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The Nature of a Soul Exchange (or 'walk-in')


I incarnated somewhat unusually via what's termed a 'Soul Exchange' or more commonly referred to as a 'walk-in'. It's where two souls exchange places, within a fully fledged human being, by sacred agreement. It frequently happens during a near death experience (but isn't limited to that). What is the nature of this and why does it happen? I believe more souls than one might imagine have incarnated this way, and it can be extremely challenging to understand and integrate, which is why I feel to bring light to it. My purpose is to support and help. It may be that you have a particular mission here to fulfill...

In some ways, everyone is a 'Soul Exchange'

I should begin by saying to those of skeptical mind about the process, consider that in some ways, ALL souls are 'walk-ins', it's just that most walked in between conception and birth. Your mother 'grew' your vehicle for you, and animated it with her own soul, until sometime before birth, handed it over to you, and at birth, withdrew her own soul. So it might be said, that the process of giving birth itself, is a Soul Exchange.

    However, what I'm specifically referring to in this exploration,
    is where the Soul Exchange happens in an already mature being.

An allied yearning

A true Soul Exchange often happens during a near death experience (which happened for me). It is crucially important to say, this is in no way a possession. For a particular reason the incarnated soul has a yearning, and is ready to move on, into a different dimension or experience of being. And for the incarnating soul, it will usually have a particular reason for being here.

Usually this allied yearning would draw the souls together, by the Law of Attraction, well before the exchange actually takes place. The incarnating soul might be the other's higher dimensional guide or guardian for example. And so it is highly likely there will have been quite some interdimensional connection before the exchange actually takes place.

In my experience, the other soul had fulfilled what 'he' (*) felt 'he' was meant to in this incarnation, had seen powerful visions of the New Paradigm in the Fifth Density, and was ready to move to that place - 'his' soul strongly let go of 'his' incarnation. For me, it felt like there was an important job to do here, and so since an opportunity became available, I chose to incarnate. (* I put the gender in quotes, because strictly speaking, a soul is genderless).

    Why would a soul choose to come into a fully grown human vehicle?

Why do Soul Exchanges happen?

If a soul is already reasonably evolved, incarnating into this place as a baby can be pretty dangerous. The light of the soul begins to emerge at an early age, which can single that person out in a judgmental, misunderstanding and often quite brutal world. It's not uncommon that when people have powerful Kundalini Activation for example, it is misunderstood by the health services and 'corrective medication' prescribed, leading to all manner of psychological and spiritual trauma. It can be especially difficult if this were to happen in a young child.

Also if the incarnating soul already has a clear knowing of their purpose here, or a particularly defined mission, then the Law of Attraction might draw that soul to an already mature and accomplished being. It means you can get straight on with your purpose. It's like 'hitting the ground running'.

It is important to say, it's not so much a conscious choice or 'contract' to do this or that. The Law of Attraction draws compatible souls together like a magnet, and given the right circumstances and situation, souls could exchange places. So you could call it a 'sacred agreement' because it only happens by total acceptance between souls. But it is not prearranged - not pre-meditated.

How to know if a Soul Exchange has taken place

I would say Soul Exchange is more common than one might think. There are probably at least tens of thousands of Soul Exchanges here on earth right now, who've incarnated to assist in very dense and difficult times. Many will understand the nature of The Interdimensional Intervention that has happened here, and be very skilled in helping the energies unravel. However, not many will likely remember, or know, they are a Soul Exchange. Why not?

Just as soon as you incarnate, you take on the landscape of the person you incarnated into. You take on all their thoughts, emotions and memories (although not their karma, which stays with the original soul). It's like your consciousness animates previous memories and ideas, which can strongly feel as if they were your own. However, this previous history won't feel completely right to a Soul Exchange. They'll feel somehow strangely distanced from it. The personality will likely change quite strongly, and the soul exchange will likely feel quite distanced from biological family, which has happened for me.

This can make it extremely challenging for the Soul Exchange (and the family). You might feel to pull away, to express differently (to realign authentically) and you'll be aware of the pain to others this might cause. Yet you still feel you have no choice, but to be you and to express you.

