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༻Reincarnation༺

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Note: While this section contains no overt spoilers, it details concepts that are not necessarily revealed until later on. If you'd rather avoid even vague spoilers, do not read this page.

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~Principles of Reincarnation~

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~Physical Continuity~

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     When someone is born, of course they're physically made up by the genetic date they recieve from their mother and father, along with random mutations. However, what traits one inherits or mutations they get are not entirely random happenstance, but are affected by who they were in a past life. Souls tend to keep a degree of physical continuity between lifetimes, manifesting similar physical traits using the genetic data they've been given; for example, things such as height, body type, hair color, eye color, etc tend to be fairly consistent across lifetimes. However, this is merely a trend rather than law. Dominant and recessive traits still exist, and sometimes traits which could be carried over are not, and not for any particular reason.

     This continuity is also not simply affected by the traits one is born with, but can also arise out of changes that occured to someone over the course of their previous life. For example, if someone loses their eyesight in a past life, for any reason at all, they are more likely to be reborn with reduced to no eyesight in their next life. Because of this and the fact that continuity is more of a trend than a rule, the "default" look a soul gravitates to slowly drifts over time. After a period of hundreds or thousands of years, the physical traits that a soul gravitates towards can be entirely different.

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~Personality Continuity~

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     More powerful than physical continuity is the continuity between a soul's personality. While one's environment deeply shapes a person, you could still have a pair of twins raised exactly the same turn out to be quite different people—this is a result of the personality of their soul itself. Some examples of traits that might be inherent to a soul include their deepest desires, such as the urge to create or a desire to help others; it can also include aspects of disposition such as an inclination to be more optimistic or pessimistic, or an inclination to think philisophically or living simply (which isn't a bad thing). These deep trends, while they can be affected by one's life experiences, can never be wholly overwritten. They make up the intrinsic make-up of a soul.

     Even though aspects of a soul's personality stay consistent, the way it manifests rarely is, and can be wildly different. For example, a "desire to protect others" may manifest as a strong parental instinct in one lifetime, and then cause them to become a soldier in the next. Another thing to note is that, as mentioned, life experiences do indeed shape a person, to a point it can shift their personality—this is more likely in traits relating to disposition rather than their deepest desires in life, but can happen in any regard. For example, even the most cheery, upbeat soul can become a mess of depression given the right circumstances. However, this is quite a positive thing for souls whose deepest desires might be darker, or whose disposition might be naturally more depressed and anxious—they are not doomed at birth, and have a chance to better themselves or live better lives, but it is harder.

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~Gender Continuity~

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     There are three types of souls, in regards to gender: those that always have an inherent sense of gender, those that have no inherent sense of gender, and those that are somwhere in between. For those that always have an inherent gender, it's exactly as it sounds; between lifetimes, regardless of what sex one is born as or what society assigns to them, they will always be a certain gender. This isn't just limited to "male" or "female;" one might be inherently genderless, bigender, etc. A soul like this won't necessarily identify the same way across their lifetimes, however, in spite of their inherent nature—for example, someone who is inherently bigender or genderfluid may simply identify as an androgynous cis person if their society has no concept of what being "bigender" or "genderfluid" is. The same can also apply to those that are inherently "traditional" genders (men and women)—even if they're born into a sex that does not align with their gender, they may never identify as transgender if they are not aware of the concept, or if it's heavily stigmatized in their society. However, it is far more likely they will do so, and most transgender people have souls with an inherent sense of gender.

     The opposite end of the spectrum are those souls which do not have any inherent sense of gender whatsoever. They almost always identify with the gender they were assigned at birth, and are never in conflict with what they were assigned. One way to imagine this is these souls could be called genderfluid between lifetimes, simply going with the flow of what they are given; except if, for some reason, society changes their gender within their lifetime, in which they will go along with that too. If their society has a concept of being nonbinary then they might identify this way, but they won't feel especially strongly about it, and do not mind being referred to as the gender they were assigned at birth. It should be noted that these souls may still be dissatisfied with the gender roles hoisted upon them by society, but will not be upset with their gender itself.

