In shamanism there is an understanding that at times, usually times of trauma, a piece of our soul may be fragmented, it seems to go into hiding. It does this to protect us. In the shamanic community we call this “soul loss.” Now we know that the soul piece doesn't actually leave the soul. The soul stays intact -- however, it very much feels like a piece of you is missing. It’s as if the soul piece goes into hiding and is lost to you. You feel incomplete as if something was taken from you. You might feel broken or damaged.
What type of trauma can cause a soul loss or soul fragmentation?
The trauma involved here can be anything as big as a heinous crime or anything as small as a dog bite. How each soul perceives trauma is very individual and in the shamanic way of counseling and healing we do not judge any trauma as more significant or even more traumatic than any other trauma.
In my training there are several different types of healing work that we can do when this situation occurs.
There is soul recovery which is a way to guide the client to recover for themselves that piece of them that had to go into hiding in order to protect and stay safe. There are some great meditations available from Dakota Earth Cloud. Check them out here.
There is soul retrieval which is a particular shamanic technique where the shaman typically goes into a shamanic journey to work with the events that occurred and to coax that part of the soul that had to break away or go into hiding to come back. This can sometimes take a lot of persuasion.
In doing this, the shaman will not only bring back the soul part that was lost they also may rewrite the contract that was written at the time of the event and may bring back a gift for the client. This gift can be a new tool that they can use going forward or an affirmation they can use to stay in this healed place, or even a new guide.
It is recommended that this type of work be done by a trained shamanic practitioner. If you would like to learn more about the technique, Sandra Ingerman explains it in great detail in her book Soul Retreival: Mending the Fragmented Self available from many local and national booksellers.
The other type of healing work that can be done around this is “shifting the energy of past events” also known as soul loss prevention. This is a technique I learned from Lynn Roberts when I worked with her in Shamanic Reiki Worldwide. The specific steps to this technique are found in her book Shamanic Reiki, also available at your local or national bookseller.
What this work does is free up the constriction caused by the event. It shifts the energy around it, helping to free the person from the trauma of the event. The steps involve traveling to the past event through a shamanic journey, dialoguing with the past self from the perspective of the future self. From this enlightened hindsight perspective, one can reassure the past self that regardless of how traumatic and terrible the current event feels and truly is, in no way minimizing it, hope and recovery is possible. You will survive, you will find happiness again one day. It is an opportunity for the past self to release the energy attached to the event so that full soul healing can occur, and the future self might lead a fully healed life, a whole life.
The final type of soul work that I would like to talk about is a spontaneous soul recovery. I have witnessed this on a few occasions myself. It's a time when a person without even intending to do soul healing work will have an epiphany or an awareness, an awakening perhaps, that leads them to spontaneously call back that soul piece that had been missing and completely shift the trajectory of their life. This type of spontaneous soul healing work is quite beautiful to watch and always comes unexpectedly.
I hope that gives you a little information around soul recovery and the different forms it can take. Now, you might wonder, is one form better than another? I would say, No. The only “better” one is the one that heals you. However that comes, however you can shift the energy around an event that is holding you back today—that is the best way.
And how do you know when you need it? Some signs I look for are: