Recently, somebody asked me what the most common procedure was in my shamanic practice. It is soul retrieval. Most clients who come to the Fireside Lodge need some of that, so it may be useful to share some experiences here.
What is the “Soul”? It is our Essence, our Life Energy. It is what lives on when our physical body is gone. Under certain circumstances, we can lose a part of our Soul, a part of our Essence, and we need to re-integrate it to feel fully alive, healthy and whole.
There are three main aspects of soul loss (we should call it “soul part loss”, as we never loose our whole soul – but I stick to the common terminology).
Are you interested in ‘Sacred Poetry’ – poetry that is created or received in a ceremonial setting? Below are some hints on how to work with Sacred Poetry
Note before we start: I guess at the end, all poetry is 'sacred', coming from this sacred essence in ourselves that connects us to the source and the universe, but what I am talking about here is more conscious and can be part of your spiritual practice; a special 'language' to communicate with the universe.
When I do this work I usually also know immediately whether the sacred words are just for me (e.g. for healing), or whether I need to share them with my communities.
If you don’t know how to journey in a shamanic way.
• Relax, cleanse yourself (incense, Reiki symbols, whatever you use), and close your eyes.
• Speak your intention to receive a poem or blessing for a special purpose (e.g. a blessing for a friend who just had a baby, or a poem to celebrate your talents… it can be anything).
• Close your eyes and imagine that you are walking through a beautiful garden or another landscape that is attractive to you. Look around a bit and enjoy the scenery. Give thanks for its beauty. While walking through the land in your imagination, you may find a big bolder or a flat piece of sand or wide tree trunk or anything else that looks like an “empty canvas”. Go there and have a look, re-state your intention (that you would like to receive some sacred words). Your poem may show up on the “empty canvas” – or directly in your head.
• If the “empty canvas” method does not work, look around again, there may be a bird who will sing the poem to you, or a tree that whispers it in its leaves, or a river that murmurs it to you in the rolling waters.
• Just experiment a bit with it. If nothing happens, you will at least have had a wonderful and relaxing time. It may take a bit of practice, and it also can be that the universe talks to you in a different language (not words).
If you know how to journey in a shamanic way.
• As in a normal journey, give out your intention and journey into the upper or lower world for it. You can use the method above to ‘see’ or ‘hear’ your poem in the landscape.
• In addition, you can do a journey first to find your “place of creativity” or “place of beautiful words”, where you may sit and hear/see or sense your poem. Once you have this place, you can return to it whenever you need “words” in a poetic/blessing form.
• I also journeyed before to find a specialized spirit guide for “power words and power songs”. Whenever I need something for a client (a word, a chant, a blessing), I journey to him or call him close and he will usually speak or chant what I need.
• You can experiment wit this method if you are a painter/creative artist as well. You may ‘see’ your next painting right there in the journey.
Many people ask me about ‘house healing’, which is part of the Fireside Lodge’s work, and here is an example of a flat clearing/ blessing.
The energy of a former partner negatively impacted the peace in the flat. It could be cleared, which restored the balance in the flat and created closure for the lady who lived there. This also opened additional healing opportunities for the person involved.
We recently where called to Mary (name changed) who had gone through a difficult divorce 2 years ago. She had done quite some healing work on herself to be able to find closure and step into her new life, but something seemed to hold her back. She still lived in the flat she had shared with her husband, and she often had bad dreams and anxiety attacks when she was at home.
Our explorations of the flat showed that some of the energy of her former husband was still present, even though he had moved away. To release this energetic imprint, we walked through each room of the house with water, incense and ‘fire” (a candle) – bringing in their clearing power and new light. The stuck energy dissolved into the four directions, the above and the below. Chanting and blessings concluded the work. The balance and peace in the flat was restored.
This is a good example of the fact that personal healing techniques do not always fully work when the environment of a person holds misplaced energies. Mary was rather spiritual, so we involved her in the process. This also led to a spontaneous soul part retrieval – a part of Mary’s essence had been separated from her during some traumatic fights with her husband leading up to the divorce. This essential energy now was able to come back and to re-integrate.
Here is what Mary said: “The flat healing process felt sacred and was empowering for me. It felt good to give the place my own blessing. When the stuck energy left, I felt part of myself coming back. It is rather amazing; I do feel at home again in my flat, and I also feel ‘at home’ now in my body”.
I had a scare with my 20year old cat, Gepetto, a few weeks ago; She had been deaf for many years, but now she suddenly seemed to have turned blind, was walking into things and generally showed erratic and strange behaviour. I immediately thought it was a brain tumour, and I was getting ready to call the vet to let her go. As it was a Saturday, this call got delayed and I had an agonising weekend considering whether I needed to euthanise her or whether she would die by herself. This was especially difficult as Gepetto had been such a smart and independent cat all her life (she moved twice across the ocean with no difficulties at all). I really did not want to make decisions for her if she wanted an independent death. At the same time, I was very stressed, as I was about to travel a week later, and I certainly would not have wanted to leave this problem with the cat sitter.
Below are some experiences (both with traditional Western medicine, homeopathy and spiritual/shamanic work) – which may help others.
Note: Gepetto is back to almost ‘normal’ now: it turned out that high blood pressure had slightly damaged her eyes, but as she is now on blood pressure medicine, the damage could be reversed, and she is back to seeing quite well.
What the vet said: A lot… but here is the summary: As long as they are eating, not soiling themselves, and doing 2-3 things they enjoyed before (such as sun-bathing on their favourite bench), it is usually too early to put them down.
Homeopathy: If you notice your pet is dying but would rather have her/him die at their own speed than putting them down: Try to give Ars Alb homeopathic remedy. This does certainly not kill the pet, but if it is time for them to go, it will support them letting go at their own speed.
Personal work: To enable the pet to let go and pass over to the next phase of his/her life peacefully and with joy, it is important to give a lot of love, but not to start grieving too early while the pet is still around. A friend who is an animal healer told me to take the stance of “the mother who is waving good-bye at the airport, when her son boards a plane to take a job on the other side of the world”. What the son needs is a joyful, hopeful farewell – not to be burdened with the grief of his mother.
For me this was very difficult, as the loss of my feline friend of 20 years also triggered lots of emotions about my own adventures, decisions, and experiences of the last 20 years. I missed some earlier aspects of my life, and I re-lived some difficult aspects. To deal with this, I would go and hide away in my bedroom, having a good cry, but when the cat was around, I just transmitted love and hope, and maybe a weeny bit of sadness, but not too much of it.
I also started to do some spiritual and energy work on myself, to build up the strength to be at Gepetto’s side until the very end, if she would have to be put down.
Spiritual/shamanic work to decide what to do:
Many of you who know how to journey in shamanic ways – or have some other ways of getting advice from spiritual helpers – will probably use these methods to gain some clarity on whether it is time and how to support the pet. Here are a few experiences:
Healing work for the dying pet
Even if the pet is dying, it still may appreciate some healing (Reiki, shamanic soul retrieval, shamanic extraction etc). It is lovely for the pet to pass over in a healed and spiritually strong state. The intention of this work is not to cure, but to heal to enable a great and wonderful transition.
It is legal in the UK to bury a small pet (not a horse) in your own garden. Think about this a bit, and whether you would like to keep the body of the pet for a short time and organise a wake for it for its friends to come and say good bye. I will write another blog about this.
Ancient Wisdom for Today
All photos are from my journeys in the UK and abroad (besides the totem pole and medicine basket). They are here to celebrate the beauty of creation and remind us of our own strength and beauty.
The art work is provided by some of my talented friends (see captions on pictures).
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