This introduction to healing starts here in part 1. If you haven’t, we do recommend that you start there.
One of the primary services performed by the shaman, is soul retrieval. Simply put, a soul retrieval, is the search to recover, and restore a person’s vital essence, that was stolen or lost. From the Shamanic point of view, physical, and emotional illness and misfortune, are due to the loss of personal power or life force, the diminution of spirit that keeps us strong and alive. Soul retrievals are intended to retrieve the soul parts that were lost. Each piece has its own characteristic that once reintegrated, enhances our own capacities in that area.
Bringing back this lost part is not a quick fix; the shaman then needs to work with the person to help them restore their balance. Putting the soul back, is only the first step in restoring one’s self. For instance, if a soul piece were stolen from us as a child, that has the quality of love, we may grow up with a closed heart, making it difficult to show or give love. With the return of the missing quality of love, the patient now has the potential to integrate the healing. The integration begins with learning how to love. This is not easy; learning to change a way of life, but by teaching our patients methods of accessing the divine, and our own inner self, change can, and does occur. Soul retrieval work can be tricky in that if we do not subscribe to the changes the piece has requested of us there is no guarantee the piece will remain.
As an example: when I received my first soul retrieval I had to promise my soul part three things:
- I had to learn how to laugh;
- I had to stop getting angry so quickly; and
- I had to learn to stop and appreciate exactly where I was at the time I was there.
Soul pieces can negotiate, for what may seem to the shaman as very small inconsequential things. One soul piece I returned, asked that her older self, eat a chocolate bar once and awhile. I did not understand that, but agreed to share that message. When I reported back to her I told her about the chocolate; her face lit up because she loved chocolate, but had denied herself it because she was very health conscious. What was interesting, was in preparation for her healing she had been overwhelmed by cravings for chocolate, after our work she understood why.
Soul retrieval work has three parts:
- The retrieval of the soul piece;
- Discovering how many, if any, soul pieces the patient has that are not theirs; and
- Aceremony to release unnecessary fragments, while at the same time welcoming the soul pieces that have returned.
Journey work immediately after soul retrieval is a critical step to integrating the pieces back into our patients whole and healthy self. An introduction to that which has returned enables our patients to understand their own journey to self-actualization.