People often ask me: ‘Why is this happening?’ The question of ‘why’ is something that is around us all the time: ‘why am I ill?’, ‘why have I lost my job?’, ‘why did someone die so young?’, ‘why is there this war, that disaster or that tragedy?’ ‘why did I meet that person’ and so on. It repeats again and again. People ask me because I’m a karmic counsellor, someone who looks at past life patterns in the birthchart to discern the purpose and soulplan for the current incarnation – and who uses psychic ‘far memory’ to read past life causes or interlife choices. In other words, I examine the credits and deficits on a soul’s spiritual bank account – and how the present life is going to contribute to their growth or diminishment.
Knowing why can help to guide us through difficult times but nevertheless, even with the understanding I have, there are moments when everything seemingly goes wrong and I feel let down and I instantly revert to my Gnostic past. The Gnostics believed that this earth is ruled by an ‘evil’ demiurge who takes great pleasure in tormenting the souls incarcerated on earth and that the ‘good’ demiurge is only to be found outside incarnation in the spiritual world. In those moments I perceive that this universe is ruled by a malicious, cruel-hearted being with a black sense of humour who delights in thwarting my plans and playing cosmic jokes. The trickster at the heart of the universe. This is what I call a soul overlay. Some ingrained soul overlays are particularly hard to shift, especially when events seem to support the belief encapsulated within them.
It doesn’t take long though before I start to ask ‘why has this happened?’ and to look for the gift or learning in the situation, which admittedly is sometimes hard to find. Given time, it usually becomes clear that either something better was waiting or that I was stuck in an old pattern that simply had to go. Nevertheless, that moment of railing at fate or whatever, still occurs. No doubt it does to you too. It is all too easy to intellectually understand, logically with our head, the necessity for change but it is much harder to emotionally understand and embrace this with our hearts.
Deep down, I am convinced that facing this necessity for change is all part of a soulplan I laid out before I was born and that part of that soulplan was to one day be able to face those moments with equanimity and without flipping into my old beliefs. That I no longer flip into them for days, weeks, months, years even lifetimes is progress. I now try to compassionately witness what I am going through without beating myself up and with forgiveness for myself and my slips in my heart.
A question I am frequently asked is: ‘Why do people need to know about their past lives and interlife choices? What possible value can it have?’ Above all, it can show that you are not a victim of circumstance but are experiencing a carefully planned path of soul evolution. You learn that you are an immortal soul who happens to be on a human journey at this moment but who is capable of multi-faceted experience in different dimensions.
Into the interlife
I’ve had a long (exceedingly long if you take other lives into account) training to do this work, including conducting hundreds of regressions, reading well over a thousand maps of the soul’s plan – the birthchart – and talking to many ‘higher selves’ who have a much broader view than is possible from here on earth. I’ve accompanied numerous people into the interlife, attending the planning meeting at which they broadly map out the purpose and path of the present incarnation and the soul contracts that may go with it. I’ve also been to the life review that follows death to see how far that purpose was achieved.
At one time I believed that, when it is viewed as purposeful, self-generated and subject to free-will, the process of reincarnation resolved all the great questions of life: providing a reason for ‘suffering’, the ‘fairness’’ or otherwise of a situation a person finds him or herself in, and the apparent unjustness of one short life – plus recognising that current life actions will have consequences.
Soul choices made in the interlife are powerful and may override even the most compelling karma or soul overlay if the intention or need is great enough, although this is not always the case and the reverse may occur.
Soul overlays that contain old soul contracts well past their sell-by date but not yet rescinded can have a powerful effect on the present life. These soul overlays present as an ingrained, repeating pattern over many lifetimes that, while it may have its roots in karma, has little to do with consequences – being more like an old gramophone needle stuck in a groove of ‘must do’ that needs to be shed by the soul.
Distinguishing between present life soul purpose and past life soul overlays that have carried over into the present life is challenging. They trip up many a soul’s evolutionary intent as deeply ingrained imperatives often seem to be determined to play out at all costs and can take a great deal of disentangling and renegotiation. It can be difficult as we start out on our journey to distinguish between our karmic consequences, the soul contracts we have made and the purpose we have incarnated to fulfil.
Beyond personal karma
However, even I am continually surprised by how the unfolding of what appears, on the surface, to be karmic or an overwhelming catastrophic event that is beyond personal karma may well be a soul decision to grow through exceedingly difficult circumstances not from karmic compulsion, but from a soul choice.
Rather than a dire event being karmic retribution, reparation or restitution, what seems to be a collective disaster may be a set of circumstances specially chosen by the soul as an opportunity for learning, or for service to humanity or compassionate witnessing of our plight.