Reincarnation is an ancient belief. It is part of many religions (Hinduism and Buddhism, for example) and was even one of the original Christian tenets, until condemned by the Second Council of Constantinople in 553. It is believed that the human spirit, or soul, is a fragment of the divine and eventually it will return to its divine source. But, for its own evolution, it is
necessary that the soul experience all things in life.
It seems the most sensible, most logical, explanation of much that is found in life. Why should one person be born into a rich family and another into poverty? Why should one be born crippled, another fit and strong?…if not because we must all eventually experience all things. Reincarnation seems the most logical explanation of child prodigies. A musical genius, composing concertos at the age of five (as did Mozart), is obviously carrying-over knowledge from one lifetime into the next. This does not usually happen, but it can. In the same way, homosexuality might well be explained through reincarnation: a person male in one lifetime and then female in the next (or vice versa) might have carried over feelings and preferences from one life to the next.
For someone who does not believe in reincarnation, it is difficult to understand the death of a child. What was the point of the child living at all, if only for a few short years? For the reincarnationist it is obvious that the child had learned all that had been set to be learned
in that particular lifetime and so was moving on. A very good simile for this is the grades of a school. You enter school in a low grade and learn the basics. When you have mastered these you graduate, take a short vacation, then come back into a higher grade to learn and
experience more things. So it is in life. In each life you have a certain amount to learn and to experience. When you have done that, you graduate (i.e. you die). To come back into a higher grade you are reborn in a new body. Occasionally remembrance of previous lives, or parts of them, is experienced but more generally you do not remember (it is possible, of course, through such procedures as hypno-regression, to go back to previous lives and bring them once more to the surface). Perhaps one of the most common of occult experiences is that
of deja-vu—the feeling that something has happened before—so often attributed to reincarnation (though by no means is reincarnation the only possible explanation of all cases of deja-vu); the feeling being a brief flash of memory of something that happened in a previous life.
In what form do we return to the earth? Some believe (the Hindus, for example) that it is not necessarily in human form each time. Certain Hindu sects teach that the soul may be reborn as a plant or an animal. However, such beliefs are not generally held in Western civilization. Some say there is a progression from the lowest life-forms to the highest— putting humans at the top. But then who is to say the order? Is a dog higher than a cat, or a cat higher than a dog? Is a centipede higher or lower than an earwig? Does this mean, when every soul has finally passed up the scale and graduated, that in the afterlife there will be no plant, animal or insect life? It seems unlikely. In Witchcraft the belief is that all things have souls. In Saxon Witchcraft, for example, it is believed that a dog will go through many incarnations, but always as a dog; a cat always as a cat; a human always as a human. There is reason for all things to be here … what we term the “balance of Nature”. It seems we certainly have a choice, within our species, of being either male or female, in order to experience and appreciate the different aspects.
One argument often put forward by non-rein-carnationists is “If what you say is true, how
do you explain the fact that the world population is continuously growing?” Of course it is! So is the population of souls/spirits. There are not simply x number of souls who all started their development together. New souls are being introduced all the times. So we have so-called “new souls”—those on their first incarnations—and “old souls”—those who have been through a large number of lives. It is possible that eventually, when the gods decide enough souls
have been introduced, there will be a stabilizing of the population followed later by a decline, as old souls in their final incarnations make their graduations. There is yet another thought that might be considered here … where do these souls originally come from and where do they go after that final graduation? One possibility, of course, is that we not only experience lives here on Earth, but also on other planets and in other reality systems. Who knows? …
perhaps we go through the cycle here having already been through it a dozen times or more on other worlds. There is obviously much food for thought, very little (if any) proof of preferences and great scope for new tenets.
Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft