Hi Mary,

I hear some energy workers talk about twin flames or twin souls.  They often seem to be referring to different things.  What is a twin flame/twin soul, or is it even real?

Thanks for any insight. I’m just curious.

– K

Hi K:

So I have a few thoughts about this. I believe the basic idea for the concept of twin souls is that they are people who are on the same trajectory in this incarnation, meaning that they have similar lessons to learn, a strikingly similar path to follow, etc. There is no real romantic thought in this, it is just someone that has similar energy as you, similar path, and likely comes from the same soul group (more on that later).

Twin flames are a bit different. The thought there, as it seems, is that these are people that are destined or meant to meet and the end result is that each person is completed… They are considered the “other half of our soul” and kind of go into that sort of cheesy territory of “you complete me”.

Some people use these terms interchangeably, but those are my basic thoughts on the differences.

So are they real? This is an interesting question…

In my experience the people who really want to believe in this sort of stuff tend to do so from a really unhealed place. They meet someone they feel passionate about, announce that they are their “twin soul” or “twin flame” and typically a lot of drama occurs.

When you consider the criteria of what a “twin flame” is it is all stuff that we hear and feel when we are really passionate about the relationship we are in, typically in the beginning stages of the relationship. We instantly feel a deep connection to the person, we have great sex, we, in fact, may feel completed by the person.

But this is all stuff that we should be doing for ourselves. None of us has a “missing” aspect of ourselves. We are all healed, we are all whole. We are not puzzle pieces looking for the other pieces to make us into something we would not be able to become on our own.

I have noticed, on the whole (yes, I will probably get flak for this) that people who go into relationships with this sort of “twin flame” approach have dramatic, chaotic, and unhealed relationships. Basically, they have a lot of fire in the relationship, a lot of illusion, and then it fizzles out, often in an equally dramatic way.

When you are in a healed relationship, a healthy relationship, you do not need someone else to complete you. You appreciate the person for who they are, and they appreciate you for who you are. You may have differences, arguments, and so forth (as can be expected in any relationship) but the basis of the relationship is not steeped in illusion, in chaos, or in the sort of sophomoric Romeo and Juliet type illusory drama that people in the “twin flames” camp tend to perpetuate and live out.

Rather than this being something to evolve someone into a higher vibration (or whatever the belief/verbiage is that surrounds the various “twin flame” illusions) frequently I see that these relationships are acting out past karmic ties, and often are not doing so in a way that supports releasing those ties, or healing that aspect of their karma with the other person.

Rather than being something that “enlightens” one another, the “twin flame” phenomena often simply supports repeating loops of karma, past instances of meeting in other lifetimes and the acting out of chaos and drama from that lifetime. What is funny (or not so funny) about this is that people create this huge illusion about how they are becoming enlightened, or whole, or vibrating at a higher capacity (or insert new-age-ism here) but really they are just creating a lot of chaos and illusion out of something that could simply be healed and peaceful.

So I always ask people who are in any sort of relationship: 

  • Does this person support you? By this I mean do they accept you for who you are?
  • Does this person make you feel more healthy, or want to be more healthy?
  • When you are around this person, is it typically peaceful or is there drama and chaos?
  • Is your relationship in a state of balance? Meaning that most of the time your relationship has balance, as well as both of you individually have balance
  • Do you give as much as you receive in your relationship?
  • Without this person, are you whole?

Largely the above answers should be “yes” for any type of relationship, and if they are not, there is something to heal. Again, we all should be striving to be whole, and do not need anything other than ourselves to be whole… it is an inside job to become whole. While there are certainly people along the way that can help us (or teach us lessons) to become whole, and in fact the whole universe resides within us, we become whole by becoming balanced ourselves.

When we become balanced ourselves we no longer need illusion, we no longer need someone to “complete us” and we no longer need the sort of drama and chaos that relationships like this tend to perpetuate.

So although I realize that may sound a bit harsh to people, I am someone who believes in love, in having a romantic companion or partner, in having those around you who can love and support you… who can help you when you are going through times of being not healthy, balanced, or whole. We all need people in our lives to help us, to love us, and to be with us. We, in fact, have people that we have specifically incarnated with to help us heal, become whole, or to love us.

