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Past Life Story of Alice Cary | Penney Peirce

Spirit Being or Spirit Guide Past Life Identification

Parallel Lives, Split Incarnation, Twin Flames, Twin Souls





How Derived: Past Life Identifications Made by a Spirit Being
Researcher: Penney Peirce
Article by Walter Semkiw, MD From Return of the Revolutionaries &

Born Again: Reincarnation Cases Involving Evidence of Past Lives with Xenoglossy Cases Researched by Ian Stevenson

A Spirit Guide Channeled though Bobby Jo Reveals Another Past Life Identity

Spirit Being Past Life Identity Reincarnation of Alice Carey Penney PeirceAn introduction to Penney Peirce and the trance medium, Bobby Jo, who Penney had a session with in the 1970's is provided in the Charles Parkhurst | Penney Peirce reincarnation case.  In sum, Bobby Jo channeled a spirit being who was able to give past life information with encylcopedic detail.  She gave Penney information on her past lifetime as Charles Parkhurst, which Penney was able to validate in great detail.  Facial features, talents and personality traits between Parkhurst and Penney are entirely consistent.

In her session with the Bobby Jo, Penney was also told about an even earlier incarnation. Bobby Jo conveyed that Penney’s name, in that lifetime, was Alice Cary, that she was born on a farm near Cincinnati, Ohio, on April 26, 1820, and that she died on February 12, 1871.

As in the Parkhurst case, Bobby Jo rattled off a series of books that Alice Cary had written, which included the following titles: Poems of Alice and Phoebe Cary; Clovernook: Recollections of Our Neighborhood in the West; Hagar: A Story for Today; Lyra and Other Poems; Clovernook Children; Married, Not Mated; Adopted Daughter, and Other Tales; The Josephine Gallery; Pictures of Country Life; Ballads, Lyrics and Hymns; The Bishop’s Son, A Lover’s Diary; The Born Thrall; Snow-Berries: A Book for Young Folks; and Ballads for Little Folks.

Once again, Bobby Jo appeared to have access to an incredible amount of detailed information on spontaneous basis.  Bobby Jo also told Penney that Alice Cary had been inseparable from her younger sister, Phoebe, in that lifetime. Bobby Jo related that Phoebe was Penney's younger sister, Paula, today.

Like with the Parkhurst case, it seemed impossible for Bobby Jo to have memorized all this information about the relatively obscure Cary, especially when validation of the information revealed consistent facial features, personality traits and consistent published works.

Past Life Identity of Penney Peirce as Alice Cary is Validated

As with the Charles Parkhurst past lifetime, even though Penney had never heard of Alice Cary before her session with Bobby Jo, she was able to find Alice Cary in historical records.  Once again, all the detailed information that the spirit guide had conveyed to Penney regarding Cary was correct, including the specific titles of books that Cary had written.  In addition, the facial features of Cary and Penney are consistent.

Sisters Reunited through Reincarnation

The case of Alice Cary | Penney Peirce features a karmic relationship that seems to have persisted from one lifetime to another. Recall that Bobby Jo told Penney that Alice Cary had a sister named Phoebe and that in this lifetime, Phoebe is Paula, Penny’s contemporary sister.

It appears that Bobby Jo’s statement is valid.  Penney learned that Alice Cary did indeed have a sister named Phoebe.  Further, Penney was able to locate images of Phoebe, whose facial features are consistent with those of Penney's sister, Paula.  Phoebe was considered to be one of the wittiest women in America, known for her ability to see the ludicrous in the glamorous, and for her great ability for parody.

Penney has observed that these personality traits are consistent with Paula, who is also described as witty, like Phoebe.  Penney once wrote that Paula is characterized by a “dry wit and cheerful, diplomatic disposition.”  Paula is also very intelligent, like Phoebe, as demonstrated by her having earned a PhD.  In a more mundane similarity, Phoebe was known to have an aversion to housework. In this lifetime, Paula has the same aversion. Paula sets money aside so that she can utilize a maid service, rather than do housework herself.

Past Life Relationship of  Alice and Phoebe is Continued in the Lives of Penney and Paula

Another significant parallel is observed in the relationships between the sisters, Alice and Phoebe and Penney and Paula. Both sets of sisters are approximately the same number of years apart in age, and both have had incredibly close relationships with each other.

