Reincarnation: how to know if you lived before

reincarnationDo you believe in reincarnation?

Were you here before?

How will you know?

Does it even matter?

Reincarnation is the spiritual belief that when we leave our physical body, our souls eventually re-enter another physical body and we live another life. Possibly over and over.
But perhaps we don’t need to reenter a physical body to live again, because consciousness may very well survive death, the brain and the body!

The Roman poet Lucan summarizes the Celtic attitude to death as follows: “Death is the middle of a long life.”

I once asked my Muskogee Creek teacher, Bear Heart, if Native Americans believe in reincarnation.

This was his one word answer: “Yes.”

He also once told me, when I was asking him a barrage of questions. “You know, some of these things you can figure out for yourself.”

So I pondered his “yes” and put it together with everything I’d learned along the “red road” – the Native American spiritual path.

The Native Americans I have met talk about our ancestors who came before us being available to watch over us and be called upon to intercede through prayer.

I think of those ancestors as somewhat analogous to guardian angels. They’re not ghosts, not lost souls; they exist in some sort of afterlife and are simply watching over us and happy to help when we need it.

To many indigenous people, whether a soul comes back into a physical body or not is irrelevant. Those ancestors who have gone on are so highly revered and remembered, it’s as if they never left.
Everything is related and the veil between the worlds is thin. Physical or non-physical is all the same.

According to data released last year by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, a quarter of Americans now believe in reincarnation.

Members of Eastern religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism also believe in reincarnation.

There is even evidence that the early Catholic Church taught reincarnation, but it was removed from the teachings in the early centuries. This is a much debated point, and I’m not going to argue it one way or the other in this post.

Signs of reincarnation

These are some of the signs that you may have lived before:

Unexplained phobias that have no basis in this life.

I used to have an irrational fear of moths. [Yes, really!] On a visit to the Australian outback eight years ago, I suddenly found myself sharing the outhouse with a moth larger than my hand. Total meltdown on my part! And there may have been some screaming, too.

My host came to my rescue and escorted me back to the house through hordes of Australian Gum moths flying through the air. Once at the house, the moths flung themselves against the window to get to the light! More weeping and gnashing of teeth!

I was told these giant moths only manifest once every five years to lay eggs, and a few weeks later they are dead. So they apparently manifested just for my visit!

My hostess, a gifted healer, led me through a past life regression to find the source of my fear. We went back to a past life when I was standing high on a parapet at night and was startled by a group of bats flying right by me, causing me to fall to my death. Since the moths I saw were the size of a bat with a 5” wing span, the connection made sense.

In any event, we worked on the issue and I haven’t been afraid of a moth since!

Extraordinary talents: there are people who can sit down and play an instrument with no lessons. When children pick up talents very quickly perhaps it’s because they were proficient in a past life.

Unexplained aches, pains and illnesses. People may also carry illness and wounds from a past life.

A colleague of mine worked with a client with a bad throat. Doctor’s found nothing wrong with the patient, so my friend did a past life regression and discovered the patient was killed by an arrow in the throat in a past life.

Within two days his throat problem cleared up.

I have also worked with clients who have unexplained pain that cleared up after a few healing sessions. I have no doubt these were pains that came with them from a previous life.

Frequent déjà vu. Déjà vu is having the strong sensation that an event or place has been experienced in the past. Perhaps because it was!

Meeting people for the first time who you feel you’ve known before.

Have you met people in this life who you felt sure you’d known before? I certainly have. There seems to be an instant familiarity and comfort.

Some spiritual teachers say we travel with soul groups and, before being born into this physical body, agree to meet with others from our group in this lifetime.

Then again, there may be others with whom you are immediately uncomfortable. This can also stem from a bad past life relationship that needs to be worked out.

The theory is that this life is just a classroom for us to learn lessons and either grow, or not. When we die, we go back to a “life between lives” where our teachers help us process the lessons learned in this life.

If you subscribe to the theory that there is a life between our lives on earth, it makes events in our lives easier to deal with, particularly the hard ones because this is just a classroom. We either learn our lessons or don’t. And we keep coming back until we do.

That could be good motivation to get it right this time.

You can learn more about life between lives in Michael Newton’s fascinating book, Journey of Souls: Case Studies of Life Between Lives.

