Transcript of interview with Jane de Forest - posted with permission from Shelly Ellison ;-)
Oregon Chapter President, International Association for Near Death Studies and Psychic Artist/Professional Intuitive, Author
1/27/2019 facilitated by Shelly Ellison
What happens when we die, based on your knowledge of Near-Death experiences and the information you have gathered as a professional intuitive?
From my experience and from my research, it seems that dying is a natural phase of the continuation of life. Something like the ancient symbol — the ouroboros, which is the symbol of the snake biting its own tail, making a complete circle. Other symbols of ancient and indigenous cultures tell us that death is merely one phase of life, and that life is ongoing. That is what I have found to be true. It also happens to be what people who die and are resuscitated (called Near-Death experiencers) and return to tell the story. As well, people who are under hypnosis report about how they experience life after physical death and their life before they reincarnated into this life on Earth.
In our modern, mechanized culture, we’ve lost the wisdom that we as humans have had for 60,000 or 100,000 years going back to the birth of the shamanic tradition. It’s as if we have amnesia in modern society.
The actual process of leaving the body and dying can happen instantly or over time. For example, an elder coming close to death will leave their body and prepare to make the journey back home. They can leave the body during a coma or Alzheimer’s, or through some kind of dreamy, far away, ‘out of it’ mindset. The elder is naturally practicing the journey home, which is something that cultures like the Tibetan Buddhists and the ancient Egyptians did — they had a road map of the afterlife and ‘practiced’ the journey home.
Some characteristics to look for that the elder or the person is close to death is they are talking about interacting with relatives who have died previously, yet they seem to be having conversations with them in real time. Another indication that death is near is the person may have symbolic dreams, like being at the train station with a waiting train, often with relatives who have died, beckoning them to get on the train to go home. Another iconic image is the ferry dock, with a waiting ferryman ready to take the person’s soul across the river, that divides this world and the afterlife, in ancient Egypt, it was the river Styx. The ferryman is an ancient symbol in many cultures, but sometimes it is angels or relatives that take the spirits of the dead across the river, and back home to Heaven. The ferrymen take the souls across the river, back to heaven. These are characteristics of someone who is at the end of life.
My grandmother, who was a devout atheist, and thought when you died, you died, spoke to her father, the day before her death as he floated at the ceiling in her hospital room. She described him as wearing a long stocking cap and a long white gown, as he would have worn at the turn of the 20th century when he lived. She was completely convinced he was here and she conversed with him, yet only she could see him. She said he was there, and was going to take her home. This is typical. Be aware of that when people are at the end of life — talking to dead relatives or angels, as well as the symbolic language of taking the journey home.
Sometimes I see the soul leaving the body gradually. It goes in and out, and then it’s finally gone. That happens to people who have been in an accident, or sometimes it happens with a heart attack.
What do you think would be most useful for people to know who work in a healthcare setting?
People who are in a coma, have Alzheimer’s or who may otherwise seem completely out of it, can hear everything you’re saying. People who have died temporarily or awakened from a coma, say that they could hear what people were saying and thinking, such as, ‘I heard you say I was going to kick the bucket.’ That kind of thing.
The soul’s journey is symbolized by the caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. That symbol is everywhere. It’s ubiquitous globally and throughout time. The underlying message is that the soul is freed from the confines of its Earthly costume. In a sense, it’s the death of the costume, or body only. But the costume does have consciousness; I will say that. I’ve come to respect the body’s consciousness more. Let’s put it this way. There are reasons why hundreds of traditions, all over the world, wait three days before destroying or burning the body. I agree with that. Leave the body for three days. Many cultures leave the body on the sofa or the bed for three days. Maybe people don’t want to do that, but please consider not cremating the body for three days. People get really upset when I say that in my lectures, but that’s what I have learned. There’s still life essence in it. I don’t believe it hurts the soul, but I think there’s some reason it could help to wait three days before burning the body.
Some really simple things that can be incorporated into the time at the end of life: Lilies. I always have lilies if there’s anyone I know who has died. There is something about the scent of lilies that is said to pass through the veil to those who have died. It was no accident that lilies are symbolic of the death and rebirth of Jesus at Easter. The lilies have a powerful fragrance and seem to help the soul during the transition. I’m it is helpful to create an altar or ‘focal point.’ It could be before the person transitions, but also after they die, to help the soul move from this dimension to another. Also I would presume, it would give the person who is transitioning hope that they are going to survive death and possibly give them an outline of a typical journey for people who do die and return to tell the story.
