This past weekend (Jan 13-16), Glasreo and I attended a Soul Retrieval Certification workshop, taught by Monika Healing Coyote, in the neoshamanic healing tradition of Sandra Ingerman and Gryphon’s Grove. It was an INTENSE experience. Which is part of why it’s taken me this long to blog about it… I’m still pretty heavily processing,but I think it’s time to share! I’m going to give a brief overview of each day of the class, the topics covered, with more details on any personal insights I gained. I will probably forget things and miss things because I learned SO MUCH, but hopefully this will be a passable record of my experiences.
There were six other attendees, plus myself, Glasreo, and our instructor, gathered in her living room. It was a small room, and a cozy fit, but pleasant. We did a round of introductions – the usual. Name, experience level for journeying, healing modalities practiced, why learn soul retrieval? My answer to the last question was pretty much,
Another Tool in the Toolbox. I’ve been spirit-led to do soul retrieval on a few reiki clients previously, and I jumped at the chance to learn it more deeply.
We talked a bit about ways to jump in and out of journey space in order to take notes and ask multiple questions, but I already have a system I use for “pausing” journeys in order to do that. I’ve really found it useful in my reiki practice, because it allows me to receive messages from spirits and look at the energy body deeply, and still talk to the client and be aware of where my body is in relation to theirs and everything else in the room.
Our first journey was to talk to our soul retrieval guides about soul essence and soul loss, on micro and macro levels. My guides are the same as my main reiki guides: Airmed and Miach, Irish gods of healing. They gave me imagery that spun up and down on different levels, comparing the soul to the nucleus of an atom, or the star of a solar system – the center that animates the outside (the body). Many of my classmates also got solar or fire imagery, and most of us also got messages about the soul of an individual being part of a larger soul (and likely made up of smaller souls, as well). Fractals, spiraling up and down out of our ability to conceive in both directions. Soul loss, then, can affect us all on many different levels, and it’s as important to do soul retrieval for individuals as it is to do it for groups, the land, and the planet, if you can.
Since we started in the evening and everyone was pretty beat, it was a short session.
Day two started with us asking our guides for a dismemberment healing, to prepare the way for new energies. As usual, I dissolved into the water that borders my Waystation island. It’s very very calming, and a bit less violent than what usually comes to mind for a dismemberment healing, but just as potent. We talked a bit about my own shadows and blockages, shadow work I need to do and things I need to be aware of as I’m doing this healing work. Most of it was things I’m already aware of and trying to work on, one or two were new and struck a chord. Self improvement is never finished, and I’m glad to have their guidance.
Then we talked for a bit, with Monika introducing concepts like client education, confidentiality, consent, other complementary healing modalities, so that we could discuss them and figure out our own paths through this work. Glasreo and I will probably be combining this work with our reiki practice, first and foremost, and using reiki to both prepare the bodies (physical and etheric) as well as to help with integration afterwards.
The next journey was a pretty intense one – we were to ask our guides for a run-down of our specific method, ie, how we were going to perform soul retrieval with their help. My particular method requires me using sound to call in nearby pieces, and visiting an underwater (but air-filled) cave to find pieces that get lost. I see the soul like a little squishy ball of light as I work on it, clearing things out and helping pieces assimilate back in. After learning our method, and hearing about everyone else’s, Monika paired us up to work on partners. My partner and I didn’t have any trouble working on each other, and it helped me really cement the method I’d been shown.
We then talked a bit about integration, and how to tell the client what we’d seen, and when it’s best to keep some of the story to ourselves – it’s not a good idea to share something if it will trigger or re-traumatize the client. It’s better to focus on what the soul pieces are bringing back, rather than focusing on why the left – you want the client to move forward, and heal fully. We also discussed how different messages come through our filters, and how sometimes a symbol will mean a different thing to us than it does to the client. It’s okay to just say you’re not sure if the symbology or metaphor is unclear – maybe it will become clear to the client afterwards! After discussing integration, we did a journey to the soul pieces that were returned, to ask them for their story, and advice moving forward, in order to cement our own integration.
