Soul Retrieval: The Past and The Present

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First of all, I want to say thank you to Tracy for her follow-up comments about her recent experiences which she said resulted from her soul retrieval. When I read her comments I was surprised. I didn’t realize a year had already passed. That fact got me to thinking about the difference between ancient times and our ‘modern’ time. I remember reading about that difference. It was in something Sandra Ingerman wrote. I thought it was in her book Soul Retrieval: Mending The Fragmented Self, but I was wrong. Stuck in the book as a kind of bookmark was a copy of her monthly newsletter from January 2013. That’s where I read her comments comparing present and past.

And so I quote Sandra from that newsletter: “I am not trying to over romanticize indigenous cultures. But in indigenous cultures people from birth were supported in the gifts they were born with to share in their communities. And Soul Retrieval ceremonies were performed right after a trauma occurred in someone’s life. People in indigenous cultures were taught to live a harmonious life and also knew what caused any disharmony resulting in illness.”

“Life is not so simple in Western cultures. We are not always supported to live a life filled with meaning. We often cannot ‘connect the dots’ to how our lifestyle has created emotional and physical illnesses we are dealing with today. People lose parts of their soul at very young ages and show up to shamanic practitioners for Soul Retrieval work many years after a trauma has occurred in their lives.”

“I truly believe that the reason shamanism has survived over 100,000 years is the ability of the helping spirits to evolve the work to deal with the needs of people in different cultures and different times.”

Sandra’s comments are spot on. At different times in my life I wondered, how did someone deal with this in the past? When I was six and my mother died, my family didn’t take me to a Psychologist. That profession was still in its early years of development. I kept my feelings inside and didn’t learn how to let them out until after I was married, in my thirties. And it wasn’t until after I was taught Soul Retrieval that I recovered part of myself that had gone away.

I’m not complaining. I believe this is how my life was supposed to evolve. I was supposed to go through the struggles. It helped make me who I am today. But that’s not the way it has to be for everyone and I am thankful to Sandra Ingerman for teaching Lauren Torres, who in turn taught me, so that I can help others.

Soul Retrieval: Follow up from Tracy

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Hey Paul,

I couldn’t find the original link to my soul retrieval, but I had another breakthrough I wanted to share. A year later and I am still having breakthroughs… Thanks again. This is a combination of meditations and dreams over the last couple of days.

The last three weeks have been quite a whirlwind. Drama at work, an amazing vacation and psychic reading in Sedona, a desperate escape from my job, lots of worry and reconnecting with the root chakra, having an amazing heart chakra moment with my boss, and me in complete, dumbfounded peace.

I went into the work meeting with an objective script about my perspective of some recent issues, had a mirror shoved in my face… though I didn’t know it at the time… about how my heart chakra has been closed off. How I perceive their behavior towards me, I was irritating to them…. Yet she says I make those others feel the exact same way. The people around you are a reflection of you.

I saw the beams of light interconnect. A sudden look towards the sky with glowing green heart chakras. One connection is made and thousands respond to the call. They accept, they love, they embrace you with compassion. One tiny speck, in a thousand points of light. I had a constructive conversation with someone who would be the only person right now I consider a long shot mother figure, and there was no yelling, no screaming, no passive aggressive exchange, no humiliation.

I told her my grievances and she provided some back. We discussed it, shared in some recent traumas in each other’s lives, and she was worried about how I was feeling. HOW I WAS FEELING! I told her I needed to clear the air about a few things, told her how upset I was during recent interaction in the office and she said I had every right to be upset about it. I HAD EVERY RIGHT. I finally chose to stand up and tell someone, who is in an intimidating hierarchal role for me personally and she worried about my feelings, telling me I had the right to feel them.

I have barely slept since Thursday night. I looked at dark ceilings processing the emotions, crying, tossing and turning, mulling it all over, seeing another truth, reworking it, seeing another and then waking this morning to peaceful clarity that I hadn’t felt in a long time. My mother made me feel that way. Like crisp, white linen eyelet dresses. The peace of morning light seeping through leaded glass panes, the rainbow prisms scatter, you see the dust play its way through the beams of burning white light. It was stark, but peaceful. It was innocent, playful, uninhibited. Goofy, silly, giggling. I believe this was the final merging of the inner child aspect I gained back last February during my Soul Retrieval. I gained back my childlike wonder. I know I was always very chatty, wanted to know everything about everything.

