Shamans believe that the cause of all illness is a loss of power. One of the main causes of loss of power is loss of parts of one's soul through trauma, dis-ease, any kind of abuse, addictions, death of a loved one, any violent act, or shock. Acting against our own morals can also cause soul loss. The soul is the essence of ourselves, our spirit and our vitality.
During the trauma that causes soul loss, the soul peels parts of itself away and flees, to avoid being at the impact point of the pain. This is a healthy thing and is a form of survival. Psychologists call this effect of trauma ‘dissociation’. In Shamanic cultures, people are aware that trauma causes soul loss and in the instance of a car crash, for example, they seek Soul Retrieval within three days of the accident, to restore the soul parts. Upon the moment of the impact of the trauma, the soul parts leave the body and move into non-ordinary reality (in old Druid Ireland, known as the Otherworld, in native American cultures known as the Upper, Lower and Middle Worlds). Although soul loss is a wonderful way to help an individual to survive trauma, often the soul parts do not return on their own and it is the job of the shamanic practitioner to retrieve those soul parts from the spiritual realms and bring them home.
The effects of Soul Retrieval can be life-changing and often can heal in one two-hour session what psychotherapy has been unable to heal in over 10 years. The reason for this is that the psychotherapist cannot heal what is not in the room and if parts of the soul are lost in the Otherworld, they are not present to be healed. For some people, the effects of Soul Retrieval can be a feeling of being more grounded, of being more ‘here’, of being ‘all here’, of having parts of oneself returned and feeling more together. For others, the effects can be subtle and they will feel ‘lighter’ and joyful. For some, Soul Retrieval might trigger emotions that need to be worked through and for others they may feel nothing physically, but instead feel emotionally well and calm. Everyone is different.
After Soul Retrieval, it is up to the client to reintegrate the soul parts back into themselves through a healthy reappraisal of their lives. Changing the way we live, to incorporate a healthy diet, healthy thought processes, developing a new dynamic and passion for life, helps us to thrive, not just survive. New energy, returned through the soul parts, is now available to incorporate these new changes, creating a new opportunity to live a healthier life long after healing.