~About Soul Retrieval~

SOUL RETRIEVAL IS DEAR TO MY HEART. It is a gentle, graceful, and profound healing practice. This information will better help you understand your soul retrieval. In the description that follows, I am using a shamanic framework to describe and clarify the nature and experience of the soul. This article will help you understand and possibly engage with the unseen world by presenting a framework that our conscious minds can understand. You don’t have to believe in or agree with this framework to have a soul retrieval.

The soul, as referred to in soul retrieval, is the energetic essence of your being. It encompasses the intangible aspects of your being, including gifts, qualities, and aspects of who you are. It is the you that transcends physical experience. Pieces and parts of that soul essence can sometimes become separated, trapped, and/or lost. If you imagine the soul energy as a sphere, when soul loss occurs, there are voids and areas that are missing.

Soul loss is part of the human experience. It’s designed to protect our nonphysical essence from various kinds of trauma. If something traumatic is happening, such as a car accident, physical violence, or an emotional assault, the last place we want to be is fully present in our bodies and in the experience. Instead, part of us goes away to avoid the trauma. Psychologists refer to this as dissociation. The shamanic community calls it soul loss. Either way, it helps us to survive the various kinds of trauma that happen in our lives.

Lots of kinds of trauma can cause soul loss. Examples include accidents, surgery, sexual violence, and combat trauma. Whenever someone says, “I’ve never been the same since my accident/that relationship/my surgery,” they are describing a soul loss experience. Trauma that causes soul loss can be subtle and different for each person. Being teased or shamed can cause a sensitive child to lose soul parts.

Whatever the trauma, the protective mechanism of soul loss causes part of our life essence to leave in order to protect itself from being damaged or traumatized. The soul part leaving sometimes carries away some of the memory and immediacy of the experience. In the normal course of events, the soul part would return on its own after the trauma had passed. But sometimes the trauma is so severe that the soul part goes so far and fast that it can’t find its way back and gets lost. In cases of chronic trauma or abuse, the soul part may not know it’s safe to come back. There’s no time in shamanic reality, so the soul part doesn’t know that twenty years have passed and the violent stepfather is no longer in the picture.

Another type of soul loss occurs when a part leaves because it doesn’t fit or because it is sent away. This could be an aspect that is shamed or punished; for example, a girl might send away her anger. Sometimes we send soul parts away because they don’t fit into our adult lives, disowning our impractical passions.

Finally, soul loss can happen when parts of our soul are taken by or given to the significant people in our lives. As human beings, we struggle to maintain good physical and emotional boundaries. The concept of good energetic boundaries is not something that occurs to most people. When soul parts are taken or exchanged, it invariably happens on an unconscious, energetic level. People who have had soul parts taken unknowingly take soul parts from others. While there’s no judgment or blame, this does put people in an inappropriate energetic relationship.

Picture a mother, already diminished by her own soul loss experiences, looking at her child. She might think that if she could just have some of her child’s vitality and energy, she would be able to cope with her life. On an energetic level, she reaches out and takes some of the child’s essence. The child may resist at first, but eventually it is easier to give up the soul part than keep struggling. Or perhaps the child feels sorry for the parent and gives up their soul part willingly. Again, I want to emphasize that this isn’t deliberate. When I retrieve soul parts, parents are always glad to give up their children’s soul parts once they realize what they’ve done.

In a romantic relationship, the people involved often will trade soul parts. Our culture’s love mythology implies that when we love someone, we give them our heart and our soul. It’s easy to mistake a lack of energetic boundaries for closeness and connection. People often unconsciously give their lover some of their own vital life essence along with their love. This exchange makes both people more dependent on each other, less able to stand on their own, and thus less likely to leave. It can feel safer and more connected to both parties, but in reality, both people are diminished.

Whatever the source of soul loss, the effects are much the same. Soul loss will diminish a person’s sense of well-being and joy in life. It can cause a lack of vitality and interest in the world. People often feel depressed, listless, and as though the world was all gray. Soul loss can lead to gaps in memory. People can feel fragmented or spacey or even like pieces are missing. Sometimes people become accident-prone or keep falling into the path of misfortune. People with soul loss can spend a lot of energy working through events of their past and still feel impacted by them. In extreme cases, soul loss can cause a lack of sense of self, suicidal tendencies, and vulnerability to physical illness.

Impact of a Soul Retrieval

The experience of soul retrieval varies from person to person. Some people experience soul retrieval as life-changing: a sensation of being filled up, a tingling or a heat. Other people feel a subtler impact. Often a much greater effect is felt some hours after the soul retrieval than immediately after the work is completed. I felt the largest impact at dawn the day after my soul retrieval.

