History and Evolution of Soul Retrieval

A broken soul is not the absence of beauty but a cracked and torn soul reeks of the sweet incense it contains.

~ C. Joybell C.


Throughout our lifetimes, we face situations such as disruptive or violent events that may damage our spiritual essence and cause us to give up parts of our energy and inner-most character. Such loss could be due to trauma or fear, and given away through force or submission. The result may be finding it difficult to be truly present in our daily lives and our relationship with ourselves or with others

When this happens, Soul Retrieval is an elegant approach to reintegrating those lost parts. This module provides a brief background and history on the practice of soul retrieval and describes the process of facilitating a Soul Retrieval for you to consider incorporating into your healing practice.

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History and Evolution of Soul Retrieval

Like the Sacred Journey, Soul Retrieval is a practice that has been used throughout history in indigenous cultures. These cultures were very aware of the fragmentation and damage caused to the soul through various life events.

The technique and process of soul retrieval is applied in differing ways in various cultures, and it ranges from saying prayers to making offerings of sweets to entice the missing soul-part to return.

A typical approach to soul retrieval by a shaman is for that shaman to go into the trance state with the client, travel in their imagination through the landscape of the psyche, passing through possible dark areas filled with the monsters or intruders that represent the fears and perpetrators of this inner realm. They locate the soul fragment, and the shaman brings it back to the person's soul structure, and reattaches it firmly in place. The shaman may narrate this journey, or simply accomplish all of this in silence.

I personally had the experience of soul retrieval many years ago. A male healer had come from out of state and was offering sessions. My experience may or may not be typical. Here’s what happened…

He had a blanket on the floor. He asked me to lay down on it on my side. He was dressed only in jeans, a bare chest, and some beaded jewelry. After smudging and chanting for a few minutes, he laid down beside me and spooned his body around mine. 

To be honest, I was quite startled by this, and laid there very uncomfortably. This went on for about 30 minutes, and rather than relaxing into the process and going on the journey, I just kept wondering what would happen. Could I trust this stranger who was spooned half-naked around my body? 

In the end, he said that he had found a piece of my soul and had replaced it. I'm not even sure I heard what he was telling me. I don't remember what he said. I really just wanted to leave.

And I am a brave and adventurous person! Imagine this experience for the average seeker who may desperately need this therapy, yet who would never undergo such an experience. 

Evolution of a Technique

As with the Sacred Journey, when I later completed my education in hypnotherapy, I realized there could be a different way of accomplishing the same goal of retrieving and replacing fragmented pieces of the soul. 

I wanted this vital step in healing to be available to all people, in a comfortable, professional setting. Therefore, I created an approach that was quite different from what I first experienced. For my clients, the process is accomplished in a client-centered dialogue, within the hypnotic trance state, with the client fully engaged in the process.

As my purpose in any of this work is to assist people in expanding their awareness and consciousness, I want my clients to be fully engaged so they can learn how the fragment was lost, taken, or given away, and what it means to replace it in their energetic field so they are to move forward in their lives with this new wholeness. 

The reason these steps are important is that it's of greater benefit to the client to find and heal the mechanism that allowed this piece to be lost in the first place. Is it low self-esteem? Lack of courage? Appeasement or submission to others? 

Replacing the part without addressing the cause of the fragmentation may simply set your client up to repeat the same thing again.

Not only do we want to assist the client in retrieving and replacing the soul fragment, we want to heal that part of the client’s character or personality that allowed it to happen in the first place, whenever possible.

Soul Retrieval in Practice

Your client may come to you with the complaint of having lost their sense of innocence, trust, spontaneity, independence, joy, power, creativity, and so forth. 

Most likely, however, these traits are still present in the client. These parts of their personalities have simply been fragmented, hidden, diminished, blocked, or forgotten.

Sometimes they are captured, discarded, or given away.

I worked with a young lady who claimed that she had always given her power away to her brother. It was just natural from the time they were children.

In our session, she went to a previous lifetime where she saw him overpowering her and, in return, she gave up all her power to him. What she was experiencing in this lifetime was an extension or reflection of that same dynamic. In this life, she saw him as holding her sense of power in his pocket. During the retrieval, she removed it from his pocket and placed it solidly back inside of herself.

Another client who was struggling with visualization and creativity claimed that he gave that up when he was a child. He had proudly shown his father a picture that he drew when he was about four years old, and his father ridiculed it. He decided at that moment to hide is talent. That continued with him into adulthood, preventing him from any creative pursuits, and was at the root of his struggle with imagination in our session. We retrieved that energetic fragment that had been carefully hidden, and restored it in its place. The rest of our session went very smoothly.

In another case, my client stated that she had lost her sense of independence. As we explored that topic, she recalled it vanishing on her wedding day. Regressing her to that day, she remembered being in her room preparing for the wedding. As she left to get married, she deliberately left her independence on a table. During our session, in her imagination, she went back to where she had left it. She gathered it up. When I asked what she would like to do with it, she stated that she wasn't prepared to integrate it back into her essence as yet. She said if she did so, she would go home and ask for a divorce. She decided to keep it near her until she had put her affairs in order and then she would be ready to reintegrate that soul fragment.

This case reminds us that, in staying client-centered, we allow our clients to choose how best to proceed.

Permission Granted

Soul Retrieval requires regressing to an earlier age (or previous lifetime) to recapture the trait or part of the personality, soul, or consciousness, left behind, taken away, diminished, or given away. The ritual of retrieving the trait gives your client permission to exhibit this trait overtly. It is returned home and allowed to blossom. 

It's a beautiful and gratifying process to share with your client.

Now, let's see how it's done.