On the other hand, my stepmother had a black heart. Later, when she came on the scene, she took sport in emotional abuse. I was a wrench in her perfectly laid out life plan, but I came with a social security check so she kept me around. Last night, those wounds healed and this morning, I don’t feel the black heart anymore. Just white, blinding light…. Leading me somewhere. It’s amazing all we go through to experience the human condition. The contracts we sign before the next incarnation. I finally understand that my karmic issue this time around is healthy boundaries. I am an empathic healer. I have always known, but really would hate to admit it before. I looked at it as a negative instead of a positive. See as I was brought up with the black heart, I felt that I had to feel and internalize others pain. It was my duty. I was the emotional dumping ground. If I didn’t, I was made to feel guilty for not accepting each spoonful. It’s true… deep pains always find their way to the surface. The black has bled from my heart and I feel the burning white light pulse through once more. Namaste.

Soul Retrieval: A Remote Soul Retrieval

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In early January 2013 I received a call from Steve asking me to do healing fro his wife, Susan. After getting Steve’s OK, I did a remote soul retrieval. This means, I did a soul retrieval at my home for Susan, even though we were in different physical locations.

After preparing with a transfiguration ritual, I went to the Lower World and met with my younger teacher. We merged in spirit and went to the Upper World to meet my healing guide. The three of us went to a temple inn the spirit world where we cleared the area of all energies, invited healing spirits to join us, and invited Susan’s spirit to join us. I laid down next to her and journeyed. immediately I found a soul part, little girl, maybe 4 or 5, who wanted to return. The little girl helped me find another soul part, a woman in her twenties who was hiding but agreed to return. I gave her a hug and the little girl talked to her. I had both of them enter the crystal in order to return.

I was about to end the journey when I saw a ‘hidden’ valley near some mountains. I went there and found a large dog, possibly a wild dog, not a breed or mix I recognized. Although he looked ferocious, he licked my hand. I petted him and realized he wanted to come with us to provide protection to Susan. I returned from the journey, ‘blew’ the two soul parts into Susan’s chest area, and placed the dog by her side. The little girl said she was bringing the gifts of fortitude and optimism. I don’t know what the woman in her twenties was returning with. Since this was a remote soul retrieval, I played a longer drumming track on the CD I was using and rattled for a long time. I ended the retrieval; about forty minutes had passed. I sent Steve a text message that I was through, but with no details of the journey. Later I sent Susan an email outlining my journey.

FEEDBACK: A month later I traveled with Steve and Susan to visit a friend . During the trip Steve said that Susan had experienced two dreams after I did the journey. They both involved her teaching things to other people. Steve said she seemed to fight off her illness more easily afterwards. Susan agreed and confirmed what Steve said. Susan also said the dog had great meaning for her. She also said the valley was important. She grew up in San Fernando, California which is surrounded by mountains.

Soul Retrieval: Steve


Steve and I have been friends since 2006. Even though he is younger than I am, he has been pursuing an alternate spiritual lifestyle much longer than I have. I mention this because he had interesting experiences during the soul retrieval and I think it is because of his background.

On March 7, 2013 Steve arrived at my house at 7:00 PM. After we chatted a while I reminded him how I conduct soul retrievals and how the process flows. Steve laid on a blanket on the dining room floor. I read a short piece I wrote on being receptive, just to get him in the mood, and then began drumming. Next I toned and rattled for about five minutes. Then I put a CD on and laid down next to him. As the rattle and drumming rhythms started I asked my healing guide for help and we went on the journey.

We immediately encountered a young version of Steve as an adult. I easily recognized him even though his grey hair was dark black. He wore a long sleeved, yellow shirt with thin blue and red lines and grey slacks. The soul part quickly agreed to return and indicated he was bringing forgiveness back. The forgiveness was associated with his first marriage. It was forgiveness for everyone including himself. After he agreed to return, his clothing changed to a long sleeved blue shirt and black slacks.