Conscious past life memories of children

reincarnationThere’ve been many stories in the news lately about young children who remember past lives. These stories have been recounted in Jim B. Tucker’s remarkable book, Return to Life: Extraordinary Cases of Children Who Remember Past Lives

  • A two-and-half-year old girl was distraught over her inability to find her children and described the road accident in which she died.
  • Four year old Ryan began directing imaginary movies and described his past life as an actor in Hollywood in the 1930s. He and his mother looked through a picture book on Hollywood and Ryan said, “Hey, Mama, that’s George. We did a picture together. And that guy’s me. I found me!” The actor Ryan identified was Martin Martyn. Author Jim Tucker contacted Martyn’s daughter who confirmed many of the facts Ryan had given about her father.
  • Two-year old James Leininger loved toy planes and kept recreating an airplane crash in which he died. After years of research based on what James told him, his father learned that his son had been James Huston who was killed in a World War II battle.
  • Ever since he could talk, Cameron described a life from before, 200 miles from where he lives today. He’d never been there in this life, but could recount in detail the house he lived in, and the town. You can watch a documentary about Cameron here:  The Boy Who Lived Before.

Past life studies Dr. Helen Wambach is a researcher who started out in the 1960s with the intention to debunk reincarnation. But after finding consistent verifiable recollections among her 1000+ subjects, she concluded:  “I don’t believe in reincarnation – I know it!”

None of this is provable scientifically, and it really doesn’t matter. What matters are two things:

First, Are you living as your best you this time around?

Striving daily to be kind, courageous, compassionate and forgiving?

Second, there is more to life and this world than we’ve been led to believe by watching TV and reading the newspaper.

It’s time to expand our horizons and see the world for what it is: utterly mysterious and beautiful. An interconnection of energies and consciousness that can allow us to expand far beyond anything we’ve experienced heretofore.

What an exciting adventure. So let’s open our minds, be amazed, and find miracles in every moment!

And remember the words of Chief Seattle:  “There is no death, only a change of worlds.”


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Molly Larkin is the co-author of the international best-seller “The Wind Is My Mother; The Life and Teachings of a Native American Shaman.” She is passionate about helping people live life to their fullest potential through her classes and blog at

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  1. What a great post! Thank you Molly.

    It reminded of a piece that I came across last week — it was posted for a woman who had just lost her daughter. (I’ve shortened it a little here.)

    “Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. … Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. … Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well.”

    ~ Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918)

    • Molly Larkin

      Thank you so much, T.O., for sharing that beautiful piece. Very profound and, I believe, that’s exactly how it can be!

      • Anica

        I don’t know what to say but I think I have a past life too. And it keeps bothering me and people surrounds me. 😩

        • Molly Larkin

          I would recommend you pray about it, ask them who they are and what they want. Sometimes it’s our ancestors standing by to help us. You may want to seek out a psychic who does past life readings and can tell who is around you. Good luck!

      • Taiwo

        Interesting story but are you a pchycic? Need your contact

        • Molly Larkin

          Glad you liked the article, but I am not a psychic.

    • Shelly Bubenik

      Hi! This was an informative post. Thank you. I’ve been feeling reincarnation since I was a small child. I’m am the “moth” that continues to be so drawn to this subject. In fact, I’ve learned much about myself as a result of it.
      God Bless You,

      • Molly Larkin

        Thank you, Shelly. Glad to hear it has been a learning tool for you, as it can be to all who are open to it! Blessing, Molly

    • Rance

      I’m a 43 yr old man in England and since i was little i recalled having dreams of being a man in a very hot dusty country with lots of soldiers all wearing red, i always recalled being in a camp , the sun was so hot , and suddenly feeling such total fear and dred when the land seems consummed with swarms of tribal indians coming over the hillside and attacking and slaughtering all the soldiers and me trying to run and get away but it was no good i was surrounded with the most horrific savage stabbing and slicing all around, i had pure panic and would wake before my demise often in a cold sweat, i recalled having these dreams from about 5yrs old onwards,
      then one day around 10 yrs old i just so happened to watch a movie that my brother was watching called zulu, and i cant explain how instantly drawn to this movie i was, it was the exact scenario that i had in my dreams for so many years, its like they suddenly became materialised albeit through a movie thank god, it was based on the true story of the massacre in 1879 in isandlwana in south africa, i totally resonated with it all, i genuinely feel that i was there in this battle and suffered a terrible fate, ive since read up so much about the story but im so drawn to it, do you think its quite possible i was there on that fatefull day ?

