By Shaman Elder Maggie*
Soul Retrieval is a question that always comes up when discussing Shamanism. It is the one form of healing that most people consider unique to Shamanism. It is also dangerous and not for everybody.
Soul retrieval is a Shamanic skill used to heal a person from illness. Shamans believe that all illness comes from losing power or giving power away to something or someone. It may be spirits from the Inner World that you have traded your soul power with to get fame or fortune or love. It may be a living being who has an energetic cord attached to you and is sucking part of your soul away. It can be a generational soul loss that happened many years ago with your grandfather or great grandmother that you are not even aware of that has taken away part of your family soul. Soul loss can also be caused by a traumatic experience, a car accident, a sudden death in the family, a violent crime, a chronic illness. These things can cause a loss of vital power or energy and that power and energy, a part of one’s wholeness, must be restored to bring health and healing of body mind and spirit back to the patient.
The Shaman does not use his or her own power to retrieve the lost portion of soul. If he or she did, soon the Shaman would be suffering his or her own power depletion. The Shaman uses the spirit animal or ally to travel to the appropriate Inner Worlds and barter, negotiate, deal with the possessing entities to retrieve the soul. The Shaman will travel deep into the inner worlds with the intention of retrieving that soul portion that is missing. Usually the spirit animal or ally knows right where it is and who is holding it.
One may expect to meet some gruesome characters there who are not willing to give up the soul portion because it provides them with life essence, with grace, with gong, the one thing humans can amass and take with them from lifetime to life time. These entities cannot become human, but oh, how they want to! They will do almost anything to get a human to give up part of their soul. They offer humans, riches, and love and business success, material wealth and fame for a soul. They do not have the morals of human beings so they do not have the same views on lying, cheating or stealing as a human may.
It is very difficult to remain in this negotiation with full intent as other beings are trying to confuse the Shaman and take his attention away so the soul possessing entities can run away. The Shaman must rely on the help of his or her spirit animal or ally to keep these other entities from attacking the Shaman’s own soul. It is not very often that someone with a strong soul force like a Shaman goes into these Inner Worlds so Shamans are like neon signs and all the non human entities would like to get that soul force for their own use. Sometimes Shamans lose their places here and they get lost and never return.
I can describe one soul retrieval I did on a woman of middle age who was suffering from heart palpitations. I prepared myself with a three day fast and then had the woman I will name Mary come to visit me at my cabin. I asked her to lie down by the fire and to relax and try to keep her mind at ease. My friend Lucy began to rattle for me and I let myself go to the entrance of the Inner Worlds and I met my Spirit animal there for this journey. I held the tail of my wolf as he pulled me down, down into the Under World. We came out in a dark and damp place that reminded me of an outdoor basement. There were dark brambly vines grwoing everywhere and a swampy ground with the sun obscured by tall grey foliage everywhere. There were creatures scurrying on the ground, hiding under the rocks and slithering into the swampy ground.
My spirit animal knew exactly where to take me and we approached a small house made of mud and slime without windows. As I approached the doorway I heard screams and whistles coming from inside. The closer I got the more horrendous were the noises. I kept my resolve to retrieve this woman’s soul part that had been taken by whatever was inside this hut and continued forward.
I looked inside the door and I could barely make out in the dark two short naked humanoids without any hair or clothes holding a piece of Mary’s heart and admiring it while they screamed and shrieked with delight. They didn’t see me at first and I watched them petting it and stroking the piece of heart as though it were a kitten. I brought my torch up and threw a great beam of light into their light and they shrieked with horror. They tried to run away but I blocked the door with my great size and my giant cape.
I let them speak first. They asked me what I wanted with a fearful shudder in their voices and I told them that they must relinquish the piece of heart they were holding to me. They cried, «Never!» and again tried to run by my legs out into the cold damp evening. I blocked their escape again. I asked, «What would you take to relinquish the heart?» and they answered, «Never!»
They began to pelt me with little stones from the floor of their hut. But the stones were very small and they didn’t have many so I ignored it and again I spoke in a loud voice, «You must relinquish the heart!». They again replied, «Never!»
I brought my torch even further into the hut as the bright light seemed to hurt their eyes and they were turning away from me to protect themselves from the flame. «How did you get this heart?» I demanded.
«She gave it to us! She said we could have it because it was broken anyway! But it is not broken! Look how it beats! We like how it beats!»
I reached into my cape and pulled out a clock. I wound it up and showed them how it beats. They came closer to have a look at it. I noticed that many creatures were being attracted to me in this place from outside and it was getting more and more dangerous for me to be here. I had to end this thing quickly before I was attacked by other beings who were attracted to my own heart here.
I made the one holding the heart reach out for the clock with both hands. As he loosened his grip on the heart, my wolf ran behind him and grabbed the heart in his mouth. At the same time I threw the clock into the far corner of the room. As the entities scrambled to catch the clock I grabbed the tail of my wolf and we flew out of there and up into the night sky. We reached the opening we came in from and whisked our way back to the Outer world. The wolf gently placed the piece of heart into my hands from his mouth and I thanked him once again for his protection and help.
As I saw Mary lying on the floor by the fire I placed the piece of heart in my mouth and placed my mouth over hers and blew with one great breath, that piece of heart back into Mary. She was startled and took a great breath inward and seemed to then catch her breath as she started to sit up. I helped her to sit up and gave her some water to drink and asked her how she felt.
Mary said she had a fullness in her chest now. I remembered that the entities had told me that Mary had given them the piece of heart because it was broken and so Mary and I talked for quite a while about what caused her to give this piece of her heart away. She told me how many years ago she had loved a man so much and she gave her heart to him. But they were never able to have a relationship or marry because he died in a plane crash. She went on with her life and finally did marry and have children but after 20 years, that marriage came to an end. It was then that we realized how much she missed her true love and how her heart was really broken over that first love. She had asked for someone to take her broken heart and let her forget about how much she missed her true love. It did help her not to feel so sharply the pains of that loss. But ever since then she had been having palpitations. She forgot about the real reason and went to the doctor for the symptoms. After many grueling tests for cardiac arrythmias, the doctor could still find no explanation and that is when she came to see me.
To this day, Mary is symptom free.
I want to put a disclaimer here because medical science disapproves of this kind of healing. So let me say that soul retrieval is in no way a curative, a medical process, a healing of anything and if you have any medical condition I reccomend that you consult with a qualified doctor. I am not a doctor of any kind. The work I do is spiritual in nature and not in any way related to the medical profession.
*About the Author:
Shaman Elder Maggie Wahls has been a practicing Shaman for over 50 years. She recently received a dispensation to reach out to those who have a desire to learn about a Shaman’s path and now offers an online course at www.shamanelder.com. Many people on this earth have been Shamans in other lives and only need to reconnect with their lost knowledge and skills to bring shamanic healing back to Mother Earth and its peoples. This is Shaman Elder’s goal. Please visit her website or write her an email for a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org