Shamanism is the oldest spiritual practice known to humankind, many anthropologists believe that the practice dates back over 100,000 years. A shaman is a person who interacts directly with spirits to address the spiritual aspects of illness and depression. The tools they use for healing include soul retrieval, restoration of the power animal, divination, extraction and helping the soul of deceased persons cross over. In tribal communities Shamans have taken many roles such as healers, doctors, priests, psychotherapist and mystics.
Shamans look at the spiritual form of illness which they believe manifests on the emotional or physical level. It is believed that whenever we suffer an emotional or physical trauma a part of our soul or life force leaves the body to avoid the experience. Many of life’s traumas can cause soul loss such as sexual and verbal abuse, an accident, being in a war, being a victim of a violent crime, being involved in a natural disaster, surgery, addiction, divorce or death of a loved one. Any event that causes shock and trauma could cause soul loss. The loss of the soul is not a bad thing, it is the natural process the soul engages in to survive the pain and suffering. If someone is in an accident or badly injured the soul will leave the body prior to the impact so that the psyche is removed from the pain so soul loss is a mechanism for survival and self protection when the essence of our soul leaves. In psychology it is called disassociation, but there is no reference to where it goes. A shamanic practitioner can go on a diagnostic journey to find out if a person has soul loss and then perform a retrieval to reinstate the part of the soul that is missing.
Our entire culture suffers from what the shamans call “soul loss,” a loss of meaning, direction, vitality, mission, purpose, identity, and genuine connection; a deep unhappiness that most of us have come to consider as simply ordinary. The soul is our source of absolute uniqueness, a place within that connects you not only to your own value and essence, but to the value and essence of every other living being. What makes soul loss so subtle and dangerous is that very few people have realized that it has happened. Most of us do not know that we have disconnected from our soul and have come to accept as normal a numbness and lack of meaning in our lives.
Because we all belong to this culture, we all suffer from soul loss. Soul loss is epidemic and blinds us from seeing the potential for joy and wholeness in ordinary life. When you heal from soul loss, you see familiar things in new ways so you can increase your joy in what you already have.
NOT SURE IF YOU’RE SUFFERING FROM SOUL LOSS?
Here are 20 diagnostic signs that signal soul loss:
1. You feel like you’re not as good as other people.
2. You yearn to be of service, but you have no idea what you have to contribute and why it matters.
3. You find yourself striving in vain for an impossible-to-achieve standard of perfection.
4. Your fears keep you from living large.
5. You’re frequently worried that you’re not good enough, smart enough, thin enough, young enough, [fill in the blank] enough.
6. You feel like a victim of circumstances that are beyond your control.
7. You feel like your daily life is meaningless and task-driven.
8. You often feel helpless, hopeless, or pessimistic.
9. You protect your heart with steel walls.
10. You often feel you don’t really matter and your love doesn’t make a difference.
11. You’re always trying to fit in and belong, but you rarely feel like you do.
12. You feel beaten down by the challenges you face in your life.
13. You suffer from a variety of vague, hard to treat physical symptoms, such as fatigue, chronic pain, weight gain or loss, insomnia, skin disorders, or gastrointestinal symptoms.
14. You struggle with being able to accept love and nurturing.
15. You feel depressed, anxious, or chronically worried.
16. You feel like you’re not appreciated enough.
17. You find yourself often judging others.
18. You frequently numb yourself with alcohol, drugs, sex, television, or excessive busyness.
19. You feel disappointed with life.
20. You’ve forgotten how to dream.
If someone has soul loss there are many common symptoms:
There can be dissociation where a person does not feel fully in his or her body and alive and fully engaged in life, chronic depression, suicidal tendencies, post traumatic stress syndrome, immune deficiency problems, and grief that just does not heal. Addictions are also a sign of soul loss as we seek external sources to fill up the empty spaces, memories of incidents in the past where your heart and soul feels like a part of you died, wanting to return to unhealthy relationships or places and lost memories. Most people know instinctively that they are missing something, others have just learned to live with it.
Since all soul retrievals are different there are many possible benefits to having this work done:
After soul retrieval, some may find it easier to move forward on issues that have been troubling and have a greater sense of being present in your life. Decision making can improve and you can feel there is more hope and confidence and therefore less anger. In each person it varies but normally the sense of loss begins to dissipate so that you can begin the healing process. It is hard to predict the outcome of this procedure but from my experience some people completely turn their life around to a more joyful way of being, others begin a process that takes time to emerge. The more you are open to the process and willing to receive the soul, the more successful the work.
HOW SOUL LOSS SHOWS UP AT THE DOCTOR’S OFFICE ~ From Dr. Lisa Rankin
As a physician, I’ve had years of experience diagnosing soul loss in my patients, but Western medicine has no framework for this kind of diagnosis, and as doctors, we’re not taught to treat this kind of suffering, so we wind up mistreating it. What people suffering from soul loss need is the deep medicine of reconnection with the soul, but in our culture, we tend to treat soul loss too superficially.
We treat the chronic pain with pain medication. We treat the insomnia with sleeping pills. We treat the weight issues with diet and exercise. And most damagingly, we may label soul loss as mental illness, such as depression, and cover up the symptoms with psychiatric medications that may make things worse by slapping a Band-aid on a wound that’s not healing underneath the bandage.
The Treatment You Really Need
Sometimes the soul needs space in order to heal, and this may require the courage to make some external changes in your life. Perhaps you need to switch careers in order to give the soul more room to breathe. Perhaps an unhealthy relationship is constricting the soul, and it’s time to get into therapy, set boundaries, or even end things. Perhaps you need to find more people to love or relocate to a place that helps your soul come alive. Perhaps you need to give your soul permission to engage in more creative activities. Such eternal changes may be part of the prescription the inner doctor of your soul writes.
It is always best to discuss this with a shamanic practitioner to see if you may require soul retrieval. A trained professional can guide you toward the right decision.