      • Molly Larkin

        Thank you for writing, Rance. Yes, I think it’s entirely possible you were there that day. I believe reincarnation is quite common, along with people remembering their former lives. Hopefully getting this insight was healing for you and stopped the dreams.

  2. Maia

    Very nice, Molly. I love that you ended it with the two things that are REALLY important. Another would be the importance of questioning what we have been taught. I was raised to believe that there is only one life (and therefore only one chance at “salvation”). It was something I held on to like a dog with a bone until too much evidence to the contrary kept trickling my way. The work of Brian Weiss alone (Many Lives, Many Masters) would have convinced me if it had been the first I had read. It came as a wonderful confirmation along with its residual inspiring messages. One of the greatest benefits for me has been that deep feeling of being eternal, of being a spirit having a human experience, of having the opportunity again and again of learning. It sure beat the constant fear!

    • Molly Larkin

      Thank you, Maia. Yes, the feeling of being eternal and being a spirit is the best way to live life! 🙂

  3. Lin

    A woman that works with animal minds once said, for an animal that dies it is to them, like just changing a coat is to us. They know and see so much more than us. I know a friend moved near us when it must have been prearranged in another life because we keep each other sane and absolutely on track while we never knew each other the first 50 years of our lives. But, it feels like we’ve known each other forever. I would guess a lot of people KNOW their newest pet(s) are a pet they had before. For sure they are the pet we need. Pets know it even when we don’t. Adopt a rescue, they will find you when you look, they will let your gut know. BELIEVE.
    Thanks for your blog Molly, it’s awesome.

    • Molly Larkin

      Lovely teaching about our pets, Lin. Thank you for sharing it. It makes perfect sense.

  4. Valentina

    Hi Molly,
    thanks for share with us all that! Bear Heart, Native americans and other wonderful cultures has been and are still foundamental for my spiritual growth and research. I always knew to have lived other lives before this and I have some memories about those. I have a question for you: what you think about therians? People who believe to be an animal spirit in an human body, for several reasons including reincarnation. Were Therian people known by native americans?
    I’m italian, sorry if my english isn’t perfect.
    Thank you again!

    • Molly Larkin

      Thank you, Valentina. I have never before heard of therians. I will look into it. Your English is very good. Infinitely better than my non-existent Italian. 🙂

  5. Paula

    Judaism also teaches that there is reincarnation, which is most likely why the church taught it at one time. It may also be the reason they’re no longer teaching it. There are several writings regarding reincarnation in the mystical books, such as the Zohar:

    “As long as a person is unsuccessful in his purpose in this world, the Holy One, blessed be He, uproots him and replants him over and over again. (Zohar I 186b)”

    “All souls are subject to reincarnation; and people do not know the ways of the Holy One, blessed be He! They do not know that they are brought before the tribunal both before they enter into this world and after they leave it; they are ignorant of the many reincarnations and secret works which they have to undergo, and of the number of naked souls, and how many naked spirits roam about in the other world without being able to enter within the veil of the King’s Palace. Men do not know how the souls revolve like a stone that is thrown from a sling. But the time is at hand when these mysteries will be disclosed. (Zohar II 99b)”

    Most people – even Jews – don’t know about these teachings.

    • Molly Larkin

      Very interesting, Paula. Thank you so much for sharing these teachings!

  6. Linda Schmelter

    I just love books about reincarnation and have read many. The one (s) mentioned are great. I have been regressed to several of my past lifetimes and my husband and I have been together before!
    Fascinating stuff!
    PS There is a great book by Brian Weiss….a love story about 2 of his clients who were together before and reunited again in this lifetime (thru his scheming)—can’t remem. the name but worth searching for!

    • Molly Larkin

      Thank you, Linda. Yours is the second reference to the Brian Weiss book. I will look it up!

