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What is Soul Retrieval and How Can it Help with Emotional Healing?

Do you feel like something is missing – an aspect of yourself that you know will help you to move forward but no matter how much you search, there still feels like there is something missing?

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Soul Loss

Most shamanic cultures around the world believe that all illness is due to the loss of the soul.

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 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.

Lost soul equals lost vitality.

Soul Retrieval is not a method that creates miraculous results after one session. It does for some but this is not the norm. Soul Retrieval is a process.


Life is not so simple in the Western world. We are not always supported to live a life filled with meaning. We often cannot "connect the dots" to how our lifestyle has created the emotional and physical illnesses we are dealing with today. People lose parts of their soul at very young ages and show up to shamanic work or Soul Retrieval work many years after a trauma occurred in their lives.

Shamans in indigenous cultures did not have to go back 40, 50, or 60 years looking for lost soul parts.

And shamans in indigenous cultures did not work with a psychologically sophisticated population, like our world today.

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 that our soul is our essence, our 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, heartbreak, betrayal, 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 protection 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 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 to the body of the client.

When soul parts leave because of a trauma, they unfortunately, take with them gifts and strengths such as how to love, trust, be creative, be joyful, etc. 

When we talk about soul we are really talking about light. In returning the soul parts and lost vitality to the client we are really returning light. 

I stress the need for the client to fully absorb the light from the returned soul/essence into every cell of the body.

The first step is to help the client come up with a metaphor that will help them to absorb the light of the returned essence. It is crucial that the client come up with the metaphor that will work for them. Some examples I share are a dry sponge that has been put in water and how it absorbs the water. A flower that has been in the rain too long and then the sun comes out and the flower soaks in the light and warmth of the sun. Or maybe the reverse where a flower is growing in an area suffering from drought. And on the day the rain comes the flower soaks in the water. Another example I give is of a darkened room and the curtains are opened flooding the room with light. These are just a few examples that I share and then let the client think about a metaphor they can relate to.

The instruction I then give is for the client to focus on this metaphor. I ask clients to put their hands on their belly and breathe deeply as they experience themselves absorbing the light of their soul.

I wait to share the story of what I saw in the journey. For to share the story right after the soul part returns to the body would move the client’s energy from her body into her head.

I ask the client to breathe and absorb the light of the soul into every cell of the body.

Then I share my healing story focusing on the gifts and strengths that have been returned. I believe that once a person has his or her soul brought back the client now has to do some work. If the person has done a lot of personal work the soul retrieval might be the end of the work. If not the soul retrieval would be the beginning of the work.

Source : "Soul Retrieval: Mending the Fragmented Self" by Sandra Ingerman 

Holistic Healing Therapies : Soul Retrieval Emotional Healing

Healing Power

After the soul retrieval it is up to the client to look at how to create a healthy life style and attract healthy relationships that will support wholeness and a life filled with healing. How do we want to use the energy that was returned from the soul retrieval and our returned vitality to create a positive present and future for ourselves? And how do we bring passion and meaning back into our lives again so that we thrive instead of just survive? All these issues I call “life after healing” and are crucial to create long term healing after a soul retrieval.

Emotional Healing : Distance Healing

Self Healing

It is important to note, that you don’t have to “think” and work hard to figure out how to integrate these parts of your spirit back, nor do you need to figure out “what gifts” have returned… I have found myself realizing things like- Wow I have tears again when I see something emotional and realized I hadn’t been able to cry at things like “hallmark commercials” in years, but used to be the kind of person that could cry at anything that made me feel.

After experiencing a soul retrieval, I have a greater sense of self and security. In working with spirit return I can track these sorts of changes to the work that I’m doing, but they may be subtle and if you’re not paying attention or you may not necessarily put these two and two together without the help of a Guide or Mentor.


Learn to self heal and be in greater service to the world: The Wisdom of the Four Directions Apprenticeship


Chloë Rain is a Spiritual Guide & Healer. She has apprenticed under several indigenous curanderos from the Q'ero and Shipibo traditions as well as trained by a Native American Medicine Woman.

Chloë offers one-on-one personal mentorship programs, healing retreats, and spiritual journeys to places like Machu Picchu throughout the year, please join the newsletter to receive announcements and details on classes and offerings.

As a Shamanic Practitioner, Life Purpose Mentor, & certified Native American Healing Arts Practitioner, one of her specialities is helping individuals learn to heal themselves and answer their calling, by clearing energy patterns and belief systems that are holding you back. Her programs are based on practical life experience and also ancient earth based wisdom teachings. She has received professional life coach training and certifications in multiple healing modalities, such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programing), and trained in several other alternative medicine methodologies for self healing and personal growth. She has also received Yoga Instructor & Meditation Instructor certifications.