I asked if this part knew of more parts that could return and he said yes and led us to a child version of Steve. The child was dressed in a red shirt and blue jeans, like Steve wore to my house. However the child did not want to come back. I asked why he left and he said he was afraid of his father. My healing guide picked the child up, held him lovingly and convince him to return with us.

I checked to see if there were any power animals wanting to join Steve at this time but there were none. I was ready to return but my guide said there was no hurry so we listened to the remaining CD track. Then I invited the soul parts to join us, which they did, and we returned to ordinary consciousness. I blew the soul parts into Steve’s chest and ended the soul retrieval. Steve returned to ordinary consciousness right way and we discussed what happened.

As it turns out, Steve went on his own journey as soon as I started drumming at the beginning. He saw pleasant shapes, and three colored long-stemmed glasses. An old American Indian woman poured seeds into one of the glasses and told Steve to drink them. He did. Next he saw an old American Indian man and they both watched as a series of young boys appeared before him, one at a time, and disappeared with a popping sound. Then the session ended.

We talked about what I saw. Steve said the yellow shirt and grey slacks are among his favorites and that he has several blue shirts. Blue is one of his favorite colors. He also said that the forgiveness regarding his first marriage made a lot of sense. Regarding his father, Steve said his father was never abusive, but was a strict disciplinarian; Steve always wanted to please his father. Steve said he saw an animal in his experience – it was a badger. I got my copy of “Animal Speak”, read the description and Steve said the information made sense to him. Steve said he felt like he was wearing a heavy hat during the soul retrieval, but this had happened to him during other deeply spiritual experiences.

As a final note, during this retrieval I was questioning my own effectiveness and value in the event. However, I just moved forward and everything worked out. I was reminded of the Nike ad – Just Do It! The journey went quickly from my point of view and I was surprised, and pleased, when Steve told me of his experiences.

Soul Retrieval: Jason

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In early April, 2013 I got an email from Jason. He had been one of the observers when I did the soul retrieval for Ze. He wanted me to perform one for him. We agreed on April 25th, 6:30 PM at his place.

When I entered his townhouse, I found three of Jason’s friends were there to observe: Linda, Rita and Joe (?). When I unpacked my bag I realized I left my CD player at home. This meant I would have to use my rattle while I did the journey instead of listening to one of the CD drumming tracks. I explained the ritual to everyone. Jason laid on the living room floor and I walked around him while drumming. Next I rattled and toned for about five minutes. I asked Rita to keep track of time for me and let me know if the journey went beyond twenty minutes.

I laid down next to Jason, started rattling and asked my healing guide for help. We searched the spirit world and found a soul part that resembled Jason when he was about fourteen. He didn’t tell me why he left but he did say that he was bringing back a positive attitude of enthusiasm. We searched again but did not find any additional soul parts. However, we did encounter two power animals for Jason; a bald eagle and a white colored terrier. I asked the soul part to enter my crystal and he did. Before we left, my healing guide indicated he wanted to perform healing on Jason and he placed his hands over Jason’s body.  At this point I ended the journey, kneeled over Jason and blew the soul part back into his chest. I rattled for a while and then announced that the soul retrieval was concluded.

After Jason sat up, I told him what I experienced on the journey. Jason said that at one time he felt an inflow of energy into his upper torso. Jason also stated that he had an unusual experience. When I started drumming, Jason saw his deceased uncle entered the room and sit on the couch to observe. This was one of Jason’s favorite uncles. Rita and Joe said that when the ritual started they felt my drumming go deep inside them – a pleasant experience. Linda had fallen asleep on the couch – we had to wake her after the retrieval was over. Jason said he was glad I did the retrieval. We agreed to keep in touch. He has since contacted me about doing a second retrieval.

A Soul Retrieval


January 2012: This soul retrieval was for Tracy, a friend of Ze’s. In fact Ze came with her to my house to observe the retrieval. Before the retrieval I did a Chakra Tarot spread for Tracy and sent it to her. She responded with a long email explaining some issues that she was trying to resolve; especially issues regarding childhood and her teenage years. During meditation that week she had a message that it was important for her to get this healing soon. So Tracy came well prepared for the retrieval.

