Do you believe in reincarnation/past lives? Well I started my spiritual path studying Buddhism so was exposed to reincarnation from the beginning. Since then my practices have widened to includes many other ways of connecting and working with spirit but my belief in reincarnation has never wavered. It seemed to just makes sense to me at a deep level. I never really felt the need to question it although I did study the subject in some detail. However it wasn’t till last year that it got taken to a much deeper level. I was going through a particularly rough period which included being really really broke and not even having a stable place to live. I was pretty much crashing with friends for several months with stressful times in between places. I just couldn’t get it together and this was part of a larger process of letting go of my identity and awakening into a new more expanded life which was a painful process to say the least. Toward the end of this period I was going to stay with a friend and since I didn’t have a car I took the bus which dropped me off at the bottom of the hill where their house was. I started walking up the hill (about a mile) carrying a backpack, a suitcase and a sleeping bag. It was a very hot day, in the 90s and I started to lose it. I felt like just breaking down and giving up on life, I felt worthless and powerless, like I couldn’t go on.

At the height of that something happened. It was a powerful flash or rush of memories which I now consider a recollection from a past life. As I was walking up the hill and struggling so hard I had the experience of being a Roman soldier marching, wearing my armor, carrying all my equipment, a sword, a shield and marching and marching endlessly in the heat. It wasn’t just an image or thought, I could feel the armor, my helmet and the sandals on my feet and see the great golden eagle flying on the dark red banner being carried ahead of me. I could remember my name and my rank and position in the legion and where we were, marching in the eastern part of the empire through the desert to crush a rebellion somewhere. The details and clarity of this really struck me but what struck me even more than that was that it transformed the desperate place I was in. I felt the power I had lost, the power of being a soldier who could march across a continent 2000 years ago and the strength and dedication that must have taken. I could feel the way that man felt, a fierce unyielding determination. Nothing could stop him except death itself and he had no fear of that because he was a warrior. My current difficult circumstances felt like nothing compared to that. I felt the warrior spirit re-emerge in me like a tidal wave and I broke free of the pit of depression I was caught in.

After that experience I no longer just believed in reincarnation, I knew it was true as a fact of experience. Something like this could be explained away in various ways by other people who don’t accept reincarnation but if anyone actually experienced what I did they could have no doubt. This was transformational for me. It helped me tap into an enormous reserve of personal power which is symbolized by the warrior archetype. I have walked the warrior path for many lifetimes including this life. I’ve been a soldier and a martial artist in this life and went through a process of rejecting that as destructive when I began to walk a spiritual path. In rejecting it however I also rejected a large part of my power. Now I consider myself a spiritual warrior and the recollection of this past life reminded me of the importance of the warrior spirit on the spiritual path because without it I don’t think I could have made it through. The warrior spirit when properly directed by spirit and the heart is an invaluable resource which brings great strength and fearlessness and an attitude that will never give up no matter what the circumstances. I don’t know about you but I feel we could all use a good dose of that in this day and age. Perhaps this was an example of how our past experiences can be drawn upon to help us at times when we most need to remember what we learned and accomplished back in the day. I think we all have such gems buried deep within if we can recollect them.