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June 27, 2011

Created June 28, 2011 - updated July 19, 2011 - A Personal Essay on Intuition

Constantine and I

First Roman Emperor to embrace Christianity: A past life incarnation now confirmed by authoritative source



Constantine and I

First Roman Emperor to Embrace Christianity: A past life incarnation now confirmed by authoritative source

Call it what you will... intuition, induction, deduction.  Probably all three. It was certainly a combination of both the left and right brain activities that led me to conclude three weeks ago that I had been the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great in one of my past lives.  It was a scary thought.  But not so stunning as when I found out a few months ago that I had also been King Phillip II of Spain, Portugal, Italy, England (while married to Queen Mary I).  So I got my nerve up, and on June 28 wrote an essay titled "Constantine and I."  

But I didn't fully trust my intuition.  I was still too much of a chicken to publish it widely. So I tucked it away shyly in the confidential, password-protected section of my web site, and shared the story only with a few close friends.  I did not even tell my daughters.  I figured they'd declare me insane. :-)

Well, now that an indisputably authoritative source has confirmed my Constantine intuition in front of more than 100 people last week at a conference in Kona, Hawaii, guess it is time for me to come out of the closet. The story that follows is now a good illustration how powerful intuition can be, and why we should trust our instincts even if we cannot rationally explain them.  It reads exactly as written on June 28, when I suspected, but was not sure about my lifetime as Constantine.  I've only added now a couple of footnotes to clarify some points.

HAIKU, Maui, June 28, 2011 - Constantine and I seem to have been intrinsically connected from the moment I took my first breath.  Except that I didn't know it for the first 16 years of my life.  As time went on, my spirit guides kept dropping hints here and there about our linkage.  But it was not until Saturday, June 25, 2011, that I felt for the first time a deep connection to the spirit of Constantine.  Was he my past life incarnation or a spirit guide in my current life? Or just a series of "coincidences?"  You can be the judge at the end of this article.

Who was Constantine?  Here's a synopsis of what Wikipedia says about him... (if you click here, you can read the full bio).

Known in history as Constantine the Great (Latin name: Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus c. 27 February 272 – 22 May 337), also known as Constantine I or Saint Constantine, he was Roman Emperor from 306 to 337. Well known for being the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity, Constantine issued the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious tolerance of all religions throughout the empire.The foremost general of his time, Constantine defeated the emperors Maxentius and Licinius during civil wars. He also fought successfully against the Franks, Alamanni, Visigoths, and Sarmatians during his reign – even resettling parts of Dacia which had been abandoned during the previous century.

Constantine also transformed the ancient Greek colony of Byzantium into a new imperial residence, Constantinople, which would be the capital of the Eastern Roman Empire for over one thousand years. He is hence often considered the first in the line of Byzantine emperors The new city was protected by the relics of the True Cross, the Rod of Moses and other holy relics, though a cameo now at the Hermitage Museum also represented Constantine crowned by the tyche of the new city.  The figures of old gods were either replaced or assimilated into a framework of Christian symbolism. Constantine built the new Church of the Holy Apostles on the site of a temple to Aphrodite. In Rome, he built the original "Old" St. Peter's Basilica (right), and in Jerusalem the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (left).

History is written by the victors.  The above summary of Constantine's life would be a lot less flattering it were written by his many victims.  For example, he had his own son Crispus, an heir to the throne, executed supposedly on suspicion of infidelity with his wife Empress Fausta.  He had her killed, too, a couple of months later.  He was also ruthless with several challengers to the throne of Rome whom he had defeated before becoming the sole ruler of the Roman Empire. 

But at the time of his rule, Rome may have reached the zenith of its power (see the map on the right).  And that, along with his adoption of Christianity, are the reasons history has given this Roman emperor the epithet The Great.

Now, that's all fine and dandy, you may be thinking, but what does that have to do with yours truly?  Well, it would appear that my spirit guides have been sprinkling Constantine clues throughout my life, just like Hansel dropped the crumbs of bread in the Hansel and Gretel tale to find her way back out of the forest.

For example, did you know that my actual name at birth was Constantine? (spelled Konstantin in Serbian).  I didn't, either, until I was 16.  Here's what happened...

