What is Shamanism?

The Extraction: Finding and Removing the Misplaced Energy

     I will first enter a deep altered state of consciousness to find where misplaced energy might be in the body and/or attached to the Soul. This change in consciousness allows the me to see the un-seen. I can perceive the energy in some way that will indicate what energies need to be removed. It may appear as black sludge, as an attacking snake, have a smell, or be felt as heaviness; it is different every time. The sense of "this does not belong here" is the key.

     Once have located the misplaced energy, I will merge with their guardian spirits and/or power animals. Merging with healing spirits increases the clarity and protects me while I am clearing the energy. I often will move and sound much like what is happening on the spirit side of the work; it is important not to touch me while I am in this altered state.

     Sound instruments, such as a rattle or a drum will maintain the altered state; singing also can be apart of the process.

I dispose of the removed energy in various ways such as; transmutation of the energy into a more positive energy, may place it in water, send it to the earth or a guide will take it away and I often cough and/or choke up the negative energy as send it away.

Soul Retrieval: Whole Soul Well Being

     Part of the human soul is free to leave the body as a safety mechanism to deal with trauma, negative experience, coping, lost, given away or stolen. I change my state of consciousness to allow my soul to travel retrieve ancient wisdom, missing soul pieces and lost power; this help is done from some one with the gift/skill to return what maybe lost or stolen.

Reasons For the Soul’s Departure

There are various reasons for soul loss, all of which are healthy ways of protecting yourself:

    • A person was in an abusive situation and the soul left to protect itself from the abuse.
    • A child might have sent his or her soul to hide while his parents were fighting.
    • The soul might jump out of the body just prior to an accident to avoid the force of the accident.
    • Someone close died and the soul left until the person is ready to deal with his or her grief.

One way to lose ones soul is to give it to someone. When two people are in love, or when they are in a family, they may give a portion of their soul to their loved ones.

    • A mother may give some to her child because she wishes to protect him or her.
    • A lover may give a part of his or her soul to remain close

This type of soul exchange may seem OK because you want to share yourself with another; this is not a good idea.  No one can use another person’s soul, because it is not their soul.  Your loved one has to deal with unusable energy in addition to his or her own problems. Also, the person who gave their soul has less power for daily living and may feel disconnected; both the giver and the receiver lose something.

You can see the language of soul loss in everyday speaking.  You might have hear someone say she “lost a piece of herself” when she parted with a lover, or the x-boyfriend saying “you stole my life from me.”

Soul Stealing is another reason for soul loss.  

    • Soul stealing can be innocent, you see someone with lots of energy and you want to borrow some of it.
    • You are afraid of losing someone, so you take a piece of that person with you so that you will always have him or her close by.
    • Soul stealing can also be a way to dominate another.
    • Soul stealing may be seen where an abusive spouse has taken his or her partner’s soul.
    • When you take someone’s soul, you take some of that person’s power and take on energy that does not service you well.

Symptoms of Soul Loss

Soul loss would be similar to the psychological concept of disassociation. 

    • Depression
    • Feeling incomplete.
    • Inability to move forward on some issue.
    • Lost memories.
    • Feeling like your not in control your life.
    • People who say I felt like part of me died when…
    • People who say I feel like so-and-so stole my soul.
    • Soul loss is often accompanied by a feeling that something is missing from life.

     Coma is a situation of extreme soul loss. In coma more of the soul is out of the body then in. As with the other protective feature of soul loss, this can be very appropriate. If the body is in a great deal of pain, or if the soul needs time to consider its situation a coma provides needed time. Shock is another symptom of soul loss, where the individual’s soul hasn’t returned yet or hasn’t fully reentered the body.

     A person frequently wishes to return to his or her lost soul. So if the soul part was lost to a person, or in a specific place, an individual may feel an urge to return to that place or person even when there seems to be no outward reason to do so. Occasionally, a person having suicidal thoughts may be because of a desire to reunite with one’s lost soul pieces.

Soul loss also accompanies PTSD.

The Soul’s Return

Celebrate the joyous return to yourself.

      In indigenous cultures with active medicine person, you would not be without your soul pieces for very long. The soul retrieval healing would often be accompanied by celebration, or a joyous welcome from family members. In today’s culture, however, an entire lifetime can go by before certain pieces come home. The soul retrieval can seem a bit like the return of the prodigal son. However you feel about it, its important to celebrate the return of your vital essence back to where it belongs – in the same way we would celebrate the return of a long lost loved one.

