I hope this is the right forum for this post. I'm just going to detail some of the research coupled with memories and findings that I've done for myself. Ok warning --! very lengthy, cathartic post head. Since the beginning, I've had unexplained impressions. The first that I remember is feeling like my birthdate was important. I didn't know why at the time, but as a child I would ask my mother what day of the week I was born, what time etc. I also used to scour encyclopedias or anything really, hoping to find something that occurred on that date. I've had a particular way of sleeping since I was a child, I would have to position the bed on the far wall from the door and I would have to sleep facing the door at night because I was terrified that someone was going to come in and get me. Not to mention I also had an extremely unnatural fear of death at that age too. The second set of impressions I had were two fold. I had a voracious appetite for anything asian, specifically chinese. I love chinese food, I've been eating with chopsticks since about age four. I also loved any kind of tv I could find and i was lucky that in the late 70's and 80's there was an abundance of kung ** movies. I loved (and still do) the kung **, but there was always something comforting about the tile roofs, clothes etc in the movies. Something kind of familiar and comforting, like a grandmothers house. I also used to have the odd habit of reading magazines from the back cover to the front. This was long before manga had made it to the US. The other aspect I had was I had an equal appetite for anything from england. I used to write my dates in school day, month, year like they do there and write words such as colour, because it made me feel fancy and modern. The next impression I had was when I was 13, I had a vague memory of living alone and wearing some kind of robes. I thought I may have been a monk or something.. Later in college I had a friend that did tarot readings and she said I wasn't a monk and on another reading she said something important would happen with someone on the 13th. That's the date of my birth and marriage, and the number seems to repeat. So flash foward until recently and I've been trying to do my own tarot readings for the past 8 years or so. For me though, it doesn't really need to be tarot cards. I'm just using anything I can to get an impression from, so I suppose a dictionary or encyclopedia may work, but I like having the pictures on the cards and the descriptions to read for something to pop out at me. Typically, I'd get the same cards when I'd try and concentrate on a past life. A death or prison, a corrupt ruler or father figure, the empress card, maybe meaning royalty? At that point I had assumed I was asian and some sort of nobility or even a priest or monk or something. However I just wasn't seeing it. In the interim, I had done some research on tarot and I realized I was asking specific questions, like tell me a name or date. Instead, I should have been asking directed questions, such as "can I have a clue as to where to look?" One I got the hang of that, words just started jumping out at me, specifically "withdrawn" and "empress". So naturally, I googled it and the first hit was Empress Dowager Cixi, but that just didn't feel right. The second one, Empress Wan Rong, hit me like a punch to the stomach. Scanning her wikkipedia page, I saw that we had the same birthdates. The funny thing here, is that i've seen her page and knew a little bit about her before. But for some reason I just wasn't realizing it. Why? I don't know. I think maybe I wasn't ready for it previously, I had too much self doubt or I wasn't centered and connecting the way that I am now. A bit of history on Wan Rong is that she married the last chinese emperor at age 17, which was more or less loveless for her. Some years later, shewas taken prisoner by the communist party and later died in prison of opium withdrawal and starvation. As the story goes anyway.. Later I realized that "withdrawn" actually meant "withdrawal". So later, I began looking at pictures of her that I could find online. Nothing really sank in. I mean, how could it? You're looking at someone else and trying to tell yourself that's you when you don't remember it. I had the lingering feeling something was missing. I'm male in this life, but I've always felt like I was a woman. I'm happy, but sort of in the sense that I'm at a life long costume party. Like I'm sort of watching life from inside of it (the costume) and people aren't seeing the real me.