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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Niver, RN, MSN

What is an Old Soul?

Baby with angel looking at Earth

The concept of “old souls” has fascinated many of us since ancient times. It is rooted in various spiritual and philosophical beliefs and often used to describe someone who has perspectives on life that go beyond what their chronological age would normally indicate.

I invite you to join me in this sacred exploration of what it means to be an old soul.

Understanding and embracing this concept can bring about profound shifts in consciousness and a deeper sense of purpose in life.

My goal is to offer a perspective that will empower you on your own spiritual journey, offering information from ancient texts, classes and mentorship I have received, as well as from my perspective as a psychic medium.

The concept of old souls is associated with reincarnation, meaning that old souls have undergone multiple lifetimes, gathering much knowledge and many experiences.

The idea of reincarnation has ancient roots and has been present in various forms in different cultures and religious traditions for thousands of years. The concept of the soul's rebirth or transmigration can be traced back to ancient civilizations in India, Greece, and Egypt, and others.

In India, the concept of reincarnation is a fundamental aspect of Hinduism. The earliest recorded references to reincarnation can be found in the ancient Indian texts known as the Vedas, which date back to around 1500 BCE.

In ancient Greece, philosophers such as Pythagoras and Plato explored ideas related to the transmigration of souls, suggesting that the soul could move from one body to another (metempsychosis). The concept also appears in some early Greek religious and mystical traditions.

In ancient Egyptian religion, there are references to the cyclical nature of life and death, with beliefs in an afterlife and the possibility of returning to earthly existence in a new form.

The Nature of an Old Soul

The nature of an old soul is often characterized by certain traits and qualities that distinguish them from others. From a young age, old souls often exhibit sensitivities to the world and a profound understanding of life's mysteries, often perceiving the world through a lens that transcends the limitations of the physical realm.

They are often more attuned to the deeper aspects of human existence and may be drawn to philosophical, healing and/or spiritual careers and pursuits in life.

Many old souls are in touch with their psychic abilities or remember being in touch with them when they were children. Additionally, many people, including children have memories from past lives, and those memories can be quite specific, profound and wise. There is a multitude of evidence about these fascinating people that can be easily researched.

While individual experiences may vary, the next section includes common characteristics associated with old souls:

Wisdom and Insight

Old souls possess deep wisdom and insights, often displaying a profound understanding of life, human nature, and the interconnectedness of all things.

This wisdom extends to profound insights and talents into life's complexities, in many cases including the subjects of biology, physics, mathematics, musical abilities and much more.

Introspection and Introversion

Old souls tend to be introspective people that tend to reflect on their experiences, seeking meaning in the events of their lives.

This contemplative and thoughtful nature often leads them toward introversion, where they enjoy solitude and introspection.

Simplicity Over Materialism

Many old souls exhibit a sense of detachment from material possessions and worldly pursuits, prioritizing spiritual growth, inner fulfillment, and meaningful connections over external achievements.

This inclination towards simplicity extends to finding joy and fulfillment in simple pleasures and nature as well as prioritizing meaningful connections and experiences over superficial pursuits.

Empathy, Compassion, and Psychic Abilities

Old souls often display a heightened sense of empathy and compassion, being sensitive to the emotions and struggles of others, sometimes even taking on those emotions as their own.

Many are also in touch with their psychic abilities, especially during childhood, and may feel a sense of being watched.

It is also common to feel a special bond with animals, and many old souls are aware of being able to communicate with them telepathically.

Open-Mindedness and Appreciation for Learning and Wisdom

Old souls are often open-minded, creative, and interested in different perspectives, exhibiting compassion and understanding for the diversity of human experiences.

Mature Perspective and Timeless Interests

When well adjusted, they typically approach challenges with a mature perspective, handling situations calmly and with a sense of acceptance.

They are drawn to spiritual knowledge, wisdom, philosophy, art, ancient history, as well as language, culture and music from past eras, thus displaying an appreciation for learning from the experiences of the past.

Spiritual Inclination and Connection to Nature

Many old souls are spiritually inclined, exploring questions related to the purpose of life, the nature of existence, and the connection between the self and the universe.

This spiritual connection frequently involves deep bonds with nature and a longing to spend extended periods in natural surroundings.

