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Soul Retrieval and Shamanic Journeying

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.

Shamanic journeying is available to anyone willing to learn. The journey is a state of altered consciousness that is often induced by a sonic instrument such as the drum. Prior to the journey, the clients are asked about the intention of the journey, which is what they hope to gain from the experience. During the journey, the shaman meets up with his or her power animals-or spiritual allies-to gain information pertaining to the intention declared. Journeys take place in three different realms: The lower, upper, and middle worlds. The three worlds hold different kinds of information, and the shaman learns how to travel in these different realities. The knowledge gained is usually in the form of a metaphor, the meaning of which must be deciphered by the shaman and the client.

In the beginning of my new work, I interlaced my shamanic journeys with my understandings of psychology. I explained to my clients how the journeys worked and how I was able to gather information about their soul loss. I still provide the psychological explanation for my clients, but these unordinary travels provide the greater understanding.

The journeys are real. The worlds where these journeys take me do exist. There is a profound magic to them that is literally unexplainable using traditional human thought systems and language. The more I realize the reality of these places and the energy contained in them, the more powerful my healing practice becomes and the more instantly things manifest in my own life.

The journey is used not only for the purpose of soul retrieval. It provides access to information from the spiritual realm as unlimited as the universe and the imagination. Anything is possible, and information is readily available. Although there are other ways to gather information from the spirits, the journey is the method I prefer and the one I teach my clients. My goal is to empower my clients to connect with their own spirit helpers. Who knows better than one's own spiritual teachers and one's own soul what is needed to heal and to grow? The spiritual realm is full of helping spirits and divine love; you just need to know how to access the information. Journeying is one door to that information.

In learning how to journey, I became increasingly aware of the spiritual realm-of other realities and dimensions. I realized that I had been blinded to these realities in the past because of the limited use of my senses. I discovered just how disconnected most human beings are to the energy and spirituality around them.

Reality is an illusive thing. People are most dependent on their eyes to gain information, but our human vision is remarkably limited. Even 20/20 vision in humans is paltry compared to that of many in the animal kingdom. Because of our obsession with sight, we have limited the use of our other senses and have diminished their potential effectiveness. The phrase, "I'll believe it when I see it," expresses well the limitation we place on ourselves. With that statement we consciously establish a barrier to fuller development.

We, as a culture, have overdeveloped the left side of our brains at the expense of the right side. Our schools, bureaucratic institutions, sciences, and our very culture have emphasized analytical understanding while minimizing the value of creativity. We have become what the spirits fondly refer to as lopsided. I often say to clients that some spiritual things simply cannot be explained in words. To explain in rational terms is to dilute the experience. Trying to explain a right brain, nonlinear experience using left-brain linear, analytical, sequential, and rational terms does not work. Spirit is the world of the nonlinear; it uses the senses of the soul, which are governed by the heart. It is often said that the shaman "sees," "hears," "feels," and "knows" with her/his heart. Journeying develops these "senses of the soul" while it stimulates and utilizes the right side of the brain.

As in anything, the more you practice journeying the better you will get at discovering new realities. New worlds open up that are blindly missed by the human eye and the rational left brain. I am amazed at what is available to all individuals when they let go of existing paradigms and limited perspectives. Opening the mind and allowing Spirit to work unencumbered is what we often call a miracle or magic. It is what Spirit calls "eagle vision" or "soul vision," the ability to rise above the limited view of immediate circumstance to gain a broader, more inclusive perspective. There is so much more to "see" in the universal picture when one uses the senses of the soul and lives by the heart.

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About The Author: Jan promotes self-healing, empowerment, better communities, a healthier world and conducts workshops for shamanism and journeying. Her book, Becoming Yourself is at http://www.janengelssmith.com . A Shaman, Jan has done two thousand soul retrievals. She is a water pourer, a pipe carrier, a minister, a shamanic Practitioner, a Reiki Master, a Licensed Counselor, a Chemical Dependency Specialist, and an MFT.

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