Articles/Essays From Pagans
December 1st. 2013 ...
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
The Celtic Tree Calendar
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
September 8th. 2013 ...
Introduction to the Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage
The Druidic Concept of Nwyfre
The Holocaust Survivor (Part 1)
Giving and Helping
September 1st. 2013 ...
Use a Flyswatter for a Fly: More on the Dark Arts
How Spells Work
Is It Really 'Energy'?
August 25th. 2013 ...
Mother Nature’s Way: Forging a Distinctly American Path
Healing Moon Ritual
Unconditional Love: The Paradox of Perfect Love
Earth to Soul/Sole
August 18th. 2013 ...
How Not to Fall in the Bunny Trap
Why Are You Like That? Thoughts on Hoodoo and Appropriation
Finding the Right Coven
The Knowledge Found in Silence
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances, Hazelnuts and Magick Wands
August 11th. 2013 ...
“I Survived a Weekend with Galina Krasskova”
The Charges of the Goddess and God with Commentary
August 4th. 2013 ...
Fair Weather Witches
Pagan Studies II: Modern Paganism in the Americas
Pagan Abbeys - A Practical Heritage for Spiritual Lay and Professional Cloistered Communities
July 28th. 2013 ...
Crystals 101: A Helpful Guide For Beginners
The More the Merrier? It’s not Only an Inaccuracy; it’s an All Out Farce!
My Pagan Manifesto
July 21st. 2013 ...
I'm a Witch, Not a Wiccan: A Brief Summary of Broad Pagan Designations
Rethinking Community for Solitaries
13 Keys: The Beauty of Tiphareth
July 14th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés We Use (Part II)
Pagan Humanism: A Tradition of Rational Religion
Moon/Planetary Musings: The Holly King and John Barleycorn
July 7th. 2013 ...
Coping With Depression: Learning to Dance with the Sacred Twins
Shamanic Healing of Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Humility and Community Service
H is for Hubris
June 30th. 2013 ...
How To Feel The Energy Around You
Planning A Ritual
Why Pagans Might Benefit from Counseling Techniques
The Weight of Contemplation: When the Silent Self Grows Louder
June 23rd. 2013 ...
Magick and Play
Tarot Spell for Protection
Moon Musings and Planetary Preponderances: RE-fuse, RE-duce, RE-use, RE-pair and RE-cycle
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
On Past Lives, Soulmates, and Living in the Now
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Article ID: 11836
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Lupa [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: June 24th. 2007
Times Viewed: 3,596
Recently I got into a conversation with a person online who was involved in an apparently unhealthy relationship. Now, this isn’t an uncommon thing (sadly), but s/he justified staying in the relationship because s/he had been involved with the other person in a past life.
“It’s so romantic, ” another person in the conversation added, “carrying on the relationship from life to life!”
Needless to say, several people got angry with me for daring to be unromantic.
There is an aesthetic ideal, in American culture, of “true love forever”. For most people, who are in faiths that teach that we each only get one life, the assumption is that your significant other will be waiting for you in Heaven/Paradise/etc. and you’ll be together happily ever after (life).
For pagans, most of who believe in reincarnation of one form or another, the idea that you could be reunited with a lover from a past life is ever so romantic (and apparently more special than finding a good match the first time through this life).
Drop the term “soul mate” into a pagan conversation and I guarantee you’ll get at least one person who, despite the incredible odds (especially if you consider the possibility of life on other planets), managed to find the same person (or people) s/he has been with through other lives, and somehow despite all the changes can still get along with him/her.
Unfortunately, the idea of love isn’t just blind, but also judgment impaired. (Note that this isn’t actual love—I’ll address that more in a bit). People like to be in love with the idea of love, mostly the happy surface traits like not being able to be around another person enough, sharing all kinds of light-hearted talk, and being so annoyingly sweet and adorable that the people around you all have to take a hit of insulin when you’re together.
There’s the misconception that if you’re really in love, everything will be perfect, and that if there are problems it means you’re not doing something right. Therefore some people will come up with any excuse to deal with the problems that crop up in any relationship.
See, that’s the difference between love, and the idea of love.
Love is realistic. It sees the flaws, and it gets irritated and angry and yells at people for leaving socks on the floor or pokes them in the ribs for snoring at night. Despite all this, it still enjoys good company and partnership, and often is still absolutely crazy about the same people it was chastising for spending too much.
