If I were to ask you an honest question concerning how much of your Self have you lost throughout your life, what would you say? Or would you even understand what I’m asking? Let me put it another way: how much of your essential energy essence do you feel has left you over the course of your life? I have written a number of articles on the subject of trauma and how trauma affects our lives. The title of this article “Finding Yourself” refers to how we can recover those lost parts of ourselves previously lost through past traumas by way of shamanic soul retrieval techniques, in turn, finding ourselves once again.
As a shamanic practitioner and teacher, this is an area that arises quite frequently when working with people. Common questions that I ask myself are: does the individual feel weakened by their negative past experiences? Do they feel a sense of loss in their everyday life? Do they understand that they have suffered a loss of some kind? Have they made any attempt to try and deal with how their past experiences have affected them? In many cases, we have not dealt with our past, and one reason for this is that we may not quite understand just how much our past has negatively affected our lives and continues to do so.
In shamanism, one of the key areas we work with is Soul Loss; working with individuals that have suffered a loss of a part of their soul or essential energy essence through a past trauma or negative experience. In my own opinion, we all have experienced soul loss at some stage in our lives. Some people may be caught in a continuous cycle of soul loss, and for some individuals they have experienced soul loss in a less damaging way. Certainly many people with little or no knowledge of soul loss will most probably relate to this article when we shine a light on some of these issues.
People that have suffered negative, traumatic experiences in the past can relate to a change in their life, a bend in the road, so to speak, not feeling themselves, and generally feeling weakened as a result. Certainly we can look at trauma in people’s lives as having a psychological impact, however, it is all interconnected with an energetic trauma and disconnect. In psychology, this is referred to as ‘disassociation’, which put simply can be understood as a disconnection from oneself. Meaning that an individual is somewhat disconnected from themselves or refusing to come to terms with their traumatic experiences.
We can relate this to a number of things. One being the terms we would commonly use like an “outer body experience”, “frightened out of my wits”, “beside myself with fear”. Or sometimes we would refer to an individual as “a lost soul”, which ultimately means that they have lost some of their soul. The term “lost soul” points to an individual that seems lost, directionless, and just not connected to themselves and their surroundings. In deep shamanic philosophy, anyone suffering from a psychological illness, has suffered large levels of soul loss. The same is understood for anyone that suffers addiction, again these individuals have suffered large levels of soul loss; they are simply self-medicating as a void filler, filling the gaps that have formed through trauma and using a substance or behavioural addictions as a pain killer, a void filler and a distraction. All addiction begins with a trauma that leads to a loss of a part of the person that can then lead to substance and/or behavioural addictions.
So what is Soul Loss? Soul loss, as it is more widely known, can sometimes be referred to as soul fragmentation, vital energy loss or life force energy loss. Soul loss occurs as a result of a trauma/negative experience. Where a piece or pieces of our soul leaves our physical selves in search of a place of safety. In other words, as a negative event hits us or is about to hit us, the impact of this can be so frightening that it drives or frightens a piece of our very being out of us, an energy, a vitality, a strength. We can refer to this as a vital part of our energy essence leaving us. Why? Because the general understanding is that a part of our soul leaves us to save itself from being damaged, generally just before an impact hits (known as the psychic soul).
We can never underestimate areas in our past where soul loss may have occurred, even something as simple as a child falling of their bicycle, hurting themselves, calling for mum and dad and no one comes to help, this can result in a relatively small level of soul loss. We can start then to understand how larger negative events in our lives such as the death of a loved one, being a victim of sexual, physical abuse and violence, major bodily traumas etc. can incur larger levels of soul loss. In other words, soul loss can occur at different levels depending on our experiences and the ability of our natural energetic immune system to protect us.
