Soul Retrieval: Mine

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Sunday morning, August 19th, 2012. One of the other students did a soul retrieval for me. Later I journeyed to better understand what had happened to me so long ago.

Soul Retrieval: I laid on the floor on a blanket. Lauren drummed and Alida did the soul retrieval for me. I closed my eyes and relaxed, keeping in mind that I must be receptive to what takes place. After a while, Alida got up and kneeled next to me. She blew onto my stomach area. I got a peaceful feeling. After a while I opened my eyes, held her hand and thanked her. She said the soul part she found was of me as an eight month old baby, sitting on a linoleum floor. She said she heard a screen door close loudly. I immediately thought of the apartment I grew up in at 78th and Ada in Chicago. Our kitchen had a linoleum floor. Two doors led from the kitchen to a wooden back porch. The inside door had two locks. The outside door was a wooden screen door that had a long black spring attached to the top. The spring was there to keep the door closed. That was all Alida could tell me. However she also brought me a new power animal, a dog, a Huskie. He came to be with me and protect me.

In the afternoon I had the opportunity to journey to the spirit world to ask helpful spirits for help understanding the results of my soul retrieval. As soon as the drumming started, I closed my eyes. My healing guide was there waiting for me. He smiled and me and we went to 78th and Ada to observe what Alida had seen. There I was, as a baby, sitting on the kitchen floor. At my healing guide’s direction, we sat down next to the baby and asked him (me) questions. Apparently I wanted to follow my mother who went out the back door and I tried to follow her. I don’t know if I got close to the door or if the slamming of the door against the frame just scared me. When my mom comes back in I’m crying and she says, “You’re always doing that.” My mom wasn’t gone long. I can only speculate that she may have been taking a bag of garbage to the garbage chute just a few steps from our door.We also found out what the baby soul part was bringing back to me: a baby’s unconditional love. It also just wanted to re-integrate with me. It said I should share it’s unconditional love with others.

After the journey we discussed my experience. Apparently a soul part can detach itself even for something as simple as a slamming door, especially if one is a baby and easily scared.

Next blog: The last evening of the seminar and the Fire Ceremony

Soul Retrieval Seminar: More Journeying

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In the afternoon, August 18, 2012, Lauren suggested we perform two journeys, both of them outside. Reminder: we were at a location in Southwestern Michigan that is dedicated to providing space for people of all spiritual paths. The large area has woods, a small lake, and plenty of hiking trails. On the first journey we were to go, individually, to find a place where we felt power. We were to ask our spirits if we should use a quartz crystal for soul retrieval and how should we use it. In journey number two we were to ask how to prepare for a soul retrieval.

Journey #1: Find a power place and ask about using a crystal for soul retrieval.

I walked around the property, shaking my rattle occasionally, looking for a power place. Near a lake I came up to a ‘wall’ of cattails, reeds, grasses and wild flowers. I was about to pass it by when I noticed a black and yellow butterfly going from one purple flower to another. Then I felt a surge of energy flow into me. This was it! I set my notebook on top of a blanket on the ground and started rattling. I said a prayer requesting help from the spirit world and I went to the upper world and met the Ancient One. We discussed the question of using a crystal versus something else, like a ‘spirit catcher’ and he let me decide. After this journey I knelt on one knee and wrote the results in my notebook. I decided to do Journey #2 here as well.

Journey #2: How do I prepare for a soul retrieval.

As I began to rattle for this journey I heard a sound of someone walking up the path I had traveled. (Remember there were other people from other spiritual paths here at this time.) I turned and looked. Approaching me was a man, dressed only in shorts with a bandanna around his head and some feathers in it, carrying two large sticks in one hand and something else in the other. His face, arms and torso were painted yellow and blue. We looked at each other, nodded and continued on with our activities; him moving past me further into the woods, and I rattling for my next journey. No. I wasn’t dreaming and this wasn’t a spirit vision. Actually, I admired him for his commitment to his spiritual path and wondered if his tools and paint increased the energy he felt and the power he received.

I reached the upper world again and met again with the Ancient One. This time I felt a surge of energy that had a strong, emotional effect on me. He gave me twelve steps to perform the soul retrieval and I wrote them down in my notebook. (I already shared them with you in the introductory remarks about soul retrieval). He told me I can also introduce other steps if I think they will help with the success of the ritual.

After the journey I said a prayer of thanksgiving to all the spirits who had helped with these journeys. I never did see the painted man again. I left a small ‘present’ on a nearby log and went back to our lodge.

Next blog: Our Ancestors: But not in the sense of genealogy.