Regarding Alice and Phoebe Cary, a biographer wrote: “The connection between the sisters, who had always treated one another with the utmost consideration and delicacy, was one of the most charming things about their unique dwelling.” (1)

The emotional bond between the sisters was so great, in fact, that they practically died together. After Alice succumbed to tuberculosis, Phoebe was so drained with grief that she passed away six months later. This close connection between the sisters persists in contemporary times. Peirce has noted, “Throughout my life, my younger sister Paula has been my best friend.”

A Past Life Relationship Reflected in the Name Phoebe

The bond between the sisters was rekindled early, as Penney recalls that when Paula was born, she had no feelings of jealousy or sibling rivalry; rather, Penney wanted to be close to her little sister. Later in life, Penney seems to have unconsciously intuited the past-life identity of her sister. Penney relates that as a young woman, she fantasized about a list of names that she would give to her children someday. Interestingly, her favorite name was Phoebe, which she learned meant “shining and bright.”

Penney Peirce as Reincarnated Feminist Leader Alice Cary

In addition to her literary pursuits, Alice Cary was a social activist, like Parkhurst and Penney.  Alice was a firm believer in the abolition of slavery and a proponent of women’s rights. She became the first president of first women’s club in America, the Sorority of Sisters (Sorosis), and was friends with Jane Croly, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and Susan B. Anthony.

In a similar way, Penney became involved with the feminist movement in New York and California, and became the art director for a feminist magazine. Alice Cary hated human repression or coercion in any form. Penney Peirce started a nonprofit organization in college to study the harmful brainwashing affects of the mass media and advertising on the general public.

Clairvoyance and Similarities in the Spiritual Beliefs of Alice Cary and Penney Peirce

Spiritually, Alice was attached to the Universalist Church and accepted its doctrines, including the belief in reincarnation and that spirits of the deceased could communicate with the living. She wrote:

“Laugh, you who never had
Your dead come back; but do not take from me foolish dream:
That these our mortal eyes
Which outwardly reflect the earth and skies,

Do introvert upon eternity.”  (2)

Cary’s biographer noted that Alice also had an interest in prophecy. Alice’s sister and friends related that she would “tell us each our fortune anew, casting our horoscope afresh in her teacup each morning.”

Similarly, Penney pursued parapsychology and clairvoyance development very early in her career.  She has made her living as a professional intuitive.  Also, Penney has served as a substitute minister for the Unity Church, which has similarities to the Universalist Church.

Reincarnation & Replication of Writing Talent

Parallels between Cary, Parkhurst and Peirce are apparent from their list of book titles alone. All three have been accomplished writers and all three have written children’s books.  Alice Cary was a prolific author of poetry, as well as a writer of nonfiction, just like Penney.  In an interesting synchronicity, Alice Cary wrote under the pen name “Patty Lee,” which corresponds to Peirce’s first and middle names, “Penney Lee.”

Reincarnation & Love of Nature

Alice Cary had an early quest for knowledge, even reading at night by the light of burning lard when candles were not available to her. Cary loved nature and wrote prolifically about scenes from rural life. Penney also has a love for nature, as did Parkhurst, and she lives in a setting of rolling farmland. Penney began keeping a journal at age seven and much of her inspiration stemmed from nature, animals, and the farm. Like Alice Cary, Penney published articles and poems in her teens. The National Scholastic Magazine award she won, we recall, was for a short story about Kansas wheat fields.

Reincarnation & Practice of Spirituality in Daily Life

Another parallel Penney has noticed between her own writings and those of Alice Cary and Charles Parkhurst is that all three focused on the need to demonstrate spiritual values in everyday life, in intention and through small actions, and that the practice, the process, and the experience itself is more important than just talking about lofty goals. Peirce has selected the following quotes from their books to illustrate this point.

Cary: “True worth is in being, not seeming—in doing, each day that goes by, some little good.”  (3)

Parkhurst: “Character is the impulse reined down into steady continuance.”  (4)

Peirce: “The process, not necessarily the answers, is the sacred thing.”  (5)

Reincarnation & Prose On Truth

Parkhurst wrote: “Truth, of course, is from everlasting and has its existence in the being of God, while an idea is only an attempt at truth and comes and goes with the mind that develops it.”  (6)

Peirce wrote in her journal: “Information is of the mind. Knowledge is truth, the result of the direct experience of being or Soul. Information is facts, the mere description of knowledge.” (7)

