How Can I Discover My Past Lives?

Karen Frazier
Contributor Jeanne Grunert
artistic depiction of reincarnating soul

As interest has grown in the paranormal, so too has the idea of past lives taken root in the consciousness of many. Some people discover past lives out of curiosity, while others seek the past to find answers for unresolved issues. If you've always been curious about whether you've lived before, you may be able to discover past lives and find out more about your soul's history of reincarnation.

Try Regression Hypnotherapy

Past life regression is a form of hypnotherapy in which subjects are guided through their memories to times past in order to recall past lives. If you decide to try past life regression, find a qualified and licensed past life regression hypnotherapist. Check out his/her credentials and ask for references. During a regression session, the hypnotherapist will first take you into your past in this life before guiding you into a past life. The hypnotherapist can not make you do anything you don't want to; ultimately, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis so you are in control at all times.

Woman receiving hypnotherapy

Pay Attention to Your Dreams

Some people believe they have past life recall in dreams. Keep a dream journal, which is a diary or journal in which you record your dreams. Everyone dreams each night, regardless of whether they remember the dreams. The more you record your dreams, the easier it will be to remember them. Many experts in past life theory believe that somewhere deep in your mind is the record of every life you have ever lived. Analyze your dreams for clues about past lives. Does a certain time period or era show up frequently? Certain characters? These may indicate past life information seeping into your dreams.

Note Your Personal Experiences

Feelings of déjà vu may be a clue that you actually have been some place before in a past life. Other clues include a strong affinity for a particular culture, time, place, or epoch. Your past lives may actually be calling to you through your love of collecting samurai swords. Some people also have spontaneous recall of past lives, but they believe it to be imagination or daydreaming. Pay attention when these memories arise and see if you can link them to specific periods or people.

Have a Past Life Reading

Some psychics offer past life readings. While there's no way to verify the information you receive from a psychic, see if it feels true and do some research to discover if the information is, in any way, accurate.

Verify Details from Your Experiences

If you've tried these methods to access past life information and retrieved what you think is valid information, see if you can verify it. For example, if you believe you were a soldier in the Union army during the American Civil War, can you verify any details from your dreams or past life recall, such as names, places, battlefields or even small details such as food or clothing? The more you can verify details, the greater the chances are that such a dream is actually a past life memory and not just a memory of something you have learned or wishful thinking.

Understand Past Lives by Reading About Them

Begin by researching past life theories. There are many excellent works that shed life on reincarnation. Consider adding these to your bookshelf:

  • Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian Weiss is one of the quintessential books on the past life theory. These books will help you understand many aspects of past life regressions and spontaneous recall of past lives.
  • Someone Else's Yesterday by Jeffrey Keene tells the story into one man's journey of discovery of his past life as a Civil War general. Reading Keen's story may help you better understand yours.
  • Journey of Souls by Michael Newton offers case studies of both reincarnation and what life between lives looks like, gathered from Newton's hundreds of hypnotherapy subjects.
  • Twenty Cases Suggestive of Reincarnation by Dr. Ian Stevenson offers evidence Stevenson gathered in his reincarnation research with children.

Remembering Reincarnation and Past Lives

Certain cultures believe that after death, the soul moves into a period of rest. When it is ready for its next life lesson, it is reborn. Experiences in life are based on karma, the accumulation of life's good and bad deeds, your personal characteristics and your responses to circumstances. Karma can be worked out over many lifetimes; it isn't necessarily true that bad deeds are punished right away and good ones rewarded quickly. According to reincarnation theory, sometimes the soul must wait through many lifetimes before the right circumstances occur so that karmic tendencies can be worked out.

Edgar Cayce's Past Life Readings

Although the concept of past lives is found most often in Asian cultures, especially India, the American psychic Edgar Cayce provided reincarnation information during his famous readings. Cayce would fall into a trance to provide readings for people, including the state of their health, causes of disease and more. Later on in his life, Cayce provided information about people's past lives and past history. Of course, much of what he reported cannot be proven, but it is fascinating to read through the transcripts of the readings and follow potential karmic causes and events in each subject's past lives.

Old life, new life sign

Cautions About Discovering Past Lives

While it's fascinating to explore past lives, sometimes what you find may be traumatic. If you struggle with what you've learned, seek counseling from a qualified therapist. Also, it's important to remember that while past lives are interesting and learning about them can be helpful for resolving karmic issues such as phobias, what really matters is this life you're living now. Don't get so caught up in the past you fail to live this one.

How Can I Discover My Past Lives?