Shamanic soul retrieval is an ancient technique. However, it parallels the psychotherapeutic practice of integrating lost ‘parts’ of yourself which may have become ‘split off’ through trauma, illness or loss.
Like psychotherapists, shamanic practitioners view these lost pieces of self as being trapped in a developmental stage or at the site of a traumatic event. Whereas a psychotherapist may engage you in talking about or even re-experiencing and mentally reframing this lost part or event, shamanic practitioners use a very different set of tools to help you to heal.
Rather than remaining in present time, shamanic practitioners will enter an altered state of consciousness and, with the help of spirit guides, journey to the site of the event or traumatic time and find the part or soul fragment. The practitioner will usually be able to visualise this part and make contact with it. They’ll invite the soul part to return, and, if it’s willing, reunite you with your soul part. They’ll also recommend steps you can take to establish a relationship with this part.
In addition to the soul part itself, information very specific to you is normally retrieved – such as lost family members’ names or the colour of clothing you see yourself wearing when you think about something. This is often used to reconfirm that the practitioner has indeed contacted a lost part of you.
So what can you expect from taking part in this healing practice? After undergoing a shamanic journey you can expect to feel more ‘complete’ in yourself and more at peace with yourself and your past. You can expect to have more energy and presence with which to meet the world.
The symptoms of soul loss can range from depression, dissociation, fatigue and lack of motivation to anxiety, anger issues, restlessness and chronic pain. Joy, clarity, resilience or creativity may have vanished since the incident, to be replaced by a nagging feeling that “something is missing”. In shamanic healing work that missing x-factor is known as the soul-part or soul fragment, which broke off and went away to a place in spirit, in order to protect itself from the difficulty of the experience. Our aim is to retrieve the lighter, more positive soul energy that feels absent.
Sometimes a soul loss can accrue in other ways, such as soul stealing by another person to keep part of that person’s power or through soul exchange, for example between lovers or parents and children to become dependents. Sometimes a soul loss did not even occur in this lifetime but is hidden in a long-gone past life. If not treated, soul loss can result in a permanent condition, repeating dysfunctional patterns, and avoidance of engaging in life’s opportunities.
What is the soul? No one can tell you for sure. But we all know it as that unattached, energetic essence that is free to move in and out of our bodies and makes us uniquely ourselves. You might want to think of Soul healing as trying to find and fit lost pieces of yourself as you put together the jigsaw puzzle of your true self. If you could see those missing pieces, you would have a complete beautiful picture. I can’t imagine there is anything more healing and satisfying than that.
How can you tell if you have a soul loss? Many of my clients complain of feeling detached, empty, devoid of purpose; they think they are living an aimless life and are unable to concentrate with no hope. Some deep experience depression and have suicidal thoughts. Many simply, have suffered a memory loss of crucial years from early childhood. Some say that their heart is closed and they can’t feel love. As one client said once, “I feel as if there is a hole in my heart.”
The shamanic Cord Cutting Ceremony is the practice of severing invisible or translucent energy cords, believed to be tying us emotionally and spiritually with another person or group of people and sometimes with natural places.
Poisoned hooks attach these invisible cords to different organs of our bodies or part of our physical body. It manifested in physical pain, energy blockage, and unexplained symptoms. It usually is shown as profound guilt, manipulation, destructive thoughts patterns that do not belong to you, fear as stomachaches and much more.
The ceremony is performed by the client or shaman who lays down or sitting up, calls her Spirit Guide and asks it to enter from the crown of the head, down and show her to where that cord is attached to, to whom it may lead, and what the cause of that attachment. Once that is established the client informs that person/entity that she is going to sever the cords and free herself from these unhealthy relationships.
To fully benefit from this work, the client must go through a conscious process of uniting with that lost part and becoming its caretaker. Nobody can do this for her. Additional shamanic journeys may be needed to meet and welcome back the lost part. The client may need to conceive of specific ways to heal the old wounds. It also helps the client to be aware and acknowledge the changes that happened in her life in the aftermath. The client needs a supportive group of people who can be with her as those changes happen, and she needs to consult with the shaman about how to make true physical changes in her everyday life that will reflect and honor her newfound part. I ask my clients to adopt a doll for two weeks, or more, that can remind them of themselves at the age that the soul loss occurred. I ask them to take care of it around the clock—talk with it, feed it, bathe it, and take it to work—as a constant reminder. It works miraculously.
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