Previous Cycles

Previous Cycles

A grand cycle is the big “loop” beginning with the spark taking on an essence. It continues through having a series of lifetimes in a particular life form capable of sentience on the physical plane of a particular planet (or group of planets that have space travel between them), and completing the higher planes of that planet. It concludes when the spark integrates its experiences back into the Tao.

Most people have completed cycles on other planets before beginning their current cycle on earth. Just as a series of lifetimes may have a theme, so may a series of cycles. Some of the people we are close to in this cycle may have been with us in previous cycles. For example, an essence mate is a person who was our essence twin in a previous cycle. When I included essence mates on Michael Reading charts, about half of those I channeled listed at least one essence mate. Essence mate relationships tend to be close and deep, but without the intensity of the present essence twin relationship; they are like relationships with former lovers who are now good friends. Some of us also have close relationships with people who were our task companion in a previous cycle. There is no term for this relationship, but we generally work well with such people; the relationship is task companion-like, but not as compelling.

As a tree grows, it generates concentric internal rings that can be seen when it is cut. Similarly, each lifetime puts a “ring” of experience “around” our essence, and each grand cycle puts one around our spark. When this cycle is complete, it will be fully integrated into our spark, just as when this lifetime is complete, it will be fully integrated into our essence. The core of our spark is unchanging. It is the ultimate “I” who experiences.

Four is the average number of previous cycles for human beings in general, and the average for Americans is five and a half. The highest number for anyone on earth is nineteen. The man Jesus, for example, before the entrance of the infinite soul, had nineteen previous cycles; he was relatively very experienced at the planetary “game.” Buddha, on the other hand, had fourteen, and Krishna had thirteen, more commonly found numbers. The average member of the Michael entity has had about eight and seven-eighths previous cycles, with eighteen being the highest number of any fragment in their entity.

The number of previous grand cycles of my clients has ranged from eight to eighteen, and eleven or twelve is most typical. I have run into a couple of people who were said by Michael to have had eleven and a half or fourteen and a half previous cycles. Somewhere along the way, they cut short a cycle and went “back to the Tao” early. That is something like suicide, but on the essence level.

The Tao is always generating new sparks for sentient cycles. There are people on earth with no previous cycles, although they likely have had other universal experiences. However, it would be more typical for such a spark to join an entity on a less complex planet. Also, essences with a relatively high number of previous cycles more typically incarnate on more advanced planets where the average number of previous cycles is higher. Such planets are all over, but in general closer to the center of the universe than earth. They are often quite intellectually and/or technologically oriented, even in their early stages. Their infant soul cycles produce societies that are more complex than an earth infant soul society, although they are still characterized by relative simplicity. By the mature soul cycle, such societies tend to be more advanced in their abilities to work together cohesively and even telepathically, like one large organism. This could look to us like individuality is sacrificed (extraterrestrials visiting earth are often described as lacking individuality and emotion), but it’s just a different game. Entities and cadres are more unified on the physical plane in such cases.

Those on such planets might find the lack of complexity here a little boring. Earth is considered “suburban”—not quite the “sticks,” but not “cosmopolitan” either. However, every planet has unique challenges, and earth is a particularly important experiment, primarily about balancing opposites. Also, everything is by choice, so everyone who is here has chosen, on some level, to be here.

The more sentient cycles a spark has had, the higher its level of sentience, because it gains experience. It becomes more complex, with increased capacity for subtlety and nuance. It is like a later model of a machine being more sophisticated, with more parts, than earlier models, because of what was learned through the earlier models. Nevertheless, no doubt the earlier models worked fine, and future models will make those that are now state-of-the-art look simple—everything like this is relative. We exist on an infinite continuum. Someone with nineteen previous cycles looks quite complex on earth, but might look simple on a more cosmopolitan planet. Likewise, someone with two previous cycles might look complex somewhere else. Even someone with no previous cycles is sophisticated compared to nonsentient consciousness. It is also true that everything in the universe is perfect as it is.

One Michael student wrote me that he had been channeled by another Michael channel as having had three previous cycles. After reading an article I wrote that discussed the subject, he felt inferior. It is possible that the channeling he received was referring to something else—terms can be defined differently through different channels, or there might be different ways of measuring such things as previous cycles. Even if the channeling was referring to the same thing, increased complexity does not make one superior. I know two people with eighteen previous cycles: one is a loving and “enlightened” person; the other looks like a mess. The point is not to be complex but to expand the Tao through the expression of love through our uniqueness. An infant soul with no previous cycles who has agape, or unconditional love, at his level is “winning the game.”

In general, those with more previous cycles can better afford the luxury, so to speak, of studying something “nonessential” like the Michael teachings, since they have had more practice with the basics of physical plane life. Although each planet has new lessons, there are certain skills common to all physical-plane experiences, so the repetitions are helpful. It is like proficiency at one sport making it easier to learn another.