The ritual was conducted in my dining room. I began it about 7:00 PM. After the drumming I rattled and toned for a while.  I put on a CD and selected a track that had about fifteen minutes of rattling and other percussive sounds. Then I laid on the floor next to Tracy, our shoulders touching. I called upon my healing guide and we journeyed into the spirit world with the intention of seeking and returning soul parts belonging to Tracy.

First we found a part that represented Tracy in her teens; a defiant teenager who was willing to return. When asked, she said she was bringing a feeling of joy back with her. I asked the teen if she knew of any other soul parts that might want to return. She answered affirmatively and took us to a little girl, just a toddler. The toddler didn’t indicate why she left or what she was bringing back; she just wanted to return. The teenager then led us to another soul part, a young woman in her twenties. However the young woman was not ready to return yet. She said she would return at a later date. After conferring with my guide we let the young woman remain in the spirit world. Before returning, I checked to see if there were any power animals who would come along to support Tracy. Thee was; it was a turtle.

I asked the toddler and teenage soul parts to enter into my crystal and they did. I thanked my guide and moved back to ordinary reality. I kneeled over Tracy and ‘blew’ the soul parts into her chest area. Then I rattled and told Tracy the soul retrieval was finished; this was around 8:30 PM.

After Tracy had a chance to return to normal consciousness, I told her about my experience. Tracy said she had dreams earlier in the week; in the dreams someone was doing something with her chakras. She also had flashbacks during the soul retrieval that had to do with some negative family experiences. Neither of us understood the significance of the turtle. So I got out my copy of The Elemental Encyclopedia of Sacred Signs and Symbols. In the section on turtles or tortoises it indicated several connections to ancient symbology, especially relating to the idea of support. Turtles supported the Tree of Life and the mountain upon which the universe rests. During this discussion Tracy remembered how she and her husband had ‘saved’ several turtles over time while they were on camping trips. Tracy and Ze stayed and the three of us chatted until about 10:30 PM when they left.

As you can see, it is a good idea to have reference books regarding symbols and animals. I couldn’t possibly remember all the details of symbolism associated with the animal kingdom. And since I have started on the shamanic path I have found that I am paying more attention to animals I encounter while outside. For example I went for a two mile walk today (11/15/13) in my neighborhood and encountered two flocks of geese, two separate sightings of a Harrier Hawk, two woodpeckers (one downey and one red-bellied) and a tree full of starlings (no partridge in a pear tree). I will check out the symbology of these birds after finishing this blog. I’ll let you know if I find anything significant.

Soul Retrieval for a friend


In early October, 2012 I journeyed to ask how to find people who wanted soul  retrievals. The answer was that I should casually let people know I had been trained. Then people would come to me. The spirits said to be prepared, the first would contact me soon. Later in October Ze, a friend of mine, told me she would like to have me perform a soul retrieval for her. We checked our calendars and decided on November 15th at a location in Aurora.

As I drove to the soul retrieval I noticed the crescent of the new moon was setting in the west. I took that as a good omen for new beginnings. Two of Ze’s friends attended to observe the ritual. After  I explained the process, Ze laid on the floor. Her friends sat nearby. I started the ritual. After drumming and rattling, I laid next to her on the floor, our shoulders touching.

It didn’t start as I expected. I found myself in complete darkness. My healing guide helped by grabbing my hand and moving us ‘forward’. We found a soul part right away; a little girl 8 or 9 years old. She wouldn’t tell me why she left but agreed to return and said she was bringing the gift of peace. She entered my crystal.

Next I encountered a dark haired woman who looked nothing like Ze. I tried to question her but she ‘ran away’. My guide got her and brought her back. She admitted she was not a soul part but said she knew Ze, and was there for forgiveness. She wouldn’t tell us more so we let her go.

Next we met a part that represented Ze in her thirties. She was bringing more energy for Ze. I forgot to ask why she left. She entered my crystal as well. Before we returned we encountered a power animal that wanted to help Ze. I recognized it was a Harrier Hawk because I had seen one a few months earlier and looked it up in my book on birds. It did not enter the crystal but agreed to return to be by Ze’s side. We returned to ordinary consciousness. I knelt next to Ze and blew the two soul parts into her chest area. I rattled for a short time and then whispered to Ze that she could open her eyes, stretch and get up.