      People’s reactions after their soul retrieval are very varied. You are unique and so is your returning soul. A soul retrieval means different things to different people.  Its important not to have any preconceived notions about what you might feel. Some people feel great joy, some people sadness, some people feel fuller, some people feel lighter, some people feel nothing… there is no ‘one’ or ‘right’ way.

Some of the benefits that have been experienced by people who have received a soul retrieval include:

    • A greater ability to make decisions in their life
    • A sense of being more present in their life
    • The ability to move pass an issue that previously could not
    • The beginning of a new growth or healing process.
    • An ability to begin dealing with grief

     Some healers will tell you what gifts your soul is bringing back to you. For instance, the return of your ability to have hope, or confidence in yourself. The medicine person cannot tell you in advance what will come from the soul retrieval. It is possible that the soul retrieval will complete a healing process, but it is also possible that it will begin the work of new healing and new growing. Its important to be open.  

      Openness helps you fully receive your soul part back, and allows you to notice anything new you need to bring into your life. Perhaps you need to have more fun to meet the needs of the returned piece of your self, perhaps you need to go outside more, perhaps you need to give your self a period of introspection after the soul retrieval has occurred. Perhaps the soul retrieval was just the last of a missing piece in your healing process. You must listen to yourself if you are to allow healing changes into your life. You must care for yourself as you would a new born, and give your self whatever you find is needed now that this gift has returned.

How Do I know if I need a Soul Retrieval?

Many people know instinctively that they are missing something. They hear about soul retrieval and it makes sense to them, or they have an “Ah ha.” moment where they realize that it is something that applies to them. But for those people who aren’t so well connected with their intuition, they might not have that awareness.

As mentioned above symptoms/indicators of soul loss can include:

    • Feelings of depression
    • A feeling of being incomplete
    • Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, or PTSD like symptoms.
    • Inability to move past an issue despite efforts to do so.
    • Feeling like you’ve done everything you can do but are still stuck.
    • Feeling disconnected from life, like you don’t really feel anything, or you feel you can’t connect to things.
    • Memories or incident in your past when you can say, I feel that I lost something that I never got back.
    • A sense that someone took a part of you, your heart, your soul, or that you were not the same once they left you or died.
    • You keep wanting to return to a person, or a location that seems unhealthy or unlikely, even though there is no apparent reason for you to do so.
    • Lost memories, like a part of your history is “missing”
    • The feeling that soul retrieval may help you.

It isn’t necessary for you to have an extreme symptom, to indicate soul loss. It is certainly true that some people have experienced benefits even though they were not sure that they had soul loss or not. If you feel this is something you might want to try, that is a good reason to contact a practitioner. They can go on a diagnostic journey to find out if this would be best for you at this time.

If you feel that you aren’t ready that is an emotion to honor. Sometimes a soul retrieval will bring up issues that need to be healed. If you aren’t in a place where you are ready to do that, it may be good for you to wait.

The following benefits are possible with soul retrieval, although there is no guarantee what will happen, all soul retrievals are different:

    • You may find it easier to move forward on an issue that has been troubling you.
    • You may feel a sense of that your really seeing your life for the first time.
    • You may find it easier to make certain decisions or make certain changes.
    • You may find that some characteristic you have struggled with such as hopelessness, lack of confidence, anger.. may improve or stop completely after a soul retrieval.
    • You may find that you can connect to things more easily.
    • You may feel more fully present

Additionally it is possible for the following challenges to be brought up with a soul retrieval:

    • You may have feelings of sadness or depression because of the time that went by missing this part of you.
    • Issues that you have previously been unwilling to deal with can come to the surface.
    • You may find that you can no longer stay in a situation which you have been living with – such that you find you must make changes in your life.
    • You may find feelings that you previously did not wish to deal with assert themselves, such as grief or anger.
    • You may begin a long healing process.

     There is no knowing what may happen as the result of a soul retrieval. In a few cases a person may literally experiences a complete turn around of their life to a more joyful way of being. In some cases, it begins a process of changes that take time to fully emerge. And of course, some people feel that not much really happened as a result of their soul retrieval. Your instincts should tell you what to do, and the practitioner can help you determine if a soul retrieval would be helpful to you at this time.

     If you need support after a soul retrieval, your shamanic practitioner may be able to help you. You can also find support from a therapist or a counselor. If you feel that you would like a soul retrieval, but have a feeling of fear because it is unknown, you can always contact a practitioner to simply discuss soul retrieval or your fears. See how you feel after you have discussed it with him or her, and then decide whether or not you wish to proceed.

     Finally, a benefit of a soul retrieval or any shamanic healing is seeing that someone cares enough to help you. Most shamanic practitioners feel a strong desire to help make your road a little easier.