There is a school of thought that when we incarnate we not only come with a life purpose but with a Life Theme, in fact we usually choose 2 Life Themes. These Life Themes are chosen by us before we incarnate and have a major impact on our life.
The Primary Theme which is our basic goal for each journey or incarnation, and is not necessarily the same for each incarnation. Think of the Primary Theme as the “type” of School you are choosing to go to, as you want to experience and complete a full training in it. Think of this as the subject you are getting a Masters degree in. A minor theme, is much like when you are in college, a degree you are studying to get your Minors degree in.
The next layer is your Life Lesson. It is possible that you have chosen from this list as well. Your life lesson is the biggest obstacle you will have to overcome along the journey. This is what you came here to work on.
By identifying our Primary and Secondary Themes we can clarify our path somewhat, by just knowing what they are and the fact that we chose them can give us some cause for comfort, rather than thinking that everything is being inflicted upon us. Once we recognize our Life Themes we can view them from a different perspective, so that rather than seeing our life from a negative aspect we can begin to see the obstacles we have asked to be placed as challenges we wanted to overcome. By recognizing this principle we have a frame of reference which can help to keep life not only on track but as a means to progress towards our enlightenment.
Now the curly bit here is that we most often will choose a Primary Theme with a Secondary Theme which conflicts with it to give ourselves maximum opportunity for growth and progression on our path. Of course, now that we are here its a lot tougher going through the experiences, however we can still strive to perfect them as a 'positive' so that we don't have to repeat it all again in the next life.
How do you know which are your Themes? I suggest if you use a Pendulum this would be a good way to ask spirits guidance. You may read through the list and easily recognize your Primary Theme. Below is the list of 44 identified Life Themes -
Activator Activators are here to pick up the slack that others leave behind. They get the job done and done right. They're trouble shooters, and they are gratified by accomplishing the task in front of them, not matter how large or small it is. Activators have to be careful not to spread themselves too thin.
Aesthetic Pursuits A person with an Aesthetic Theme is driven by an innate need to create some form of artistic beauty; music, drama, writing, sculpture, painting, choreography, crafts, etc. That drive can lead to fame and privilege, which is enjoyable if the secondary theme is compatible, but tragic if the secondary theme is in conflict. Judy Garland, Vincent Van Gogh and Marilyn Munroe are examples of a primary 'Aesthetic' pursuit theme in unresolved conflict with a secondary theme.
Analyzer Analyzers need to scrutinize the intricate details of how and why everything works. They are brilliantly invaluable in scientific and other technical areas. Their fear of missing or overlooking something can make it difficult for them to relax, trust their instincts, and to step back far enough to see the bigger picture.
Banner Carrier On the front lines of battles against what they perceive as injustices, Banner Carriers will picket, demonstrate and lobby, whatever it takes to fight their idea of the 'good fight'. The challenge for the Banner Carrier is to learn that they can make their point more effectively with tact and moderation than with divisive fanaticism. The 1960's were rich with such Banner Carriers and other well-intentioned radical anti-war activists.
Builder Builders are the 'wind beneath the wings' of society, the often invisible but essential cogs that keep the wheels of accomplishment turning. Builders aren't those who march across a stage to accept a trophy, they are those who played a major part in paving the road to that stage. They can feel unappreciated for not getting the credit they rightfully deserve, but they need to remember that the rewards for taking on and gracefully mastering the Builder Theme lie in the accelerated advancement of the spirit on its path towards perfection, which is far more valuable than any trophy could ever be.
Catalyst As the word suggests, Catalysts are the moves and shakers, those who make things happen and mobilize inactivity into action. They are energetic, enthusiastic, and seem to excel particularly in stressful circumstances. They feel empty and depressed without a goal to tackle and conquer.
Cause Fighter If there's not a social issue to champion, the cause fighter will create one. They are the generals who command the Banner Carriers. They are vocal, active and passionate about their efforts toward a better world, sometimes at the expense of their own and other's safety. At their most undisciplined, Cause Fighters run the risk of vying for a bigger spotlight on themselves than on the cause they are promoting.
Controller The most successful of the Controllers are those who are brilliant at taking charge of every task at hand through wise, discreet, supportive supervision and delegating. The least successful are those who feel compelled to dictate and judge every detail of the lives of those around them. Ironically, the biggest challenge for the Controller is self-control.
Emotionality People born with an Emotionality Theme have an extraordinary capacity to deeply feel the highest of highs, the lowest of lows and every shade of emotion in between. Their sensitivity is both a gift and a burden and they need to recognize that balance in their lives is usually important.
