Soul Loss is a Result of Trauma When human beings experience trauma, aspects of our soul’s resources are torn away. In the shaman’s language, these features of our wholeness are banished to the Lower World, the domain of shadow. Soul loss occurs as a result of life’s many experiences:
- A child who is consistently slammed by an angry parent will experience his sweet, undefended heart becoming hard and his curious openness unreachable. In this example, the gift of his natural innocence becomes too dangerous and painful to live with, and loss occurs.
- Soul loss can also occur in adulthood: jealous spouses or competitors may have “fractured” these soul parts — the confident self, the trusting self, the self who loves freely and feels worthy of being loved in return.
- Trauma that is the result of an accident or the death of a loved one is similarly devastating. The loss of trust in the world or in our own ability to thrive drains away our life force and undermines our mental and physical health.
Losing Our Greatest Gifts These are losses of our essential gifts. They are often the qualities we disown – the things we envy or despise in others. We lose access to our essential joy, innocence, strength, will, stillness, compassion and kindness. So we may think “who does she think she is” when someone’s brilliant, fiery passion sparks our uncomfortable disdain. While we don’t want to reject ourselves and others, we no longer have the personal resources to embrace these aspects of our True Nature.
Shamanic Soul Retrieval Heals Loss We cannot be whole until we retrieve these essential elements. Shamans throughout time and place have practiced what is called Soul Retrieval to heal this split. This process summons the return of the parts we have lost. To retrieve these talents, possibilities, and potentials that have retreated to the hidden recesses of our psyches, the shaman will journey to the Lower World, the Jungian “collective unconscious.” Here, the healer discovers and retrieves those qualities that have been disowned, and that will allow their client to live more fully. At this stage of the healing, the shaman will assist the client to integrate the part so it can become active in the person’s daily life.
Integrating our Soul’s Potential Shamans say that the soul has such a longing for wholeness that it will recreate the conditions that caused the soul loss because it hopes that another opportunity for healing will result in our integrating these fragmented aspects of the self. Thus we can replay our wounding over and over. Unaware of their wounding, the person will change jobs but end up with a similar boss, move to another city and wonder at how she ended up with neighbors who are just like those she left behind. He may divorce the abusive spouse and end up in an identical marriage. When the shaman can discover the source of the original wounding, she can heal it, and break the self-destructive patterns. She does this by recovering the quanta of life force that was lost.
In Every Healing, We Recover a Part of Ourselves Retrievals are often done during an extended shamanic journey. We can do them for ourselves and for others.
All Rising Fire Medicine Wheel students learn and master several processes for Soul Retrieval. Soul Retrieval is also a significant component of Rising Fire Healing Sessions with private clients.
Please see our Calendar for the next available opportunity to join in!