The idea of Soul Retrieval originates in ancient shamanic practices. American Indians would do it in drumming ceremonies where the shaman would travel off into the past or into alternate realities and find the part of the person that was missing and invite it to come back.
For our purposes it is a type of gestalt processing and we have the client do the traveling. We don't use any fancy ceremonies, but it can sometimes be interesting for the client to hear about the origin of the techniques.
Most people will quite readily go along with the metaphor of having a part of themselves that they left somewhere. It seems like a natural way of looking at it.
Soul Retrieval might be done as part of other techniques like re-experiencing, or it might be done one its own. A missing part might need to be recovered to make another technique work, or soul retrieval might require another intermediary technique before it can be completed. Specifically traumatic incidents are intertwined with the loss of soul parts. A traumatic incident might have forced the person to split up and might keep her from being whole again. It is quite typical that part of the person leaves during an incident.
People are basically whole, they inherently have all the qualities they need. If they appear otherwise it is generally because they are split up somehow. If the client has "lost her confidence" it is there somewhere. The "confidence" is not just non-existent. It might exist 30 years ago at the bottom of a closet, asleep, but it is somewhere to be found.
You can often pick up specific clues about soul parts in people's language. "My sense of security was out the window", "she stole my heart", "I lost my innocence", "my allegiance is still with the old management", "I no longer have my youthful strength".
A "part" is usually a package of personal qualities, abilities, or feelings. The person now, the part that is here, is usually missing those qualities. We can regard a part as being a collection of awareness units or spiritual energy. It has a consciousness of its own. When the part re-integrates with the rest of the person, we no longer call it a part, but we address the person as being one whole person.
So, one way or another you get the suspicion that a part of the person is missing. It might come up while working on an issue, or you might search specifically for it.
One way of searching specifically for points of soul loss would be to have the person scan through her life and note major points of change. Points where she changed, qualities she had and then she suddenly didn't have them.
You would confirm with the person that she will go along with the metaphor:
"Is that part of you that ___ missing?"
and then we basically need to go and find it.
"We are going to find it and bring it back!"
"Where is that part now?"
You might have to give some hints on what kind of stuff is possible to start her looking.
"Is it in the past, is it around now, where did you last have it, does somebody else have it, is it hiding?"
The most common is probably that the part is still in the past at the age where one lost it. The second most common thing is probably that one gave it to another person, like in a relationship and it is still with that person. But anything is possible. It can be in any alternate dimension. Quite often the parts are in poetic, fairy tale kind of places. "In the glimmer of the sea at sunrise", "In the eyes of a child", "In the sorcerer's castle next to the crystal ball".
If the client has trouble finding the part, the facilitator can give suggestions. Use your intuition, or just guess. Also, the facilitator will exude total certainty that we are going to find the part. If you are certain that we will find it, the client will go along and we will find it.
When the part is located, we need to go and see it. We can also travel around looking for it in likely places. Finding it is not a matter of logic, the person needs to follow her intuition, and take whatever unlikely hints she is offered.
If it is back in the past, the client will go back, similar to what we do in re-experiencing. No matter where it is, we wouldn't want the person to worry about the logic of how we get there. We imagine that we go there and we are there, that is all.
When we have gotten to where the part is, we need to find out what it is doing.
"What is the part doing?"
Interestingly it will often appear to have a complete life of its own. The little girl is still there playing in the school yard, having a good time. It is often another version of the client, maybe with a younger body and with different qualities than what she has today.
We then need to get into communication with the part.
"Put your attention on the part"
"Say hello to it"
Once it hits the client that it is a real part, the grief of having lost it might very well hit. Let her spend any necessary time simply to be with it.
The person can have any kind of conversation with the part that she wishes. They can exchange information and good wishes, similar to what we do in polarity integration. They need to get more familiarized with each other again.
But the main thing we are aiming at accomplishing is to get the part to come back:
"Ask the part if it is willing to come back to you"
It is not a given that it is willing. There are reasons for it being there, away from the rest of the person. Usually some kind of negotiation is necessary or something needs to change about either of them before they can join again.
"Ask it what you would have to change for it to come back"
"Are you willing to do that?"
What the part would suggest is generally something very positive and valid. It could be "to be more caring towards others", "to have more self-esteem", or something like that.
Quite often the whole thing can not be completed at once. The client and her lost part might need to work something out between themselves, maybe have a trial period of more interaction. That is quite alright, we will take it as far as we can take it in the session and make sure the process will continue.
Sometimes it is necessary to take the part through some changes. Maybe it needs to grow up, if it is a little kid. It can go through the process of growing up and get into the present time. That shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes.
You would check how far we've gotten. The integration can often be very subtle, so you would ask the client.
"Where is the part now?"
"Did it come back?"
If the part is ready for re-integration you might have to talk the client through it.
"Welcome the part of you back. Let it know how glad you are to have it back and that you will take good care of it. Reach out your arms and give it a hug and take it into your body."
Once the integration has occurred, the client is often euphoric or in a kind of daze. There is not a whole lot to say about it, but a lot will have changed for the person. She might not realize how much.
Some grounding might be needed at this point.
Tell the client that the re-integration process can continue over the coming days or weeks.
Other variants of missing parts could have a slightly different sequence of actions. If the part was stolen and is in somebody else's possession, then there would be other things that would be needed. We would need to get in telepathic communication with the thief or current owner and negotiate terms for giving it back. If necessary we will just take it back, but it can be preferable to work out a mutually agreeable arrangement.
Another phenomenon that can occur is the "Soul Gift". That is when somebody else has given the client a part of themselves. That is likely to happen in relationships, and the recipient might not be aware of it at all. We might run into that as part of other techniques, such as entity clearing. The handling would basically be to get into communication with the part, find out how it got there, and what its intention is, and ask it to return to its owner.
Soul retrieval is not something you would do many times. It is a major action that can change a person's life, and it shouldn't be necessary to do it more than a few times. You might do it at the most 3-4 times at first, and then maybe once every 6 months or so, that would be maximum.
This technique is not mechanical at all. You are helping the person to be more present here, going through whatever steps it takes. We are not pursuing realizations or information. We are working on bringing more of the person's spiritual qualities and feelings to be here. When we succeed it often involves miraculous changes for the person. This is very rewarding work to do.
- Practice the soul retrieval procedure
- Do an actual soul retrieval