During the Soul Exchange process, I can recall many instances where I felt to be existing in two different places at once - an incredibly peculiar experience. It could be easily diagnosed as split personality, multiple personality or bipolar disorder. But Soul Exchange is not nearly the same. The other conditions described usually happen where one soul fragments into different personality identity filters - but usually, only one personality is expressing in any one moment. For a Soul Exchange - as the exchange is happening - they will literally feel two streams of consciousness passing through body and mind simultaneously. You feel as though you are in two different places at once - which is actually the case: one soul may be acting predominantly in the lower dimensions, the other overlapping, but mainly in the higher dimensions.

And Soul Exchange doesn't necessarily have to happen in a instant. For me, the transition actually took several years to complete. The initial exchange began during a life-threatening car crash, but the other soul lingered for some considerable time - during which, there were plenty of 'multiple place' experiences. If this happens, it's quite a head spin to integrate!

The general indications that Soul Exchange may have happened to you are:

  • sudden change of personality around a dramatic, or near death, experience
  • a strange sense of distancing from biological family which causes pain
  • you have powerful emotive memories of the previous soul's life, yet you feel strangely distanced from it
  • feeling as if you're in two places simultaneously during the process of exchange
  • a Soul Exchange will likely have two different, visible auras for some considerable time during the change-over (as happened for me)
  • synchronicities clearly messaging that you're a Soul Exchange.

How to integrate a Soul Exchange

The greatest challenge of a Soul Exchange, is being drawn into the life of the former being, taking on their personality and thus being limited by the old landscape - the old consciousness.

If you become aware that this may have happened to you, then gaining distance in your own space is paramount. It's vitally important that you create the breathing space to be you. This might mean creating a sacred space in another part of the house, or in many cases, taking up an entirely new living space altogether.

    You have to work to leave the old consciousness behind. To infuse your new soul vibration through your being. Then you can transform the personality vehicle to be more aligned with your authentic beingness.

It will become vitally important that you begin to associate with those people who resonate more on your vibration - those who help remind you of who you really are, in a feeling sense.

If you become clear that you are a Soul Exchange, it's important to let go of the past, to let go of the old landscape. You may feel to change your name for example, to one which is more commensurate with your core vibration. I found changing from when I celebrate my birthday to that of my incarnation date particularly important. It may sound to some insignificant, but it is a ceremony, and as such, it contains energy. It's making a statement. It's now time to celebrate the new you, and to live that.

Special purpose

If you recognise yourself as a Soul Exchange, it's time to step out and express - to be fully you. No matter what others might think or say. It does not serve you to be small - to be apologetic for your unusual circumstances.

You'll likely be pretty clear about why you're here and what you have to do. You may be a maverick, a pathfinder or a way-shower. Your mission might seem way 'out-there', off the landscape of the ordinary, too-far-out to be generally accepted. It doesn't matter. You have an important purpose to fulfill and the world needs you to express it. So don't hide your light under a bushel!

You might understandably be reticent about who you share this inner most truth with, but nevertheless, it doesn't have to stop you being you and expressing yourself. In this Turbulent 5D Earth Shift taking place, the world needs you and your energy. Let's see your light!


(on behalf of Openhand)
(Publishers - please publish with links intact and the Openhand brief biog. Thankyou <3)

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Rich's picture

Truly fascinating, Open.
Thanks for the run-down.


erica r's picture

Absolutely wonderful! It is quite difficult to share inner most truths with most as it is such a different language.

Love this song... I actually have been singing it over and over and shared it with a fellow retreat member last week-a thought that has surfaced is how synchronicity is truly an expression of unity consciousness...Just observing this concept

Did you find it difficult to integrate your experience into spoken words? A recurring thought is if people who are susceptible to preconceived judgments unconsciously limit the interacting experience because of projection confined within their own mental restraints by a conditioned way of being...Is fulfilling ones mission without any recognition better on some plane of this existence? I have distinct flashes within my consciousness but putting words to an unknown process is...
And these truths you share feel more real than any tangible words found circulating about

Thank you Open for illuminating with such eloquent words

Open's picture

Thanks for the kind words of support guys - it's not easy to talk about. It kind of puts you 'out-there'. Nevertheless, I feel it's something important to talk about.