What we don’t teach people is to practice how to get home, to Heaven or the Afterlife. This is what I tell my parents and in my classes all of the time: When you die, you will not feel dead. You will feel quite alive, even to the point where it might annoy you that the people you are speaking to can’t hear you and are ignoring you. You’re still you. That’s how real it might feel. There’s often an angel or a guide or a relative present. If there isn’t one around, feel free to ask for help. There’s something to be said about asking for an angel or asking for help.
Typically, people go through a tunnel, a vortex, or a wormhole. I don’t know what it is, but it’s a thing, and people go through this and meet a light being that feels like a mother or father, spiritually. Or it could be Jesus if you’re a Christian, Buddha if you’re a Buddhist. It could be a Guardian Angel or God. That person (Being of Light) shows you a move of your entire life, which is sometimes called a “life review,” where you experience everything you’ve ever done, said, or thought, and its effect on people, animals, and plants. This realization is a bit of a reality check, and often inspires people to clean up their act.
I’m not sure how this works, but most people attend their own funerals and can hear the thoughts of anyone they want. Remember Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn attending their own funeral?
It seems that when we die, we don’t have the same bodily concerns, such as possessiveness, envy, or hatred. These negative emotions seem to die with the body, but I do see souls who are very remorseful for misdeeds, such as inflicting abuse, suffering and selfishness — that kind of thing.
Can you talk about love and how it transcends our worlds?
It seems that when people die and they go to meet their maker, they experience a love so profound, so accepting, that it feels like something they never experienced on Earth, except maybe with a dog. They know, unequivocally, that they are part of something greater and loved for exactly who they are, flaws and all. For people who have died and experienced this with their maker, they want nothing to do with coming back to Earth.
People and souls on both sides of the veil can communicated love the easiest, the love that is shared between people is never lost. Love never dies.
What about this idea of judgment? Is there someone or something making decisions about where the soul will go?
No one judges us on the other side. No judging God, or supernatural penal system. But no one goes to hell as far as I can see. But it does seem like we judge ourselves, sort of self evaluation. Like, how did we handle adversity, did we treat people well, that sort of thing.
The souls seem to have a well trodden path, after the life review, there is a reunion with loved ones and then a rest period. Souls seem to be busy in the Afterlife, it is organized and wonderful from what I have figured out.
Let’s transition to the concept of reincarnation, because that seems to be how it works based on the research of people doing past life regression and people like you who are talking to those on the other side. How did you come to accept that reincarnation is part of what happens when we die?
The perception of past personalities in clients isn’t Cleopatra or Mark Anthony, the past lives I am typically shown are of regular people. I see what looks like ‘layers’ within people’s energy that I realized were specific past lives, and that there was a continuity in these past lives that came through them like a toothpick through a layer cake, if you can imagine that. Often, people were suffering from things that impacted them [from previous lives] and they were resolving them in this lifetime. Often I could see a correlation between their previous physical death and a current birthmark. Isn’t that wild?
What I have learned it that it’s so much better to get that stuff straightened out in your current lifetime; you can do it faster here
It is, because I thought you were going to tell me that souls on the other side were giving you information about past lives.
I can often see it, and it has a real application in the readings. I don’t talk about it much with people in their readings, because it’s something we can’t prove. But if it’s prominent, I will see it, and I can see how it has an impact on this life. For example, I have a client who has a very difficult life and doesn’t seem to be able to hold on to physical possessions in this life. I could perceive that the client (now female) had had a prominent position of power in a past life (then male, possibly a Roman general) and she/he had misused her/his power. Now, in this lifetime, it appears the client is paying off the karma by being unable to hold on to money or power.
Can you tell us more about reincarnation and souls reincarnating as family groups?
