Young at heart. Old souls. To many people, these phrases are just a way of referring to characteristics a person possesses.
To other people, the fact that they are an old soul is something they mean very literally. Some even say that it’s wisdom passed down from past lives which they have lived.
But what does old soul mean?
In this article, we’ll find out…
What is an old soul?
An “old soul” generally refers to someone who is wise beyond their years.
They tend to be more relaxed, less materialistic and – while they will be careful to focus on the present – they are good at taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture.
Make no mistake, this is definitely a good thing:
While old souls might prefer to be alone a lot of the time – and may have had an awkward childhood because they preferred their own company and had less time for childish things – they tend to be respected and valued members of any group for their wisdom and, sometimes, their skills too.
Old soul – meaning and origins
One of the first references to someone with an “old soul” is the 18th century English nursery rhyme “Old King Cole”:
Old King Cole was a merry old soul
And a merry old soul was he
It isn’t clear from the song’s content if the meaning was the same.
A more recent definition is:
“A spiritual person who is wise beyond their years; a person of strong emotional stability.”
Old soul characteristics
There are certain old soul characteristics which you might tend to display if you are one:
1) You like your alone time
Old souls don’t tend to match well with people in their own age range.
This can mean they end up spending more time on their own – and not minding it.
2) You’re more likely to be a thinker – and less of a gossiper
The latest trendy news and gossip – whether it’s sporting scores or the ins and outs of the relationships of people you know – are less likely to interest you.
You’re more likely to be out looking for deeper meaning or wisdom. This could mean gaining new physical skills or academic knowledge.
3) You’re interested in spiritualism or nature
Old souls tend to seek out nature and be more inclined to be of a philosophical or spiritual turn of mind.
4) You prefer to think things through
A little introspection can be good for you. Old souls certainly tend to believe this is the case!
If you have an old soul, you will tend to reflect on what you and the others around you have done in order to learn from mistakes and avoid repeating them.
5) You prefer big picture mode
Not being able to see the wood for the trees is rarely a problem an old soul will have.
They tend to have no trouble taking a step back to look at life from the outside and see what they can do to get the most meaningful experiences out of it.
This means they tend to be accepting and enduring when bad things happen. They understand that the situation is unlikely to last forever.
6) You don’t care about possessions as much
Whether it’s money or material things, old souls will generally care much less about them.
This tends to be equally true of anything which doesn’t last, be it relationships or power.
7) You were a bit of a loner as a child
That predilection for being alone strikes some old souls at a young age. This can make it difficult for them to make friends.
It can also make them seek to rebel – often at the role of a child, seeing many childish activities as pointless – or to be known as “precocious” at a young age.
8) You “feel old”
Sometimes, you can’t put a label on what you feel. Perhaps you have a sense of:
- Patiently watching things unfold
- Being slightly detached from events, but content with that
If you do, don’t worry. You might just be a little old at heart.
How old is my soul?
If you think there might be some credence to the idea that you have an old soul, the question which often follows is “how old is my soul?”
While there is perhaps no way to know precisely how old your soul might be, people try all sorts of things to see if it might give them an inkling.
Many people who visit the Spirit Vine Center for an ayahuasca retreat can have experience of visiting past lives during one of the workshops or ayahuasca ceremonies. Ayahuasca, which has been used to gain personal spiritual knowledge for hundreds of years, is a tool which might hold some kind of answer to questions about the soul.