Why Does the Soul Fragment?
After reading about Soul Loss, it’s easy to think of it as something bad that has happened to us. However, here it’s important to realize that Soul Loss is in fact, a gift.
In the same way that you become unconscious when you’re experiencing immense amounts of physical pain, your psyche is wise and knows its limits. Your mind knows what it can and can’t handle, so it fragments and dissociates (or scatters) as a survival mechanism to protect itself from feeling the fullness of pain.
This splitting of the psyche only becomes an obstacle when the pieces aren’t actively retrieved. This is what leads to chronic depression, suicidal tendencies, post-traumatic stress syndrome, addictions, immune deficiency problems, and grief that refuses to heal.
However, the retrieval of these lost pieces is not the end of the work. We must then learn how to integrate them back into our lives in order to recover the vital power, potential, and energy they possess.
Without these lost parts, we don’t feel whole. Instead, we feel weak, depressed, anxious, or empty. We lose touch with our Souls. We feel as if something is missing, and we fill that emptiness with anything we can.
What Happens After Soul Retrieval?
As a shamanic teacher and therapist Sandra Ingerman once commented about soul retrieval, “What I have found after a soul retrieval is that one cannot ‘numb out’ anymore.”
This is one of the many benefits of soul retrieval: we become more present, centered, and regain our aliveness. Life ceases to be a dull, monotonous, depressing experience. Instead, life is a gift, a mysterious adventure, something to be savored and embraced.
Once we’ve recovered these lost pieces of ourselves, we can experience many other benefits:
- Feeling more grounded in our body and more “solid”
- Feeling energized, awake, and more alive
- Greater presence in the world
- More awareness of our choices, behaviors, and decisions
- Lightness and joy
- Awareness of huge amounts of energy you didn’t know you had
- Mental clarity and a new sense of hope
- Physical wellbeing and less sickness
- A sense of purpose and renewed direction
- Deeper sleep
- Overcoming addictive dependencies (drugs, food, work)
- A new-found wholeness and sense of belonging
In order to undergo Soul Retrieval, you must have an experienced guide. Shamans are not the only healers that can perform Soul Retrieval. Other healing practices such as hypnosis, witchcraft, and psychoanalysis all have methods for integrating split-off or lost parts of the self.
The Soul Retrieval Journey – 3 Methods
To retrieve a lost inner part as a shaman, they typically enter trance states with the client. This altered state of consciousness helps them to journey into one of the three spirit worlds (typically the underworld) where they are accompanied by spirit helpers with the intent to retrieve a certain part of the Soul. They narrate the whole journey to the client or visualize it through active imagination.
In these Soul Retrieval journeys, shamans often encounter strong, often harsh energies that manifest themselves through the archetypal images of monsters, reptiles, dragons, and other dangerous beasts. These are the guardians of the Soul, or in psychotherapy, they are known as defense mechanisms of the psyche. The shaman must overcome these with the help of their spirit helpers, in order to persuade the Soul part to come back.
Once they have retrieved the Soul part, they reintegrate it together with the client. This is usually done energetically (by blowing the energy into the body), through the ceremony, or chanting.
To retrieve a lost inner part as a psychotherapist or healer, numerous methods are applied such as inner child work, gestalt therapy, archetypal work (such as in internal family systems therapy), visualization, sound healing, and art therapy.
Although Soul Retrieval is best done with the guidance of an experienced healer or trained professional, it is possible to facilitate this process, in part, yourself.
Here are some Soul Retrieval practices you can try by yourself:
1. Meditation and visualization journeys
Using the power of the imagination, you can create more inner wholeness and call back lost parts of yourself.
Did you know that the mind cannot distinguish imagination from reality? We can take advantage of this psychological loophole and practice Soul Retrieval simply by taking ourselves on a guided adventure.
To practice Soul Retrieval, you might like to either find a pre-recorded journey (such as on youtube) or create one yourself.