The shift in your life can be subtle. Some clients have reported that they felt very little at the time but found that they felt more solid in themselves, less tired, more sure of their choices and path following a soul retrieval. Things that would have been nearly impossible seem fairly straightforward after a soul retrieval.

In terms of emotional impact, soul retrieval is very gentle. Even when parts are lost due to severe trauma, they come back unharmed. When people get back memories of the traumatic events that caused soul loss the memories are factual, with no emotion attached. After a soul retrieval, people often want extra downtime, to reflect and just be with themselves. If people have a strong emotional response to soul retrieval, it’s almost invariably one of profound joy and celebration. “Dark night of the soul” work and emotional catharsis are valuable, but they are not generally part of the soul retrieval experience.

Because soul retrieval is so gentle, people are sometimes surprised by how much of an impact it has. Afterwards you may find it much harder to accept situations where you are not being honored, regardless of the economic or emotional advantages of being in that place. For example, I used to be very good at swallowing my truth and not speaking up. After my soul retrieval it became much more uncomfortable to be silent than it was to speak, so I began saying what I needed to say to those around me. It was a good change, but it happened very quickly. A soul retrieval has the potential to put you on the fast track of interpersonal growth.

If you get soul parts back from another person, this can impact your relationship with them. In some cases, returning the soul parts instantly improves the relationship. Tensions and conflict may dissipate overnight. In other cases—if a marriage is teetering on the edge, for example—a soul retrieval could precipitate its end. Any relationship where the other person is invested in controlling my client is likely to be made rockier by a soul retrieval. This is because a soul retrieval makes the recipient stronger, more complete, and harder to control or manipulate.

Those individuals who have ended a major relationship and are having trouble moving on are perfect candidates for a soul retrieval. Very often a soul part is left behind with the former spouse or lover and returning that part to my client frees them to move on. If someone who held your soul part has died, returning that soul part has a powerful benefit for both of you. It frees the soul of the other person to move on, unburdened by energy that they can’t use. For my client, it can release them from a fascination with and a pull toward death.

About Power Animals

My soul retrievals include bringing back two power animals. They help support you following the soul retrieval. Power animals are spirits who appear in shamanic reality in animal form. It is believed that when a child is born, a benevolent spirit in animal form looks at the infant and sees how helpless they are. That spirit takes pity on the child and becomes their ally and protector. Often a person’s power animal will be an animal that they have a strong affinity for.

In ordinary reality, a power animal is a source of protection and power. It’s your power animal’s job to make sure that the idiot driving way too fast doesn’t hit you and that if a rock falls out of the sky it lands next to you, not on you. They work on our behalf to keep the physical world safe and positive for us. A strong connection to a power animal provides a source of energy and support and enhances the flow of your own energy.

The power animals I bring back may or may not be the ones that you expect. If I bring back an unexpected power animal, it doesn’t mean the one you expected isn’t your power animal; it almost certainly is. It just means that these are new animals coming into relationship with you. The more work we do to heal and grow, the more spiritual help is available to us, hence more power animals.

With kind permission from Katie Weatherup @ http://www.handsoverheart.com


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. iammeemaw
    May 20, 2013 @ 01:11:01

    I have always wanted to know about this. Thanks for explaining it simply so I can understand better! How can I start to put myself back together?? And why, the more I read on these topics…the more my life seems in disarray? Is it testing me?



  2. mysticalmoonstar
    May 21, 2013 @ 11:45:00

    Soul retrival is a wonderful experience and it seems to bring so much clarity back into your life. We tend not to notice when parts of our soul are lost or given up, it is a slow process and we tend to just get use to that disjointed spacey feeling where nothing seems quite right and decisions become harder and harder.

    More info on soul retrival;

    Soul Loss, Soul Retrieval and Extraction

    Soul retrieval is based on the concept that throughout the course of daily life pieces of our soul can be lost. This soul loss is usually a natural coping response to a trauma. When we are traumatized and it is too painful for us to be present and aware, a part of us may leave to wait in non-ordinary reality. This state of soul loss is often referred to medically as shock, or psychologically as dissociation.

    When we have a soul loss we may feel something is missing. We may have an emptiness that we try to fill through addictions, compulsive behavior, taking energy from others, or we may simply feel depressed. We may look and act competent on the outside, but feel inadequate or disquieted on the inside.

    Soul loss can occur in a number of ways: through serious illness or accidents, through depression or strong emotional events, and even through theft. Often “soul-thieves” do not know that they are stealing soul parts, and they may be people close to us: parents, grandparents, siblings, and lovers. Sometimes we experience soul loss because we have given a quality or essence to someone else or allowed them to take it. We often give away a quality of essence (patience, assertiveness, zest for life) to someone else because we want to help them or they may want this quality for themselves. No one can make use of our essence but us, so when it is with another person they are weighed down and we feel unnaturally connected to them – we may think about the other person more often and more intensely than is warranted.