Experiencer Experiencers insist on trying any pursuit or lifestyle that happens to catch their eye. They will move seamlessly from managing a retail store to joining an archaeological dig in Peru to trying their hand at street performing, to attending blacksmith school, not out of aimlessness but because of a need to live life as an active, varied series of participation events. Excessive self-indulgence to the point of irresponsibility is the biggest hurdle for the Experiencer.
Fallibility The theme of Fallibility is usually undertaken by those who were born physically, mentally, or emotionally challenged. It is an extraordinary Spirity who chooses Fallibility as a theme, and at those times when they find that choice discouraging, they need to remember what an inspiring example they are setting for the rest of us as they face and triumph over their special hurdles.
Follower Followers are, in their way, as essential to society as leaders, since without them there would be no leaders. Offering strong, reliable support can be a Follower's greatest and most generous contribution on this Earth. What the Follower has to keep in mind at all times, though, is the importance of carefully selecting whom and what to follow.
Harmony Peace, calm and balance are not just the top priorities of people with a Harmony Theme, they are the only priorities and they will go to any extreme to maintain those priorities. On the plus side, they are wonderfully cooperative and can have a quieting effect in chaotic situations. On the minus side, they can find it very difficult to accept and adjust to the inevitable bumps, bruises and stress life has to offer.
Healer Healers are often but not necessarily drawn to the physical or mental healing profession. Their chosen theme of Healing can express itself in a variety of forms, all of them involving the easing of pain and the improving of a life's well-being. It is imperative that Healers learn to protect themselves from empathizing too closely with those they are trying to heal, and to pace themselves carefully to avoid an overload of the stressful problems their Theme has drawn them to.
Humanitarian Humanitarians, by definition, are born to extend themselves toward humankind. Instead of addressing life's wrongs and inequities through sit-ins and protests, Humanitarians step past the protestors to directly feed the hungry, house the homeless, bandage the wounded, teach the uneducated and generally address the world's ills head-on. Humanitarians face a twofold challenge; knowing there is an infinite amount of work to be done, but also knowing when and how to stop and rest and keep themselves from burning out.
Infallibility This Theme is exemplified by the people who are seemingly born with everything - looks, talent, intelligence, privilege, wit, grace etc. Believe it or not, theirs can be an unusually difficult Theme. Their problems are rarely taken seriously. They are often resented for their advantages and can easily feel secretly unworthy from not having had to earn their privileged place in society. It is not unusual for them to be uniquely drawn to such excesses as obesity, promiscuity and substance abuse, almost as if they are trying to balance the scales by creating difficulties they weren't born with. Because many things have come easily to them, they can feel emotionally inept in situations that challenge their character.
Intellectuality The best expression of this ultimate 'thirst-for-knowledge' Theme is the person who studies throughout their life and continuously uses their wealth of education to inform, improve, nourish and expand life on Earth. The worst expression of this Theme is the many versions of the 'professional student' whose sole purpose is the self-directed goal of knowledge for its own sake, hoarded instead of shared, which is of no use to anyone but the one who possesses it.
Irritant For such a difficult theme, it is amazing how many people seem to have chosen it. Irritants are the constant, deliberate pessimists, the faultfinders, those who are never at a loss for something to complain about. They are very helpful in teaching us patience, tolerance and a refusal to engage in negativity, whilst at the same time the Irritant struggles to overcome the very negativity their chosen theme demanded they embrace.
Justice People with a Justice Theme are in active, lifelong pursuit of fairness and equality. Some of the greatest presidents, leaders and activists such as the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King are exquisite examples of the Justice Theme at its finest. Sadly, at it's worst, when it is misguided and without God as it's center, this passion for righting a wrong can result in riots, anarchy and vigilantes.
Lawfulness Law enforcement and the practice and teaching of law are among the professional expressions of the Lawfulness Theme, which revolves around a concern with safeguarding the line between legality and illegality. Elevated, those with this theme are devoted public servants who fiercely help to maintain order and balance in this world. If corrupted and abusive of their power they are an insult to the theme they chose.
Leader Oddly, people with a Leader Theme might be very gifted in their ability to lead, but they are almost never innovative, instead choosing to become leaders in already established areas. For example; lawyers who gravitate to highly publicized cases and thrive in the resulting spotlight instead of devoting their expertise to making significant improvements in the judicial system. Their best efforts at perfecting this theme would be to change their priority from their own success to expressing their leadership through exploring new, more socially relevant and acceptable frontiers.
Loner Loners can often be socially active and visible, but they tend to choose careers and lifestyles that will allow them to be isolated. They are content alone and usually enjoy their own company. Loners often struggle to overcome feeling drained and irritated when other people spend too much time in their space.
