Toyah Ann Willcox is an English Singer, Actress and TV presenter. From 1977 to 1983 she was lead singer in the band Toyah, before starting a solo career and branching out into other fields including acting.
In 2005 Toyah took part in the UK ITV series ‘Have I been here before?’ hosted by Phillip Schofield. In this series celebrities had the chance to be regressed to a past life by Hypnotherapist Andrea Foulkes. Their past life experiences are then investigated by Jules Hudson, a historian and archaeologist, to see if these accounts can very verified.
When talking about her beliefs before the series she said, “This life I have found incredibly frustrating. I have not enjoyed being a woman. I do believe I have been made a woman as a punishment for being a heartbreaker in my last life. I have always had a strong feeling about that. I feel as though I have a male soul trapped in a female body.”
When regressed Toyah experienced a life in which she is a prisoner in a small dingy cell in a church in the fifteenth century Holland. Called Naomi Gunter she was an anchoress (a female anchorite or person who has become a hermit for religious reasons). She makes it clear that she did not want to be an anchoress and that she is very unhappy. Her role is to listens to her communities secrets and absorb their sins.
An anchoritic life became widespread during the middle Ages. Their cells tended to be a simple room (also called anchorhold), built against one of the walls of the local village church. In Germanic speaking areas, from at least the 10th century, it was customary for the bishop to say ‘The Office of the Dead’ as the anchorite entered their cell, to signify the their death to the world and rebirth to a spiritual life of solitary communion with God.
When Jules Hudson looked at the past life he was able to confirm that anchorites and anchoresses were common in mediaeval Europe. These characters were a bridge between the living and the dead on a spiritual level. Normally being an anchorite or anchoress is something that you would volunteer for, but this doesn’t seem to be the case in Toyah’s regression. Clues as to how the person was chosen for this role suggests that Toyah was an anchoress for a community of Beguines. (A Christian religious order in the Low Countries in the 13th to 16th centuries).
Talking about the regression she said, “Well, we did the regression a while ago and I let go of it and didn’t think of it. I just thought is this suggestion, is this something that I’ve learnt about. But when he (Jules) said about the organisation of women, I thought that’s it. That’s the oppression because I remember clearly now from being regressed, there was a very oppressive feeling. There was no presence of men”.
She goes on to say, “What I found remarkable about that piece of detective work was that in England these women were stimulated and educated. In the cell I saw there was no stimulation what so ever. This woman became an animal”.
Toyah starred in a movie called ‘The Anchoress’ in 1993 about a woman who doesn’t want her daughter to become an anchoress. It can be argued that this regression was based on this movie part. Or that the experience from a past life drew her to the role.
When asked whether she believed she in reincarnation she said, “Yes, I do believe we have been here before and will be here in the future”.