Name Game

After I was born, my parents sent my mother's younger sister to have the new baby registered at the Belgrade city hall.  She was a little slow (mentally), and forgot the name they had given her.  Bring a devout Christian, however, she knew that June 3, my birthday, was Saint Constantine Day. My aunt was too embarrassed to go back and ask again for the baby's name, so she registered me as Constantine (spelled Konstantin in Serbian).

She never said anything about it to anyone.  Six months after my birth, I was baptized as Slobodan.  The term means Free in Serbian.  It was a popular name at the time.  The country had just been liberated from the Nazi occupation.  Slobodan abbreviates to Boba in Serbian.  So "Boba" was my nickname in Serbia.  After I moved to North America, Boba became Bob.  When I took out my U.S. citizenship, I added Robert as my first name to make it easier for people to connect Bob and Robert.

Meanwhile, back to Serbia, the bizarre story of my aunt's cover-up as the self-appointed godmother remained a dark secret until I turned 16.  That's when I needed to have a birth certificate issued for my ID card and passport.  Alas, nobody at the Belgrade city hall archives could find me.  I did not exist according to official records.

Then my bewildered parents remembered whom they had asked to have me registered.  They called my aunt who sheepishly confessed to her conspiracy of silence for so many years.  And yes, there was a Constantine (Konstantin) Djurdjevic born in Belgrade on June 3, 1945.  My parents then had to prove my existence through my baptism certificate, issued by the church when I was about six months old.  Then they had to change my name legally from Constantine to Slobodan. 

All the while, none of us had attached any particular significance to my original name. Not even when in the second grade, kids nick-named me Caesar.  Not that I was any great warrior.  My friends had no idea what the term meant.  It's just that I was the only blonde kid with bangs that covered my forehead like the hairdo we had seen on Roman statues (Constantine - below right, Bob 6- & 7-year old - left, and in 2009 - right).

Blonde "Caesar," "Greek"

I did not like being called Caesar.  It was bad enough always to stand out as a blonde.  (Most Yugoslavs are swarthy with dark hair).  So ever since I started school, I had been brushing my hair sideways, parting it on the left (see right photo - taken at age 18).  The blonde hair stood out even within my own family.  My parents and all of my aunts and uncles had dark hair.  My mother's hair was actually almost black. 

When I was a teenager, I also learned that the nickname for my father's side of the family was "Greeks."  Why Greeks?  It would take another 30 years for me to learn the answer to that question.  During a visit to Belgrade in 1990, I learned from a military historian that 700 years ago, the Djurdjevic's were noblemen whose lands lay in today's southern Macedonia-northern Greece.  You can follow their northward and westward migrations from 1,300 AD onward in Djurdjevic Family History (User ID/password required).

Just recently, I learned that Constantine's mother St. Helena, also known Empress of Constantinople, was an ethnic Greek from that part of the world.  And she was evidently blonde, too (left painting).  And so was supposedly her son - Constantine the Great - whose first name was Flavius.  Which means blonde in Latin.  You can also see the St. Helena's shrine at St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican (right).

Recent Clues: Sirmium, Nis

Ever since I had that strong intuition about my connection to Constantine on Saturday, I have been researching his biography.  And I discovered two other extraordinary "coincidences."

First, that the Roman Emperor had spent a fair bit of time in Sirmium, which was then the capital of the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire (see the map - right).  It so happened that I resided during most of my formative years in Sremska Mitrovica, the contemporary town built on top of Sirmium ruins. 

In fact, my mother was the director of the Museum in the 1960s when extraordinary discoveries were made during excavations in our neighborhood with a help of a team of archeologists from the University of Toledo, Ohio.  So valuable were their discoveries that the American government made a proposal to the Yugoslav government to rebuild the city of Sremska Mitrovica (about 50,000 population at the time) at another location, so that the entire site could be excavated.  For, archeologists had found evidence of human habitation there going back 5,000 years.  But the (communist) Yugoslav government refused.  They were big on factories, not culture.  So I grew up literally right on top some of the palaces that Constantine built and lived in 1,600 years earlier.

You can see some of the Sirmium archeological sites (left), and three golden Roman helmets found there, as well as many valuable coins minted in Roman times, like that minted with Constantine's image in the above right shot.

During my Saturday meditation, I also had another revelation.  I recalled an event that took place in the city of Nis, the third largest city in Serbia (see above map).  I visited Nis in September 1999 during my post-NATO war Tour of Serbia.  Among many local dignitaries, I was received by and presented by a commemorative plaque by the Mayor of Nis (right).  Take a look at the masthead the Mayor of Nis used for the plaque.  What does that bust remind you of?  Constantine, of course.  What flashed through my mind before I unearthed this photo was that image. 

