Originally appeared in Planet Jackson Hole

Q: What if dad reincarnates?

A: The first question I am sharing is one that often comes up. A reader writes, "For many years I have received comfort and guidance from my father who is no longer alive. But what happens if he reincarnates? Would I continue to feel the communication connection? And if yes, with whom would I be communicating?"

In the spirit of simplifying a far more complex phenomenon, we can think of the soul like a tree with many branches and leaves. It's all one tree emerging from the same roots and trunk, and yet each branch and leaf is unique.

In a similar way, the soul gives expression to many lifetimes, each with its own special identity. Right now, you are relating to one "branch" of your father's soul tree, the one during which he had a particular personality and purpose and was your dad. And he is relating to you in a similar way?to the specific "branch" on your soul tree in which you were his daughter.

When you call on him with your thoughts and your love, the frequency of your soul "dials up" his soul. Your energy then links right to the specific "branch" of his soul tree in which you were his daughter and he was your father. To mix metaphors, it's as if you have his area code (soul) and his cell number (your specific life with him). He can contact you in a similar way; he's got your frequency number, too.

Keep in mind the soul is omnipresent and eternal. It is non-local, meaning that it operates beyond the limits of time and space. Therefore, regardless of where or when his soul incarnates, you always have access to his soul, and to its expression as your dad.

And then curious minds might ask, "What if he has been your father in many other lives?"

We'll save that for another week.

Q: Can my sister reincarnate during my lifetime?

A: The next question from a reader is the following: "My sister died when she was only 10, and I am wondering if it's possible for her to incarnate again during my life? And if so, would I recognize her? "

Sometimes the souls of people who die young and/or tragically incarnate again very quickly, if that is in the highest good for their evolution. Based on their soul's program, they may or may not show up as a new baby in your current extended family, and/or they might shift race, gender, geographic location. There are so many variables, which we won't be privy to ahead of time.

Therefore, you may or may not cross paths again in this life of yours. Assuming the soul does reincarnate in your family again, you'd look for truly uncanny similarities with your deceased sister in the new child. This includes identical birthmarks, scars, or physical weaknesses in the very same parts of the body involved in your sister's death.

Bottom line: If you cross paths with the same soul, whether in your family or not, you'll feel it-you'll just know. Soulful knowing is direct knowing. All the rest is merely rationalizing, and the mind can make up a reason for anything, whether it's true or not.

It's very important to remember and honor that the new incarnation will have their own personality in their new life, with unique talents and lessons to learn. So though the soul might be the same, the new expression will be a brand new branch of the same soul "tree." You'll want to be open and get to know them, love and support them for who they are now. PJH