Soul Retrieval: Other Ways of Healing

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Soul retrieval is one kind of healing; but there are others that also fall into the category of shamanic practice. Each shaman or healer has his or her own path – their own method of healing. Over time the healer will notice that certain people are drawn to them for a specific kind of healing.

First of all, soul retrieval can also be used to work with spirits such as power animals, and can also be used for the earth. Just as everyone has a guide or guardian angel, each person has one or more power animals as a protective guide. At times it happens that a power animal will leave and no longer provide protection. Soul retrieval is a way to help the power animal return, or to find a new power animal to take its place. And, since even the land has spirits associated with it, soul retrieval can be used to help remove negative energies from the land. However it is important to get the permission of the land’s spirits before proceeding to do so.

Sometimes after a soul part leaves a body, negative energy will move in to occupy it, or fill in the empty spaces. When this occurs, a shamanic extraction is required. The person’s soul is left untouched, but the negative energy is removed. Additional training is required to perform an extraction.

It is also possible for a negative spirit to enter into that void. This requires a de-possession. In the de-possession process, the shamanic practitioner leads the negative spirit away from the person toward the light with the help of friendly spirits. Ultimately the negative spirit reunites with the positive forces of light. A word of caution, don’t try this unless you have been trained. the negative spirit may attach itself to something or someone else, even to the practitioner, if they are not experienced at this healing.

There is also a practice called psychopomp. Normally when a person dies, their soul slowly begins to move away from the earth and the physical world. But some souls resist and want to stay close to the earth while others don’t understand what happened and are afraid to go anywhere. Psychopomp ceremonies and rituals allow the healer to travel to the spirit world, meet with the ‘lost’ soul, and help them find their way to the next world. In these ceremonies, the healer calls upon spirit guides as well as spirits of friends and family who have already passed on to come and help the troubled soul move on to the next step in the afterlife.

Next blog: Journey to meet my Healing Guide

Soul Retrieval Seminar: First Journey

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One of the most basic principles of shamanic practice is that everything in the universe is connected with everything else. The first journey in this seminar was oriented toward that concept. On the first journey we were to ask our helpful spirits to show us the web of life and show how a successful soul retrieval affects the web.

Journey:

I went to the lower world, met the beaver and entered the cave. I met with the eagle and my young male teacher. I told them the purpose of my journey. First I merged with my teacher and then we merged with the eagle. The eagle lifted up and flew to the farthest reaches of the universe.

We knew a soul retrieval was being performed. As it was finished, a spark occurred on the earth and became a white light energy that traveled instantly throughout the universe. This seemed simple enough, but I asked, “So what does this mean?” We then visited what I call a monolith. It appears as a giant egg-shaped stone. It contains the unlimited potential of Creation. As we approached it I understood that a soul retrieval helps bring all of life toward its greatest potential. This is where all life is destined to go, to become complete and achieve its fullness – the ultimate goal of the God’s creation. So by doing a soul retrieval we are helping the Universe, all of Creation, reach it highest possibility. We are co-creating the building and construction of Creation. We are helping perfect Creation.

End of journey. This message had a positive effect on me. When I do a soul retrieval and a soul part seems reluctant to return to the client, I explain that its return will help fulfill the purpose of creation. So far I have never had a soul part refuse to return once it has that understanding.

Next blog: Other types of shamanic healing

Soul Retrieval: An Introduction

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Soul retrieval is a shamanic form of healing. To quote from Sandra Ingerman (Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self, page 11),

“The basic premise is that whenever we experience trauma, a part of our vital existence separates from us in order to survive the experience by escaping the full impact of the pain.”

In effect, during trauma a part of our soul separates from us and escapes to a place in the spirit world or what is termed non-ordinary reality. As a result of this loss we may experience: depression, apathy, gaps in memory, addictions, ¬†physical or emotional illness; or, we may simply feel that something significant is missing from our lives. The results vary from person to person. Typically such people say they ‘never felt the same’ after the experience, or they feel ‘something is missing’ in their lives.

In soul retrieval, the healer enters a trance state, travels to the spirit world, and searches for the the missing part(s). Once found, it or they are ‘escorted’ to back to the client and returned so that they may rejoin the person’s soul and help improve the out-of-balance conditions caused by the separation.

This condition is recognized by modern medicine. Psychology  views this traumatic result as segments of the personality that have separated from normal consciousness. The psychological term for this state is dissociation; where patients feel estranged from their essential self. Psychology has its own specific treatments for this condition.

Although the soul retrieval ritual is organized and well planned, the experience of the healer is different for each healing because of the individual needs and experiences of the clients. However, each healer performs the soul retrieval with the assistance of helpful spirits, especially his or her healing guide. This healing guide provides expert assistance and guidance during the ritual, virtually ensuring the success of each soul retrieval.

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