Soul retrieval is a Shamanic skill used to heal a person from illness.
Shamans believe that all illness comes from losing power or giving power away to something or someone. It may be spirits from the Inner World that you have traded your soul power with to get fame or fortune or love. It may be a living being who has an energetic cord attached to you and is sucking part of your soul away. It can be a generational soul loss that happened many years ago with your grandfather or great grandmother that you are not even aware of that has taken away part of your family soul.
Soul loss can also be caused by a traumatic experience, a car accident, a sudden death in the family, a violent crime, a chronic illness. These things can cause a loss of vital power or energy and that power and energy, a part of one’s wholeness, must be restored to bring health and healing of body mind and spirit back to the patient.
The Shaman does not use his or her own power to retrieve the lost portion of soul. If he or she did, soon the Shaman would be suffering his or her own power depletion. The Shaman uses the spirit animal or ally to travel to the appropriate Inner Worlds and barter, negotiate, deal with the possessing entities to retrieve the soul. The Shaman will travel deep into the inner worlds with the intention of retrieving that soul portion that is missing. Usually the spirit animal or ally knows right where it is and who is holding it.
Shamans look at the spiritual form of illness which might manifest on an emotional or physical level.
The types of trauma that could cause soul loss in our culture would be:
Any kind of abuse sexual, physical, or emotional.
Other causes could be an accident, being in a war, being a victim of a terrorist act, acting against our morals, being in a natural disaster (a fire, hurricane, earthquake, tornado, etc.), surgery, addictions, divorcé or death of a loved one.
Any event that causes shock could cause soul loss.
And what might cause soul loss in one person might not cause soul loss in another.
It is important to understand that soul loss is a good thing that happens to us. It is how we survive pain. If I was going to be in a head on car collision the last place that I would want to be at the point of impact is in my body. My psyche could not endure that kind of pain. So our psyches have this brilliant self protect mechanism where a part of our essence or soul leaves the body so that we do not feel the full impact of the pain.
In psychology we call this disassociation. But in psychology we don’t talk about what disassociates and where that part goes. In shamanism we understand that a piece of the soul leaves the body and goes to a territory in what shamans call non ordinary reality where it waits until someone intervenes in the spiritual realms and facilitates its return.
Although soul loss is a survival mechanism the problem from a shamanic point of view is that the soul part that left usually does not come back on its own. The soul might be lost, or stolen by another person,
Or doesn’t know the trauma has passed and it is safe to return.
It has always been the role of the shaman to go into an altered state of consciousness and track down where the soul fled to in the alternate realities and return it to the body of the client.
There are many common symptoms of soul loss. Some of the more common ones would be dissociation where a person does not feel fully in his or her body and alive and fully engaged in life. Other symptoms include chronic depression, suicidal tendencies, post traumatic stress syndrome, immune deficiency problems, and grief that just does not heal. Addictions are also a sign of soul loss as we seek external sources to fill up the empty spaces inside of us whether through substances, food, relationships, work, or buying material objects.
Anytime someone says I have never been the same since a certain event and they don’t mean this in a good way soul loss has probably occurred. You can really see how much soul loss there is today as we put money over life. Anytime someone says that we have to kill other life forms for material gain that person must be suffering from soul loss. Anytime someone feels that buying one more car or that gathering material objects will bring happiness that person is suffering from the loss of soul. As you can see we are looking at a great deal of planetary soul loss today as you watch how we behave towards each other and the rest of life. Coma is also soul loss. But in coma there is more of the soul out of body than in the body. Coma is very complicated to work with today for many reasons. It takes skill on behalf of the shaman to find out which way the soul is trying to go. Does the soul want to reenter the body or does it need help transcending which would lead to the death of the patient? There is a lot to say about this topic and it beyond the scope of this article.
Today there has been a resurgence in the interest of the practice of shamanism. We now have many hundreds of wonderful shamanic practitioners reintroducing
the practice of soul retrievals into our culture.
It is interesting to note that as soul loss was so understood in shamanic cultures people who suffered traumas were given a soul retrieval within three days after a trauma occurred.
Today as we have not been practicing soul retrieval modern day practitioners are going back ten, twenty, thirty, or forty years or even more looking for lost soul parts.
Also in a shamanic culture the individuals knew what was out of balance in their lives that might have caused an illness or issue to occur.
Copyright 2007 Sandra Ingerman.