WHAT IS SOUL RETRIEVAL?
When any living creature is fully infused with it’s own spiritual force or soul, it will radiate energy and vitality. By contrast, when any creature loses a part of it’s spiritual essence, a profound depletion and alienation from the rest of creation occurs.
Many of us today don’t feel totally whole, don’t feel as if we are all here. When we become aware of this, we want to recover the intensity of life, and the intimacy that we once enjoyed or of which we hold an image. We want to come home more fully to ourselves and to the people we love.
According to the shamanic perspective, one of the major causes for this and for illness generally is referred to as soul loss. The word Soul has taken on many meanings, here it is used simply to mean our vital essence. The concept of soul loss has been understood in ancient cultures for tens of thousands of years to be the experience of losing crucial parts of ourselves that provide us with life and vitality.
The basic premise is that whenever we experience trauma, a part of our vital essence separates from us in order to survive the experience by escaping the full impact of the pain. What constitutes trauma varies from one individual to another. Soul loss is often found to be a result of such traumas as loss of a loved one through death or divorce, shock, sexual or physical abuse, surgery, accident, illness, miscarriage, abortion or the stress of combat or addiction.
Some symptoms associated with soul loss can be simply having difficulty staying “present” in the body, looking to external things to fill up an internal void, feeling numb, apathetic or deadened, or more serious conditions such as chronic depression, dissociative behaviors, addiction to alcohol, drugs, food, sex or gambling.
Other specific indicators can be chronic illness as a child, weakened immune system, significant gaps in the memory of your life or finding unusual amounts of difficulty moving on with life after a divorce or death of a loved one. Any of these symptoms may indicate that the person is dealing with soul loss and has lost contact with essential core parts of the self.
Soul Retrieval is an ancient practice in which the practitioner works with people to return these lost parts of the soul or life essence. There are numerous avenues through which this can take place and my preferred way of working is an open one which affords the space for an instinctive approach to the process. This can take more time but is optimal, as it not only gives space for other issues that may hinder the return of life essence to be addressed, it also allows for the most efficacious timing and approach to be established which will differ for each person.
Over the course of working with someone I may at some stage feel that a soul retrieval ceremony would be useful. This specific approach to soul retrieval entails that the practitioner leave everyday consciousness and venture into the spirit world searching out the cause of the trauma and retrieving the lost soul parts so that vitality and well-being may be restored. What I bring back with me during the ceremony is the pure essence that left during the moment of trauma. I then sing or blow this essence back into the person's body and with this the associated gifts, talents and strengths are also returned to the client. When people feel strongly that they are needing this specific type of soul retrieval work I am happy to facilitate this ceremony as long as we have a minimum of at least one session before hand for preparation and one afterwards for integration.
Integrating the returned soul parts and the gifts that they bring back into our lives is an ongoing process. The importance of continuing to work with these parts once they have returned is paramount to maintaining a sense of well being and wholeness. They may have been gone for years and when they come back they come back as allies, bringing a wealth of information and imploring to be acknowledged. Ritual, meditation, journey work, psychotherapy and bodywork can all be appropriate adjuncts to assist in fully assimilating what has taken place in your Soul Retrieval session.
Includes excerpts from Sandra Ingermans book "Soul Retrieval".
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