Soul Loss (and the Pandemic)Jul 16, 2021
We’ve all contended with much loss during the pandemic, losses which for many still continue. As we heal from all that has changed and move back into the continuum of free will and re-integration, we may not feel fully resourced for tasks and decisions that previously felt easeful. We may have an unsettling feeling that something is missing from ourselves, that we aren’t like how we used to be.
This could be due to an underlying spiritual phenomenon known in shamanic cultures as soul loss, which often accompanies physical and emotional loss, trauma, shocking events, accidents, death of a loved one, situations where we feel a loss of power, and other life-changing circumstances in our human existence. Soul loss can also occur when we don’t feel accepted in our families of origin, or are systematically repressed from fully expressing our gifts.
Soul loss, when identified, is remediable through a healing modality known as soul retrieval. Soul retrieval is performed by a shamanic practitioner, who addresses illness at the spiritual level. A shamanic practitioner enters what is called the unseen world to engage with their helping spirits, benevolent ancestors, nature guides, and other aspects of spirit to recover the missing soul piece(s). These pieces are brought back into this realm and poured back into the client, returning them to wholeness.
In traditional cultures, soul retrieval was a spiritual remedy that was offered alongside with other remedies to heal any ailments in the physical body. Those who had experienced trauma (such as a death, difficult childbirth, intense disagreement or separation) would receive a soul retrieval soon after the event. This spiritual hygiene kept members of the community spiritually full, energetically protected, and able to fully engage in their lives and the society to which they belonged.
Whether in traditional cultures or in our modern life, the recovery of our soul fragments reconnects us to the unity of our being and a re-stabilization of our core essence. Soul retrieval pours missing light into our bodies and spirits, heralding the return of gifts, vitality, and inner pools of strength and resilience. We remember who we are, and once again follow the paths that we are chosen to traverse.
There are three ways soul loss can occur: 1) soul essence voluntarily leaves to preserve itself; 2) soul essence is taken; and 3) soul essence is given.
Note: the definition of soul I’m using is the “our divine and unique spark which accompanies us through the human journey”.
When soul essence leaves
It is believed that whenever we suffer emotional or physical trauma, a part of our soul flees the body in order to survive the experience. The aspect of our being that allows our soul to flee before trauma occurs is a vital piece of self-preservation. It's how we survive pain.
However, having missing pieces inside of us is problematic. Nature loves a vacuum, and the vacancy can be filled with addictions (excess media, substances, overeating, overwork) as we seek to avoid looking at the empty spaces. The ‘holes’ can also fill with any available energy … so we may pick up sadness, depression, or powerlessness from others around us. We may also seek to fill out soul gaps by taking pieces from another, which is discussed next.
When soul essence is taken
Soul theft can happen with ill intent, as in a break-up where one member wants to keep a piece of the other’s essence, in cases of intense envy, or when one wants to level the playing field, to name a few examples.
Soul theft can also occur between two individuals in close relationship, be it intimate, parent-child, family relationship, friendship, or even coworkers. The theft can happen when these relationships move into co-dependence or enmeshment. As one’s world gets increasingly isolated and small due to being focused on one particular person, there is more inclination to steal another’s vitality.
There can also be soul theft when two people move out of enmeshment and back to fuller lives, as we are experiencing with the pandemic. As we separate and re-form our autonomous identities, there can be some confusion on which is our soul piece and which isn’t.
Taking one’s soul light, whether intentionally or unintentionally, is actually a lose-lose situation. The ‘taker’ can't actually use it. And the ‘sufferer’ is missing a crucial piece of their light body, which ignites the meaning and spark in their life.
“And this more human love, endlessly considerate and light and good and clear, consummated by holding close and letting go, will resemble that love that we so arduously prepare — the love that consists of two solitudes that protect, border, and greet each other.” ~Rilke
When soul essence is given
The third source of soul loss occurs when we give out soul part. Perhaps we see our child struggling and we desire to give them a piece of our strength. Though this act is well intentioned, it creates a pattern of power loss for ourselves and creates a burden to those we are attempting to give to.
We also may have a pattern of willingly giving away parts of our soul to please another, or in the hope of being loved or accepted. Yet, as in soul theft, the pieces can’t be used by the ones we are wanting to help, or gain approval from, and we end up with an ongoing deficit. This deficit wreaks havoc on our light selves over time, reduces our spiritual immunity, and makes us susceptible to both physical spiritual illness.
Both dynamics, taking soul essence and giving soul essence are learned behaviors that are usually enacted without awareness.
During the process of the soul retrieval, you are guided to fully experience the re-entry of your light. To hold on to and protect this light is an ongoing inquiry. Do you need to re-establish boundaries? How do you want to spend your renewed stores of energy and vigor? How do you want to re-enter and impact the communities you belong to? With your restored essence, how do you move into the spacious meadow of thriving and away from the self-limiting wheel of surviving?
These questions can also be explored in post-soul retrieval journeys to witness your unique paths of integration and prevention.
All of these endeavors are essential to holding on to your effulgent light, so it can shine blissfully onto your divine and essential purpose ahead.
"Don’t you know yet? It is your light that lights the worlds." ~Rumi
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