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).
1) Soul Loss through trauma
Experiencing trauma is subjective can be connected to experiencing the war. And it also can be triggered by seemingly small things (such as being barked at by a dog when you were little). When we experience trauma, a part of our soul splits off – this is a survival mechanism – as if the soul part stayed in this difficult situation, it would become damaged or traumatised for good. Soul parts often come back on their own accord; when we are in our joy, when we love, when we dance, when we feel connected to nature. But sometimes a shamanic practitioner needs to ‘journey out’ to find the lost soul part and bring it back. The shamanic practitioner works with her spirit helpers (there is often a ‘specialised’ spirit helper for soul loss) and ask to be guided to the lost soul part. Then – sometimes after some dialogue or healing action – the soul part is brought back to the client and blown into the crown and heart chakra.
2) Soul theft
Somebody can take a part of another person’s soul. This often happens unconsciously. It can happen in a conflict situation, but also if people ‘love too much’ or want to ‘borrow’ some of the other person’s livelihood. I had a case where a father took a soul part from a teenage daughter, because he witnessed her stepping into her feminine power as a young woman; and he wanted to keep her small and innocent based on his fear that something might happen to her.
It is possible to meditate and claim your soul parts back when they were stolen. Just use your way of meditating and connect to the True Self of the person who you think has taken your soul part. Talk to this person from a heartfelt space – and ask for the soul part to be handed back to you.
If this does not work, you may need the help of a shamanic practitioner, who can go and ‘negotiate’ with the soul thief in a professional manner. This is to the full benefit of the soul thief, as holding on to somebody else’s soul part will make the soul thief weaker over the course of time. And we believe that people cannot transcend to the light after they died when they hold on to soul parts.
If you think you are holding on to somebody else’s soul parts, commit to giving them back, and ask for a ritual how you can do this. Don’t feel ‘guilty’ about it – it can happen to all of us that we take somebody’s soul part – just commit to making it right and release the soul parts back to the universe. They will find their way back to the person whom you took them from.
3) Voluntarily giving away soul parts
This happens rather often when people ‘love too much’ or are in co-dependent relationships. Sometimes it also happens when a person is suffering and/or dying, and another person tries to keep them alive – or ease their suffering or help them die peacefully – by giving away an essential part of themselves. Unfortunately, again, such an act of ‘soul sharing’ has no benefits for the people involved, neither for the receiver nor the giver. We need to have a full, whole, undamaged soul to be fully in our power and health. And the receiver cannot access any of the energy of this Essence/soul part. If our soul was a jigsaw puzzle, and we miss a soul part - a puzzle piece; a puzzle piece of another person just does not fit in the 'hole' in our soul.
The way to deal with this is calling the soul parts back that were given away. This can happen in a small ceremony. You can meditate and ask for a ritual that you can do to claim back your soul parts. After this, it might be a good idea to check on a regular base whether you have given any soul parts away (or you are holding on to soul parts of others).
I had a client who – as a young teenager – had given a part of her essence to her mom and dad, as they were going through a divorce and she experienced them as ‘sad’. She wanted to cheer them up and make sure she would stay connected with both of her parents. The healing here was a rather long process of the reclaiming of her soul: The young lady would ‘journey’ to the True Self of her parents and explain what had happened. Still working in the invisible world (non-ordinary reality), she then asked them to return the soul part. Then she would state how else she aimed to remain connected with her parents, without actually ‘giving up’ her deepest essence. This exchange was then acted out in a ceremonial way, moving several crystals and other symbols of her soul part around on a sacred blanket.
Outcome of soul retrieval
After the soul parts are re-integrated and ‘welcomed’ home, people often feel a surge of energy and other healing methods they are using start to work much better. If the full soul/essence is not ‘home’, there is no real receiver of healing present.
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 strength and beauty.
The art work is provided by some of my talented friends (see captions on pictures).
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