Loser The Loser Theme is essentially the Fallibility Theme without the physical, mental or emotional challenges. Those with a Loser Theme have many advantages and good qualities, but because they are determined to feel sorry for themselves they insist on disregarding those qualities. Losers will seek attention through being martyrs and if there is no melodrama in their lives they will create it. Like Irritants, Losers can inspire us to be more positive and to dislike their behavior without judging them as people.
Manipulator The Manipulator Theme is a powerful one and not necessarily negative. Manipulators approach their lives and the people in them like a one-sided chess game, able to control those around them to their advantage and often with remarkable talent. When this Theme is devoted to the highest, God-centered good, the Manipulator can have an enormously positive impact on society. When the Theme is abused, Manipulators are too self-absorbed to concern themselves with anyone's well-being but their own and it is a everyone else's expense.
Passivity Passive people are sometimes perceived as weak, when they should be more accurately described as uncommonly sensitive to emotional disruption. Passive Themes have opinions but express them most effectively in a non-confrontational forum, and when they take a stand on an issue they are strictly non-violent. It is difficult for those with a Passive Theme to cope with extremes, but a little tension can be a valuable tool for spurring them into their form of action.
Patience This is one of the more challenging themes, since Patience takes constant effort in a world in which impatience is almost considered an admirable coping skill. The choice of the Patience Theme indicates an eagerness to move more quickly on one's spiritual journey toward perfection than someone who has chosen a less difficult theme. In other words, the Patience Theme in a way indicates a spiritual impatience. Along with their on-going battle against snapping at stress, those with the Patience Theme frequently fight the guilt of occasional lapses in efforts toward their goal and of the anger they feel their Theme demands they suppress. Recognizing how hard their choice of themes really is can help them be more forgiving of themselves.
Pawn Pawns are essential in the advancement of the universal spirit, since their role is to be used as the fuse that ignites some thing of great magnitude to emerge, either positive or negative. Possibly the most classic historic example of a pawn was Judas whose betrayal of Jesus was ultimately a critical element in the birth of Christianity. People who choose the Pawn Theme, important in their way as they are, have to be vigilant in aligning themselves with only the worthiest and most loving causes.
Peacemaker Unlike the Themes of Passivity and Harmony, the Peacemaker Theme is typically accompanied by a surprising amount of aggression. In fact Peacemakers can be downright pushy in their zeal to stop war and violence. A Peacemakers allegiance to peace is far greater than their allegiance to any group or country, and they are not opposed to achieving a bit of celebrity status in their noble, highly visible cause.
Performance People who choose a Performance Theme might pursue careers in the entertainment field, but they are just as likely to be content with being the local life of the party, office or classroom. They are nourished by the spotlight, however large or small it might be. Too often they form their opinions of themselves exclusively through the eyes of others, which they need to combat by reserving some of their considerable energy for introspection and learning to provide their own spiritual and emotional nourishment.
Persecution Another unusually difficult theme, the Persecuted are not only constantly braced for the worst possibility, but they are convinced they have somehow been singled out for special bad luck and and negative attention. Happiness is frightening for them because they are sure they'll have to pay too high a price for it or that it can be snatched away from them at any moment. Overcoming the Persecution Theme takes enormous strength, but the reward for overcoming it is remarkable spiritual advancement.
Persecutor Persecutors are typically aggressive, self-justifying sociopaths who will abuse and even kill without guilt or remorse and without the mitigating factor or mental or emotional illness. Obviously it is almost impossible to understand the purpose of this Theme in the span of a single lifetime but Persecutors can inadvertently test, challenge and inspire progress in our laws, our judicial systems, our forensics techniques, our moral boundaries, our social consciousness and the unity of humankind.
Poverty The challenge of the Poverty Theme is apparent. Poverty is prevalent in third world countries but almost more difficult in the midst of affluence where privilege can look mocking and unfairly imbalanced by comparison. Even the advantaged can exhibit a Poverty Theme by perpetually feeling that no matter how much they might have it is never enough. Endurance, hope and a perspective on the universal irrelevance of material possessions can provide brilliant spiritual growth for those who choose the Theme of Poverty.
Psychic People who choose a Psychic Theme often choose strict childhood environments while at the same time their ability to sense things far beyond 'normal' sense perceptions is met with severe disapproval. This life journey of the Psychic Theme is to learn to accept the ability not as a burden but as a gift and to put it to its highest, most unselfish and most spiritual use.
Rejection The Rejection Theme is another extraordinarily difficult one, usually taking root with alienation or abandonment in early childhood and proceeding with those same patterns right on through school, adulthood and relationships. Hard as it is, the challenge here is to recognize rejection not as a burden beyond your control but as a Theme chosen specifically to learn that when the Spirit is whole and self-reliant for it's identity, then it can no longer be held hostage by the acceptance or rejection of others.
