Photo of Karen M. Black

audio message goes here

Karen M. Black
linkedin rss

Back to the Water cover

A daughter's tale of truth, love and letting go

Moondance cover

An addictive spin on awakening, soulmates and past lives

How ancient soulmate theory can distort soulmate signs

Conventional soulmate theory has found its way into mainstream thought and the way millions of people view soulmate love.

I've come to believe that soulmates goes deeper than theory. Meeting your soulmate can help support and define your purpose in life, and has the potential to turbo-charge your unique gifts.

What many soulmate theories talk about, however, is that we need a soulmate in order to become whole.

Oh boy do I have an issue with this! Though the following soulmate theories may have started out thousands of years ago to explain the human condition of yearning for love, following them too literally, I believe, can actually prevent you from finding a true spiritual soulmate relationship.

To prevent this from happening, soulmate theory is worth understanding.

So! In this section, we'll:

  • Delve into soulmate theories (and soulmate myths) from a number of cultural, religious and mythological origins that lead up to Jerry McGuire's speech ‘You complete me’
  • Identify the common threads of each
  • Give a real life example of how soulmate theory can show up in life
  • Help you discern what will help (or hinder you) most during your soulmate search
  • Dive deeper by introducing other perspectives involving life after death, past lives, karma and reincarnation, which add depth to the soul mate question.

I thank and credit Kevin J. Todeschi, author of Edgar Cayce on Soul Mates for meticulously compiling the research from which I summarize the various theories. I couldn't have done it better. Opinions are my own.

Oldest soulmate theory? Osiris and Isis

The legend of the Egyptian Gods Osiris and Isis dates back 5,000 years. They're definitely soulmates. Myth takes it deeper.

Essentially, these two began their connection in the womb, where they are born as twins. They're also very much in love. Later in life, Osiris is kidnapped and killed by his jealous brother, Set.

In grief, Isis merges with Oriris' spirit, and they conceive a god-like child, Horus. Angered, Set has his brother's body cut up into fourteen pieces. In response, Isis shows her eternal love by gathering the pieces of her husband's body, until he eventually comes back to life.

This one has some interesting elements. It talks about the origin of connection (what I call soul family — in this case, also a literal family) and how eternal love transcends death, something that feels right to me.

A limitation is that it doesn't leave room for healing grief, or finding similar connections with others. Yes: I do believe that we have more than one soulmate!

Soulmate theory: Plato

Another theory on soulmates is presented by comic playwright Aristophanes in Plato's Symposium.

The Symposium is a philosophical text by Greek Philosopher Plato dated c. 385–380 BC. It examines love in a series of speeches by men attending a symposium or drinking party (a boy's night out).

Well, these boys were deep thinkers. The play concerns itself at one level with the genesis, purpose and nature of love (the soulmate theory) and, at another, with the nature of knowledge: How do we know what we know?

In this soul mate myth, there were three different kinds of human creatures: men, woman and individuals with both sexes. humans originally each had four arms, four legs, two faces, four ears and two sets of genitalia. Got the visual?

Apparently, we humans became arrogant and began to question whether we might take the place of the gods. The gods, of course, were horrified. Finally, after some debate, Zeus split them (us) in half, rendering them (us) less powerful and condemning us to spend our lives yearning for the other half to complete us. Nice guy!

To provide comfort, Zeus allowed us to have sexual intercourse with another half. The creatures who had been only male, sought out another male. The females, sought out a female. The creatures with both sexes, sought out the opposite sex half.

I think it's great that this soulmate theory encompasses homosexuality (I do believe that love is love). But! These are old ideas, based on fear.

Perhaps we can forgive ancient writers with ancient ideas (probably quite modern for their time) but 2,300 years later, it's time to wise up! I mean, really. Some of us think that our parents have outdated ideas. Why do we listen to two thousand year old dead men, instead of ourselves?

Soulmate theory: religious texts

Religious texts provide rich, and a suprisingly similar soulmate definition. Like the above, these soulmate theories have planted the idea that human beings can only find wholeness through love, relationship, or marriage. They also acknowledge that the soul is androgynous.

