How to Find Your Past Lives: 10 Techniques to Try

Senior woman discovering old photographs

As interest has grown in afterlife research like ghosts and reincarnation, many people hope to discover past lives. Some want to learn about 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, then learning how to find your past life may help you discover more about your soul's history of reincarnation.

1. Set an Intention

If you want to discover your past lives, the first thing you need to do is set an intention. This can be as simple as writing, "I remember my past lives," or it can be something you say before you meditate or go to sleep each night, such as, "Show me my past lives." Then, pay attention to information you receive while you sleep or meditate and be observant in your daily life.

2. Pay Attention to Affinities

The things that passionately interest you may provide insight into past lives. These include things such as a strong affinity for a particular culture, time, place, or epoch. For example, your past lives may actually be calling to you through your love of collecting samurai swords.

Do you have something from history that passionately interests you, such as the French Revolution, Ancient Egypt, or the Civil War? If something historic drives a passionate, and sometimes almost obsessive interest, it could be related to a past life. Make note of these things and then ask about them either before you go to sleep or before meditation to see if they may relate back to a previous identity.

3. Consider People and Places You Recognize

Have you ever had a sense of instant recognition for a person you just met or a place you've just visited? These may be indications of a past life. Notice:

  • A sense of having been here before in a place you've never visited
  • Knowledge of verifiable details about a place you've never visited or studied
  • A sense of déjà vu
  • The ability to navigate instinctively in a strange place
  • Feeling an instant affinity for or passionate desire to visit a place you have never been
  • A feeling of instant recognition for someone you're meeting for the first time
  • A sense of familiarity from a person or place
  • An instant bond with someone you just met
  • An instant and unexplainable dislike of someone you just met
Young woman backpacker enjoying nature

4. Delve Into Phobias

Sometimes, phobias (irrational fears) are leftover from past lives. For instance, someone who drowned in a past life may have an irrational fear of water. If you have severe phobias or feel extreme anxiety in situations where you shouldn't be afraid, it may be the residue of a past life. Ask for more information in dreams and meditation.

5. Pay Attention to Memories Out of Place

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. These may be fully formed memories or flashes of memory. This often occurs when they are visiting a place or encountering an artifact from a past life. For example, Author Jeffrey Keene's recall of his past life as Civil War General John B. Gordon first came to him in flashes when he had a strong emotional response while visiting the Sunken Road at the Antietam Battlefield in Sharpsburg, Maryland, an experience he describes in detail in his book, Someone Else's Yesterday. If you have flashes of memory--or complete memories--of events of the past, this may be your past lives bleeding through into this life.

6. Observe Dreams and Meditation Visions

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 subconscious 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. Likewise, notice things that don't make sense or seem out of place in these experiences. Some things might include:

  • Being someone other than yourself in a dream
  • The presence of historical architecture, clothing, furnishings, etc.
  • Speaking or understanding a foreign language
  • Dreaming historically verifiable details about a place, era, or event that you don't know about in your waking life
Old calligraphy notebook

7. 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 their 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

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. Learn More About Past Life Recall by Reading About It

Begin by researching past life theories. There are many excellent works that shed life on reincarnation, and sometimes reading about other people's experiences can spark your own memories. 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.
  • 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.

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 a past life that you fail to live this one.

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How to Find Your Past Lives: 10 Techniques to Try