Reincarnation, the Basics

Do you believe in life cycles? Reincarnation is the belief that on the death of the body, the soul transmigrates to or is born again in another body. Another meaning is the incarnation or embodiment of a soul in a new body after it has left the old one at physical death. Reincarnation is defined as being reborn in another body. Several religions believe that the human spirit returns to Earth in different forms again and again as it strives for perfection.

The origins of the notion of reincarnation are obscure. Discussion of the subject appears in the philosophical traditions of India. The Greeks discussed reincarnation, and the Celtic Druids are also reported to have taught a doctrine of reincarnation.

Reincarnation is also called rebirth or transmigration, and is a part of several religions’ doctrine of cyclic existence. Primarily it is found in many Indian religions such as Jainism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism.

The idea of reincarnation is found in many ancient cultures. The Druids of Gaul, Britain and Ireland had rebirth or metempsychosis as one of their core doctrines. It is also found in many tribal societies around the world, in such places such as Australia, East Asia, Siberia, and South America.

Astrologers in the early twentieth-century integrated the concepts of karma and reincarnation into the practice of Western astrology. A new synthesis of East and West resulted as Hindu and Buddhist concepts of reincarnation were fused with Western astrology. Schools of Evolutionary Astrology are based on “an acceptance of the fact that human beings incarnate in a succession of lifetimes.”

A Newborn to Life – Photo by Janko Ferlic on Unsplash

Reincarnation is an accepted part of the Wiccan faith. Wicca is a neo-pagan religion focused on nature. The concept of karmic return in Wicca states that our deeds return to us threefold, or multiple times to teach us lessons (The Threefold Law), whether in this lifetime or the next. Wiccans also believe in death and afterlife as important experiences for the soul to transform and prepare for future lifetimes.

About 20 percent of U.S. adults believe in reincarnation. Surveys have found about one fifth to one quarter of Europeans have some level of belief in reincarnation. Belief for the Nordic countries is 22%. In Russia, about one-third believes in reincarnation.

The above article was a brief general summary of what reincarnation is and where this belief is held now as well as some past history.

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