Different people have different energetic defence mechanisms, some are stronger than others. Soul loss in people can also depend on how much previous soul loss exists. Soul loss that has occurred earlier in life will not only deepen the effects of any previous trauma but will also see these earlier traumas interacting with more recent ones. In other words, a trauma from early life can deepen the effects of a more recent negative experience and the culmination of soul loss creates deeper and deeper symptoms. A simple thing to understand, is the more soul loss that occurs in an individual, the more likely they will experience soul loss again and again, simply because their natural energetic defence system (Soul / Auric Field / Luminous Energy Field) is so weak from soul loss that there is simply a very weak energetic defence system in place. This is when we see a constant cycle of soul loss which is doing serious damage from a physical, energetic and psychological level.
As a shamanic practitioner and teacher with the Irish School of Shamanic Studies, I always believe in keeping things simple and to not over complicate things. It’s important to simplify the philosophy of soul loss. Here are some simple explanations. There are three key areas I look at when an individual comes to me for help. First of all, I would diagnose soul loss simply through dialogue, that is when information is presented in relation to the past, right up to the present, and in most cases we can discover soul loss within only a few minutes of a consultation. In some circumstances though, we may have to journey/meditate to discover at what point in our lives the soul loss has occurred and under what set of circumstances.
Let’s see how you relate to this! Here is a list of some common soul loss symptoms: Do you feel disconnected? Do you suffer memory loss relative to the past? Do you feel tired, weak, lacking in motivation? Do you suffer from depression, anxiety or panic attacks? Do you feel that life is tough, a constant struggle? Do you heavily rely on material objects to bring short term comforts? Do you struggle to find yourself in the now, present time? Do you rely on substances (alcohol, drugs or prescribed medicines) to get through your day, your week? Do you get sick frequently, flu, cold, etc….? Do you lack in confidence, self-esteem, lack that sense of worthiness? Do you live in a constant state of fear? Are you afraid to put yourself out there, face challenges, make changes? Do you feel lost? Do you feel like you just don’t belong?
All the above are areas for us to reflect upon. It may suggest that you are suffering from soul loss. We certainly do not have to tick all the boxes, but if a number of the above resonates with how you feel, then Soul Retrieval may be an area for you to explore. The key goal of soul retrieval is to bring back the parts of ourselves that we have lost through negative life experiences and to ultimately bring ourselves back into a state of balance and wholeness. As a shamanic practitioner, I work with shamanic soul retrieval methods in an attempt to alleviate the effects of soul loss in order to bring an individual back to a state of vitality again, a strong version of themselves that they most definitely deserve.
Soul Loss is a shamanic concept and Soul Retrieval is a shamanic practice. I believe the practice of soul retrieval is as ancient as the practice of shamanism itself, which can be dated back to a possible 50,000 years. Remember, shamanism was the first spiritual practice of humans, and everything else in terms of spirituality and religion stemmed from our ancient shamanic practices. Thanks to US based shamanic practitioner and author, Sandra Ingerman, through Michael Harner’s American based Foundation of Shamanic Studies, this practice was rekindled and brought to the western world.
Many of us have lost parts of ourselves in the past, essential pieces of ourselves that we are now lacking. If we lost soul pieces at the age of five, we are lacking a large part of the five year old that should be a part of us today. If we lost a part of ourselves at the age of sixteen, then there is a very important part of us missing from that time in our lives. As we have grown through the years from birth through to the present day, then every day of our lives from birth to today are essential component parts that make us who we are today. If vital parts of ourselves have left us, then, we are not the full version of ourselves. In order to allow us to be our true, whole, and powerful selves, then it is essential to bring back that which is lost so that we can be the strongest version of ourselves.
Thus far, we have connected with what soul loss/soul fragmentation is, what symptoms we may be experiencing and how vital it is for us to bring back those lost elements of ourselves. Remember that soul retrieval is all about gaining back our true selves, our true strength, our true power. To break soul loss down simply, soul loss occurs as a result of a deep state of fear which we experience due to a negative experience/trauma. Fear underpins all soul loss.
I feel it is extremely important to bring to light information regarding the debilitating condition referred to in shamanism as Soul Loss, in order to help people understand why might feel lost right throughout their lives and that there is hope in the form of Soul Retrieval. This article may give you a far better insight into why you feel the way you do, and my job is to point you in a direction that can help, heal and allow you to be free and powerful again. This is a truly life-changing experience. You now have an opportunity to make real steps towards dealing with your past issues.