Michael told me that the previous cycle concept was not given to the group responsible for the Yarbro books (although it was hinted at) partly because they didn’t feel that the books’ audience was ready for it. The more fundamental material is difficult enough to grasp. Another reason may be that the group didn’t ask about it.

On another occasion, when I asked about the history of earth, they said that at one time, there were two separate strains of sentients on land, those with a relatively high average number of previous cycles, and those with relatively few. The so-called higher sentients inhabited ethereal bodies (physical bodies at a faster rate of vibration than our present bodies), while the “lower” tried out various experimental bipedal mammalian forms that the higher sentients regarded as animals. At that time, the whole earth, including all its life forms, was of a lighter density. The “fall of man” and of the earth itself into a heavier density had to do with the higher sentients mating with the lower, and with true animals, which created sometimes-pathetic half-breeds or “things” of various kinds. An earlier version of our present body was brought in from planets in the “Dog Star“ system as a solution to the problems that resulted, “standardizing” the sentient body for humanity. It was similar to the lower sentient bodies already here, and therefore was easily adapted to this planet. However, it was more sophisticated in its mental capabilities. It allowed for a broad range of sentience levels to incarnate, although our present version of it is now less flexible and more dense than it was originally because of the heavier density of earth itself. Although our present body is still fairly flexible, it may be too complex for some and too limited for others; some souls feel like they’re “in over their heads” and others feel hamstrung because the “human animal” just won’t seem to do what they want it to. Despite these limitations, most of us are able to at least “make do” and put our human sojourn to good use. Dolphin and whale essences occupy a narrower range of sentience, somewhere between the human extremes in terms of number of previous cycles, although their average number of previous cycles (six and two-fifths) is higher than that of humanity (four).

Many members of Cadre Three began their present cycle as infant souls in these bodies on planets in the Sirius system, and continued it on earth after they were transported here. Since that was so long ago, it doesn’t affect them much now. There are very few other cadres still incarnating that came to earth mid-cycle. One (that I am not familiar with) is just now beginning to incarnate here; it is from a recently exploded planet relatively close to earth, according to my channeling.

Also, some of us completed a cycle on earth in the ethereal life form, rejoined the Tao, and then began another cycle in these human bodies, since every life form allows for a unique set of experiences. It is very rare for a spark to have two cycles in the same life form on the same planet; that would be like getting the same degree at the same college twice.

Not only was our present body useful in solving a problem here on earth, it needed a new home anyway. Its previous home was five interrelated planets where another sentient species dominated. As our species began to host sentient souls in their infant soul cycle, it was in danger of enslavement as if it were an intelligent animal. Also, two of the five planets, where it might have become dominant, became uninhabitable—one exploded, and one became poisoned by gas leaking from its core. Eventually, working under essence-level agreements, more enlightened members of the dominant species, who wanted to protect our species, “seeded” earth with it. According to JP Van Hulle’s channeling, “Bigfoot” sightings are of members of that dominant species who are continuing to observe the progress of their “experiment.”

In the following, Michael explores the relationship between soul age (one’s age on a particular planet) and previous cycles.

Since I completed all the soul ages on several planets before this one, does my soul age on this planet matter?

You have never experienced second-level mature on this planet. You were once on a planet, for example, in which your life form was plant-like; it did not move very quickly. The processes of photosynthesis were your predominant experiences. Your day-to-day life was very different from your life here. In addition, that cycle was not as a king, but as a scholar, so that also changes your experience. Although the fundamental lessons of second-level mature on that planet are relevant to you now, the facts of them are not. Therefore, you have the opportunity to strengthen and expand those lessons, to experience them in different ways. That is why you came to this planet. It offers new horizons, new combinations of factors.

Some spiritual teachers say that time is an illusion. That statement is valid, although it is also true that time is real within its scope of influence and cannot be ignored. For instance, the fact that time is an illusion is not a valid excuse for being late for an appointment made beneath the convenient umbrella of physical-plane time. However, even on the physical plane, time is not all-encompassing or totally rigid, and in the large picture, everything is simultaneous—the interrelationships of the various levels of our inner reality are not governed by time. “Now” is a higher reality than time; everything exists now, not now in this moment in time, but in the now that is beyond time. These interrelating levels of reality include our previous (and potential future) cycles. Although our spark experiences them progressively, they also exist simultaneously: our previous cycles are all present in our spark like integrated subpersonalities.

When you are focused in the Tao, you might never think about your past planetary experiences, although the fruits of them are manifest in your spark. Only when contemplating another cycle might past cycles be recalled and reviewed. That is when they are most relevant.


About Shepherd Hoodwin

Shepherd has been channeling since 1986. He also does intuitive readings, mediumship, past-life regression, healing, counseling, and channeling coaching, where he teaches others to channel. He has conducted workshops on the Michael teachings throughout the United States. His other books include Enlightenment for Nitwits, Loving from Your Soul: Creating Powerful Relationships, Meditations for Self-Discovery, Opening to Healing, Growing Through Joy, Being in the World, and more to come.

Visit his website at

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