Cary wrote: “For sometimes, keen, and cold, and pitiless truth,/In spite of us, will press to open light/The naked angularities of things,/And from the steep ideal the soul drop/In wild and sorrowful beauty, like a star/From the blue heights of heaven into the sea.”  (8)

Reincarnation & Prose on Gratitude

Parkhurst wrote: “We have enough to make us all happy and thankful if we will be quiet long enough to take an affectionate inventory of our commonplace mercies, and let our hearts feel of them and mix themselves with them till we become saturated with their comfort and awaken into a loving sense of the patient goodness of their Giver.”  (9)

Penney wrote: “Slow down enough to describe in simple terms the things you feel, as though you’re taking inventory. By noticing things, you connect with your world. The ‘feminine mind’ brings you into a sense of beneficence and providence, and as you experience this fully, you may weep, or overflow with praises, or beam with feelings of ecstasy.”  (10)

Alice Cary wrote, When I think of the gifts that have honored Love’s shrine—/Heart, hope, soul, and body, all the mortal can give—/For the sake of a passion superbly divine,/I am glad, nay, and more, I am proud that I live!”  (11)

Please note that in the Anne Frank | Barbro Karlen reincarnation case, a similarity in content in published writings across lifetimes was also observed.

Reincarnation & Gender Change: Despite Masculine and Feminine Sides of the Soul, Content Stays the Same

Penney notes that she seems to be an interesting link between the masculine, more intellectual, minister, Charles Parkhurst, and the emotional, feminine poet, Alice Cary.  In her writings, Penney combines elements of both.  It is interesting to observe that in Penney’s reincarnation cases, though the styles of rhetoric may vary with changes in gender and era, core ideas stay the same.

This phenomenon also was observed in the reincarnation case of Paul Gauguin | Peter Teekamp, as Peter replicated ideas and subject matter in his art from the Gauguin lifetime, but he did so in a much more surrealistic way.  This is clearly seen in comparing Gauguin's "Yellow Christ" and Peter's painting, "Presentation of the Christ."

Reincarnation & Geographic Correspondences in the Lives of Cary, Parkhurst and Peirce

There are also geographical correspondences between the three lives. Past-life regression therapists have noted that souls often like to retrace their steps, from one lifetime to another. It is almost as if the soul is nostalgic for familiar places and settings of past lives.

Past Life in Cincinnati

As such, it appears that prior to incarnating, the soul engineers a life path that will take it to these familiar locations. As an example, Penney went to college at the University of Cincinnati, in Ohio, only a few miles from where Alice was born.

Here, like Cary, Penney began writing poetry in earnest.  Also in college, Penney had a boyfriend who wrote poems to and drew portraits of a fictitious woman. Her boyfriend referred to this woman as his muse and he called her “Alice.” Interestingly, Alice Cary had been jilted by a boyfriend when living in Ohio, which prompted her to suddenly move to New York City. Penney wonders whether her college boyfriend might have been the same man who jilted Cary.

Past Life in New York City

After Alice Cary moved to New York, her sister Phoebe soon followed. The women had moved to the city with the intention of making their living from literature—a very adventurous thing to do. Together, they wrote and published many books of poetry and fiction. In New York, Alice and Phoebe Cary were fondly known as “The Sisters of the West,” as Ohio was still considered the western edge of adolescent America at that time.

The Cary sisters became beloved by the intelligentsia and other types as they hosted a popular literary salon in their home for over fifteen years. Attendees included thinkers, philosophers, early feminists, writers and prominent personalities of the time, such as Horace Greeley, Edgar Allen Poe, John Greenleaf Whittier, and PT Barnum.

In what appears to be a parallel path, Penney also left Ohio abruptly, before graduating from college, and moved to New York City.  In New York, Penney, like Alice Cary, soon became involved with a group of feminist writers and other authors. In another geographic correspondence, Penney's job was situated near Gramercy Park, only blocks from where Alice and Phoebe Cary had lived. In New York, the life of Charles Parkhurst also becomes intertwined with theirs.

Penny's apartment on West 80th Street was only blocks from where Charles Parkhurst resided on West 74th. She attended night school at New York University and Columbia, which Parkhurst also attended.  In time, Penney moved to Park Slope, Brooklyn, close to where Alice and Phoebe are buried in Greenwood Cemetery.