But part of this “twin flame” illusion is the fact that “there is just one.” Meaning that if you do not meet your twin flame (and I will put this not so delicately) you are screwed… meaning that there are so many people who just continually seek and seek looking for that perfect person to complete them, and they are never satisfied in their relationships because they have created this mental illusion of “the one” and the people they meet never live up to that… because they are real, living, breathing people with issues. Like we all have issues.

And if we continue to believe that there is just one perfect person out there for us, who we are fated to meet, we will never really be in our physical lives. Our messy, sometimes difficult, and very human lives and relationships. And if we do meet someone who we believe to be our “twin flame” they will also be human, and what will end up happening is that they will show their imperfections at some point in the relationship, and our illusions will come crashing down.

If we are able to achieve our own state of balance and wholeness, we just don’t need to create a bunch of illusory thoughts, illusory relationships, and no longer feel incomplete. And if we do, we know that we have something we need to heal.

So my thoughts on the idea of a “soul group” or “twin” or parallel souls is a bit different. I do very much believe in soul groups. I just do not believe that there is just one person out there to complete us romantically or in any other way.

So what is a Soul Group? 

So the idea that we are all one is very much true. Of course there is a lot of illusion and philosophy that has been placed upon that oneness in our modern society.

But we are also human. This is a difficult concept to explain, but essentially when we begin to “wake up” to oneness it may be to the sort of acid trip experience where we feel ourselves breathing with a mountain or something… but when we truly begin to wake up beyond ourselves and our own constructs (our histories, family system, ancestry, past lives… basically the outer constructs that create our belief systems) we begin to experience world constructs (societal, cultural, world, archetypal, etc).

But we also begin to awaken directly to the energy of “oneness”. This means that we begin to find and realize that there are people out there who are on a similar path to us. We see others and there is a recognition there that we are similar in some way. We walk parallel lives, have similar energies, interests, and so forth. We may be struggling with the same things at the same times in strikingly similar ways.

This isn’t a romantic thing, by the way, although that can be confused, and sometimes people from the same soul group will form romantic relationships that work, and work well.

This is a realization that as souls we tend to incarnate in groups, where a group of people (a soul group) who have likely known each other before in some other capacity incarnate at similar times as one another. Oddly, this looks like a big cloud to me… but I digress

So people from the same group may begin to meet, will resonate with one another immediately, and may even recognize that they have similar goals, understandings, and jobs to do on Earth as one another.

In an awakened state (or near to) one can sense the rest of the Soul Group that perhaps has not incarnated and communicate with them, or more likely, will be able to sense their Soul Group on Earth energetically (which is a weird thing to sense), or may begin to meet them or befriend others in their Soul Group.

So generally when you are able to meet others in your Soul Group there can be a recognition of you being “twins” because of similar path wanderings. But our Soul Group can be quite large, some people have a massive Soul Group, where other people incarnate with just a few others. But even the people who incarnate with a few others (and these tend to be people who awaken more in this lifetime and have more distinct jobs to do, typically) do not need others to be whole. 

There is just a recognition that we come from oneness, and then we separate. Eventually we separate into groups. Some of these groups have incarnated quite a few times. Some of these groups are relatively “new”. Some of these groups have only a few members that are in physical bodies, some have all or most of the members of the group in physical bodies.

We are always part of a collective, a whole. But we can also be whole within ourselves. We can let go of the ideologies, the chaos, the illusions. When we let go of the titles, the wants, our psychological needs, we can simply ask the question of “does this idea bring more chaos into my life?” “does this relationship bring more chaos into my life?”, because while everything is spiritual, not everything is healed. And healed means whole, and peaceful. 

If you would like to submit a question for my spiritual advice column, you can contact me here. Please note, I do not answer all questions, and am not an allopathic physician (meaning go to your doctor if you are concerned about something, and take my opinions/thoughts with the proverbial grain of salt).


Mary Mueller Shutan is a spiritual healer, teacher, and author of several books offering a pragmatic approach to spirituality. Learn more in her book, Managing Psychic Abilities: A Real World Guide for the Highly Sensitive Person.