Our last topic was soul theft, and we discussed the topic before journeying to ask our guides how we would handle it as healers, and what we should do to prevent it from happening again. Monika pointed out that frequently, human-on-human soul theft is a chain that goes pretty far back, and it might be best to go as far back as you can, or until you hit someone dead, to prevent the cycle from recurring. Most soul theft is unintentional, and the perpetrators often need healing, themselves, but consent can be difficult, so I will probably free pieces and hand them off to someone’s guides or Higher Self, as attempting to put them back into the core soul without consent is likely to get me nowhere, and it’s not very ethical. Spirits can also steal pieces of soul, or pick up pieces that left and hold on to them, and those may have to be battled or psychopomped, depending on the kind of spirit and how reluctant they are to give up the piece. I’ll be working with the Morrigna in these cases, though, so I feel ready to do the work.
The first half of the day was spent on smaller topic discussions: ancestral line soul loss in the client’s family, past lives/reincarnation/soul contracts of the client, working on clients with mental or physical illnesses (especially the limitations of this work to “fix” biological problems – it can help, certainly, but “miracle cures” are incredibly rare), working on clients with addiction issues (and the limitations it puts on healing if they are not Ready, Willing, and Able to change), working on clients remotely (can totally be done, across time and/or space), working on land spirits, working on animals, and group healing ceremonies.
After we discussed animals, we did a small group session on the dog that lived in the house, and we found that some of us were called to do different parts. For example, I ended up doing mostly gunk removal, from both the core soul and pieces, though I was not guided to gather or integrate more than one piece. Another classmate was called to gather many pieces but not clean them, and a third was guided to hold space for the rest of us and then finish the integration process. That led us into the discussion of group healing, and once we had finished all our discussion topics, we did a brief healing on Monika, as well.
The final journey of the day was a discussion (with our guides) of trickery and intrusions, from spirits and thoughtforms and suchlike that could mess with a healing. We were to come up with a system to guard against and deal with these issues. My personal system is to remain basically the same as what I already do with my guides when working on reiki clients, or when encountering new spirits in journey space, so that was more confirmation for me than anything new.
The first half the day was entirely devoted to a discussion on ethics. We revisited consent and confidentiality, and also covered topics like holding space, moving past our own ego, self-healing work and shadow work, honoring equal exchange, knowing our personal limits, and making sure not to cause dependency, not to hold any healing back from the client. Monika shared with us her own ethical code, and talked about the code put forth by the Indie Shaman quarterly journal, and we all thought a bit about our own guidelines. Then, another journey – this time to ask our guides for their input, and to be told what the consequences might be if we broke our oath. After that, we all participated in a short meditation to release any soul essence that was not ours that we had taken or ended up with, consciously or unconsciously, so that those pieces could find their way home.
After lunch, Monika led a ceremony to call forth many many spirits as witnesses, and we all gave our oaths. The core of mine is that I will abide by the sacred rules of Hospitality, and I will Put Right what is Wrong. Some things will not be mine to change, and I should never put anything wrong that was right to begin with… It is somewhat difficult to put into terms, but I understand and my spirits understand, and the consequences if break this oath will be immediate and dire, and completely out of my control.
I feel like I learned so much, from both the discussions, and the journeys. It was also really helpful to hear about other people’s journeys, and where everyone else was coming from. It was one of those times where I’m not sure it could have been replicated with another group of people, because we were all so in sync! Hopefully Monika will teach the class again – I would highly recommend it to any experienced energy healer. It’s been a lot to process, but I would do it all over again. I really think this is going to help deepen my healing practice.
One last thing – before we receive our final certificate, we have to do 1 free soul retrieval healing, so if you’d like to volunteer for that, do let me know. I’ll probably offer a handful for free to make sure I’ve really integrated what I’ve learned, and then I’ll add it to my reiki bag of tricks and stick it on the menu, so to speak. I’ll be updating the reiki & healing part of the website with more information soon.
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