  7. Maya

    I like your blog very much. I am born as a highly sensitive person (HSP) and have always been very sensitive to energies. I have memories of many past lives. In my life before this I was a gypsie girl killed in a gaschamber of Hitler. When we saw an old documentary movie of this when I went to highschool I fainted and my legs went paralysed, I was ill for a whole summer (memories coming back). From the age of 12 years old I began to dream about people that would die or be very sick. When they actually died their souls came to me the exact moment of death (or transformation of the body – as I say). They still come to me when they go out of their bodies .- this is my reality – so for me it’s so natural that the soul never dies. I have contact with passed friends and relatives. In my family from my mothers side in every generation one woman (sometimes more) is born to know the future, see signs and have contact with the spiritual world. I feel very connected to all native people in the world because I communicate with Mother Nature, with animals, trees, plants, the waters, the wind, the moon, the sun…I practice Inca-healing and healing with herbs and I feel I have always in previous lifes been doing the this. My whole life is very rich in experiences and I’m so thankful and happy. Hopefully I’ll have much more to learn and experience in this life – and maybe I’ll write a book of all that has happened. Mitakuye Oyasin (all my relations), take care, peace and Love!

    • Molly Larkin

      Thank you, Maya. Your story is very interesting. I encourage you to write a book about your experiences. Blessings, Molly

      • Maya

        Thank you Molly. You know, your book “The wind is my mother” about Bear Hearts life is almost like a bible to me. So much life experience and wisdom in it – if I could write a book from my life half as good as yours I would be happy. Peace and Love, Maya.

        • Molly Larkin

          So nice to hear, Maya. Good luck with your writing.

    • Dr.Amrita

      Plz reply

      • Molly Larkin

        Dear Dr. Amrita: I replied to your request yesterday by email, but since you apparently did not receive it, I am also replying here. I do not do this type of work you are requesting. I will hold you in my prayers. Good luck.

        • Dr.Amrita

          Thanx molly…
          I m 30 now…my brother was everything for me ..i cant imagine my life without him..
          What should i do .?.
          I m unable to hold myself

          • Molly Larkin

            Please email me at Hopefully I can hit “reply” to your email and you will get it.

  8. Shaw Zaidins

    I’m sure you get this all the time, but recently, I came across a photo of someone that looks exactly like me at an earlier age. The funny thing is that the person actually had some strange role in the late 19th century and oddly, his ancestry is very much that of my own. When I showed the picture of the man to other family members they kind of freaked out. Anyhow, I’m really not sure of what to do with this information, since there is limited information on the biography of this man, (as much as there are pics of him and his small role in communicating with Native Americans) and I don’t know how on earth I should approach this subject. Still, I am drawn to the photo and not just because it looks like me. I sense there is something I am supposed to “do” but what that is I do not know. I have tried to perform “lookups” online on the topic of past lives, but keep hitting walls on sites that tend to want to tell me about other people to whom I might be connected. While that is of some interest, it’s not as compelling as this person. I now know the name of this person and a little bit about him, but again, I don’t know what to do with this info. I will attempt to attach a link to the photo below. If it appears, that’s “me” on the left…the man’s name was Julius Meyer, and despite the dissimilarity in surnames, I’ve checked his ancestry, and we’re very much the same on both my paternal and maternal sides of the family…

    • Molly Larkin

      Thank you for writing, Shaw. It’s entirely possible that was a past life for you. As for getting more information, I have two suggestions: First, every night when you go to bed, ask for guidance as to what this man’s connection to you might be. This was one of Bear Heart’s favorite techniques. Second: see if you can find a reputable past life reader. Either way, I’m sure answers will come eventually. Good luck. Blessings, Molly

  9. […] If, in a previous life, you were attacked by a bird, or had a scary experience in the ocean, it might have left a strong enough imprint to follow you into your next incarnation. […]

  10. […] If, in a previous life, you were attacked by a bird, or had a scary experience in the ocean, it might have left a strong enough imprint to follow you into your next incarnation. […]

  11. […] If, in a previous life, you were attacked by a bird, or had a scary experience in the ocean, it might have left a strong enough imprint to follow you into your next incarnation. […]

  12. David Norris

    I have just begun to research the strange emotions and feelings I have had since my childhood.
    It is interesting that every article,or video, I read mentions Dr. Wambach.
    Thank you,

  13. Kathy

    Thanks for the article as it is helping me. I watched an YouTube video yesterday that had you recall a past life. In middle of the video an emergency phone call came through and now I had vivid memories of my past life.
    How do I deal with the memories and emotions?

  14. Martyn

    I am now in my early 50’s and live in England. For some years now I have felt a strong urge to all things USA. Not in a “want to go on holiday way”
    It feels like a massive urge to be American even though I’ve never been.

    • Molly Larkin

      Interesting. You may well have lived here in a past life.

  15. The day I met my husband we were inseparable like we knew each other we fit together like a puzzle piece

    • Molly Larkin

      How wonderful you found one another in this life!