    Soul loss is identifiable through apathy, an absence of joy, an inability to feel love or receive it, suicidal thoughts, addictions, chronic despair and depression. Angeles Arrien states that symptoms of soul loss include “losing a desire dance, sing, enjoy silence, and enjoy storytelling.” We may have done much personal growth work at the emotional and psychological level, which can be enhanced by this spiritual healing work.

    Soul Retrieval Ceremony

    The actual event of soul retrieval work occurs in a safe environment. The client invites allies to assist him or herself in the ceremony. These allies should be close and trusted friends, who are there to observe, support and accept the clients’ healing process. They will be asked to focus on the intent of the work, maintain a safe psychic space and think positive thoughts.

    The ceremony begins with prayers, energy cleansing through the use of sage smoke (smudging) and an interview by the practioner – looking to determine the client’s intent in the healing. The client and the shamanic practioner lie on blankets on the floor; and the practioner enters the Shamanic State of Conciousness (SSC) through the use of a loud monotonous drumbeat.

    While in the SSC, the shamanic practioner relies on the assistance of his or her Spirit guides and Power Animal allies. These are the avatars for the practioner in the shamanic realms, and it is these allies who perform the work which takes place. Often, the practioner will make the sounds of the ally they are working with. For example, a practioner who relies on Raven for healing work will caw and screech. Additionally, the practioner may make sudden movements, appear to be pulling or cutting, or make loud noises through clapping, shouting or singing.

    Often during the process, the client may feel a wide range of emotions, from laughter or fear, to passion and hate. All of these feelings are related to the work and they should be acknowledged, thanked and released. It is completely acceptable to laugh, cry, yell, or do nothing at all during the ceremony and work. The client may also feel the urge to “assist” the practioner with her work – this is strongly discouraged. The client is best served by the remaining present in his or her physical body, and observing the emotions or thoughts that the work brings to the surface.

    Upon completion of the journey, the practioner returns the missing soul parts by blowing them into the heart chakra, and into the the crown of the head. The practioner will then rattle around the client’s body to seal in the returned soul parts, and welcome the returned parts home. After some quiet time to think and write, the practioner will share the ages of the soul parts returned, the nature of the loss event, and any allies who pesented themselves for the client. The practioner will then invite the client and the client’s allies to share any experiences or emotions.

    The ceremony ends with the closing of the sacred circle and the thanking of the allies present. It is proper for the client to bring giveaways (small gifts) for the practioner, the drummer, and for the client’s allies who attended.


    Modern shamanic healing arts are largely similar to the ancient techniques, with the important inclusion of therapy-based aftercare. It is highly recommended that the client attend several therapy sessions to assist in the process of “reintegration”. Often soul parts have returned that were lost years prior, and the client must patiently explain to these soul parts how the client’s life has changed in the intervening years. One client of soul retrieval compared the integration period to “leading a school field trip with earlier version” of himself. This client recounted tales of explaining the layout of his current city to his soul parts, explaining current events, and describing the nature of his current personal life.

    Part of the integration process may include setting boundaries with newly returned soul parts. For example, a soul part returning from adolescence, before a client became a vegetarian, might crave meat. This client would have to explain the nature of his or her new diet to the soul part, and negotiate a proper bondary.

    Most importantly, it is necessary to be tender with newly returned soul parts, and with yourself. These soul parts left due to some traumatic event. It is likely that feelings surrounding that event will surface, and that these should be dealt with in a responsible and respectful manner. One of the ways to do this is to build altars in your living space to the ages of the soul parts which returned, or to the Power Animals and allies who may have stepped forward during your healing work.


    The healing work of soul retrievals and extraction work is based in a long tradition of shamanic medicine work, from many cultures around the globe. According to Hank Wesselman, a researcher into the nature of shamanic healing, “By using the shamanic method, each person is gifted with their freedom, their sovereignty, and their right to develop spirituality. In doing so, each of us becomes our own teacher, our own priestess or priest, our own prophet, enabling us to receive spiritual revelations directly from the highest sources – ourselves”

    In the Wildest Garden

    The breath of fear Is a passion for a healing that is about to take place
    Bloodline rush all things calling—sweetness calling care
    your waterways open like
    talking with spirit—singing the sacredness of the infinite orange Sunset
    our birth—it gets chipped away with living
    The idea is to remember these pieces that have been dismembered—from our hearts—
    from our heads—from our hands.
    Remembering…this is called healing—
    ancient ways—to accept it all.
    – Char Sundust



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