Open Ok

Rich's picture

I came across another 'walk-in' ...

There's a lovely little bookshop-cafe locally (nice vegan offerings too). I went to the 'esoteric' section to see what caught my eye. Picked out a book by Lobsang Rampa, 'The Cave of the Ancients'.
I liked the first chapter so I bought it.
Did a little web searching for Lobsang ... only to find that he is a 'walk-in' too.
Born in UK, but writing with from his experiences as a Tibetan monk in a different incarnation.
Great little book, taught me loads about Tibet Buddhism.

Lots of people simply don't believe this.
But once you let yourself be open to it .. turns out lots of people do believe in it ... including various groups of Christians, Jews, Muslims, as well as Buddhists and Hindus.

It does put you 'out there', Open, indeed.
But out there is where it's all at, right?

Or should that be 'in there' ... ?


Thanks, Open.

Love always,

Open's picture

Thanks for sharing Rich - heart-warming.

I did ponder whether to 'come out' with it. I knew it would be difficult for some to digest.

But then, where I come from, there's just total transparency. It felt like it was important to be open about it. One day, it may have a deeper purpose.

Open Ok

HG's picture

Dear Open,

you have explained this phenomenon really well. I must say, when I first heard of your being a walk-in, I was pretty sceptical and unbelieving, but then that concerned many other things that were unfamiliar to me too. It's a question of acknowledging that I knew less than nothing about what's really going on.

Thank you for shining your truth,

Much love,

Js's picture

This is the reason I read Divinicus 2 times, Your journey captivated me, Thank-you for sharing Open.


Margaret's picture


I do not understand it fully, even though you explained it so well. But I somehow feel your experience on a strangely deep level through this article. It is awesome that you have decided to shed some light on this rare topic. I actually don't find it "controversial" or "out there" at all.

I also connect with your pull to be transparent. I find myself tired to act in a "convoluted" way, it feels heavy and sometimes even silly, like swimming against a current.


Trinity's picture

The world is a better place with you in it. In my world, some things aren't meant to be understood, but rather felt in the heart. In sharing you send out an energy... And that energy speaks volumes. You are perfectly articulate too for those who wish to understand. You are an incredible soul, with a profound purpose - none of that can ever fit into a 'box'.
I really honour your sharing.
Shine on!

Open's picture

Ahh Trin. Your words touch deep within my soul.

Open Give rose

sandrajaneenah's picture

This is sandra Zarins...I never knew exactly what happened to me...only that when I ''died'' and then unexplainably and undesirably returned to this life that life took a turn onto an entirely different trajectory. I felt like seeking help, but where? I knew I would be 'diagnosed' a bi-polar schizophrenic' or even a 'borderline personality disorder' and I knew that wasn't ''it'. But what was ''it''? During the seminar last March in Florida, the opening night, you talked about being a walk-in, and although I had watched 5 Gateways many times and been a member of the community, I still hadn't connected the dots until that night when I was actually in your presence, Open. You probably don't remember that I approached you after the presentation and we talked briefly about it.

This is me...the walk-in: Since then, Sandra and I have still existed together and I have helped her process her karma while at the same time have acclimated to the Calling I have to assist humanity attain the highest spiritual levels possible as the mass extinction progresses. Sandra's karma processing has reached completion and she has nearly faded on. With this article you have written, Open, she is encouraged to let go and complete her transmutation. I am here more fully every day...nameless....with a real sense that where I come from names are non-existent because they are not needed. However, I know I must be called something in this 3rd D world, and ''Serenity'' appeared in my consciousness for awhile. So has ''Divinicus'' but that is the new Homo species name. Right now, I know I am no longer Sandra Zarins, I am no longer an ''I'' because I have no ego-need to be named, to have a history,(although I have a vague remembrance of where I have lived before), to have an age, a gender, to have any accomplishments. My passion is the spiritual development/evolution of Earth, and of all sentient beings and I am here for no other reason. Quietness is preferred, always connected to The Source, spirit guides, and even Sandra's friends who have passed on. One showed up this morning quite unexpectedly with a song she had written . She and Sandra were Christians at the time so it comes from the New Testament ''Fear not because of evil do-ers: Trust in the Lord and do good.'' Welcomed sharable encouragement when Oppositional Energies have been poking about. They cannot do anything in the higher dimensions. But the minute one partakes and ingests lower energies such as food or conversations, or music, etc. vulnerability is there.