Rescuer If you aren't a Rescuer then you have undoubtedly seen one in action. This will be someone who gravitates towards victims, wanting to help and save them, even if the victim has obviously created their own crisis and/or doesn't particularly want to be saved. Rescuers are typically at their strongest in the presence of the weakest or most helpless, and they are highly empathetic. The Rescuer can end up being victimized if they don't maintain a safe emotional distance from those they are trying to rescue.
Responsibility Those who have chosen a Responsibility Theme embrace it not as an obligation but as a form of emotional nourishment. They find joy in active, hands-on accomplishment and feel guilt if they are aware of something that needs to be done and have let it go unattended. Their challenge is to become unselfish enough to remember that often the people around them need the nourishment of accomplishment and assuming responsibility too. So those with the Responsibility Theme should allow others to share in the process of accomplishing something also.
Spirituality People whose Theme is Spirituality will spend a lifetime in a fervent search for their own spiritual center, if not as a profession, then certainly as a constant personal drive. The more they search, the more new territory they discover to look into. At its highest potential, the Spirituality Theme creates boundless inspiration, compassion, far-sightedness and tolerance. At its lowest, it can manifest itself in narrow-mindedness, judgement mentality and the dangerous isolation of fanaticism.
Survival Yes, to a degree, as long as the survival instinct is alive and well, we would all seem to have the Survival Theme. However, to those who have actively chosen a Survival Theme, life is a relentless, on-going struggle, something to be endured despite the fact that the odds are stacked against them. They usually excel in crisis situations, but have trouble distinguishing between a true crisis and their grim view of common everyday challenges. It would help them to take to heart the words 'Lighten Up'.
Temperance The Temperance Theme is typically accompanied by an addiction to deal with and overcome. Even if the actual addiction never manifests itself, people who choose this theme have to fight a constant sense of vulnerability to potential addiction, whether it's to a substance, sex, a lifestyle or another person. They also have to avoid the opposite extreme of becoming fanatically or psychotically repelled by the object of what they perceive to be a potential addiction. They key to progress of the Temperance Theme across the board is moderation.
Tolerance You name it, the person with a Tolerance Theme feels compelled to find a way to tolerate even the intolerable. Obviously this can become a pretty untenable burden to the point where they will eventually focus all their energy into one area they feel they can universally tolerate most easily, while becoming either narrow-minded or oblivious to everything else around them. Their growth can be accomplished by recognizing that the theme can cause an unrealistic and indiscriminate view of the world and learn that being magnanimous is worthwhile only when it's target is worthy.
Victim These by definition are life's sacrificial lambs, and their purpose among us is to grow a spotlight on injustice and inspire us to take action and make changes for the better. Abused and murdered children, targets of hate crimes, and those who've been wrongly convicted of violent felonies and then subsequently proven innocent are among those whose Victim Theme is devoted to the interests of the higher good.
Victimizer The Victimizer is here to collect and achieve absolute control over as many victims as possible for the purpose of being surrounded at all times by visible proof of their own power. The will and feelings of their victims are meaningless unless they are in perfect agreement with those of the Victimizer, and the only compassion they are capable of is toward their own hypersensitive, insatiable ego. On a small scale, they are the controlling lover or spouse, the stalker, the pathologically overzealous parent, etc. On a larger scale, they are Jim Jones of the People's Temple, David Koresh of the Branch Davidians - anyone who demands such slavish devotion that even children, who are given no options, are sacrificed not in the name of God, but in the name of the Victimizer.
Warrior Warriors are our fearless risk takers, our soldiers, our prisoners and astronauts and fire-fighters plus countless other unsung heroes with the courage to step up to a physical, moral, and/or spiritual challenge from the mundane landscape of everyday life; to the front lines of wars against crimes, drugs, natural disasters, homicidal tyrants; to the vast unconquered worlds in space. Without direction, the Warrior's aggression can be destructive. But when focused, especially with a secondary Humanitarian Theme, those with a Warrior Theme can make historic contributions of global significance.
Winner The Winner Theme differs from the Infallibility Theme in that Winners have an active, pervasive compulsion to achieve and triumph. They are perpetual optimists, always believing that the next business deal, the next relationship, the next roll of the dice at the crap table, the next lottery ticker or sweepstakes entry, the next job, or even the next marriage or child will be the one they've been waiting for, that will make all the difference. In it's finest form, the Winner's unfailing optimism and ability to pick themselves up from every failure and move on with confidence is inspiring and exhilarating. Without frequent reality checks, the Winner can squander their money, their security and their lives with too many impetuous, undisciplined and uninformed decisions.
*List & descriptions thanks to Sylvia Browne/Life on the Other Side