Your soul reincarnates again and again and has maybe lived hundreds or thousands of lifetimes as a human and after a lifetime there is normally a period of reflection and review in order to fully understand what can be learned from it. A soul may immediately reincarnate in rare circumstances. We may not be consciously aware of what has happened in our past lives but we may actually have conscious memories of them within our souls. My feeling is that our souls forget much of what has happened in distant past lives, just like we forget in our conscious minds much of what has happened earlier in this life.
It is possible for you to find out about your past lives. I have found out a little about a couple of my past lives but it has not been through specifically trying to find out about them. It has always been my intent that I learn about myself so that I can become more balanced and grow and teach others. To try to find out about past lives out of idle curiosity or for recreation could be unwise and might suggest a lack of value or interest in this life - a little like walking backwards to relive the past. The history of your soul has brought you to this point and your past is evident in the current state of your soul – perfectly divine, with all of its imperfections.
Our souls inevitably carry fears and pain across lifetimes and we are not born perfect. We can have a particular fear through many lifetimes until that aspect of our consciousness learns and grows enough to heal. Fears bring about imbalance in the soul which brings inner conflict and pain, which can manifest as mental, emotional and physical pain. These affect our moods, feelings and behaviour and might manifest as anything from a fear of emotionally engaging with others to depression or sociopathic behaviour. A balanced soul, however great or small, is a happy soul, with a healthy mind and body.
We have all been sinners and saints in our different lifetimes and someone who has fear, pain and conflict in their soul may hurt others but may have brought love and peace to others in previous incarnations. It is worth remembering this before we judge others and it is also worth remembering that we are all equal in this universe and no matter how great or small and no matter how balanced or imbalanced we are all but tiny children to the greater consciousnesses in the universe.
A wonderful shaman once told me about the how the tarot cards reflect archetypal human conditions and positions. The card with the number zero is the fool who goes through life with childlike joy, despite not being great, and has good humour, with an open heart. As the human soul goes through many lifetimes of growth, with challenges, opportunities events and conditions represented by other tarot cards, we may arrive at a lifetime represented by the greatest of the tarot cards – number 21: the world. This card represents oneness with the world and all things and the ending of a cycle and the end of a journey of many, many lifetimes. This soul embodies divine manifestation and love flows through them to light up the world. This soul is happy, loving and wise – a sage or spiritual master. But when they reincarnate next time they will go back to card 0 - the fool. The beautifully balanced soul may be an avatar of love and peace - wise and wonderful but is still a small child in this universe. Buddhists may see an endless cycle of reincarnation and suffering but I see growth that takes us forward to an inevitable destination. We don't just go round and round in circles but rather we spiral ever upwards.
Hundreds of years ago, my soul was incarnated as a woman we can call Jane who was a herbalist and midwife in a village. She was aware of energies and knew something of the continuity of the soul after physical death. She had a daughter whom we can call Daisy with whom she had a strong emotional bond. As Jane lay on her death bed, with Daisy beside her, she made a deep and strong assurance to Daisy that she would always be with her. This was a conscious decision based on profound emotional feelings. In every life since then, when Jane's soul (that we will call Joy) and Daisy's soul (that we will call Grace) were incarnated at the same time, Joy would seek out Grace and although there were times when their love and this attachment was beneficial and happy, there were inevitably times that caused them pain. In one incarnation, when Joy found Grace, Grace had found someone else to be with and this sent Joy insane. This story of my soul demonstrates several important points. It demonstrates that if a conscious decision is made deep in the soul, based on misguided emotional attachments, it can have profound and far-reaching consequences for the soul. What Jane did was to effectively make a powerful contract from the depths of her soul, with another soul. It was learning for my soul over many lifetimes that helped it to understand and differentiate the emotional yearnings of the sacral chakra, the love of the heart chakra and higher divine love. It also demonstrates how souls can become entangled through making contracts based on unwise choices. To the spirit this is just a part of learning but to the soul it is a lesson in love, fear, pain and happiness that helps it to grow over many lifetimes to be more loving and wise. There is a happy ending to this story. I met Grace in this lifetime and we spent time together as partners. When we were guided to find out about our history together it was because we were ready to let go, heal the issues and break the contract, since our souls had grown beyond the need for it.