Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

September/October 2015 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.

The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article


This article was written by John Michael Greer on April 01, 2005
posted under Reincarnation

The belief that souls of the dead are reborn in other bodies, human or animal; also called transmigration. Far and away the most common teaching on the afterlife in Western occult traditions…

The rise of Christianity, with its insistence on eternal salvation or damnation after a single lifetime, forced the idea of reincarnation into an underground existence. Several Gnostic sects appear to have taught the doctrine, but after the suppression of Gnosticism in the last centuries of the Roman Empire, the orthodox ideas of Heaven and Hell defined the nature of the afterlife for nearly everyone in the Western world for centuries.

The one living tradition that retained a belief in reincarnation during the Middle Ages was the Cabala. The idea of reincarnation seems to have entered Jewish thought sometime in the first few centuries of the Common Era, but it was a minority view at best until the rise of the Cabala; most of the important medieval Jewish philosophers rejected it. In early Cabalistic texts such as the Bahir, on the other hand, reincarnation is presented as a reality, although these early writings seem unsure what to make of it. Several of these sources suggest that reincarnation is a punishment for specific sins, rather than the usual form of the afterlife for all…

Most current occult traditions treat reincarnation as a simple matter of fact. Reincarnation has also become the standard interpretation of the afterlife among modern Pagans of nearly all stripes…The theory of reincarnation has also been accepted generally among followers of the New Age movement.

In astrology, a grand cross occurs when four or more planets a form two sets of oppositions that combine to form four squares. These planets are also usually related by mode (Cardinal, Fixed, or Mutable). This is a difficult configuration, but there is usually great strength accompanying it to endure and develop character. So, there are three... read this article
Realizing the Green Witch Tarot
Three Theories to Explain the Chupacabra
40 Years of Yoga on the Chakra Path
Tracing Lincoln's Ghost
Mind Reading Quick & Easy

Most recent posts:
The Green Witch Tarot
Learn more here: CLICK! The Green Witch Tarot is the a deck that I’ve been waiting for ever since Ann Moura wrote Tarot for the Green Witch...

Profiling the Chupacabra
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Nick Redfern, author of the new Chupacabra Road Trip. Is the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico home to...

Health & Wellness Catalog

Gathering Deep Gathering Deep
By: Lisa Maxwell
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
Dream Alchemy Dream Alchemy
Shaping Our Dreams to Transform Our Lives

By: Ted Andrews
Price: $15.99 US,  $18.50 CAN
Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
$8.39 US,  $10.49 CAN On Sale!
The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband The Question of the Unfamiliar Husband
By: E. J. Copperman, Jeff Cohen
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Calendar Llewellyn's 2016 Witches' Calendar
By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
$9.79 US,  $11.89 CAN On Sale!