Why would the mayor of a Serbian city display the bust of a Roman Emperor from 17 centuries ago?  Because Constantine was born in Nis circa 272 AD, I remembered, and then confirmed it via Wikipedia.  In fact, after the mayor heard my "name games" story, he joked about that visit, my first to Nis, being my "homecoming."  You can also see above left an image of Saint Constantine as a fresco on the walls of Hagia Sofia in Constantinople, the city that he built and turned into a New Rome.

You can also see Constantinople during antiquity and in Byzantine times (right), and Constantine's Baptism (by Raphael) and his statue in the city of York, England, where he was proclaimed Augustus in 306 AD.

What Does It Mean?

So there you have it... clues upon clues since the day I was born.  What do they all mean?  Mere "coincidences?"  A constant presence of Saint Constantine in my life as one of my spirit guides?  Or flashbacks to a past life incarnation?

Now, if it were the latter, and if I had been once a ruthless Roman Emperor invading and subjugating indigenous peoples, another thought that came to me during my Saturday mediation.  Perhaps my 18/7 work as a war correspondent in the 1990s may have been my attempt at DELETION of that Constantine lifetime?  I worked without pay in war zones and under NATO bombs in a dogged pursuit of the truth, which I was hoping would help the local peoples avoid foreign military conquest by today's most powerful empire in the world.  At times, it felt like a David vs. Goliath battle.  Except that but this time, my weapon of choice was a computer keyboard, not a slingshot or a sword.

"Pen is mightier than a sword," wrote British author Edward Bulwer-Lytton in 1839 in his play "Richelieu; Or the Conspiracy." The fact that the Truth in Media web site was ranked No. 33 at the height of the NATO war in 1999, out of some 40 million web sites in existence at the time, is proof that Mr. Bulwer-Lytton may be right.  I just hope that it was also a successful deletion.

P.S. July 19, 2011: The same authoritative source who confirmed that this writer had been Constantine I in a prior liftime, also validated my intuition that my work to bring about truth and peace to the people of Eastern Europe is about "deletion" of that  Constantine lifetime.

Post Script: June 28, Momentous Day in History

This story is being released on June 28, St. Vitus Day.  Vidovdan, as the Serbs call it, is a momentous, history-changing day for the Djurdjevic family and the Serbian people.  It was on this day 622 years ago that 80,000 Serbian knights and soldiers tried to stop the Islamic Otoman army from invading Christian Europe.  My ancestors were among them.  The Serbs lost the Battle of Kosovo (left painting).  King Lazar was killed as was the Turkish Sultan.  The defeat plunged Serbia into nearly 500 years of slavery under the Ottoman Turks.  Surviving Serbian noblemen left the battlefield with Queen Milica and settled in what is today northern Montenegro (see the map - right).  The Djurdjevic's were among them.  As a result, there is today Djurdjevic Mountain and the Djurdjevic Tara river in that part of Montenegro.  I visited them three years ago, to lay a Despacho there before my first Inca shamanic ordination (see Montenegro: Answering a Mountain Call, May 2008).

June 28, St. Vitus Day, is also an important day in modern history.  On this day in 1914, a Serb patriot assassinated the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo, Bosnia, an event which marked the start of World War I.  Austria and Germany declared war on Serbia.  England and France allied with Serbia.  And The Great War was under way.

St. Vitus Day Sign

HAIKU, Maui, June 28 - I got another sign this morning when I drew a card from my Mystic Medicine Deck.  I had asked the spirits for guidance about this story and for this St. Vitus Day prior to pulling it.  And the card I drew was the TRUTH!  Here's a message it contained from Archangel Ariel:

"Archangel Ariel stands without judgment. She urges you to do the same. Allow compassion and forgiveness for yourself and your innocence. "See" with your heart. You know when something doesn't feel right and use it as your barometer. The more you speak the Truth from the heart, the more you can connect with others' Truths. Your personal Truth is as it resonates within. Let your innate Truth kindheartedly rule supreme in all you say and do."

So I guess it's true.  Thank you, Ariel.


CLICK HERE to view an excerpt from article at the The Spirit Guides web site (UK).

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