Continuing on the theme of Soul Retrieval I offer this brief introduction of why it is a major interest to me. Soul Retrieval is a shamanic technique that is believed to be the oldest known healing procedure on the planet. I have dedicated my professional career to this process and have done over 3500 soul retrievals. That amount of experience has given me literally thousands of case studies from which to learn more about the human condition and how we can benefit the healing arts by integrating ancient traditions into our contemporary healing practices. I feel that with every soul retrieval I learned from the spirits vast amounts of information about life, other lifetimes, karma, the power of words, humans’ energetic systems, empowerment/disempowerment, self-care, wellness, the death process, discarnate beings, the value of relationship, and why we incarnate.
I have done several soul retrievals that were profound to me. One that still affects me to this day was when a woman called me to make an appointment for her daughter, who was having night terrors. Night terrors are different from nightmares in that the people experiencing them can’t be awakened. In fact, the more you try to awaken them, the deeper they travel into their terror. Often the sleeping person makes bone chilling, eerie sounds. The sleeping person may have eyes open or closed. If open, you can see soul-deep the horror of their experience. The night terror episode is terrorizing for all concerned.
There are many levels of experience in night terrors, but one thing holds true: the people experiencing them are traumatized, as are the ones who are trying to awaken them. Doctors have no cure and drugs are ineffective. When my client brought me her child, she had tried everything else and decided to seek shamanic healing as a last resort.
The journey I am about to describe is one of several revelatory that I have experienced. It not only created a healing for this individual, but it also opened my eyes to the complexity of life, other lifetimes, the power of words, and multifaceted healing.
During the journey I had an almost comical vision of an African scene. There was a little African warrior standing about two feet tall. He had on a grass skirt with grass pompoms around his ankles and wrists. He had on a black mask with grass hair and he was carrying a spear. He approached me, screaming in what I assumed was an African language, waving his hands and spear around and stomping his feet. Even though I had no idea what he was saying, his body language was definitely angry and threatening. I felt like I needed the protection of my spirit allies. I asked my power animals, “What is this all about?” I was told that the night terrors my client was experiencing were because of a black magic, or voodoo, spell that was placed on her soul in a different lifetime. The results of that spell were being played out through the night terrors. I was amazed, but also perplexed and wondered what to do. I followed my spirit allies’ instructions and to my amazement the little African image dropped his spear and was defused and powerless. The spell was broken.
Please remember, the images in a journey are metaphors; they are used to explain a situation and are usually not literal. The actual truth in this journey was that a spell or curse had been cast, and that we were dealing with negative forces put into action from human intention. (Humans do all kinds of awful things to each other.)
After breaking the spell, I continued with the journey to bring back any lost soul parts. There had been much soul loss and loss of power within my client because of the night terrors. The spirits made sure that all was in order before we left the journey.
After completing the soul retrieval, I spent time explaining to both my client and her mother what had happened during the journey. We then discussed the recommendations given to me by the spirits about how to facilitate her healing by calling in certain healing allies at night before bed. With this advice, the mother and daughter left my office.
After people leave my office, my normal procedure is to clean with sage the sacred items that I used during the soul retrieval. As I was doing this, I heard a loud crash in the adjoining room. The floor shook and a strange energy surged up my spine. With my stomach fluttering, I ran out of my office to see what had happened. There on the floor lay an African mask that had fallen off of the wall. I stared at the mask in both disbelief and amusement. The fear that I momentarily felt surge through my body melted. My amusement came from an understanding I had developed through my longtime work with the spirits. I realized immediately that this mask hadn’t accidentally fallen off the wall, but had more likely jumped off the wall to get my attention. I actually laughed out loud as I bent to pick up the mask, realizing how blatant the spirits can be to get one’s attention. I also was keenly aware that there was a real similarity between the mask that hung on my wall and the one I encountered in the journey.
I found myself saying to the mask, “So what do you know about this black magic stuff I just encountered?”
I took the mask into my office and did a journey with it. During my journey with the mask, it gave me all kinds of information about spells, curses, the power of the spoken word, how to move energy to counter spells, and how to become invisible when I get myself into dangerous situations during a journey. In fact, I am to wear this particular mask in non-ordinary reality when I need to become invisible. The mask was letting me know that it was to serve a very important role in my life. I have since moved the mask into my office space where it serves many purposes. The mask has become a beloved ally in the spiritual realm. Its name is Legba.
I left my office and was compelled to watch television. This is an odd choice for me since I rarely watch television and more rarely watch it during the afternoon. However this participial day I decided to turn on the television to watch Oprah. To my amazement the topic of her program that day was night terrors. She had several guests discussing the topic from doctors to patients. Doctors were stating that they had no cure for night terrors nor did they understand what created them. Their treatment was drug related which had many side effects especially on the quality of life for their patients. Patients described the horrors of night terrors. Parents or spouses that were witness to the night terrors expressed the same type of horrors. The entire program was focused on the reality of these horrifying episodes for people and the fact that there is basically no cure that medical science has discovered.
I find no coincidence of the timing of my experience with my client, the spirits that brought me the profound information on the possible cause and cure of night terrors and the topic of Oprah’s show. To me this is an example of a direct communication from spirit validating the information that I received. I believe this information is guidance from the spiritual realm to educate any of those that deal with night terrors. Investigating the possibility of a curse or spell being at the core of the night terrors might actual lead to a cure if the curse is unwound and declared null and void.
At the time of the original journey with this client I had no experience with curses and didn’t have any knowledge or skill base with how to handle them. Now years later I have received much training on the topic and have years of experience in dealing with them. I have had several other successful cases of night terrors being cured.
Needless to say I was astonished at this information and I had a sudden epiphany. I realized that I had been prepared for years for this moment, for this client, for this teaching. I was prepared not only from my studies in shamanic healing but even in my decorating motif. I have collected tribal or indigenous art all of my adult life and all of my tribal art has been “danced.” Danced is a term that means that the piece is not only original, but has actually been used in traditional ceremonies. This particular mask was the first in my collection. I have had this mask since I was 22 years old and I can guarantee that when it came into my life I was unaware of shamanic healing or of what the mask was capable of doing. I wondered why I was interested in cultural artifacts. Why was I drawn to cultures around the world? Where did this interest originate? The mask came to me in a serendipitous way through various long-forgotten friends who had lived in Africa. I had admired the mask for years and they eventually gave it to me. It had hung on my wall for 20 years and had never fallen off!
I realize now that the mask came into my life for a reason, in preparation for this very moment. It is a reminder of the divine order of the universe. Nothing is out of place and every interaction, every friendship, every encounter, every thing is divinely ordered and interrelated. All this time I had thought I was selecting my own artwork, but in truth it was selecting me.
Since this experience, other things (art pieces, fetishes, altar icons) have spoken to me and allowed me to understand their divine purpose in my life and the part they play in my chosen path. I no longer doubt my own purpose, or question how someone raised in traditional American ways could have such a profound connection to the spiritual realm and magic of indigenous cultures. I accept that it is so.