Soul loss is no fault of your own, in the vast majority of cases it is the action of others that results in your soul loss. Here are some key examples of how we can lose our vital energy: trauma through emotional, sexual, physical abuse, frights, bullying, witnessing trauma, soul pieces stolen from us from abusers, bad relationships, parents, pre-birth trauma, birth trauma and trauma at the time of conception. These are just some of the areas that I work with on a daily basis to bring back lost soul pieces for individuals.
Remember, anything you have experienced of a negative nature in the past that has not been dealt with, can have a profound impact. We are very much aware of some of our experiences, and some, of course, we do not remember because we have buried deep within our subconscious. We do have the ability to bury things so deep that we may eradicate them over time from memory. However, it’s important to know that the energy relative to these forgotten traumas still remain with us and play a negative role in our everyday lives. We can also have experiences from a very young age that we simply do not remember. Therefore, there are two key areas to work with when it comes to healing from past negative experiences and they are: the releasing of deeply buried, stagnant energies related to these traumas, and secondly, taking back what belongs to you, or bringing back what you have lost through shamanic healing methods.
So, we have talked about soul loss, let’s now take a look at what we do through our depth shamanic practices to retrieve these lost pieces of ourselves and allow for a powerful re-integration to take place. Soul retrieval for me is a phenomenal practice and is one of the most prominent aspects of shamanism. I would easily say that 70% of my clients seeking healing would be relative to soul loss.
A shamanic healing session begins with shamanic counselling through open and honest dialogue. Dialogue is a powerful healing force. Honesty is they key with soul retrieval and likewise with all shamanic practices, it’s honest, it’s deep and most of all transformational. Here is an example of a soul retrieval session. Firstly, I will always tell the individual that honesty and confidentiality are of utmost importance. Striking a bond and trust with each other is key to create that powerful platform for success. The individual will then honestly speak about their past and areas in their lives that have been traumatic. This can sometimes be difficult to do, but is a key part of the overall healing process. This is the counselling side, dialogue is one of the key therapeutic elements to this process. Again, honesty is key, if the individual is not transparent, then this starts things off on the wrong footing. We then work through the individuals timeline and begin to form a road map of any life events that may have had a profound negative impact. We will very quickly find key unresolved areas that have been damaging. We have now established an area or areas in which we need to focus on. In some cases people will explain that they feel they have the symptoms outlined earlier that resemble soul loss but hold no memory of anything profound that would have created soul fragmentation. We have Shamanic healing methods that will shine a light on what has taken place that is not held in the memory field of the individual. The process needs to be gentle and the individual needs to first of all really want change in their life, and secondly be comfortable with the process to allow the healing and retrieval to take place. Your soul is yearning to be reunited with the pieces that have left, and likewise, the soul pieces yearn to come home. It is the practice of Soul Retrieval that will allow this to happen.
What next? We have looked at how the individual feels, connecting feelings to common soul loss symptoms, we have connected with areas in the individual’s life that more than likely have contributed to soul loss. Now it’s time to retrieve these pieces and bring them back to the individual. This is where we connect with the Shamanic Journey and the different spiritual realms in which we connect with when it comes to shamanic healing.
In Core Shamanic Practices, we work primarily with three worlds or three different realms: the upperworld, lowerworld and middleworld. The upperworld is a world we journey to in order to connect with higher spiritual wisdom, higher spiritual entities, ascended masters, angels, archangels, gods and goddesses. The upperworld is where we will find these powerful forces. The lowerworld is a place where we journey to in order to connect with our power animals, our spirit guides in both human and animal-like form, and our ancestors. The lowerworld is a place where we receive healing and enlightenment, where we gain wisdom and insight. The lowerworld is also a place where we can find lost aspects of ourselves. The middleworld is a place where we journey to in order to connect with the Spirits of the land, earthbound Spirits, Spirits of place etc. It is also a place where we can travel back in time to our past so that we can heal from the past. The middleworld is a place where we can retrieve soul pieces and heal from trauma.
