From the beginning, my [Irene Hickman's] association with Anne Armstrong was unusual. I met her quite by chance. I was giving a lecture and hypnosis demonstration at the Fair Oaks Community Center near Sacramento, California in the fall of 1959. I called for volunteers from the audience. Anne came forward, a small dark woman in her late thirties. We had never met before, though she said she had heard of me through a neighbor.
When asked she explained that she had suffered severe migraine headaches for almost her entire life. These headaches had defied all medical treatment and were now appearing almost every day.
She was quick to respond, and was soon in a deeply relaxed state. I asked her to go back to the time her headaches started, expecting her to report some happening from her childhood as another migraine patient had recently done.
Instead, she began to cry out, to moan, to writhe about as if in agony. Her appearance and her behavior were that of a person in great torment or anguish. I reasoned that she was in a state of hypnosis, reassured her that she was all right, suggested that she cry as much as she needed to. After a few minutes the moaning and writhing stopped, she became quiet and I awakened her. I asked her to see me the next day in my office.
When she came to my office, she was somewhat agitated. She was reluctant to repeat the experience of the evening before, but she was also curious about why she had behaved so strangely - so differently from the calm exterior that she usually wore.
We were soon able to begin unraveling the mystery. What had happened on that platform the evening before was a very sudden and profound change. She had found herself to be in a huge male body that was being stretched and torn on a torture rack.
Further probing filled in the blanks. She relived and described incidents from life of a superb Roman athlete, Antonius, who was protege and bodyguard of Julius Caesar. He was totally loyal to Caesar and stood in the way of those who plotted Caesar's death. The plotters framed Antonius, arrested him, tortured him on the rack and finally dragged him behind a chariot by the neck until dead.
We spent many hours going over the life of Antonius covering his childhood and youth. Anne in hypnosis was able to relate even minute details of Roman life and of Antonius' family, friends and daily activities.
The headaches began to diminish both in severity and frequency as our probing continued. However, they failed to disappear completely.
I remarked one day, "I wonder what Antonius did to deserve this."
Anne responded, "I don't think I want to know."
We continued to develop more details of the life of Antonius. Further information included the death of his father in a chariot accident when Antonius was only eight. As the oldest of three children, Antonius took over the responsibility of supporting his mother and brothers by working in the arena. At first his duties were menial such as cleaning the animal stalls and being servant to the gladiators. He spent nearly ten years around the arena with ever greater responsibilities.
By age eighteen he was six foot five inches tall and weighted about 265 pounds. His duties included caring for the horses and chariots and putting away the athletic equipment after the gladiatorial games. He did more than just care for them. He began to practice with the javelin and discus - then on to trying the chariots after everyone had left.
One day as dusk fell, Antonius was joyously driving the best chariot team through complicated trick turns totally oblivious to everything except the thrill of pounding hooves and wind in his face - of perfection in his performance.
Unnoticed, Caesar, himself, had entered the arena and had observed the superb skill of the young man handling the powerful team. He was so greatly impressed with the young man that he invited him to the palace for an interview. Antonius was so embarrassed he stammered and tried to refuse saying that he had no clothes that were suitable for a visit to the palace. Caesar answered that he was to go to a certain gate where proper clothing would be provided.
When Antonius went to the palace the following day he was not only given beautiful soft white garments, but was bathed repeatedly until he was deemed fit to be in Caesar's presence. During the interview, Antonius was offered the chance to represent Caesar as his personal gladiator in the arena games.
Almost overwhelmed by the offer, Antonius accepted joyously. He had never dreamed of being in such a grand place or in the presence of such a great person. All was not smooth, however. One member of the court, whom Antonius called "Fancy Pants" because of his penchant for elaborate flashy clothes, was jealous of Antonius. "Fancy Pants" even went to his house to try to dissuade Antonius from accepting the offer. Antonius was not to be dissuaded. The jealousy within "Fancy Pants" grew and grew. It was "Fancy Pants" who gave the orders to the brutes in the torture chamber to tighten the wheel tighter and tighter.
We also developed details of many other lives besides Antonius. Each contributed to her understand of herself, but the headaches persisted. Anne finally decided that she wanted to trace the headaches to their source.
It was with great reluctance that Anne agreed to look all the way to the source not only of the headaches, but also for the reasons for the suffering of Antonius.
I asked her to go back as far as necessary to find the answers we were seeking. The opening scene was one in which she (this time in a female body) was on a high platform looking out over a crows of hundred of people.
She recognized herself as a very powerful ruler dominating her subjects by fear and the use of her extraordinary supernatural abilities. She had begun by using her powers for the benefit of her people, but then got off on the wrong track and began to use them only for her own gain and amusement. She became more and more obsessed with the control she wielded over her people.
She described herself as being tall, slender and very beautiful. She wore elegant, but often transparent gowns. Her breasts were usually bare and painted to match her gown. She told of having a group of male slaves who were servants and playthings for her. However, one slave was uncooperative. He would defy her requests and even called her an evil woman.
This so infuriated her that she made special plans for him. She ordered a special golden hammer and spike made. Then she arranged an elaborate banquet. To entertain her banquet guests she had the defiant slave carried on a plank and drove the golden spike through his head with the golden hammer.
When this session was finished, Anne exclaimed, "I know that is it. Every time I have a headache it feels like someone is driving a spike through my head."
We continued working on that life as the black priestess-ruler for several weeks. The headaches became far less frequent and severe. When I asked her where that slave of the golden spike had entered into her other experiences, she recognized him first as "Fancy Pants," who was the undoing of Antonius, and then as Jim, her husband in her present life.
Then in a very surprised voice she exclaimed, "That's right! I only have headaches when he is with me or when I am in our house. I went to Rochester once and stayed a whole month so they could study my headache, but Jim wasn't with me and I didn't have a headache the whole time."
She asserted that in the nearly 20 years of being with her husband she had not noticed that particular pattern to the headaches.
After the death of the wicked ruler, it was explained to her that she had a choice. Because of her great cruelties she would have to return many times to painful experiences to expiate them. An alternative choice would be to have the evil burned away in a purifying fire.
She chose the fire, describing it very much like the hell we were taught about in Sunday School except that it wasn't permanent. "It only feels permanent while you are there," she said.
Following this "hell" experience, she never again returned to her evil ways. She did experience a large number of difficult lives later. Each of these lives contained a lesson or lessons - opportunities for growth in awareness. In some of them she learned. Some seemed to be more recess than learning.
I [Irene Hickman] worked with Ann intermittently over a period of about six years. The headaches left completely.
ref. Mind-Probe Hypnosis by Irene Hickman