That is something that I learned [from Michael Newton, PhD]. And it’s exactly what I see. He calls them pods, but it’s like we have communities or a soul family that we reincarnate with over and over again. We might take turns in different roles; your mother might be your daughter in your next lifetime or your husband from a former incarnation, might be your best friend. There are soul mates for sure — people that we continue to incarnate with in very close relationships. But a soul mate doesn’t have to be a partner. It can be a child or a best friend. A good analogy is that a lifetime on Earth is a movie or a play, and the soul group takes turns acting different characters. That’s the best way I can describe it.
Can you address this for someone who hasn’t considered reincarnation and who experienced a traditional Christian upbringing where you are on this Earth once, then you die and go to heaven and everyone is blissfully living together . . .
Well reincarnation isn’t a necessary philosophy to have in order to believe you are going to Heaven. Christians typically believe when they die that they are going upward to the gates of Eternity to be judged by God who will send them to Heaven or Hell. There are some variations like Seventh-Day Adventists who believe that you when you die, you will lay in your grave until Jesus returns, known as the second coming. Then the soul will be judged and allowed into heaven, or not. Many souls believe they are waiting for to get into heaven. It’s a real travesty and makes for a lot of ghosts.
Of all the different theories, what makes the most sense to me is that there are levels of heaven, like seventh heaven. The more advanced the soul, the closer the soul is to the divine creator. The Bible tells us that God made us in his image, yet we returned the favor and personify God as a human, an old man sitting on a cloud. But physics tells us that the spark of life is in all living things and we are swimming in this intelligent, conscience stuff, that is creation. I like to think we are inside of God, the creation and creator are one.
If the person who is dying is a Christian, best to then have them call for Jesus and have him guide them home to Heaven. They don’t have to believe in reincarnation if they don’t want to, although reincarnation was part of Christianity up until the third century and removed by Constantine at the Council of Nicaea.
Why aren’t we talking about this as a society — the ideas that are common to different religions?
If you look at it like we’re all cousins, it’s a nicer way to look at it. The Torah which is the holy scripture of the Jews, the Old Testament of the Bible and a good part of the Koran are basically the same. Noah, Genesis and of course Jesus. who was a Jewish Rabbi who preached God’s word and does miracles, same in all. The primary difference is that he is the only sun of God to the Christians. Maybe if people understood how close our spiritual traditions are they would be less likely to kill each other of it.
That could be set up in a hospital room.
Absolutely – it’s a place to focus on. Altars are really important. I like having a sacred place somewhere near the person who is dying. If they don’t like the word alter, call it a ‘centerpiece’ or ‘focal point’ ad photos of relatives who have gone before them. A picture of Jesus or deity of choice. And fresh flowers. I have a little cloth that my daughter wove; it has meaning. A candle or battery-powered candle would be brilliant, too.
Another thing I have done and encouraged people to do is set up a symbol or sign that your loved one has made it to the other side, like a hummingbird or a penny. My grandmother’s sign was a butterfly. My grandfather is an owl. It makes it much easier to communicate with your loved one on the other side.
Could we close by talking about how to quell the fear of death?
Well, that's a good question. The superstition of materialism makes creates a scientific mindset, with little room for the unproven theories of spiritual understanding, like eternal life. The western religions have a healthy dose of fear, mostly around Hell or not getting into Heaven. This is a complex question, but maybe read about NDEs, life-between-life hypnosis and/or try hypnosis maybe.
What practical suggestions do you have for people based on your experience?
Consistently what people on the other side want is for their loved ones to know is that they are fine; they are basically doing great. And please don’t grieve for them. Because it’s a waste of time on Earth, and the energy of grief is like a magnet and it hurts them.
Are you talking about an extended period of grief?
Yes. Typically it takes people about a year or so to grieve the loss of a loved one. What I’m talking about is this overwhelming sense of grief [that can last much longer]. Also, negative thoughts and resentments toward someone who has died affects them on the other side — I talk about that in my book. The punch line is, what souls would really like, is for some kind of altar or focal point to send loving thoughts to them, and to keep them close to your heart.
After we die, they do move on, deeper into the Afterlife. But they feel your love and you can call them and they will come; thinking about them and calling them does bring them, which is why I am able to have conversations with them on the other side. But their energy and focus is elsewhere. Those are the main things I’ve learned.
And one last thing for the living: enjoying your life and being joyful is what those on the other side want. They want us to be happy.