There is soul-rejoicing in this article you have written, Open. Walk-ins can become fatigued and lonely. We are not many in number but are all very active in our purpose, and the ''connection'' must be in that, including meditation into the higher dimensions where indeed the full unity of Presence is experienced and ''conversation/sharing'' is way beyond spoken language. Thank you for your boldness, for opening the door us to open as well and share a bit. Perhaps that can be a new name...'Open-as-well''.. or ''Share-a-bit'' ...hmmm, a bit awkward. But in another Earth-language...? Yes...Possible.

In the meantime, the streaming forth into our minds and hearts of Divine Light/Love to all


Yes 3

divinespark's picture

For most of my life, I have felt disconnected from the celebration of my birthday. My mother forgot my birthday when I turned eight or nine, and I didn't remind her. Early on in my childhood, I felt that I didn't fit with my biological family. As much as I'm aware, it began around the time I experienced a life threatening illness and was physically separated from them for a long time. A bit of synchronicity there. As I grew older, adults would ask me philosophical questions about the deeper meaning of things and reflected back that my answers went way beyond my age.

Many years ago, I had an enlightening session with a palm reader that clicked very deeply with me. What he said continues to resonate especially as my birthday approaches. He read both my hands and said my left hand (how I have lived my life) was dramatically different from my right hand (how it looked I would live my life). In effect, he said that as a master soul, I have managed to persevere, succeed, and accomplish way beyond what he would have predicted given the limitations that showed in my right hand.

I attended my first Openhand workshop in Toronto two years ago on my birthday on June 8th. "I forgot to say Happy Birthday to you," you commented as I was leaving. Your words stuck with me.

My birthday approaches this week, and I can't shake the feeling that it's not about me. Open, I note your comments about how important it was for you to change the date you celebrate your birthday to the time you actually incarnated. Many of us are not as fully conscious or sure about soul exchanges and when we actually made our entry here. So I'm throwing out the question. If you don't connect to your birthday and feel you are a soul exchange, how do you celebrate? I'll go through the motions once again this year to celebrate my "official" birthday with my loved ones, but felt to take a few deep breaths, pluck up my courage, open the closet door, and post here about my growing sense and inner knowing that I may be attending someone else's birthday party this week.

I'm grateful that I can post here about this especially with these song lyrics flitting through my head:

"They're coming to take me away ha ha
They're coming to take me away ho ho he he ha ha..." Smile

My chiropractor reminds me to say to myself, "I know nothing." Indeed. For me, it's all about expressing and honouring how I feel in the moment and starting from there.


Margaret's picture

Dear Serenity (Sandra),
I just saw your post after reading Cathy's "Birthday" post. Some of your statements made me cry. I feel very much like you and it is so touching to know that I am not alone in this strange evolution. Thank you so much! I feel lost at times, not seeing a reflection of what I am going through in the world. I just saw it in you <3 I do not feel I'm a walk-in and it doesn't matter to me. I do however strongly relate to the sense of the initial shock and a trauma of arriving in this 3D plane.

I too don't feel the need to be identified with a name and mostly feel constricted when signing correspondence with my full name. I see people need to refer to me by name and I feel like I'd like them to be relaxed about it and call me whatever feels right to them. The identification with "accomplishments" or history is also mostly gone and I too feel there are 2 of me coexisting at any given moment.

These are the words that touched me the most in your post:
I am no longer an ''I'' because I have no ego-need to be named, to have a history,(although I have a vague remembrance of where I have lived before), to have an age, a gender, to have any accomplishments. My passion is the spiritual development/evolution of Earth, and of all sentient beings and I am here for no other reason.

Dear Cathy,
Who is coming to take you away?
Also, I resonate with you feeling the importance of allowing others to celebrate You in a form of a birthday gathering.

