Ask Charla: 3 Ways to Discover Your Past Lives

The idea that we could have past lives is fascinating, isn’t it? This is the topic I get asked about a lot—right after do they love me, who’s my soul mate, and what are the winning lottery numbers! I enjoy talking about past lives because there’s an air of mystery there. Our question this week is about past lives.

If you want me to tell you that you were Cleopatra, Mother Theresa, Julius Caesar, or Napoleon; you’re probably going to be disappointed! It doesn’t really work like that. Why? If you were meant to be remembering that particular past life in that particular setting, you’d still be there, not here!

Past lives can reveal a lot about you, though. For instance, phobias might come from some past life experience. Talents and skills you have in this lifetime could be ones you’ve brought over from a previous incarnation. It’s even possible that you know people with whom you’ve shared some aspect of a previous existence.

These people are your kindred spirits in some way.

With each incarnation, you will have experiences and you will encounter people who will teach you lessons you need to grow your soul. You can use astrology, numerology, and the tarot to give you insights and information about your past lives and how they can help you with your present incarnation.

Astrology & Past Lives

There are many markers in your astrology chart that hint at past life situations. One such marker is the position of the planet Saturn and the aspects that are made to it by the other planets. Saturn is the ‘old father time’ of the astrology chart. He’s also called the ‘Lord of Karma’ for a reason!

The examination of Saturn’s antics help you to understand what you have brought into this lifetime, and what your life’s lessons for this incarnation will be. In a relationship synastry reading, comparing your Saturn with another person’s can reveal much about the purpose for your connection in this lifetime.

The twelfth house also keeps a lot of secrets regarding past life information. It is the house that is known for hidden things, and for endings. It’s very spiritual, ruling dreams and the unconscious mind. Past life debt and karmic lessons often show up here, too.

The ruling sign and any planetary action in here will hint at issues that might manifest in your destiny during this lifetime.

Another area often overlooked is the North Node. This is paired with the South Node and they’re referred to as the ‘dragon’s head’ and ‘the dragon’s tail,’ respectively. Astrologers examine the sign and house these nodes fall in—as well as any aspects to them—to determine your potential destiny, and get glimpses at who you were in previous incarnations.

The nodes help you to understand what you’re supposed to do with your life. The north node shows you the direction your fate is supposed to take. It’s your life’s lesson, the reason you took birth. It will pull you out of your comfort zone, and instruct you how to make use of all the skills you brought into this incarnation from previous lives.

It can be an uncomfortable path to pursue—but I promise you that it’s even more uncomfortable to ignore it!

The south node is polar opposite the north node. Here you’ll find your gifts, the tools you were born with in this lifetime. It’s where you feel comfortable, where you feel at home. Even though it’s familiar, it’s not challenging. This is what you’re good at because you’ve done it in several previous incarnations. It doesn’t stretch you.

It’s not meant to be your life path; it’s meant to launch you into the lessons of the north node so that you can complete the destiny of this lifetime.

Finally, there’s Chiron, whom astrologers call, ‘the wounded healer’. Chiron is very karmic, especially at the time of your Chiron return—somewhere around the age of 50. Chiron shows you where your soul is hurting, and often you’ll overcompensate in that area of your life.

Sometimes you bring that pain in from previous lifetimes, and the lesson in this incarnation is to heal them. These are deep wounds which might take your whole lifetime to work through and understand. The position of Chiron and the planetary aspects to it reveal a lot about how to deal with any past life baggage that needs to be resolved and released.

Related Article: Discover Your Past Lives With Numerology

Numerology & Past Lives

There are numerous ways (pun intended) that numerology illustrates your past lives to you. The easiest way is to look at numbers in your life that keep repeating. Those numerals or number sequences are your unconscious speaking to you, trying to get you to learn the lessons that the digits represent.

Everything in the universe can be broken down into a mathematical equation. It’s little wonder then that your past life is able to speak to you through repeating numerological sequences. Examination of your karmic debt number also shows what you’ve brought into this lifetime to learn.

Many people don’t have a karmic debt number anywhere in their numerology reading, but find that these numbers (13, 14, 16, 19) weave in and out of their other cycles. These numbers are probably most pertinent when it comes to lessons from previous incarnations that haven’t been completely learned, or tasks that still need to be completed.

If you don’t deal with them in this lifetime, then you may well carry this over into future existences. Your karmic lesson number is different than your karmic debt number. Keep in mind that even though you brought these lessons into this life, they’re not going to tell you how old your soul is or even how many times you’ve taken bodily form.

It’s not a competition—I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen people try to play ‘my soul’s older than your soul!’ We’re all in this together; your karmic lesson number just helps you understand the role you were born to fulfill in your current incarnation.

Your hidden passion number is another way numerology helps you understand your past lives.

The desires of your heart, your soul’s calling, is hidden deep within your being before you were even born. Part of your purpose on Earth is to uncover what you brought into this lifetime, then understand why you carried it here so you can complete the task and grow your soul.

Tarot & Past Lives

The markers in astrology and numerology that reveal information about your past lives to you are found in the tarot, too. Different readers have different cards they feel represent previous lifetimes. It’s not as defined as it is with tarot and numerology.

The usual way to use the tarot to find out about messages from the past is to have a past life reading. The tarot reader will assign different positions in the tarot layout to hint at different aspects of your past lives. A good past life reading is informative and entertaining, but you must always remember that it’s not something to be taken lightly.

The tarot is probably the most subjective of all the past life readings simply because every reader—and even every deck—has its own slant on things.

One thing that’s consistent is the major arcana. It starts with the Fool and ends with the World, and it’s the story of a lifetime, from the inception of the soul (the Fool) to the completion of the soul’s journey (the World).

If you see the archetypes of the major arcana as messengers of your own spirit reflecting your progress back to you, it’s possible to learn not just about what lessons and skills you brought into this lifetime from previous existences, but also how to apply those to where you are now, and monitor your progress.


As I’ve mentioned previously, past lives are fun to explore, and often that analysis is not only revealing but also healing and enlightening. Just remember that you don’t live there anymore. Don’t let who you were steal anything away from being who you are now.

My advice is to be here now. Be fully present in this moment, this day. The knowledge of your past lives is meant to enhance this earthly experience, not to dominate it. Move forward and learn from every experience and every person who you come across.

Related Article: How Your Expression Number Shapes Your Destiny

About The Author

Charla Stone

Hi! I’m Charla Stone and I learned astrology and mysticism way back in the 1970s. I’ve spent the last four decades using the stars, tarot, runes, crystals, totems, and more to bring light and guidance to others. I’m just an old hippie at heart who has traveled the world to learn of its cultures. I’ve been published online and in print—which still rather surprises me, as this isn’t something I do, it’s just who I am! When I’m not writing or doing readings, I’m spending time in my garden or the art studio, or with my beloved dogs.
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