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It takes all kinds of processes to bring PTSD relief. Each of us has an individual path to discover and follow. You hear me say over and over again: Keep trying new things until you reach freedom. Today, Kelley Harrell introduces us to the idea of Soul Retrieval….
Although it is an approach not a widely known, the ancient shamanic technique more commonly referred to as Soul Retrieval is a very effective way to heal PTSD. Soul loss, also called soul separation or soul hiding, results after trauma, the definition and measure of which vary with individuals. For some it may be triggered by a car crash, the death of a loved one, assault, or divorce, though it can result from any overwhelming state. For instance, some people are traumatized by life transitions like graduation, puberty, marriage, or relocating. We don’t generally think of benevolent life transitions as inducing PTSD, though they often do. When any event leaves lingering effects that inhibit vitality of being, examining the effects at a soul level can be transformational.
Souls are comprised of many facets, perhaps infinite in number, and it is natural for these facets to come and go through the veil of the earthly consciousness. Those facets travel, most often without our awareness, to heal in the spiritual plane, returning to gift us with an empowered sense of self. Problems arise when facets that we need to function well leave, and cannot or will not return. A soul aspect may remain separated for diverse reasons. Some include:
When soul separation occurs, the earthly consciousness ceases to develop, much the way that emotional and mental development are impaired by trauma in a traditional psychological model. This loss of spiritual power can manifest many ways, such as:
To give scale to the severity of soul loss and how it manifests, mild dissociative behaviour is a moderate example of soul loss, while coma is an extreme example. Most of us fall somewhere between.
Sometimes aspects return on their own, when there is a radical improvement in a life dynamic, or when the earthly consciousness has matured to the point of being able to process memories and/or feelings that the soul aspect carries. Soul parts cannot be forced to return; however, they can be invited to. Sometimes just the opening in thought to allow them to return is enough to functionally bring them back. Often they don’t return on their own, or need help to facilitate reintegration. At this point, work with a shaman is instrumental.
A shaman’s unique ability to travel into the spirit realm at will gives insight into why a soul part left (this information may not be known if it left at a young age), what the soul part needs to return, and how its return brings meaningful value to the present. Through the process of Soul Retrieval, in which the shaman journeys into the spirit world to locate the soul part, heals the soul part and returns it, then proceeds with any necessary integration, personal power and a lightness of being are restored. Integration is critical, in that the soul facet may have needs to be tended, or harmful coping skills and defense mechanisms that developed in the absence of the soul part must be released for it to stay. Integration can occur fairly quickly, or it can manifest more incrementally over time. Remaining under the shaman’s care engaged in open rapport throughout integration of the soul part ensures its lasting bond. With the soul facet peacefully returned, the benefits are life-affirming.
Soul Retrieval isn’t a magick pill to stop pain or forget trauma; however, it can bring much needed and long-sought relief on many levels. We don’t have to suffer from PTSD, and Soul Retrieval offers another way to find release and reconnection, not just with ourselves, but with All That Is.
Kelley is an author and neoshaman in North Carolina. Her book, Gift of the Dreamtime: Awakening to the Divinity of Trauma chronicles her pivotal step into her role as neoshaman. Soul Intent Arts is her shamanic practice, and she writes the weekly column Intentional Insights – Q&A From Within. Kelley is a proud founder of The Saferoom Project.
The opinions in this post are solely those of the author. To contribute to ‘Professional Perspective’ contact Michele.
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