  16. Samadhee Ismail

    Hi Molly!

    I have been interested in the theory of reincarnation lately and I came across your article and decided that I will share my thoughts and experiences.
    Little bit about myself, I am a Sri Lankan–born to a Buddhist mother and a Muslim father. I was actually born in Japan but settled down in Sri Lanka. But mind you, I was never interested in either Japanese or Sri Lankan culture. I love my parents very much but I feel I don’t have any connections with them or with my Sri Lankan family. It doesn’t mean I don’t love Sri Lanka but I just don’t feel connected with the culture. And I have always been interested in Jewish culture. I don’t know but I have a tremendous liking towards Jews and Jewish culture. I have no idea why. It’s like, I feel I have some sort of connection with the Jews. I also love listening to classical music–some thing that my parents and my friends don’t like. I play the piano very well. When I was in high school, I did history particularly about German and Russian history and Holocaust. And while learning about Holocaust, I couldn’t help feeling that I was a part of Holocaust–I may have survived but I think I have had horrible experiences and I feel deja vu. I feel a sort of deja vu when I hear stories about Holocaust and Jews and I feel like I used to be in that era. I recently came across the past life regression about and I found myself as a Polish Jew living during Holocaust but I couldn’t get passed the regression as I wake up feeling suddenly afraid. I repeated three times and I got the same result–never going beyond that regression and only see myself as a Polish Jew moving to a ghetto. I am just wondering, am I being delusional? Or is it real? Sometimes I am wondering if I am imagining things or not. My mother told me once when I was a little kid, I was afraid of being isolated and had terrible nightmares and dreams that I clung on to my parents, afraid of losing them. Is it normal? And after I did the past life regression, I can’t stop getting a wave of emotions and regret for some reason and that now I really want to visit Poland. How can I overcome these things? I know I sound silly but if you can, please reply to me.

    • Molly Larkin

      Dear Samadhee: Yes, it’s certainly possible that past life experiences have contributed to your feelings. It’s not silly. I would suggest finding another past life regression therapist who can help you find more resolution about these experiences. Good luck.

  17. Hi Molly
    I am precious I have heard a lot about reincarnation but I have never taking my time to know more about it. .
    Now I know pls I want to know if I had lived a before. ??
    Thanks peace

  18. Jessy Collins

    Nice read. I have had this overwhelming feeling I have lived in Hollywood before. I can smell it and feel the air, everything there looks so familiar like it’s home just seeing it on TV or pictures, I even used to use Google Earth and just look around lol. I’m a very good musician but have always be told I should be an actor or comedian out of the blue. It’s starting to get annoying because I can’t figure it out.

  19. Evan Gori

    I am a 17 year old boy who was adopted at the age of 2, feels awkward around people, mistreated, and has a huge talent in music. My parents found me looking up the band Queen at the age of 4. Ever since, I’ve built a strong talent and passion for music. I’ve studied so much about the band and since 2012 I’ve noticed some flashbacks in the music videos. In Bohemian Rhapsody, I get visions and dreams of when I was standing up rocking out next to Brian May during that video. I’ve learned that Freddie Mercury has a 4 octave range in his voice and I do too. I get flashbacks of seeing an enormous stage with me standing in the middle with some famous band but I’m not famous. I look up Queen live at Wembley Stadium and it looks exactly like the same stage in my dreams. I’m also friends with so many people in the LGBTQ Community and several guys have tried to get with me idk why. I get that “deja vu” feeling when it comes to guys. So I’ve questioned myself millions of times…ould I be the reincarnated Freddie Mercury?

    • Molly Larkin

      Dear Evan: Thank you for commenting. I can’t give you a definitive answer as to who you were in a past life. But what’s most important is what you do with this life. If you love music, study it, play and pursue it. Good luck with it1 Cheers, Molly

  20. Rhonda

    I do believe in reincarnation, i lost my baby girl in death a few months ago.
    I couldn’t bear the pain, i was depress as hell, a friend introduced me to
    a man who can perform reincarnation, i jumped on the offer and it paid off
    now have given birth to another baby girl, she possess all the character and
    qualities of my late daughter. Seeing/experience is believing.

    • Molly Larkin

      I’m sorry for your loss, but happy you have given birth again. Blessings, Molly

  21. […] Have you ever felt like you have lived before? […]

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