How Do We Reconnect?
From a shamanic viewpoint, everyone dissociates some part of their vital essence or soul from their physical body in order to cope with major experiences of life. These experiences can include surviving physical and emotional abuse as well as other traumas such as accidents, illness, surgical operations, and loss of loved ones and other important relationships. In many cases a natural reintegration occurs over a period of time such as when someone goes through a grief process due to loss of some kind. However, in other cases some intervention is necessary. Often, shamanic healing is the most effective way to bring about reconnection and welcome these "missing" parts home.
Signs of soul loss include:
- Physical or psychological trauma and/or PTSD like symptoms
- Experiencing feelings of dissociation, particularly in otherwise functional people.
- Feeling disconnected from life, like you don't really feel anything, or feeling like you can't connect to things and/or to your own body
- Feeling a lack of wholeness or that some part of self is missing.
- Feelings of depression and/or anxiety
- A feeling of being incomplete or empty inside
- An inability to move past an issue or certain feelings
- Low Self-Esteem and feeling of insecurity
- Feeling stuck or unable to create desired changes in your life
- Having memories or experiences in your past when you feel that you lost a part of yourself, that some part of you left or died
- Needing to return to a relationship or a situation that seems unhealthy, even though you know it is unhealthy
- Lost or missing memories, like a part of your history is "missing"
- Patterns of addiction and codependence
- A feeling that shamanic healing may help you
For clients who are open to shamanic work and feel that soul-loss is an adequate definition of their problem, shamanic healing practices can be invaluable. After a shamanic healing session, people typically report such things as, “I feel alive again,” “I feel more self confident,” “I feel a sense of wholeness I haven't felt before.”
One of the main practices to treat soul-loss is soul retrieval. During soul retrieval, the practitioner goes into non-ordinary reality to find the lost soul part or assists the client themselves in reconnecting with the lost parts. When the soul is found, the dissociated element is informed about its situation and invited to return. Then, the soul is brought back and returned—brought home into the body of the client. Typically the returned soul has been arrested in its development at the age when it left. The client has to be prepared to nurture and help the returning essence to grow—and may also, to some degree re-experience the feelings of grief, anger, etc. that occurred at the time of the loss. It is important that the client be supported through this period and it is useful if the client is has a good support system.