In the words of Native American Chief, Floyd Westerman, The majority of us are living lives of ‘Quiet Desperation’. We are no longer living in balance, either with ourselves, our communities or the natural world. The traumas of life have impacted on us so profoundly that we have lost our meaning for life and our vital essence. What Shamanic practitioners refer to as Soul Loss. This can be seen by the epidemic rise in diagnosed depression, addiction and other mental health related issues in modern day Ireland and, indeed globally.
There is not one of us who does not know someone who has experienced these debilitating conditions and, in fact, it has been suggested that at some time in each of our lives, we all have experienced some form of depressive state. From a Shamanic point of view, these ‘mental health’ conditions are a result of ‘Soul Loss’. ‘Soul Loss’ is a Shamanic concept that speaks of how, as a result of trauma in our lives, our soul fragments, or that pieces of our soul ‘leave to protect themselves from the effect of the trauma.
Disconnected from ourselves
The result of Soul Loss is that we feel disconnected from ourselves, there is a lack of meaning and motivation in our lives and our ability to function on a day to day basis is compromised. This mirrors the mainstream psychological concept of disassociation. Literally, we have been so traumatized by our life events that we have lost a significant amount of our vital essence. This Soul Loss is dependent on how the individual perceives the trauma and the significance of the event to the person involved. Most commonly, Soul Loss can take place as a result of childhood physical, emotional or sexual abuse, the death of a loved one, a car accident or any major bodily trauma. As a result of this, the individual can experience loss of memory, phobias and in many cases develop destructive life patterns.
Retrieval of our vital essence
One of the most important and effective healing practices for the Shamanic practitioner is Soul Retrieval, or seeking out these lost soul pieces, re-integrating them into the individual, thus returning their vital life essence. In the initial healing Soul Retrieval session, the Shamanic practitioner would source the original trauma and soul pieces for the purpose of integrating them into the client. In subsequent sessions, the Shamanic Practitioner would then work with the client to fully integrate these soul pieces, help to end destructive life patterns and allow the client to fully benefit from the return of this lost aspect of themselves.
This process can have a profoundly transformational effect on the individual, returning them to their original energetic state, both emotionally and psychologically. The result of this is that the individual feels re-motivated, re-energized and that life-long blockages are removed. This ultimately allows the individual to begin their lives anew, without the hindrance of previous spiritual disabilities.
Epidemic Soul Loss
The Shamanic Practitioner would see the result of Soul Loss amongst our community members as epidemic. It has been suggested that because of the trauma of 21st Century life, we all suffer some degree of Soul Loss. The spiritual health of individuals clearly has a dramatic effect on the functioning of our community in general. With productive and healthy community members, we get productive and healthy communities. The spiritual health of our communities is of profound importance and in our modern world has been greatly disregarded.
In the Shamanic view, it is extremely important that these individual spiritual ‘illnesses’ are identified and addressed, in an attempt to restore healthy and productivity community members. This can only be profoundly beneficial, not only on a personal and community basis, but also nationally and globally.
Declan Quigley ©