Shamanic soul retrieval is a very powerful way to recover part of someone’s lost essence. When something shocking happens that throws us out of alignment, or indeed traumatizes us, it is not uncommon for the person to “leave” in order to deal with the crisis at hand. Most people in their lifetimes experience some kind of trauma and even if they do blank it out for a while, the majority of people recover to some extent. People visit psychotherapists in order to help uncover the past and have an understanding around their wounding. In psychotherapy terms, it’s referred to as dissociation.
Most of us can live without losing sleep over our childhood trauma’s and go on to have a perfectly lovely and successful life, except then one day, something happens and triggers that whole original trauma and all the cards come falling down! That perfectly capable person is left feeling adrift, confused, maybe even terrified and can experience aspects of the original wounding. A psychotherapist might help, but if a soul part is hidden, how can they find that part of themselves, if they are not fully there to access it?
Enter the shaman. Our job is to journey in a theta and alpha state into non-ordinary worlds like the Uhupacha (the Quechuan word for the Under World) and go in search of the client’s lost soul part. We look for the original wounding and this journey alone can take us on a fantastical adventure into other worlds like the Kaypacha (the Middle world in which we live) and the Hanaqpacha (the Upper World). It can take us back in time or to other dimensions. It’s called non-ordinary reality because our normal human rules do not apply. Time does not exist and we can experience weeks and months of travel in 20 minutes. Horses can fly, or swim like a fish, birds can talk…really, anything goes! Soul retrieval is a common practice and different cultures may engage in it with a variety of methods. I studied Incan Peruvian Shamanism so I am familiar with the archetypes that govern their tradition.
The shaman does not enter non-ordinary worlds without her power animal. Although we have many different power animals, there will be one main archetype that stays by our side always and her role is to protect us and carry us to wherever we need to go. I happen to have a big black jaguar and even though we travel to the Uhupacha via a stream, that turns into a river, that takes us to the centre of the earth and up into a pool of water, she and I are both perfectly capable of breathing and it never feels like we are swimming for some reason as I can always feel her big paws bounding off the stones on the bottom.
In searching for a missing soul part it is important to discover what is the original wounding of the particular issue at hand. It is like being in a waking dream state as images and story unfold before your mind’s eye. Usually, there is a steady drumbeat supporting the soul retrieval as it helps keep the shaman in the theta or alpha state. Sometimes rattles can be used, really any rhythmic repetitive sound that will facilitate the shaman’s journey. Once the original wounding is discovered it’s also important to understand what the contract or agreement was between the client and whatever the wounding was about. Why did the client need this wounding? What was she supposed to learn?
It’s important to clear the contract, see the healed state and invite the soul part back and blow that into one of the chakras of the client. Energetically she is reclaiming her lost soul part. Any emotional or physical illness means the body is out of harmony. It’s important to understand that we are working with the spiritual aspect of illness and the client may not be ready to receive her soul part back or want to consciously deal with the wounding. Soul retrieval marks the end of the old and opens the gateway for new beginnings.