Originally appeared in Planet Jackson Hole

Q: Was I a different gender in a past life?

A: The short answer is yes. The soul selects the gender that will offer the best opportunity to learn and to contribute in each lifetime and in each period in history. Being male or female never implies the soul is good or bad. Gender is not a reflection of intelligence or wisdom or evolutionary status. Since both genders are equally important in the dance of creation, most souls will experience both genders.

Some souls incarnate with the higher purpose of making a specific contribution to the world in a given lifetime or lifetimes. Historically this may have been making a particular discovery in science, opening trade routes, inventing new ways to farm, charting the oceans, revealing the motions of the planets and the stars, building sacred architecture, composing music or participating in law or government. In the past, only men would have been allowed to play those roles and make those kinds of contributions. Therefore, part of that soul's journey in certain periods in history had to include being male.

Today in the West women can participate in most every field of creative endeavor, therefore there is no requirement for a soul to incarnate in the male experience in order to share talents, develop skills and contribute. At the same time, in many parts of the world a soul would still have to be male to ensure the opportunity to advance that culture, if that was its current higher purpose.

There are souls who have been predominantly male in other times for whom the next phase of evolution, learning and balance is to incarnate in a female body. And there are souls who have been mostly female, whose evolutionary next step is to experience life through the male body experience. The why, and why now, and why here of that new experience can be a fun puzzle to figure out.

If you are curious about your own soul's history when it comes to gender, here are a couple of questions to ask yourself. Find some quiet time when you will not be interrupted, get comfortable, close your eyes, put aside ideas about how weird or cool it might be to be a different gender than you are right now and allow yourself to reflect deeply as you ask yourself the following two questions:

Do you intuitively sense you have been more male, more female or equally male and female in your prior lives?

What might be the balance your soul is intending you to master by being the gender you are now? Tip: Trust your inner sense for answers and not your mind.

Have fun with this. Remember, your gender is not a reflection of how advanced you are. From a reincarnation perspective, it is an intentional part of your learning software. PJH