But Love isn’t afraid to dig into the really tough issues—like insecurity over appearances and sexual performance, jealousy of other people, arguing over money and children, and other things that can tear a relationship apart.
The idea of love, on the other hand, would stay in an abusive relationship just to not have the appearance of failure. “I can change him/her”, it promises. In terms of the topic of this article, the idea of love can’t get enough of soulmates and true love literally forever. So past lives can become a greater issue with the idea of love than is really healthy.
This isn’t to say that there’s no such thing as soulmates, or that you can’t run into someone from a previous life and even hook up. However, when judging the health of a relationship, what’s going on here and now is infinitely more important than what happened way back when. Heck, even stuff that happened five years ago is no match for the present time. (Once you bury the hatchet, don’t dig it up!)
So let’s look at a hypothetical relationship. Say we have a pair of people who, in a past life, were the perfect couple. Completely in love, had it all, legendary status. Now, fast forward to this life.
Say one person is abusing the other—maybe not physically, but emotionally. The person being abused is entirely stuck on the idea of soulmates, and that eventually this will change, and they’ll go back to that idyllic time, only in a new setting.
Yes, it seems far-fetched—but I’ve heard much worse justifications for staying in an abusive relationship. I’ve also seen less drastic problems in relationships justified by past life interactions.
One person may be a bit of a parasite, financially or otherwise. Or the relationship may simply be failing, and instead of trying to work out the problems or put it to rest for good, the participants keep holding onto the idea that “love will find a way” (without getting its hands dirty, of course).
What this all comes down to: It doesn’t matter one whit what your situation in a past life was. You aren’t the exact same people you were back then—you aren’t even the exact same people you were ten years ago. Time changes us; we grow, and evolve. Some people change enough that the relationships they were in at an earlier point in this life (let alone another one) no longer suit them.
That’s the way it is with lives in general. Our past lives may influence us to an extent, but this life isn’t those lives. It is a unique junction in space and time, and who we are in this life is specific to it. We are not solely internal creatures; our environment and the people around us shape who we are as much as our personalities and other inherent characteristics. It’s like playing a song on different instruments; the melody may be more or less the same, but both the individual instrument, and the person playing it, leaves their marks on the music.
As a bit of a side note, this may sound a little odd coming from someone who identifies as Otherkin; the stereotypical Otherkin-identified person is one who obsesses over his/her past lives and attempts to tie everything s/he is in this life to who s/he was in that life—even down to saying that s/he doesn’t like salad because s/he was a dragon in a past life!
However, even in this community in which past lives play a prominent role for many people, the most well-adjusted and successful Otherkin are those who take who they were (assuming they explain themselves through reincarnation; there are several theories), balance it with who they are now, and live comfortably in this life, in the here and now, regardless of how we got here.
That’s the most important thing to keep in mind with past lives, whether you’re Otherkin or not, whether you think you’ve found your soulmate or not. It can be fun and even useful to figure out where you’re coming from, both in this life and in others.
However, if you’re reading this article, chances are that physically you’re not in ancient Egypt or Britain, you’re not physically an elven princess or thirty-foot-tall dragon, and your only choice is to interface with this world through the body and environment that you have.
Sitting around and wishing you were someplace else, in a different body, isn’t going to make your life here any better. By falling prey to escapism, you’re just as responsible for your misery as any outside influence—more so, in many cases.
If you find yourself putting more emphasis on other lives while living in this one, it’s time to stop and take a good look around you. So your life sucks. So what? Lots of peoples’ lives suck. It won’t get any better if you don’t focus on what can be done in the here and now.
There may not be any easy answers, but then again, there aren’t always easy answers in relationships. And if you find yourself in a bad situation in this life, whether with a supposed soulmate or not, trying to fall back on what worked in another place and time won’t do you a bit of good.
You are right here, right now, in the here and now. And that’s what’s most important.
Copyright: Copyright Lupa, 2007. Please only reproduce by posting a link to this page.
Location: Portland, Oregon
Author's Profile: To learn more about Lupa - Click HERE
Bio: Lupa is a recent transplant to Portland, OR, with her husband, Taylor, Sun Ce the cat, and entirely too many books and art supplies. She is the author of "Fang and Fur, Blood and Bone: A Primal Guide to Animal Magic", "A Field Guide to Otherkin", and is a contributor to the "Magick on the Edge" anthology of experimental occultism. She and her husband are cowriting "Kink Magic: Sex Magic Beyond Vanilla" (November 2007) . Lupa may be found online at http://www.thegreenwolf.com
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