The shamanic journey or shamanic trance is the method by which we can visit to these otherworldly realms, also known as the non-ordinary realities. These realms hold the ultimate wisdom. Shamanic healing methods are always guided by the shamanic practitioner and protected by the shamans guiding spirits. A safe method that needs to be performed with the highest of professionalism. Always go to a reputable shamanic practitioner to carry out this work, because in many cases, if it is not done with the utmost of professionalism, then a soul retrieval that becomes botched is poor practice. On many occasions, I have had the task of undoing what others have attempted and this can be very difficult to do as soul pieces go even further into hiding if they are not dealt with properly on the first attempt.
The shamanic journey is a meditation-like process, but different at the same time. Describing it as a meditation is the easiest way to describe it to people who are novices. Very simply, the Shamanic practitioner develops a deep sense of calm and relaxation for the individual. An ambient surrounding is important with dimmed lights, incense burning, a peaceful atmosphere and putting the individual at ease. The journey / meditation can be verbally guided by the practitioner. The Shamans drum is the key tool and sometimes the rattle is used depending on the practitioner’s preference. Where are we going to journey to? Where are these lost pieces to be found? In the majority of my Soul retrieval journeys they are what we call ” Middleworld” journeys. We have the ability in Shamanism to travel back through an individual’s timeline to a location or event that has taken place where soul loss was suffered. Why do we call them Middleworld journeys? Because we do not travel to the Upperworld or Lowerworld realms in this incidence. We work from the realm we are in right now, the Middleworld, and travel back through the individual’s timeline/lifetime to a place that most likely a soul piece can be found. That soul piece has been stuck in that place since the incident occurred. It has been in that location since the incident occurred, and in many cases can be there for years and years.
I sometimes give an example of the lost Soul piece being like a long lost friend that went missing without a trace. They are lonely and frightened. Let’s find and bring that long lost friend back home. This method yields high results and is double pronged. No 1. It is where the incident took place so ultimately the therapeutic side is we are facing fears by going back to this location, a place we would most probably never dream of returning to. Never will the individual re-live the incident, but it’s the location where a part of us left us and got freeze framed in that point and time. No 2. We find a part of ourselves at this location and bring it back in to our energy field.
The reason this article is called “Finding yourself” is exactly what you are doing, you are finding yourself, parts of yourself. The individual is the person to experience this while the Shamanic practitioner creates the stage for this to play out fruitfully, holding space. You will find yourself and inter dialogue with yourself, you finding you. You can come to yourself as the exact individual of that particular time when the trauma / negative experience took place, even detailing the clothes that you wore and the hair style you had at that particular time. It can present huge details. But, Soul pieces can also come in the form of orbs, toys, energy orbs etc. simply symbolic references, a child’s toy, a school bag, a teachers cane… You will intuitively know it when you connect with it regardless of what form it comes.
In my own practice I feel that it is vital for the individual to experience this journey, feel this, and work with strong intent to feel the accomplishment and powerful benefits. Some Shamanic practitioners will do the journey for the individual and the practitioner will re-integrate the piece for the person, in some cases I will do this but my own philosophy is that the individual really needs to be the journeyor to gain the deep therapeutic side in this particular soul retrieval method. The deep therapy behind our methods is that when we travel through journey/meditation to areas where soul pieces are to be found, it is deeply therapeutic work. Why? Because in many instances we can go to locations where negative things have happened, with protection from the guiding Shaman and Spirits you will face locations that have an energy of fear associated with them, when we face our fears with courage and conviction we take the power from these fears and they will diminish and in many cases disappear.