Past Life in Los Angeles

In another odd parallel, Parkhurst, late in life, traveled from New York to Los Angeles to marry a second time. Similarly, Penney left New York City for Los Angeles to complete her degree in design at the California Institute of the Arts. She also notes that in the year after her session with Bobby Jo, her parents moved near Framingham, Massachusetts, the birthplace and childhood home of Charles Parkhurst. In visiting her parents, Penney has been able to revisit Parkhurst’s old stomping grounds.

Reincarnation & Possible Carryover of Disease from One Lifetime to Another

Another interesting parallel in these cases is the possible carryover from previous lives of physical infirmity and injury. Ian Stevenson, M.D., in his research of children who spontaneously remember past lives, observed that when an individual perishes from a traumatic injury, such as a knife or bullet wound, in the subsequent lifetime, a birthmark is found at the location of the traumatic wound.

Penney poses the hypothesis that a similar carryover may occur with chronic illnesses. Alice Cary suffered from tuberculosis for many years, eventually dying of from this disease.  Penney Peirce was born with severe lung problems, which manifested as chronic bronchitis and pneumonia for about the first 15 years of her life.

It has been hypothesized that an energy template or hologram is projected from the soul into the developing fetus, which tissue shapes around.  This theory can explain why facial features can remain similar from one incarnation to another.

In the same way, it is possible that the physical body can in turn affect its own energy template, resulting in birthmarks in the location of past life traumatic wounds, as well as defects in organs from past life diseases.

Principles of Reincarnation & Understanding Past Lives

Physical Resemblance: The facial features of Alice Cary and Penney Peirce are consistent, as are the facial features of Phoebe Cary and Paula Peirce.

Innate Talent: Penney demonstrated talent as a writer and had articles published as a teenager, even winning a National Scholastic Award for her writing.  It appears that Penney was drawing from her lifetimes as Alice Cary and Charles Parkhurst, who were accomplished writers.  Further, the topics that Cary, Parkhurst and Penney Peirce wrote about are consistent.

In addition, Penney has worked as a professional intuitive and as such, reflects Alice Cary's gift of clairvoyance.

Relationships Renewed through Reincarnation: The close bond between Alice and Phoebe Cary was reestablished in the relationship of Penney and Paula Peirce.

Geograhic Memory: Penney has lived in that same locations that Cary and Parkhurst lived in, specifically, Cincinnati, New York City and Los Angeles, though Penney was not aware of her past lives as Cary and Parkhurst at the time she lived in these locations.  This revisiting of past life locations can be seen as a subtle, unconscious form of geographic memory.

A similar phenomenon was observed in the case of Paul Gauguin | Peter Teekamp, as Gauguin lived in St. Cloud, France, while Peter moved from Europe to St. Cloud, Minnesota.  Peter may have had a subconscious attraction to the town of St. Cloud based on past life experience from the Gauguin incarnation.

Go to Charles Parkhurst | Penney Peirce Reincarnation Case

Go to Split Incarnation in the Cary | Parkhurst | Peirce Reincarnation Cases


Go to: Independently Investigated Reincarnation Cases, featuring the Children's Past Life Research of Ian Stevenson, MD

Go to: Ryerson-Semkiw Celebrity & Historic Figure Reincarnation Cases

Go to: Reincarnation Cases: Alphabetical



1. National Cyclopedia of American Biography, Vol 1, White and Co., p. 535.
2. Mary Clemmer Ames: Alice and Phoebe Cary, Hurd and Houghton, New York, NY, 1873, p. 93.
3. Quote provided by Penney Peirce from an Alice Cary website, source not identified.
4. Quote provided by Penney Peirce from a Charles Parkhurst website, source not identified.
5. Penney Peirce:The Intuitive Way, Beyond Words Publishing, Hillsboro, OR, 1997, p. 10.
6. Charles H. Parkhurst: My Forty Years in New York, p. 230.
7. Penney Peirce, from personal unpublished journal.
8. The Ladies’ Repository, Sept. 1855, “Literary Women of America; Number VI, Some Notice of the Writing Genius of Alice Cary,” editor, Rev. D. W. Clark.
9. Charles H. Parkhurst, A Thanksgiving Message from Dr. Parkhurst, the Foremost Patriotic Preacher in America,” Amherst Library.
10. Penney Peirce: The Intuitive Way, Beyond Words Publishing, Hillsboro, OR, 1997, p. 82.
11 .From “God is Love, “ by Alice Cary, reprinted in: Mary Clemmer Ames, Alice and Phoebe Cary, p. 263.
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