December 8, 2011 – Today is the 31st anniversary of John Lennon’s death, and it seems fitting to discuss a new book that explores his past lives . The Lennon-Bronte Connection, by Jewelle St. James, (St. James Publishing, 2011) investigates clues that former Beatle John Lennon was the reincarnation of tragic poet Branwell Bronte. This is the sequel to her first book, All You Need is Love, in which Jewelle discovers—and documents--her own past-life romance with Lennon in 17th century England; his name was John Baron and hers was Katherine St. James . (Read about All You Need Is Love here)
The connection to Bronte is mentioned in her first book, but merely in passing; now The Lennon-Bronte Connection follows the burgeoning trail of clues to unearth more evidence behind it, along with the emotional upheaval that Jewelle experienced when agreeing to write this book in the first place. The foreword of the book, written by Judy Hall (author of SoulMate Myth and other books) highlights the theme of unbreakable bonds of love that exist throughout centuries, whether we like it or not, until we resolve the pain and rescind the agreement. In fact Jewelle says right up front that accepting John Baron (and therefore Lennon and Bronte) in her life and embracing "the path that nature intended for her", is a “torment” she has no power to ignore.
Early on in the story Jewelle discovers that not only was Lennon the reincarnation of Bronte, she was Bronte’s sister Emily (author of the classic Wuthering Heights); but Emily barely features in the book. One might say that “this time around” Branwell is the one up front and center stage, thanks to the fame of his reincarnation, John Lennon. Unfortunately, as Lennon’s spirit tells Jewelle in the book, “Branwell was my unsuccessful side.” While his sisters were the prolific authors of the family, Branwell’s talent was shrouded by his alcoholism and drug abuse as well as grief over a failed relationship--all of which killed him at a very young age. Quickly forgotten, his short legacy was buried along with him by his sisters’ fame. His sister Charlotte was the author of Jane Eyre and Villette.
The Lennon-Bronte Connection takes the reader on the author’s journey of discovery, her doubts, and the twists and turns of her life. I am reminded of The Celestine Prophecy as the author follows all the signs in his search for the “secret manuscript;” Jewelle eventually makes the pilgrimage to the Bronte Parsonage in England where she “knows the kitchen is wrong.” (She finds out it has indeed been renovated.) There is information from different psychics and seers over a period of years, a plethora of synchronicity, and dreams, until the evidence is overwhelmingly obvious. (author's note: to make matters even more interesting, my daughter, having no knowledge of the John Baron story, named her puppy BARON last year. Coincidence? Or another tidbit of synchronicity?)
While the concept of Branwell and his history is a constant thread in the background, we find that it’s John Baron and John Lennon making their presence known throughout the book as spiritual guides. They are leaving her hints in all kinds of ways: in the form of painted messages on the sides of train cars, in the titles of books and credits of films. The symbol of the ancient Baron family, the white rose, makes unscheduled appearances, something that does not go unoticed by the author.
Unfathomable twists of fate bring her closer to the Bronte story, making it clear there are “no accidents” in life. (What are the chances that her new employers had lived in the tiny village in England where John Baron was from?) There is even a (ghostly?) bus driver who shows up on the road in the outskirts of Sussex, England--out of the blue, off schedule, to take her on a free ride into town—to the exact place she absolutely needs to go at that very moment.
Throughout the majority of the book Jewelle’s biggest challenge is to fully accept the existence of spiritual guidance from the soul that was John Lennon, and leave her doubts behind. When she receives the message that she should try channeling John herself, she balks. Then a dream about John Lennon---and dying roses---suddenly causes an emotional awakening that will change her life. Realizing that she should not let a “beautiful love die”, she opens her heart and declares her readiness to accept him.
It’s only at this point, three-quarters through the book, that Part II is introduced. This strange placement at this spot in the book are significant, as it simply hails the author’s rebirth, the spiritual awakening, that she and her guides have been waiting for.
While I wish the book had more photos of her travels to England---the Salisbury Plain, the countryside of Mere, the churches and gravestones, perhaps more at the Bronte Parsonage, and Bronte's “drinking chair” at the Black Bull Pub where she actually encountered his spirit face to face---there are some goodies. There is a downright stunning comparison of Bronte’s self portrait to Lennon that shows the striking resemblance. There is also a detailed list of parallels between Lennon and Bronte’s lives that suggest the retention of various aspects of our personas from lifetime to lifetime.
Bronte’s beautiful poem Remember Me is flanked by his silhouette at the closing of the book. It says it all. This tortured artist who died too young in obscurity is finally getting some press—and surely through the efforts of this story, he is no longer a forgotten English poet.
Jewelle St. James is also the author of her 2006 book Jude—My Reincarnation From Auschwitz, another past-life story about the death camps of the Holocaust. Her website is here, appropriately titled Past Life With John Lennon.