Warning Signs of Soul Loss by Jan Engels-Smith
We are plagued in our culture with people hurting—physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. The issues that doctors and psychologists deal with on a daily basis are what a shaman would see as warning signs of soul loss.
Warning signs of soul loss can include:
• Anything chronic—fatigue, depression, misfortune, faulty relationships, emotional problems, suicidal tendencies.
• The inability to release some emotional trauma from the past, such as a death, divorce, or other loss.
• Addictions of any kind—alcohol, drugs, food.
• Not feeling connected to the body or reality.
• Operations or difficulty in recovering from surgery.
• Repetitive sicknesses—colds, flu, and so forth.
• Major illnesses.
• No sense of direction.
• Shame or feelings of guilt.
• Feelings of unworthiness.
• Not feeling one’s personal power.
Our culture suffers dramatically from these symptoms. It is rare to come across someone who responds and lives life from wholeness instead of from the woundedness of his or her past. If a person has voids from soul loss, these voids act like magnets trying to fill up with any energy to become whole. If you are exposed to anger, fear, greed, anxiety, unhappiness and hatred repeatedly, those are the qualities your own soul will absorb. Extracting negative energies, bringing back the lost soul energy, and then teaching a person how to stay whole will not only heal the individual and restore personal power; it will begin to restore wholeness in our society as well.
The positive shift many of us work to instill, in Western culture, is toward a restoration of wholeness and an understanding of our oneness. This work addresses the fact that we are energy, as is everything, and that all energies influence one another. We must learn to maintain and care for our own divine energy—our soul. In such a climate of responsibility and openness, shamanism would find a welcome home.
All of us have experienced trauma in some form just from experiencing life. Because of this, I believe that most people would benefit from an initial soul retrieval. I have witnessed amazing results in healing using this technique, and have also experienced it firsthand. Soul retrieval changed me, not only as a person but also as a professional therapist.
I never liked the idea of long-term therapy; I could not understand why it took people so long to heal. What I discovered in shamanism is that therapy takes so long because the part of the person that needs to be healed is not present and available for treatment. The lost soul part is in a different reality and is not even present in the therapy session.
When I first started my shamanic training, I asked my clients if they would allow me to do soul retrievals on them as experiments. All consented except for one individual who considered the concept too bizarre. Within one month, all of the consenting clients were finished with their therapy. The results were amazing. I now understood, at a different level, the concepts, theories, and explanations that I had applied in prior therapy sessions.
During traditional therapy, people often understand what has happened to them on an intellectual or cognitive level, but still change does not occur. They remain too attached to their pain. The shamanic explanation for this is that the lost soul part remains suspended in a different reality, reliving the traumatic event of its loss over and over. The client still does not have access to the soul part, and successful therapy is hindered by its absence. After a soul retrieval, there is understanding not only in the mind but also in the heart and soul of the client. The return of the lost soul part allows healing to occur emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually.
The soul is divine in its essence, and this divine nature is retained in a lost soul part. In receiving a soul retrieval, one never gets back the problem. The soul part left because of the problem. During the soul retrieval, the divine essence returns, which restores wholeness to the soul and causes the person to feel complete and empowered. The person is once again connected to his/her divine nature and able to detach from the past. Energy is no longer held captive to the past, and it is no longer necessary to relive the event and experience its pain.
After a soul retrieval, previous therapies increase in value and understanding. The multilevel healing allows the person to process information from the perspective of wholeness, rather than of fragmentation, and to move beyond the traumatic experience. As a result, perspectives about self and life change: When perspectives change, reality changes. It is then that life changes can occur.
Artwork by Barry Mack