“It is our birthright to fully express our Souls. Life without meaning equals despair. It is time for all to collect back our lost pieces and remember why we were born into this world. Then, we are truly healed and can live our lives in harmony and help others do the same.”
– Sandra Ingerman, Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self
Shamanic healing is the oldest form of holistic healing, practiced for thousands of years amongst various cultures. It focuses on working with the invisible – the spiritual and energetic world – to create a bridge of balance and harmony in the physical world. In traditional cultures, the Shaman, also known as the medicine man or woman, is the channel to the spirit world and the physical world for healing the community, on both a global and individual level. This ancient practice continues to thrive today and is becoming increasingly popular through work provided by modern shamanic practitioners. One of the most profound and healing shamanic techniques is that of soul retrieval.
A soul retrieval is a shamanic healing technique that restores balance, harmony, and personal power to an individual. Shamanic teachings suggest that as we progress through transitions, traumas, or significant life events, a piece of our soul essence (also known as a soul part) may leave the physical body and return to the spirit world. The soul part leaves the physical body as a form of self preservation and protection of itself; if the body is imbalanced on a physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual level, the soul essence is affected and not in alignment with the body, resulting in partial soul loss. It is possible, and very common, to have more than one soul part leave the body throughout life’s journey.
The catalyst for imbalance is usually the event that initiates this process, such as a life transition, significant change, or trauma. Giving away one’s personal power to another is also a catalyst for soul loss. Individuals who experience depression, addictions, grief, or a sense of emptiness or incompleteness, are usually candidates for soul retrieval work. Soul loss can also be connected to a positive transition; it is not always associated with negative events. The soul part that transitions back to the spirit world returns there seeking healing, protection, and safety. Sometimes, it returns for a purpose of learning a lesson or life skill. When the soul part is ready to be reunited with the body, and the physical body is ready to reclaim it, it can be re-integrated through a soul retrieval.
Some examples of soul loss are the following: if an individual is in a relationship that has a power struggle and is not balanced, soul loss can occur. The individual who is always giving to the one who is taking in this type of relationship is actually also giving a piece of his/ her power/ soul essence away. Sometimes this is done consciously, and sometimes unconsciously. Either way, the effects can be felt – you may feel mentally or emotionally drained, fatigued, or depressed. This is an example of giving your power away.
Another example of soul loss is exhibited with grief. When an individual grieves another, they are going through a normal process; however, unresolved grief, or extremely deep grief, can cause a soul part to leave the individual and in some cases, join their loved one in the spirit world. The individual misses their loved one so much that they cannot bear to be without them and accept the transition, and they lose a piece of themselves in the process. That piece is not meant to be in the spirit world with the loved one, it is meant to be in their physical body at that time; the time will eventually come when they fully transition and can join their loved ones in whole soul. In these cases, the grief process can be even more difficult with the soul loss, and the grieving individual may not be able to move forward due to losing this soul part; the soul loss can actually hinder the healing process.
Today, soul retrievals are facilitated by trained shamanic practitioners to restore balance and healing. As the soul part and the physical body both need to be in alignment for the healing to be successful, the practitioner must obtain permission to do the healing from their spirit teachers prior to doing the healing work. Permission truly happens between the soul part and the receiver; the practitioner is the intermediary. If permission is granted, the practitioner can access the soul part through a shamanic journey. The practitioner’s spirit teacher shows them where the part is located and which part is ready to return. The practitioner may see a symbol of the soul part, or they may see an exact visualization of the part at the time of the soul loss – right down to the clothes they were wearing, style of their hair or location in the physical world.
Spirit teachers are significant guides that are accessed in shamanic training and apprenticeship. A deep relationship is developed over a period of many years with them; this relationship is crucial for the practitioner to be able to perform advanced shamanic healing work such as soul retrieval, and should absolutely never be attempted on anyone without proper formal training over a period of years.
Every soul retrieval is unique. The soul part that returns is the part that is ready to re-integrate at the time of the healing by its own free will. The practitioner does not have any say in which part is to be returned; they simply are the channel that facilitates the healing by the spirits. When a soul retrieval is done correctly and ethically, the part then receives a cleansing, blessing, and healing from the spirit teacher before the practitioner re-integrates it into the body. This is done to ensure that no soul part comes back damaged, negative, or broken. The individual can now welcome and reclaim a piece of their personal power and life essence where it truly belongs.
Soul retrievals can provide tremendous healing and transformation for the receiver. Some individuals feel fully empowered after a soul retrieval; some feel whole and ‘home’ again. Others are able to move forward where before they described themselves as ‘stuck.’ It is also possible for individuals to experience emotions or memories from the time of soul loss upon completion of the healing. These memories and emotions can range from positive to negative. It all depends on which event, transition, or change the soul loss was originally connected to. Some individuals do not remember the exact event of the soul loss, and some feel nothing. All of it is part of the healing process and moving towards complete balance and wellness. Whatever the experience, it is important for the receiver to fully embrace what the spirits have provided in the healing, to integrate it within and into their life, to fully complete the retrieval and move towards a new level of healing.
Soul retrievals enable individuals to heal through a divine connection, while empowering them to participate in their own healing process. It is a powerful and transformational shamanic healing that truly embraces and encourages empowerment for reclaiming personal power.
Jessica Hunter is a Shamanic Practitioner and Shamanic Medium, Ordained Minister with Circle of the Sacred Earth, Reiki Master Teacher, Crystal Healing Practitioner, Empath, and Spiritual Teacher. For more information, visit www.hunterhealinghands.com.