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8 signs you’ve lived a past life—and some are pretty common

Like many other zillennials, manifesting and horoscopes have somehow made their way into my daily sphere. But, as talk around our “past life” becomes a surprisingly accepted topic of conversation, it may be a little more than my sceptical brain can get on board with.

For the uninitiated, a “past life” or “alternative life” refers to the view that one’s soul or spirit has lived a life (or lives) before this one—it’s a belief that’s as old as time itself. Reincarnation is a central tenet in religions including Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism, but it can be a pretty alien concept for Western ideologies. Even so, searches for “past life” spiked in the UK around the summer of 2020 at the height of the pandemic. But since the start of the year, interest is beginning to steadily climb again, according to Google data.

So, what gives? Both horoscopes and past lives seek to make sense of our world–and the people in it–in more alternative ways. Both can help forge (fellow zodiac signs can identify similar motivations, past lives could untangle instant synergy when you inexplicably click with another person). But they also challenge the idea that there’s nothing more to this world than the rational (and pretty complicated) place we find ourselves in. There’s escapism and possibility to be found in astrology and spirituality, which could explain why it’s increasingly being entertained by whole new generations. And, if we leave ourselves open to the idea that there’s more to this life than what’s plainly visible, who knows? Perhaps there’s a lot more we can discover about ourselves. or not, taking a spiritual leap can be cathartic.

Which brings us back to past lives. We asked multidisciplinary energy healer and hypnotherapist Fatima Muhtaseb from Kingston Hill Clinic to guide us through the signs you might have lived a past life. She offers past-life therapy, or past-life regression (a form of hypnotherapy to explore previous lives or incarnations).

Unexplained feelings

If you regularly experience lingering emotions that you can’t place, it could be a sign that they’re coming through from a past life, according to Fatima. “For instance, feeling overly sad, disempowered or may have its root in a past life,” she says. “It’s that feeling that something is not right even though everything seems fine. It comes up a lot with people who are settled in a good job and yet, they’re not happy in their work life. I had a client who felt blessed, but she didn’t feel relaxed or positive. When hypnotised, she saw herself as a male farmer who was the sole breadwinner of his . She realised she had brought into this lifetime this spirit of having to work hard to support her family. However, all her children were grown up and financially independent. At the end of the session, she decided to retire and enjoy being a grandparent with her husband.”

Spontaneous visions and recurring dreams

Ever had a dream or vision that felt weirdly familiar or realistic? It could be rooted in past life experience. “I’ve had clients who remembered spontaneous visions they’d had, most often during their childhood. These visions could be of them being in a , being of a different gender, dressed in a historical way or surrounded by people they’ve never met. The memory of these visions made them curious to find out about their past lives,” explains Fatima. “Famously, psychiatrist Dr. Brian Weiss worked with a client called Catherine with whom he used hypnotherapy and regression. To his surprise, she started revealing past life traumas that were explaining her recurrent nightmares and anxieties. Although he was sceptical at first, past life regression later became a huge part of his career,” she adds.

An affinity with a time period or with a culture

There are some people that just seem like they’re from a different era. This could be anything from their mannerisms, to the books they like to read or the clothes they like to wear. “Some people feel unexplainably curious about a particular time in or a distinct culture. I’ve had a male client who read a lot about the Middle Ages. When in trance, he found himself in medieval Europe and he healed feelings of loneliness and guilt due to misconnections rooted in those lifetimes,” says Fatima.

Unusual birthmarks

Fatima told us about research linking birth marks to past lives. “Dr. Ian Stevenson (an American psychiatrist at the University of Virginia Medical School) examined cases of children with spontaneous past life who had birthmarks that matched the wound of the deceased person whose life they seemed to remember,” she said. A carried out by Stevenson found an astonishing link between the birth marks of children who reported memories of a past life, and the death of the person from that past life (where they were able to be identified and their death verified). For instance, one child remembered the life of a man, Maha Ram, who was killed with a shotgun fired at close range. He had been shot on the lower right side of his chest, which was where the had a hypopigmented birthmark.

Unexplained feelings towards someone

We’ve all heard of instant connections, but there may be more to them. “This is when two people meet and they already know how they feel about one another. This sometimes forms that are inexplicably challenging because something unhealed is carried from a past life to this one. It can also be the foundation for a loving friendship or partnership, or even a sound work relationship,” says Fatima. Our soul mate could be the person our connected to in a life before this one.

Knowing an unvisited location

If you’ve ever experience déjà vu when visiting somewhere new, it could be a sign you’ve been there in a time before this one. “Some people visit a city for the first time and yet seem to know it like the back of their hands,” says Fatima.


Some believe that xenoglossy is evidence that past lives exist. “This is a rare and phenomenon where a person is able to speak, understand or even write in a language they have never been exposed to, in their current lifetime,” says Fatima. However, some experts argue that there is no scientifically- evidence of its existence and there are very few cases to verify the phenomenon.

A hidden talent

More popular is the belief that the ability to pick up a language quickly, amongst other skills—like a gift for playing musical instrumentsare pulled through from a past life. “Some people hypothesise that child may have learnt their skills in a prior lifetime,” says Fatima.