Stunned, Katie’s mother turns around. “What?”
“Berlin, Mommy. It’s a place grandpa’s daddy was telling me about. Where he gave ladies pretty necklaces until the Yahtzee people were there.”
Katie’s mother, like many parents in this situation, begins to feel her eyes well up and her heart race more quickly. Her little daughter, who just began first grade, is speaking about a conversation with her deceased great grandfather, a jewelry store owner in Berlin during the Nazi occupation. She and Katie have played Yahtzee together many times, so it makes sense that she would choose that similar sounding word to get the information across.
“Oh yes,” Katie’s mother plays it cool. “Berlin is a city in Germany where they have all kinds of art and museums. Just like New York or Minneapolis or Chicago.”
“Oh, okay. Well Grandpa K said he likes anchovies too.”
Katie’s mother Judy doesn’t even remember telling Katie about her great-grandfather, Kasper. And yes, Judy never did understand how her daughter could have asked for anchovy pizza when she was only four years old. Katie’s father, Ed, found anchovies inedible, and Judy herself found them distasteful. She remembered when Katie asked for pizza with “those salty fish” two years back, and she figured someone on television had talked about it or eaten it. Judy figured she would let her daughter try it to satiate her curiosity, then she would surely dislike them and not ask for it again. But that didn’t happen — Katie loved it.
Judy was on the phone with her mother the day Katie finished an entire slice of anchovy pizza, and she mentioned the oddness of Katie’s liking such adult food. Her mother laughed and said the last person she remembered eating anchovies was her grandfather, whose brother had worked at a local fish market after the two immigrated to New York in the early 1900’s. “Maybe it skips a few generations!” she’d joked, assuring Judy it was nothing to get worked up about.
But a few months later, Katie came home from school one day saying she’d found a strange mark on her foot. Judy at first chided Katie for taking her shoes off at school, thinking the mark was a result of something she stepped on while barefoot.
“It kept itching though, Mommy!” Katie insisted. “Just this one,” she said pointing to her right foot.
“Well let’s see,” Judy answered, taking Katie’s right sneaker and sock off.
On the left side of the top of her foot, behind her big toe, was a distinct scar. It resembled a white pebble.
Unsure of what to do, Judy brought her to the pediatrician the next day. But when the pediatrician went to look, the scar had vanished. The doctor told Judy it was probably something that had scabbed up quickly and not to be concerned. Sometimes kids heal quickly. But Judy knew it hadn’t been a scab.
Later that night when Katie’s grandmother called to check in, Judy relayed the odd story of the disappearing foot scar. Her mother seemed unfazed at first, then gasped.
“You know who had a scar like that — my grandfather Kasper, from Berlin. He was the victim of a shooting at a small grocery store during a robbery when he was in his early seventies. He walked with a cane for the rest of his life.”
When Katie was born, everyone in the family was overjoyed for Judy and Mark’s first born. Judy’s mother had remarked when she was born, “She reminds me so much of someone, but I just can’t say who. She has a very strong face. Her nose is kind of droopy at the end, like my grandfather. She must’ve gotten it from his side.”
Now, at six, Katie is relaying accurate information received from what she feels is an ongoing conversation with her great-grandfather, who has been passed for nearly twenty years. She has also begun expressing an interest in antique jewelry, German foods, and she loves the smell of cigars.
How do Judy and Mark handle their daughter’s inexplicable relationship with her deceased great-grandfather Kasper?
Is it possible that she is a medium, channeling his energy and assimilating his likes for her own? Possibly, although most mediums recognize the energy they read as external, having nothing to do with their own personalities or physicality. Mediumship is the ability to perceive information or channel the energy of a soul, not adapt the traits of a soul to their own life. But as Katie is so young, it is conceivable that her lack of experience makes her susceptible to confusing the two. Children who have experienced these types of connections are often confused by their sudden strange interests or distant knowledge and often talk obsessively about it with their parents and/or caretakers as a result.