Old Testament

In Judeo-Christian soulmate theory, God fashions an adrogynous creature containing both sexes (in his own image), which comprises the essence of spirit. God then decides to give this spirit a ‘living soul’ and creates Adam, and then his female ‘half’ Eve out of his rib.

New Testament

As in Plato's soulmate theory, the New Testament says that humans were was once whole, but were then divided to create its mate. Jesus reminds the Pharisees that God had originally made them:

“male and female... for this cause shall a man leave father and mother and shall cleave to his wife, and they twain shall be one flesh... no more twain, but one flesh.”
– Matthew 19:4-6

Rabbinical literature

The Midrash soulmate theory states that God originally created Adam ‘two-faced’ before deciding to cut him in half into the male and female. Elsewhere, it is suggested that Adam was originally androgynous, containing both sexes in one.


In Hinduism soulmate theory, the universal soul becomes conscious of itself, desire companionship, and therefore brings forth from its own Being the male and the female.

“He then made his Self fall in two, and thence arose husband and wife...”
– Robert O. Ballou, The Portable World Bible

My intention isn't to get into a religious discussion here, but you can easily see: these ideas about love and relationship go culturally deep. No wonder many of us feel as if we're missing a piece of ourselves. We've been conditioned for thousands of years to believe it!

But guess what? Tending to this belief only does one thing: it keeps you from finding your own power. And, it keeps you from finding your soulmate.

Fantasy and fairy tale

Throughout history, humanity's search for wholeness has been depicted in soulmate theory, plus deepened through myth, fairy tale, legend and the ‘romantic ideas’ of our time.

It is the story of the prince's search for the woman who wears the glass slipper in Cinderella. It's the perfect kiss that brings Sleeping Beauty to life.

It's Cupid's arrow. It's Beauty's love that causes the Beast to be transformed. It is the legends of frog princes and the need for Romeos to be with Juliets.

How soulmate theory shows up in life

How does the ‘other half’ theory show up in real life? You can probably guess...

Kevin J. Todeschi, author of Edgar Cayce on Soul Mates, recalls when he first contemplated the subject, when a friend divorced her husband to be with her soulmate. She said that she didn't feel complete with her husband and that for years, it was as if a piece of herself was missing.

Unfortunately, this ‘other half’ relationship ended within six months.

We've all witnessed (or experienced!) versions of the same story. In my view, the critical insight here is that if this woman didn't feel whole with her husband, there's no way she'd find wholeness (long-term) with anyone else, either. A gut-wrenching realization to be sure. Not to mention scary.

When life whacks us with a two-by-four, sending us to our knees, I often wonder: perhaps, our soul is crying out. In this case, perhaps this woman was being guided to find wholeness within herself.

Not an easy lesson, to be sure. But one that if learned, promises infinite, rich and unshakable reward.

Jerry McGuire: You complete me

Afer the previous story, you may be wondering: so do soul mates exist? Or don't they?

I say again: I am one who believes in soulmates. But what all of the above soulmate theories are missing is the concept of reincarnation. That souls naturally connect, fall in love, have challenges. And that they naturally re-connect in future lifetimes to work out their differences or perpetuate love. Here's more on soulmates and reincarnation.

I genuinely, from the bottom of my heart want you to find soul mate love if that's what you want, too. But not because I think you're half a person without one! Because there's something special about re-connecting with souls we've known and loved before.

Please don't romanticize the soulmate theory concept! Remember that ‘You complete me’ quote from the movie Jerry McGuire? Now you can see clearly: it has its roots in soulmate theory. An idea that has been around for thousands of years, and one which lies deep within our collective psyches.

It's a luvy-teary scene, that Jerry McGuire speech. What person hasn't wished someone would say something like that to us, with such vulnerability? It's normal to want that kind of intimacy. It's special when it happens.

But what's dangerous to be too literal about this becaus let me tell you: no one can complete you. I'd also add... if you meet someone who wants to complete you, my love advice is: Run!

However, don't give up hope! Keep searching. Keep learning. Give the nod to the ideas that make you bigger. Allow your soulmate relationship to help you grow.

Throw away everything else.

Build your own empowering soulmate theory.

Take me to:

What is a soulmate? – Heart-opening insights and soulmate defined in an empowering, grounded way.

Book a private karmic astrology session now.

Home page