When I told Ze about the darkness she laughed and told me she always goes to a place of darkness for meditation. That made sense. She didn’t know who the dark haired woman was. She said she would think about the two soul parts and let me know. One of her friends, who observed, said that she was startled to see a little girl walk through the front door; then she realized it was a spirit. Both friends enjoyed observing and liked the drumming and rattling. After it was over, the four of us sat and talked for about an hour before I left.

My point of view: the first two soul retrievals I did were in class. This was the first on my own and it did not go as I imagined it would. Later I would learn that every one is different in some way and that is why my healing guide is so important. I wasn’t expecting the darkness; it was disconcerting. Fortunately my spirit guide moved things along to where I could take charge again. I was not prepared for the dark haired woman either. Strange! After it was over I was not tired. I had plenty of energy to drive back home, watch Jay Leno and have some milk and cookies before going to sleep. Overall, the experience gave me the confidence to continue with soul retrieval, especially because I knew I could rely on my guide.

I will ask Ze if she would like to comment on this posting. It may not occur right away because she is currently very busy with work and what not. To my readers, feel free to comment or ask questions, especially if anything I wrote is not clear. Thanks.

Soul Retrieval: The Ritual


For those of you who want to know more about it, this is a brief overview of the soul retrieval ritual as I practice it.

Sometimes I practice the ritual in my apartment, sometimes it is in another person’s home; whatever is most convenient for all the people involved. And there are usually more people involved than me and the client (person receiving the retrieval). Often there are friends or family members who are present as well. Observers sit around the area to watch; I remind them about the importance of remaining silent. The client lays on a blanket and pillow in the center of the floor; his or her focus is to remain receptive. I perform the ritual.

At the beginning I remind everyone of their role. I read a short statement to the client on how he/she should become as receptive as the day lilly is to the warming rays of the sun. This usually puts the person at ease and in a mood conducive to receiving a returning soul part or parts. Next I use my Buffalo Drum; beating on it as I walk around the client. The drum is very loud, has a penetrating sound, and is used to clear energies out of the room and welcome helpful spirits.

After several minutes I stop drumming, use my rattle and tone, or chant, in order to bring positive energies into the room and to call upon the spirits to help with the soul retrieval. After about five minutes I lay down next to the client, shoulders touching. I keep rattling; sometimes someone will rattle or drum for me. I place a bandanna across my eyes to keep light out so I can concentrate on the journey. At this point I call upon a special spirit, my Healing Guide, who helps me with the journey and retrieval process. We travel together into the spirit world with the intention of finding parts of the client’s soul that have departed.  We usually find one or more parts and ask them to return with us. They are usually very willing to return. I ask them what strengths or helpful talents they are bringing with them. Finally I ask them to merge into a crystal I use specifically for this purpose. My Healing Guide and I return to the ordinary world. Note: I never do soul retrievals without my Healing Guide. He is invaluable; often helping me in unusual situations or when I am unsure what to do next.

Upon returning from the journey, I kneel next to the client, hold the crystal in my hands, and symbolically ‘blow’ the soul part(s) into their chest area. Afterward I use my rattle to help the parts begin the reintegration process. Finally, I tell the client that the soul retrieval is over and to return to normal consciousness; the client has usually been in a very relaxed state, sometimes asleep. After they are fully awake, I tell them what parts returned, what talents they brought, and anything else I may have learned during the journey. In turn, they relate any experiences they had. Usually clients do not have experiences, but some do.

I always advise the client to schedule the soul retrieval so that they can relax afterwards, even take a bath or shower, and go to sleep. This helps with the reintegration process. I keep in touch with clients to see how they are doing. Sometimes they also give me specific feedback on how the retrieval has helped them in their daily lives. They may ask for a follow up retrieval, but this is usually done several weeks after the first.

Next blog: I perform a soul retrieval for a friend.

Soul Retrieval Seminar: The Chickadee’s Call


In the early afternoon of August 21, 2012 Lauren told us go go outside and find objects that would become our talisman for the evening’s fire ceremony. Immediately I got hung up in left-brain activity and was stymied. Some moments later I remembered we were supposed to be open and go with the flow. So I just started looking for items that caught my eye. First I saw a leaf that had fallen from a tree. I picked it up even though I had no specific plan for it, other than I wanted to increase my confidence in my ability to walk the shamanic path. Then I went to the beach area, near the lake. There I put some grains of sand in my pocket. I walked on, still not sure what I was doing. I heard the call of a nearby chickadee – I love birds. Then I found a broken cattail near the edge of the lake. And finally I came across an interesting piece of bark from a tree.

