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Soul Retrieval

"I  am delighted to refer clients to Alida for soul retrieval, shamanic healing, and training" Sandra Ingerman, author of Soul Retrieval


If you yearn for a fuller sense of vitality and connection to life, if you feel that something is missing or "you've never been the same since...", shamanic soul retrieval can put you on the path to healing your connections to self, to loved ones, to the earth.


In our culture it is the exception rather then the norm for people to feel whole. Because we do not feel whole, we look outside ourselves to be filled up- with addiction, codependent or abusive relationships, workaholism, chronic illness, or, on the flip side, the endless pursuit of spiritual highs. We are a culture of addictions, unhealthy relationships, co-dependencies, child abuse and materialism. Our treatment of the planet is a reflection of how we treat ourselves.

In Healing the Shame that Binds You, John Bradshaw uses the term "toxic shame" equating it to spiritual bankruptcy, thereby labeling toxic shame a spiritual problem. He says this causesan alienation of the self from the self so we turn to something external to fill the emptiness.


Healing ourselves from these unhealthy patterns often takes years even decades via our traditional psychotherapy and counseling systems. Shamans understand why that is. What Bradshaw calls toxic shame, shamans call soul loss. They believe that traumatic experiences result in soul loss wherein a part of our soul (vital essence that keeps us alive) splits offand leaves the person. In classical shamanism, soul loss often manifested as illness, comas, or near death states and meant that the life force had left the body. Present day shamans are finding that soul loss is a very common occurrence, due to the traumas and abuse patterns of our culture.


When we undergo trauma, parts of our souls go away so that we can survive the experience. Soul loss is actually a protective device. For example, incest survivors often remember the experience of being raped from the perspective of looking down at their body. People in severe car accidents often recall out of body experiences. Temporary soul loss can be a good survival tool for trauma. However, if the soul does not return, problems develop.


Symptoms of soul loss:

  • Dissociation

  • The inability to feel the full range of emotions

  • Feelings of spaciness

  • Loss of memories of traumatic events or entire periods of life

  • Having themes that go on throughout life (example: not being able to trust men)

  • Addictions

  • Chronic illness

  • Depression


One of the reasons traditional systems of counseling can take so long to facilitate healing is that the part of the person that was involved in the trauma, the part with the memories or feelings, left. So the therapist can be working very hard for a very long time with a person who is not all there.


When the soul splits off leaving the person in a weakened dis-spirited condition, it is the job of the shaman to restore the wholeness. The shaman leaves ordinary consciousness, journeying to the spirit world, and retrieves the lost soul.


How is it done?The key for me in doing soul retrievals is working with the spirits. I must move my ego or my personal identity out of the way. My intention must be absolutely pure to be of service. Shamanic work always goes easier if the intention is clear and the work is done to help another person.


My shamanic training is with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies, a non-profit educational and research organization directed by Michael Harner. I trained in soul retrieval and shamanic counseling with Sandra Ingerman author of Soul Retrieval, Mending the Fragmented Self. I have also trained with other indigenous shamans and learned their cultural techniques for soul retrieval.


Through my training, I have learned to journey to non-ordinary reality, a world that shamans have journeyed to for over fifty thousand years. Once there, I enlist the assistance of power animals to find the lost soul and bring it back. This work requires intention and absolutely trusting that spiritual assistance is going to be there. Once the soul is returned, the person may immediately feel a new physical presence in the body, a sense of fullness. Lost memories and emotions may return. I encourage clients to work in tandem with a counselor to work through any returning and painful memories. It is critical that the person makes behavior changes that support the return of the soul part. I offer a series of sessions designed to help with integrating the returning soul essence and put the client on the path to a thriving, vital life.


Although we all probably have missing soul parts due to trauma, not every person needs soul retrieval. If you feel that your life is functioning well and if you don’t have any of the symptoms that I talked about, then it might not be necessary for your to have a soul retrieval. Also, soul retrievals do not need to be done every few weeks or months. Usually one or two are required to bring back the significant soul parts that the person needs to move toward wholeness.


Results are varied and depend on the individual. Some feel instantaneous change; for others the change is subtler. Often, destructive family patterns that have repeated over generations finally end. If we are totally here, we can no longer tolerate behaviors that are not life-supportive. Addictions are replaced with wholeness and balance. "Numbing out" is no longer an option.


Soul retrieval can also be used to heal and protect our planet. Whole sections of the land have lost their soul due to traumas of pollution and other damages. Also, if we as people are whole and life affirming, we are not going to be acting in a way that destroys the earth. So at this point in time, it is critical to restore wholeness to people. Many times I have heard that the environment is now past the point of a physical healing by science and that a spiritual healing is now our only possible answer. Soul retrieval IS a spiritual solution.



*Soul retrieval is also sometimes referred to as soul recovery.






Nishan Shamaness

Nishan Shamaness, from the Mongolian tradition, rides into non-ordinary reality to find a soul part.

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