What is Soul Retrieval?
In the shamanic work I do, I don't define soul as a "thing" that we are "given", but rather a continuum of qualities that make us whole beings: spiritually, emotionally, psychologically and physically. We enter into life as entities of vast potential and abundant life force, possessed of a consciousness and energy that is not limited to the physical plane. It is these qualities: our karmic and genetic potential, our life force, whole heartedness, consciousness and creativity that the process of Soul Retrieval seeks to renew and return to the individual. Soul Retrieval is a return to wholeness and integration on all levels.
Sometimes we may separate from a part of our essential self. In contemporary shamanic practice we refer to this as "soul loss". This soul loss is usually a coping response to trauma or crisis (e.g., car accident, divorce or breakup of a love affair, an abusive situation, a job or family in which we cannot be our full selves). In this circumstance it may be too painful or overwhelming for us to be fully present and aware, so a part of us absents itself from the situation. Extreme states of soul loss are often referred to medically as shock, or psychologically as dissociation and they can leave us profoundly unsettled or unable to function well.
When we are adult, significant trauma is often necessary for soul loss to occur. Children are more prone to soul loss because experiences that may seem trivial to an adult can be traumatic or overwhelming to a child. Most people have had some degree of soul loss as children, adolescents or in early adulthood and have simply learned to compensate for the "missing" parts of themselves. Sometimes that coping works okay, but often those coping mechanisms cease to be optimal once the situation has passed and we are left feeling disoriented or dysfunctional in some area of our lives. It is this that Soul Retrieval works to correct and rebalance.
Giving and Taking Soul Parts
When we have soul loss, something is missing from our sense of wholeness. It's hard to be satisfied or move on, regardless of the circumstances and opportunities. We might feel emptiness and try to fill it through addictions, compulsive behavior, overwork, or we may simply become depressed and exhausted physically or emotionally. We may look and act competent on the outside, but feel inadequate or disquieted inside. Self-defeating behavior is common. Creative projects go uncompleted, our ability to form healthy relationships suffers. Illness can result as our life force is diminished. We may have done a lot of personal growth work at the emotional and psychological level but still feel stuck, like there's something we can't get at.
Soul Retrieval Healing
Working at the spiritual level, a shamanic healer retrieves the missing elements, finding and returning those lost parts of our essence and bringing them back into balance. The healer has been trained to go on a shamanic journey on behalf of others by entering an altered state of consciousness guided by drumming or other rhythmic sound. In the journey, the healer searches out the client's soul missing parts and "brings them home". Working with her spiritual allies, the healer convinces the soul part to return and re-integrate or retrieves it from one who has stolen it. In the Tibetan Bon shamanic system, this is accomplished by retrieving and rebalancing the 5 elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Space, returning to the person the essential wholeness and life force with which they entered this life.
The healer also does "extraction" work, i.e.: removing blockages, damage and energies that may have been given to you by another or may have been once your own method of coping or self-protection, but are now getting in the way of your wholeness and happiness. Extractions make room for the soul parts and essential energy of the individual to "come home" and flourish.This is not a brief process. Soul Retrievals take 3 to 4 hours involving both talk and journey work for the healer, and re-integration is an ongoing experience.
If we are open and ready for change, soul retrieval can create immediate metamorphosis and then our work begins in integrating the essential qualities brought back into our lives. The focus in follow-up is on using these new inner resources to create a positive future and a balanced, fulfilling present.
Soul Retrieval, in both the Tibetan and Native American Shamanic traditions offered by Joy and her teachers, can be a tool for profound changes, for renewing health, vitality and balance into everyday life and relationships.
Email Joy at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or phone (415) 691-6019 (US)