where, in a completely different play. There’s a good way of looking at it.
Johnny Burke: And it reminds me of when people say, and I think Elon Musk, among other people, was quoted as saying,” I’m pretty sure what we’re experiencing is a simulation”. I get when someone says, I think it’s a simulation, but I think the analogy of a movie or a play, and it could be a Shakespearean tragedy for all we know, it’s slightly easier to relate to.
Like, in one episode not too long ago, I was telling the speaker about how my girlfriend when I was 18, she was mean as a snake, and immediately he said,” you know, Johnny, you probably signed up for that.”
Stephen Towill: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
Johnny Burke: That goes back to what we said before of when we’re confronted with a difficult situation. If we ask, what’s the lesson? There usually is one, right?
Stephen Towill: Yeah, Imagine there’s a woman and a guy, he’s mentally, physically abusive to this girl. You could say to that girl,” see, if I click my fingers and he disappears and the whole situation disappears. how would that go for you? “And she would say, “this is hell I love him and I don’t want to leave him, and I think that he could probably get better. I really believe in him, but it’s bringing me down so bad. He beats me up, puts me down so much and I’m just struggling, and I just want it all to go away.”
let’s say five in years’ time, she is out of that relationship. She finally broke free of it, but she’s now meets this other guy and this other guy starts to do similar things, maybe saying a couple of derogatory comments, putting her down, and she thinks, wait a minute, that’s exactly like that last guy. I can see all the same traits and I am not going back down that route again. It took me so long to break free of it. I don’t want to go down that same route again. In another five years, she’s now married with a nice guy. She’s maybe a couple of kids.
You can say “do you remember 10 years ago? I said to you, if I click my fingers, the whole situation will disappear?” what if I click my fingers now and all of that disappears? And she says,” well, do you know something? 10 years ago, that was hell and hard. But when I look back on that, that guy, in five years’ time, I could have ended up down two or three years down the line, make all the same mistakes I made in the first relationship, then I wouldn’t have met this other guy and I might not have my kids. And also, I wouldn’t realize how good this guy is, how lucky I am to have this guy. if I hadn’t experienced how bad some of these other people could be on me. So, in a way, I don’t want to lose my past.”
And I think we can all do that. We can all look back to some of the things that have happened in our past, difficult people, that you’ve had to work with, but over maybe the next five, 10 years you actually get better at dealing with these types of people. you can do the work much better. You can deal with life experiences better because you grew through them. So it’s this opportunity,
I think some people will struggle. Some people won’t manage it, and that’s again, why we may repeat doing the same life a similar life again to try and give us another opportunity to work through that lesson that we need to learn.
But I see all challenges in some way, there are some kind of gift. They’re here for us to grow, to be stronger, and to become a better person through that experience, not to let other people bring us down, or take away our happiness.
Johnny Burke: That sounds like everything actually does happen for a reason and they are challenges. And some of these challenges, maybe not all of them, are opportunities. In other words, what is the lesson here? Steven, anything else regarding these topics that you want our listeners to know about?
Stephen Towill: I think it’s really simple. Out of all the sessions that I do, what I find is that it seems to be all about our growth, all about us developing in some kind of way. I did a session maybe five or six years ago and it was nature that I was really shown, and it was to remember nature that everything that we see around about is of God, of creation. We become maybe disconnected from that. Maybe that’s why people are going out into nature. We don’t go into nature.
We actually are nature. We are all part of this creation.
And to remember that, and through people’s experiences, all it is about growth. It’s about us learning. The more that we can learn, the more lessons, like you said, what have I got to learn here? It’s a great question. You ask yourself, why am I going through this and what is it that I need to develop in myself? what do I need a change in my life to get past that? And to remember guides, they’re all there. They’re helping, you can’t see them, but they’re still helping, and they will be supporting us and through this growth and to remember that we’re all part of the same thing.
Johnny Burke: The guides are there. It’s something that comes up, quite a lot. The spirit guides are there, and everyone has them. Excellent. Steven, thanks for joining us today. excellent stuff. very entertaining. How can our listeners learn more about you online?
Stephen Towill: I’ve got a website www.StephenTowill.com. One of the easiest places to find me is Instagram: stephentowill_hypnotherapy I do a lot of kind of funny spiritual stuff