With love,


divinespark's picture

Hi Margaret,

The song lyrics I reference speak about being taken away to the "funny farm" and express my conditioned fear from many lifetimes about being misunderstood, isolated, locked up, punished, and "done in" when speaking my truth. Fortunately, I'm able to lighten up and find a humorous thread in all of this in keeping with the satirical tone of the song. Enough to go out on a limb and post here anyway.

I'm happy to read that you connect with Sandra's experiences and feel less alone. I'm sure many of us relate to how you feel. I recently experienced a particularly dark time where I essentially felt completely isolated and unable to connect with anyone, not even my Openhand friends. So I withdrew and allowed myself to feel lost, betrayed, and abandoned, like I was the only one left in the cosmos, falling through a black hole, no direction home, with all the attendant rage, anger, and despair. I recognized that I was caught up in distortion, but I knew the only way out was to feel the pain behind it and not judge myself for being such a shitty mess. I came across a quote by Nelson Mandela that soothed my soul. "I'm not a saint unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying." Gradually, I've been finding a path of Light back to Source. My heart goes out to you.

Since moving to Victoria, I've met many women who have consciously changed their birth names to ones that click and resonate with their sense of uniqueness and oneness while living in a 3D world of this and that. I'm struck by their courage to do so. One of my delightful friends now calls herself "Marvelous!" And she most certainly is! I relate to how you feel when writing your name. I couldn't write "Catherine" anymore (my actual birth name that I took on in my 20's) so went back to using my childhood nickname of Cathy that friends and family called me. I recognize that choice as key in my journey to feel the pain and trauma of my childhood, but also the joy, to release identity to it. My sense of myself as "Cathy" is lessening as my grip loosens. Who knows where that will take me? Eventually, to what awaits us all: Absolute Presence in all things, identified with none.

Much Love to you,


Lindiloop's picture

Hi Cathy,

I'm not sure why your posts seem to resonate with me more than others, so far, but I feel a desire to express my own thoughts after reading your post.

Unlike many I have read about that say they remember their walk in experience as it happened, I did not. At least I did not realize what was happening until very recently. Even now, I am not sure of the event, but feel within myself that it really did happen. I was recently told that I an a recent walk in and that it occurred during my teenage years. I'm now in my 60's. I was told that my natal soul no longer wished to continue this path and was therefore braided to my current soul until it eventually continued on to another path. In recalling some very traumatic experiences in my life as a teenager, I believe I have come to "pin-point" when the exchange occurred. I also believe it occurred over a period of years. In what (up until recently) I considered a dream, I remember "a part of myself" saying good bye and that "you are strong enough and will be okay now". I remember accepting this and felt a new insight and strength that would carry me to this day. I never really thought of it as anything more than a re-invention of my self. Never had had I even thought of it as a "soul exchange" or "walk in" experience until I started learning more about the phenomenon. I must admit, outside of recalling the possible exchange experience, I remember nothing else. I do know that since that time, I have NEVER accepted a religious belief or felt compelled to worship any god, deity, etc., for I have always considered myself equal to/a part of Creation.
Unlike many who remember (or know) the name of their "new" soul, I don't remember the name, why I came, what my purpose was supposed to be. Other than having individual "debates" or "discussions" with various people about religion (which I stopped doing after a while), I don't believe my walk-in experience was anything more than to keep this body alive and maybe live long enough to accomplish something (what? I still don't know).
I guess I'm saying that (if I am a walk in-- which in retrospect I believe now that I am) I don't recall any specific "mission" I supposedly, came to accomplish. If there is a way to discover more about "who I am" and what I'm supposed to be doing, I really want to know. I have been asking myself for many, many years "who am I" and now "why am I still here"? I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to leave this planet.

Thank you Cathy for being a "soul I resonate with". I can almost feel your words as they sometimes sound like me!!


Open's picture

Hi Lindi, much of what you say has direct parallels and reflections to my own experiences - the two souls connecting through life first (as I shared in Breakthrough), one reaching a point of wanting to leave, and the other - me - being drawn in; the exchange then taking place over a number of years. Finally there was the recognition of the other soul leaving and a very clear knowing of that. So I'd say you were drawn here (and specifically to this article) to reaffirm that.

