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What is shamanism?
Shamanism has been practiced for an estimated tens of thousands of years by indigenous peoples. Michael Harner was a western anthropologist who brought what he called "core shamanism" to the US. Today, he has taught many students in the ways of the healers so that walking between the two worlds and accessing information from the invisible realm for the purpose of healing and the benefit of community has become more possible for us all. Spiritual shamanic practices include journeying for access to guides and spirit animals, power animal retrieval, extraction, and soul retrieval. More specific information can be found by downloading this flyer:
What is Reiki?
Reiki is the Japanese word for “spiritually guided universal life force.” It promotes stress release, healing and relaxation, supporting the body’s innate ability to heal itself. The practitioner accesses this Universal Energy and transfers it to the client with highly touching or holding hands above the body during a session. You will remain fully clothed except shoes during the session and you may want to use a light blanket. You may fall asleep or you may want to notice what crosses your mind during a session and tell me what your impressions are. I may also use stones, drumming or smudging during the session. We will talk first before a session.
What happens at a session?
Sessions last 1.5 to 2 hours. Please allow 2 hours just to be safe. Please do not drink any alcohol or take any recreational drugs for at least 24 to 48 hours before your session. Wear comfortable clothes and bring an openness to whatever insights or healing you might receive during the session.
We will first speak on the phone when making the appointment and I will gather some information at that time. I will be interested in what led you to me and what led you to have a session. Before we meet I will work with my spirit guides to seek guidance on how I am to work with you. On the day of the session we will talk first then I will follow my guidance as to which practice to use, whether to use stones, drumming, energy clearing, souls retrieval, power animal retrieval or other practices. You will lie down so you might sleep, participate, relax, observe, or all of the above. When I am done, I will share my observations, experiences, and otherwise impressions with you as you take notes. I will then take questions and we can discuss your experience and how to apply the information in your daily life. Please allow time after your session to quietly process your experience.
How will I feel after a session?
Make sure you are fully grounded before driving after a session as you might be a bit spacey. Drink lots of water and pay attention to any new insights that might come up during the next few days, including any particularly vivid dreams. Spend extra time in nature if you can. You might want to keep a journal of what comes up for you. Sometimes the shifts may be dramatic; sometimes they may be more subtle. Especially when soul parts are returned, you might want to journal about these newly returned parts and note how they are integrated in your daily life.
How often should I have a session?
You can have a Shamanic session as often as you like. This energy work is not an instant cure. Listen to your intuition and have a session when your instincts urge you to do so. As an infant you intuitively knew how to get your needs met. As you grew you began to doubt your innate knowing and leaned on external cues instead. Use these sessions as a way to return to your intuition. The Great Mystery first "spoke" with us through revelation, so practice embracing your intuitive hunches.
What is soul loss and what is a soul retrieval?
It is believed that whenever we suffer an emotional or physical trauma a part of our soul flees the body in order to survive the experience. The definition of soul that I am using is soul is our essence, life force, the part of our vitality that keeps us alive and thriving.
The types of trauma that could cause soul loss in our culture would be any kind of abuse sexual, physical, or emotional. Other causes could be an accident, being in a war, being a victim of a terrorist act, acting against our morals, being in a natural disaster (a fire, hurricane, earthquake, tornado, etc.), surgery, addictions, divorce, or death of a loved one.
Any event that causes shock could cause soul loss. And what might cause soul loss in one person might not cause soul loss in another.
It is important to understand that soul loss is a good thing that happens to us. It is how we survive pain. If I was going to be in a head on car collision the last place that I would want to be at the point of impact is in my body. My psyche could not endure that kind of pain. So our psyches have this brilliant self protect mechanism where a part of our essence or soul leaves the body so that we do not feel the full impact of the pain.
In psychology we call this disassociation. But in psychology we don’t talk about what disassociates and where that part goes. In shamanism we understand that a piece of the soul leaves the body and goes to a territory in what shamans call non ordinary reality where it waits until someone intervenes in the spiritual realms and facilitates its return.
Although soul loss is a survival mechanism the problem from a shamanic point of view is that the soul part that left usually does not come back on its own. The soul might be lost, or stolen by another person, or doesn’t know the trauma has passed and it is safe to return.
It has always been the role of the shaman to go into an altered state of consciousness and track down where the soul fled to in the alternate realities and return it and its gifts to the client.
There are many common symptoms of soul loss. Some of the more common ones would be dissociation where a person does not feel fully in his or her body and alive and fully engaged in life. Other symptoms include trauma, chronic depression, suicidal tendencies, post traumatic stress syndrome, immune deficiency problems, and grief that just does not heal. Addictions are also a sign of soul loss as we seek external sources to fill up the empty spaces inside of us whether through substances, food, relationships, work, or buying material objects.
Anytime someone says I have never been the same since a certain event and they don’t mean this in a good way soul loss has probably occurred.
When the part of your soul is found, the shamanic practitioner and their helping spirits engage with the lost soul and invite it to come back home. At times, a lost soul may be cared for in the spirit world by an ancestor, power animal or guardian. Sometimes a lost soul has been stolen and the shamanic practitioner and spirit helpers will negotiate its return. The gifts or positive qualities associated with that soul piece will also be returned.
The shamanic practitioner returns with the essence that is a part of you. They will return this vital essence to you by blowing it into your heart and the crown of your head. They may also blow it into a crystal or use another method to transfer the essence back to you. Rattling and other instruments are often used at the end of a soul retrieval to welcome the soul back home.
Welcome your soul back with an open body, heart and mind. While the shamanic practitioner is retrieving and returning the soul, the recipient can use a metaphor to visualize absorbing the light of their essence.
A soul retrieval often includes a healing story or message. A shamanic practitioner may give you a healing story about the soul essence that is returning to you. It may be a strong creative force or a deep inner knowing that returns to you. It may be an excited, vibrant, younger part of you returning to life.
The shamanic practitioner will often work with you after the soul retrieval to realize the gifts returning to you and actions that will help ground the experience in your physical reality.