Today we live in a world where random school shootings are splashed across our TV screens. We can’t even go to a movie theater now without looking over our shoulder and wondering who is carrying a gun.Our risk of an emotional breakdown is at an all time high and just like “second hand smoke” can be just as bad for you as smoking itself. We have not begun to imagine what stress our minds and bodies are really taking on. Don’t get me started on what effects violent video games are having not only to the person playing the game but those who are around them as well like family and friends.
In our lives we experience loss of all shapes and sizes and in 1967 two psychiatrist, Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe, studied the effects of stress leading to illness. Now known as the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, this method is a widely accepted model of “life events” to illness. The top 10 Life Changing Events are (in order of severity) :
Death of a spouse
Death of a close family member
Personal injury or illness
Dismissal from work
If we think about just the devastation of job loss since 2008 due to the huge banking fallout and the subsequent recession, we are talking about millions and millions of people who have succumbed to potential loss of Soul. What has not been studied is the long-term effect of unemployment as well as the family members stressors during this time as well. It is not too much of a stretch to say that our world is filled with people walking around with parts of their souls missing. Having a loss of Soul can come in many forms and even though the factors of stress have been evaluated, we have to take into account of the individual and what experience they are having. No two people have the same experience.
A few years ago as I was driving along a side street after having a delicious breakfast on my day off when I noticed an approaching car. There was nothing unusual about it but I felt an energy coming from the car or rather the passenger within. As I got closer, the driver of the on coming car stuck his head out and started yelling profanities at me. I braced myself for anything that might happen and unsure what that could be. Having lived in dense urban areas, I’m aware of such random and violent behaviors. My hands tensed and eyes darted from the on-coming car to the rear view mirror to the shoulder of the road to insure I had a plan. The car passed. Nothing. Nothing but a random person who was “out of his head” in that moment. My body suddenly felt like a ton of bricks fell on my feet and my head was emptied of it’s content. I slowed and checked the rear view again to make sure he didn’t either turn around or do something to the person behind me. When I got home I immediately sat in meditation and sent the person “Healing Prayer” then recalled any fragments of myself (soul) that escaped during this stressful time. I felt an energy quickly come back to me and welcomed it back home knowing I was safe.
What if the person experiencing this event was someone who had suffered abuse during their life? Or just returned as a veteran of war? What if that person suffered PTSD? You cannot qualify an experience will be the same for every individual. A devastating event for one person may be just an ordinary day for someone else.
When you think of advanced Shamanism you think of SOUL RETRIEVAL. When we experience some form of trauma in life, parts of our Soul departs from the body leaving an empty space behind. If not handled properly this empty space can result in all forms of physical, emotional and mental disharmonies; depression, anxiety, lack of motivation, PTSD, chronic illness, addictions of all sorts and even suicidal tendencies. In psychological terms it’s called “disassociation” which is simply put a disassociation from reality. The difference is psychologist want to prescribe medication and/or talk therapy; Shamans go into the non-ordinary world to retrieve the missing soul and return them to their owner.
The process of Soul Retrieval is one of compassion. My job as a Shaman is not to go rescue the missing Soul, but to provide a safe and loving space for the Soul to return to where it belongs. I’m just the carrier. Often I will make sure I have helper Animal Guides, like Horse, Moose and often Otter who helps keep levity in a serious issue but holds “community” as sacred. Soul Retrieval is now perhaps more than ever important for the sake of humanity. If we want to have a balanced world, WE have to be balanced within ourselves. Call back yourself. You are safe, accepted, forgiven and loved.