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.


We face situations such as disruptive or violent events throughout our lifetimes 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 relationships with ourselves and 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. It 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 are applied differently in various cultures. They range 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 accomplish all of this in silence.

I 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. 

I was startled by this and laid there very uncomfortably. The experience 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 quite different from what I first experienced. The process is accomplished in a client-centered dialogue, within the hypnotic trance state, with the client fully engaged in the process.

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

These steps are essential because it's more beneficial to the client to find and heal the mechanism that gave rise to this condition 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 cause a similar fragmentation in the future.

We want to assist the client in retrieving and replacing the soul fragment, and 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 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 incarnation where she saw him overpowering her, and, in return, she gave up all her power to him. In this life, she saw him holding her sense of power in his pocket. She removed it from his pocket during the retrieval and placed it solidly back inside of herself. What she was experiencing in this lifetime was an extension or reflection of that past life dynamic.

Another client struggling with visualization and creativity claimed that he gave them up when he was a child. He proudly showed 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 his talent. That persisted into adulthood, restricting creative pursuits, leading to 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. She recalled it vanishing on her wedding day. Regressing her to that day, she remembered preparing for the wedding in her room. As she left to get married, she deliberately left her independence on a table. During our session, she imagined going 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 take it back. 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 it allows your client 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.