So what are you here to do? Why are you here?

If you don't feel a specific purpose (as I have), then let the idea of that completely go. Your soul (as with all) was drawn here to embody and express beingness. That is the mission (as considered in the Openhand philosophy). As a result of embodying and being fully you, a path of light will open up from that, which may give you the sense of being here to "do" a specific thing. But authentic doing is always the effect of authentic being. So keep working on embodying and expressing soul. And if there's still doubt as to what you're here for, then it will naturally reveal itself.


Open Ok

divinespark's picture

Hi Lindi,

I'm happy to hear that you connect with my words. Like you, eventually recognizing my soul as a walk-in, I look back and realize I felt an enormous strength and divine, angelic backing for my purpose here from the time I was a young child. For the most part, from the time I was a kid, I was able to stand in my truth apart from the crowd when push came to shove -- but at the same time I was able to compassionately connect with the vulnerability and brokenness of others. I had my lapses here and there though and relish in recalling what a mischievous brat I was, at times! Harmless and hilarious fun! Smile

At this point in my life, I feel my 'mission' is to continue expressing my beingness and passion as an energy worker, helping to shine the light into the darkness as this 3D density breaks down and spiritual realignment continues to unfold. We're all destined for Nirvana in timeless time. As far as my purpose goes, I relate to the character of Samwise Gamgee and his steadfast heart full of love. I'm not in the front lines, but I am there on the sidelines, cheering on Frodo and all those valiant front line workers! As well, I have my own karmic journey here to release identifying with past life experiences and breakthrough my own illusions. So I attract whatever experiences I need to remember who I truly am: Absolute Unidentified Presence in all experiences. And whilst being fully immersed in evolving and growing, I delight in unleashing my own gifts of beingness, and then stepping into action when I feel that powerful surge of aligned rightness arise from deep within that simply must express like poetry in motion.

From a young age, I have deeply appreciated the unique gifts each of us brings to the grand scheme of things: all those true colours, morphing and blending into an exquisite mosaic, each colour essential to the whole.

As I continue to transmute and transform what no longer serves my evolutionary journey, I feel more and more like the limitless 'Sea' rather than the defined 'C' of my first name.

Thank you for sharing your journey here, Lindi. No doubt you are inspiring many others as you inspire me! It's a joy connecting with you!

Much Love,


Lindiloop's picture

Hi Cathy,

I have decided to define myself by "who I believe myself to be"/ who I choose to be....and not be defined by a "definition of a walk-in". In my response to Open (which somehow did not post), I got "hung-up" on not knowing and trying to find out instead of focusing on just BEING. I'm coming to the realization that (at least in my case) being the "best me I can be" on any given day is what's really omportant. If I can be a loving, caring, and supportive person in a meaningful way towards others, as well as myself, maybe that's enough. I certainly have my days when I may not be very happy or supportive, but I think that is normal.

Thanks again for your thoughts. Defining yourself more as the "limitless sea" in stead of the "C" helped me put things in perspective.

My Best to You!


Lindiloop's picture

Hi Open,

I'll try this message again since my previous did not post. I just wanted to Thank you for your words of encouragement. I'm beginning to understand that it's more important to BE the best ME I can be, than to wonder "who" the "ME" really is ( with respect to the soul "walk-in" experience). Realizing that not all Walk-ins remember the experience was good to know. But, regardless of the experience, I find I need to now re-focus and move on with what I "believe" to be my purpose.

Thank you for your words and for this forum. You are an inspiration!

divinespark's picture

Hi Lindi,

For a long time in my life, I denied how I truly felt, believing I "should" present my best, shiny, happy face to the world, no matter what. I have experienced strong family and societal conditioning around this. Now I do my best to honour however I'm feeling without judgment in response to the experiences I attract: shitty, sad or otherwise. Then go from there to process and let go of my emotional blockages. I loved the way Rich recently described how he moves his body to yoga and accepts and allows feelings such as sadness and sorrow to flow thru him without attaching to them, so that he can return to pure non-identified Presence, once again.

x Cathy