Breaking away from a stagnant Shamanic teaching that only the Shaman can gather soul pieces for people is very much a human understanding or rule created. In my Shamanic work Spirit guided me for many years to guide the soul loss sufferer through dialogue, Shamanic journeying in a very sacred protected space, to allow them to be the individual that collects there own soul pieces and to experience it in the most powerful of ways bringing back to them what belongs to them, Empowering people by guiding them to gather what truly belongs to them. Yes, we also follow an older traditional method of finding an individuals pieces in the lowerworld and integrating them back in to the clients energy field but if we can guide them to gather themselves and feel the achievement and joy of this then we will do this all day long. Not until the retrieval takes place will we have a true disconnection from these events. While parts of ourselves remain in these locations the energetic thread connected between that soul piece and your inner Soul allows the trauma to stay strong within the person, it’s a thread and a feeder to you constantly.
When the Soul piece is retrieved and returns to the inner soul the thread comes with it meaning that it allows for a true disconnection to take place. Likewise when we attempt to retrieve stolen soul pieces from an individual, as the Soul piece is collected it allows a complete energetic disconnect from that person and there actions towards you that facilitated them stealing your soul piece, your energy, your vitality. As I just mentioned, in some occasions we can meet perpetrators, abusers on our Shamanic journey, speak to them, ask them to give you back what the stole from you, it can help to bring closure to events. This is not done through hate, but done through these healing pathways the shaman will guide you through. Connecting with these individuals can be a powerful healing of internal pain associated with them. If the individual is unable to visualise aspects of the journey or may be in a sense of fear, I would do this journey work, but in the vast majority of cases the individual will do the bulk of this work, at the same time I will be in journey state and give info to the person of what came to me, however the predominant journeyor will be the client.
These Middleworld soul retrieval journeys are very direct, very specific to certain events in our past. They are very theraputic and yield high results. Lowerworld journeys can be powerful also, sometimes this method is used when we do not have a specific event to journey to, meaning that there may be little or nothing that can be found in the retrievable memory field possibly due to the person being at a very young age and simply does not remember or that these events were so disturbing that they were buried for years and years and are to faint in the memory to give us definite answers. In this case the individual will present to the Shaman with typical soul loss symptoms but nothing in their memory or to their kmowledge as to how they feel these soul loss symptoms. The Shamanic journey is accurate divination for the Shaman and while going in to the journey, trance state, the altered state of consciousness, information will be presented to us by Spirit through very specific Shamanic methodology, again, very specific pathways to healing. This information will become prominent within the lowerworld cave that is relative to soul loss. Sometimes individuals that have an association to your soul loss can present in this journey as a tell-tale sign, but typically they soul pieces found in this location will be symbolic presentation as mentioned earlier, toys, school uniforms, a piece of clothing like a blanket, a childs soother, all highlighting a specific time in that person’s life where soul loss has occurred. It can be anything that symbolically references to a time in the person’s life. Lowerworld journeys may be done when the individual cannot visualise within the middleworld realm and the Shamanic practitioner will solely do this journey of discovery and retrieval to the lowerworld.
The Shamanic practitioner will retrieve and bring the soul pieces back in to the room after this exercise and blow them in to the heart and crown chakras of the individual to allow the re-integration of these Soul pieces to take place. The whole practice of soul retrieval is powerful, life changing, enlightening and transformational. You do not need to have experience in Shamanic practices to avail of this. You just need to want change and to want to step in to your full power as a human, to step away from old fearful themes, the debilitating mind set, the lack of courage and confidence that has held you back. As you can follow through this article with the understanding that these negative, damaging events in our lives have weakened us, taken some of our life force energy away through the loss of our very soul parts that have affected our confidence, enthusiasm, direction, sexuality, self-love, and many negative behaviours. I also relate Soul fragmentation to a broken heart.
Soul retrieval is a broad subject, this is part one of a two part article. Keep an eye out for the second one due to be released in a couple of months.
As a Shamanic practitioner and Shamanic teacher with the Irish school of Shamanic studies based @ The Atlantis holistic store and therapy centre, Linenhall street, Castlebar. I offer Shamanic healings including Soul retrieval. I deal with many Soul loss issues, including addictions. To avail of this please call or text 086 3750 250 or email: email@example.com. If you are interested in our Shamanic practitioner certified twelve month training program or workshops please call the above number. Also online healings and online workshops available. www.irishshamanschool.ie
Copyright: Irish school of Shamanic studies 2023.