I know, I know – I was going to look at Julian Baggini’s 12 Rules for Heathens – and I will keep that promise. But: I didn’t know then about Soul Loss.
‘What is Soul Loss?’ I hear you ask. What indeed. It is ’one of the main reasons people get ill, from a shamanic point of view‘. After telling me that shamanism dates back 40,000 years (I am not even going to begin with that claim) the article ends its first page with the helpful: Physically, the symptoms of soul loss can be pretty much anything.
So how do I know if I’ve lost mine? A shaman will help. The main cause is trauma in the past.
Now – were this all a set of metaphors for psychological distress and its impact – that might actually work perfectly well. We may have problems linked to our past, and we can use a range of images to explore and picture them and this may well help. But what struck me here was the literalism:
In a soul retrieval the skilled shamanic practitioner leaves their own body and enters into shamanic reality. This is usually (but not always) done to the accompaniment of a shamanic drum or rattle. Working with the help of their power animal(s) and other guides, the practitioner finds the soul part of the person they are journeying for and attempts to persuade it to return. If it agrees to return, the part is then gathered up, brought back to this reality and then literally blown back into the person’s body. [http://www.therapeutic-shamanism.co.uk/soul%20retreival.html]
I really am not sure what this might mean… So I looked at other Soul Retrieval providers – such as http://www.devimangohealing.com/whatissoulretrieval.htm where (after the 40,000 years claim is repeated) there is some very similar material. It seems that the key text here is the 1991 work by Sandra Ingerman called Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self. I have ordered a copy – and will report back.
In the meantime I note that http://www.liberate-online.co.uk/Soul-Retrieval.aspx offer soul retrieval by telephone (I wonder if it is available by text?), and that at the same site there is the claim:
So, how does soul loss manifest itself? How does someone know that they are affected by soul loss? In my experience, clients tend to make statements such as, “I don’t feel all here” “I feel lost” “I feel part of me is missing” “ A part of me died when she died” “I feel like I am constantly searching for something, but I don’t know what it is”– all these statements are indications of soul loss.
I would, from my perspective, probably rather suggest that these are indication of grief, lonliness, or existential angst at the absurdity of life. They do however also have the effect of making people feel vulnerable and at risk of exploitation by those peddling ‘answers’ which claim so much. In reality, these troubles often cannot be fixed, and certainly not easily and with ‘spirit work’, surely when people read (same site):
Everyone suffers soul loss at some point, either in the current life or former lifetimes, yet this can be swiftly rectified. It is a real blessing to do this work, the results can be miraculous!
They can begin to sense why the Mind-Body-Spirit world makes me so angry and upset?