Also, Katie does not seem to have this ability in regards to other people aside from her great-grandfather. She hasn’t expressed any information or traits related to any other relatives, outside of normal interests for a young girl that relate to her family members’ interests and personalities.
This conversation her being seems to have with her great-grandfather may be interpreted as an example of a “Co-habitation” of the soul, because it appears she has inherited both physical and spiritual traits from him, as well as having the ability to communicate with him.
This concept of “co-habitation” becomes tricky, however, when you consider the age-old spiritual concept that each soul has its own unique journey, how can a soul have a journey through two people at once?
There are two different ways to interpret Katie’s situation and others like it.
In the first interpretation, if Katie was born with the soul of her deceased great-grandfather, her “paranormal” or spiritual diagnosis would be that she is a reincarnation of him, making her connection that of a past life. It is arguable that she may have been her great-grandfather in her last life, and for some unknowable reason she was reborn into the same family for her soul to complete a task impossible to finish during her incarnation as her own great-grandfather. This type of situation is rare because most often souls do not reincarnate so quickly, nor do they often revisit the same family.
In the second interpretation, Katie may be sharing her soul with her great-grandfather as he is no longer physically alive and she is. This would mean that the two are in constant conversation, and connotes much more of an exchange between the two, rather than her simply being him in a different physical form.
One involves a past-life connection, the other a connection bridging the physical and spiritual worlds concurrently.
What do these possibilities tell us about the universe?
If soul co-habitation is possible, it throws into question the idea that a soul journeys through one incarnation at a time. Each experience the body undergoes leaves a unique soul imprint that is harbored for all of time. If two people of different times (one alive in the physical world, one alive outside the physical world) are sharing a soul, it is possible that the soul physically incarnated on Earth (or elsewhere, for that matter) is meant to do important work in conversation with the divine. This would explain the “calling” that so many religious and spiritual workers feel in connection with one particular figure. It is as if many religious practices covet this notion of soul-sharing in a broader context.
In Western religious traditions, Christianity offers followers ways to take Christ into themselves spiritually through such rituals as taking communion. Jewish prayer constantly reinvokes the names and deeds of the ancient prophets to give Jews a physical connection to those previously incarnated souls. The intention is to allow participants to share these soul experiences with their spiritually connected brethren. In these cases, however, there is generally a lack of connection cross-culturally, as it is human nature to seek membership among a physical group of like-minded people. In human form, this translates into differences in belief among families, friends, and religious practitioners who interpret dogma and personal experiences differently.
But getting back to co-habitation, what about two human beings who are contemporaries and sharing a soul? Many of us have heard of physical twins separated at birth who find each other years, sometimes decades later, generally through a series of “coincidences.” Is this an example of co-habitation or simply a strong soul connection to each other? Or a person who gets a sudden intense desire to go to a particular country, only to encounter a person there who feels like their “soulmate.” Again, is this co-habitation (not their soulmate, but part of the same soul) or a kindred spirit meant to be their partner during a physical life here? The line becomes blurry. Souls, like any energy, occupy their own space. While souls may intermingle on an energy level (just as people relate and socialize on a physical level), the individual energy is unique. Through this lens, it is more productive to understand these deep soul connections as connections, not as sharing. This way, we acknowledge the individuality of the soul and the necessity of each human being to be imprinted for their specific soul’s purposes.
Despite the way many human beings interpret occurrences on Earth, the universe is astounding in its logic. As such, the more pragmatic our approach the more beneficial it becomes. It appears to make more sense that the notion of soul “co-habitation” is better understood as a connection to a past-life, a strong psychic ability (for mediumship or other abilities), or both. In Katie’s case, her great-grandfather may have an important soul-goal that was left unfinished upon his physical passing, and only through his intensely psychic great-granddaughter is he able to set his intention on course. Or if we take the interpretation that Katie is her great-grandfather reincarnated, the interest becomes in understanding how relating to him is meant to benefit her soul’s journey through a deep psychic connection.