     The last kind of soul is in between these two; while they do not have a strong inherent sense of gender, they usually lean more towards femininity, masculinity, etc. These souls will identify with what they were assigned as birth with little issue, even if their assigned gender at birth clashes with their soul's true inclination. However, if something triggers their natural inclination, they might "become" transgender even if they were not before, and identify with what their soul is more inclined to be.

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~The Relations of Souls~

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~Twin Stars~

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     When Mère Terre gave humans the Stars for souls, she split each of them into pieces, so that she did not have to use as many of the stars. Because of this, almost every person shares their soul with another, and rarely feel complete without this other person (or extremely rarely, small group of people) in their life. Different cultures interpret this fact in different ways; in Soléiâ this is viewed as a phenomenon between true lovers and is an inherently romantic phenomenon—whereas in Asàshí, twin stars are viewed as family members (whether they're physically related or not), and has absolutely no romantic connotations. The truth of the matter is that it all depends on the pair involved, and twin stars can have a romantic, familial, or simply deep friendship bond.

     However, one notable thing about twin stars is that they always have the same kind of relationship between lifetimes; if a pair of twin stars are lovers they will always remain so wherever possible; if they're always relatives, they will always reincarnate as some kind of relative of each other. Because of the logistical issues that may arise out of this, twin stars may not even know each other in every lifetime they have. Lovers in particular tend to have the most difficult time of this, due to the fact they might be born in circumstances that prevent this kind of relationship, although it's uncommon and they usually attempt to deliberately circumvent this.

     The most notable aspect of twin stars, and the reason it has such strong cultural associations around it, is the fact that twin stars always love each other in some form. This does not mean their relationship will be perfect, and in the most unfortunate circumstances it could even be untenable—even so, twin stars will always care for each other extraordinarily deeply. Even if one or both halves are cruel in heartless in all other respects, their relationship with one another will be the most genuine, true aspect of their lives.

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~Soulmates~

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     Unlike twin stars, who are inherently connected, becoming soulmates is a process which is typically formed during the first few lifetimes a soul lives as a human. Over the course of their lives, souls tend to prefer reincarnating near, or othwerwise finding those they were close to in previous lives; over time, this can create a bond that, while not as deep as the one shared by twin stars, can be meaningful nonetheless. Over time, the links between soulmates can become quite sprawling and complex, creating whole "soul families" consisting of groups of twin stars that all continually find each other again.

     One big difference between twin stars and soulmates is that, unlike with twin stars, they do not always have the same kind of relationship in every lifetime. They could be family, friends, lovers—and, while there is a tendency to maintain the same type of relationship, it is not law that it always is the same. Because of this, and the fact that one person has multiple soulmates, it is much more common for soulmates to reincarnate together and find each other than with twin stars; indeed, everyone will know at least one of their soulmates over the course of their lifetime, and usually more.

     The dark aspect of soulmates is that, unlike with twin stars, not only are they not guaranteed to love each other, they're not guaranteed to even like one another at all. Although such bonds usually start out positive, sometimes they can morph into something more negative, or may be mixed over the course of lifetimes due to various reasons. Even so, these souls stay connected because at their core, soulmates are bound by familiarity. The darkest version of this is what may more accurately be called soul enemies, soulmates that have an antagonistic relationship over most or all lifetimes. After a soul has existed for long enough, it is likely they've developed at least one "soul enemy" that they must simply content with. Luckily, this bond rarely forms between souls where one half has done something especially heinous to the other, and the bond can be severed once and for all if one half goes too far out of line; however, unless it gets to suck an extreme point where the two souls practically repel one another, they will continue to be drawn together even if their relationship is toxic.

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~How They Find Each Other~

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     There are two ways in which twin stars and soulmates find one another: the first and most obvious way is that they reincarnate together, either into the same family, or in close proximity to each other; in general, most souls reincarnate with at least one other of their soulmates or twin star. The other method, however, is through searching—not on a conscious level, but a subconscious one. Soulmates and twin stars tend to immediately feel some level of familiarity or comfort around one another, drawn to one another almost like a magnet. Through this process, sometimes soul mates and twin stars find each other even if they were born very far apart, and they natural drift together over time and find each other again.

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