Challenges Faced by Old Souls

While the journey of an old soul is rich with wisdom, it is not without its challenges. We are spirits having a human experience, and old souls frequently encounter distinctive struggles and obstacles while navigating the intricacies of their spiritual journey in the realm of physicality and human experience.

From heightened sensitivity to a sense of isolation, these challenges can be transformative catalysts for spiritual growth or can lead to spiritual depression.

Feeling Disconnected

Old souls may experience a sense of disconnection from their peers, as their perspectives and interests may differ significantly.

Heightened Sensitivity

The deep empathy of old souls can lead to heightened sensitivity, making them more susceptible to emotional and environmental influences as well as to experiencing the emotions of others.

Difficulty Navigating Mundane Tasks

Old souls may find it challenging to navigate the practical aspects of everyday life, such as mundane routines or societal expectations.

Struggle with Superficiality

They may have difficulty relating to or engaging in superficial conversations and relationships, preferring depth and authenticity.

Yearning for Deeper Connections

Old souls may have difficulty finding others that share their same depth of understanding and similar perspectives, and it is common to long for for more meaningful connections. This can sometimes lead to a sense of isolation.

Balancing Idealism with Reality

In such a dense realm as this Earth reality where we currently reside, old souls may struggle in balancing idealistic views with the difficult realities of this world. This can lead to cognitive dissonance and internal conflicts.

How to Better Cope as an Old Soul

Despite potential challenges, every old soul carries within them ancient and galactic wisdom waiting to be embraced. Through practices such as self-reflection, meditation, mentorship, and connecting with higher consciousness, old souls can learn to unlock this innate wisdom.

Here are some helpful tips to assist with the challenges we often face as old souls:

Cultivate Self-Awareness

Understand and embrace your sensitivity and old soul qualities. Self-awareness can be a powerful tool for personal growth.

Practice Mindfulness

Engage in mindfulness practices such as meditation and qi gong to enhance your ability to stay present and manage overwhelming emotions.

I like to practice this on a moment to moment/daily basis as well, and I find it helps keep me feeling more peaceful and grounded.

Create Boundaries

Establish healthy boundaries to protect your energy and prevent emotional exhaustion. Learn to say no when necessary. Let go of the guilt. The more you do this with compassion, the easier it gets.

Seek Supportive Relationships

Surround yourself with understanding and like-minded individuals who appreciate your depth and sensitivity.

Engage in Creative Outlets

Channel your emotions and insights into creative outlets such as art, writing, music, and movement to express yourself and find release.

Connect with Nature

Spend time in nature to recharge and gain perspective. The natural world can be a source of solace for sensitive people and old souls. The energy of nature creates positive transformation within us, improves health and provides insights on living our best life possible.

Practice Self-Care

Prioritize self-care routines that nourish your mind, body, and spirit.

This can include activities like meditating, taking baths, reading, flotation therapy, Reiki, massage, walks in nature, yoga and other movement therapies, and simply enjoying more quiet moments.

Be of Service

Use your empathy and understanding to be of service to others. Volunteering or helping those in need can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment. When you get nervous, focus on service!

Educate Yourself

Continuously seek knowledge and understanding of your sensitivities and old soul traits. This will empower you to navigate the challenges more effectively and to more quickly unlock your innate spiritual abilities.

Seek Support

Consider seeking therapy or counseling from a someone that understands the nature of old souls and the emotional challenges they often experience.

Are All Old Souls Lightworkers?

No, there is a distinction between an "old soul" and a "lightworker," although the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

Here's a brief explanation of each:


A lightworker is someone that is spiritually inclined and dedicated to spreading love, compassion, and positive energy in the world.

Lightworkers are seen as those who actively work to bring about healing, enlightenment, and transformation, both for themselves and others. The term "light" in lightworker often refers to spiritual illumination or enlightenment.

Old Soul

While an old soul is someone who is believed to have lived multiple lifetimes and accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience, they may not choose to act as a lightworker in this life.

In Summary

The journey of an old soul is a sacred pilgrimage, and I encourage you to begin or continue embracing the journey in a conscious way that allows you the understanding of your true self as spirit having a human experience.

Take time for introspection, connect with the ancient wisdom within, and honor the timeless and divine essence of your being. In the grand scheme of things, you play a unique and vital role.

If you are looking for guidance from an experienced spiritual mentor on your journey, I'm here to empower you and support your sacred exploration with spiritual and psychic mentoring sessions and classes.


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