I sat down and thought about the items. For each one of them I started asking myself, ‘what does this mean?’ I didn’t get answers for any of the four items. Suddenly I realized, THAT was the issue. Hey, I thought, I’m a writer. Let’s write about this. Hey, how about putting this in a poem. Wow! Now there’s an idea. So at this point I went back to my room, got out my journal and started writing. It became existential; what did these things mean? are they important? what is the meaning of my life? am I important? how am I related to these items, other than through the question of meaning? I kept writing, asking the questions and received an inspirational understanding. I wrote and rewrote my poem several times and I have rewritten it again for this blog:

THE CHICKADEE’ S CALL by Paul McAllister

What is the meaning of the Chickadee’s call? (chick-a-dee-dee-dee)

Why does it matter that my name is Paul?

How important is a grain of sand compared to a beach?

What is the significance of a dead leaf on the ground?

What is the value of a star beyond our reach?

How about the broken cattail that I found?

What is the point of the bark of a dying tree?

What is the importance, significance,value and point … of me?

(As I said this I put the sand, leaf, broken cattail and tree bark into the raging fire.)

So I asked a helpful spirit. Here’s what he said.

“You are the grain of sand.

You are the dead leaf.

You are the star beyond our reach.

You are the cattail.

And you are the bark of the tree.

Going way back to the beginning of Time,

You were always meant to Be.

Just like the leaf, cattail, bark, star, sand and the

Call of the Chickadee.”

“Look!” he said pointing to the fire.

“Yes,” I replied, “but now they are gone,

And so soon I shall be.”

He laughed a hearty laugh and slapped me on the back.

“You’ve been here before, and surely you’ll be back.

Before the Beginning of Time you ARE part of the plan.

Don’t fret the small stuff! Hold your head up high!

Keep on working to succeed.You know you won’t … unless you try.

If you do, you will find yourself up on the stage.

They’ll all want your autograph! You’ll be all the rage!”

“Remember the sound of the Chickadee’s call!

Step up to the mic and say,‘Hi, my name is Paul!”

Soul Retrieval Seminar: Fire Ceremony

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We had a fire ceremony on the last night of the seminar (07/21/12). It was in an open field a block away from the buildings. One of the workers at Ronora, in Watervliet, Michigan, built a fire for us. It was about three and a half feet high, very well constructed. All we had to do was light the papers sticking out of the bottom.

We arrived at dusk. Lauren reminded us that fire is not only an element, but is also a living thing. She said that the talismans we had created were an example of shamanic art, and therefore sacred. Art is power. The fire would carry the power of our talismans into the spirit world where they would manifest back into reality. Lauren lit the fire and the flames spread quickly. As the fire grew, geese started honking and flew up out of the woods to the east, across the sky and settled in a field west of our location. As it grew dark, we all started drumming. One at a time, we took our talismans, walked/danced around the fire several times and placed it in the fire. My talisman consisted of several natural items like a leaf, tree bark, etc., along with a poem I wrote titled “The Chickadee’s Call”. I created it to increase my level of confidence in working with my chosen path. After placing the natural items in the fire, I read my poem and then placed it in the fire as well.

After each of us had our turn, we started dancing and drumming around the fire. We went around six or seven times, then walked up to the fire, gave thanks and shouted up to the sky. As we finished, the geese started honking again, flew up in the west and crossed over us returning to their roost in the east. We rested in chairs and watched the fire burn down. The geese became quiet. After twenty minutes we got up and went back to the building where we were staying. We sat in a meeting area, talking about our experiences and the energies we felt, and finally retired to our rooms.

This was a wonderful ceremony. It was simple, personal and made me feel closer to the natural world as well as the world of spirit. Earlier in the day I had struggled to decide upon a talisman, but solved the problem by letting go of my intellect and focusing on the messages that came from my heart. The poem had a great deal of meaning for me and provided me with great personal energy during the ceremony.

Next blog: “The Chickadee’s Call”

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