Of Soul Retrieval and too Many Cooks in the Kitchen
Over the past few weeks, I have had occasion twice to perform Sielun Noutoaika, Soul Retrieval. For those of you not familiar with the process, let me first set the stage. Why and when is such a procedure from a shaman helpful? Seldom, unless confronting extreme abuse and privation, do we See full soul loss. Usually, we encounter a patient who has depression that is not responding to normal clinical / medicinal treatment. He usually feels that he does “not belong here,” which could mean in our Middle Earth. She often lacks energy (dyspepsia) and seems both detached and resigned, unaware of much that is going on around her. In either case, crashing, feeling excessively tired in mid to late afternoon, even when blood sugar is not elevated, having difficulty sleeping most nights, and having trouble focusing on normal tasks that should not require much thought- all of these can characterize a person with some soul components depleted or missing. It is not always something nefarious. People can give so much of their personal energy to a cause, “for the sake of my son / daughter / the kids” that it goes beyond altruism or committed parenting and has led to an erosion of the personal Power and identity. In such persons, the Itse has taken a hit and the vaki is low. Taken to an extreme, it could manifest as what could be clinically diagnosed as dissociation. On the dark side of causation, being in an abusive relationship, in which the person has surrendered all self-determination, or a series of traumatic events can all cause soul dimunition or loss. It is the kind of despondency that one might find with the German woman, beaten and gang raped by “migrants” while German men, fearing retaliation by authorities for “hate crime”, had any of them stepped forward to defend her or not walked off, pretending not to see…and again feeling violated when police treat crimes against their own people by invaders as a non-issue. It is the despondency that one might see with refugees, real refugees, fleeing bombed homes or multiple deaths of kin and friends, where those around them would say, “she’s not all there.” The logical question might be, for those not spiritually inclined, “where did the fragments of the soul go?” One answer would be that men who consider themselves “doms” (dominators) take a piece of the energetic being of those whom they dominate, even when it is an agreed-upon arrangement. They project, therefore, a very powerful, almost tangible energy. The same is true for overbearing, micromanaging bosses, needy, highly dependent children who do not want to grow up and stand on their own, and narcissists, whose relationships demand that they be catered to and served by all around them. Sometimes the soul fragments such that the person puts his energy into creating another identity, and, in extreme cases, even answers to another name. There was a famous paper about this that came out in the 1970’s in which a Dr. Greenbaum termed the’other’ person an “alter” or alternate personality. The task of the shaman is to journey to the other side, basically understood in almost all traditions as the non-material worlds. In ours, at least as I learned it, at the onset of one’s journey, she asks any God or Goddess who would like to accompany her on the journey to help her find the spirit fragments for the patient. In one case, I intuited that many of those who had taken fragments of “Nikki”’s soul (not her real name) were often abusers in one sort of relationship or the other. Being a strong, logical, outspoken woman, I also Saw that some were pseudo shamans and pseudo spiritual people who did not pass the authenticity test in her critical thinking. These latter had deliberately retaliated for perceived harm at being outed by Nikki, sometimes placing an etheric implant into her for control, and sometimes by taking from her, some of her very sought-after energy. The shaman through drumming, recitations, entheogens, such as amanita, or merely by sheer force of Will, as I did, shifts his consciousness in order to be able to travel through this other vast realm. in making the travel, I sat on an ancient stone just the right size, and slanted top for sitting upon. We were shown to use the stone as a “boat” to navigate Kuunjokki, Moon River that flows through that realm. I asked that the Snotrir Vikingar, the Valiant Watchers, bring all those who stole or forced, or in some way harmed Nikki so as to take a piece of her, to the quays along that river, where they would stand, bound by these tall, athletic guards in sleek black uniforms with the rune bind on the uniform breastplate. As we came to each one, Freyja, who said that She always held Nikki dear, emerged from the boat behind me and ritually bound these bad actors so that they could not again parasitize the innocent or steal anyone’s energy. We made several stops. Each had to hand Her the fragment(s) taken from Nikki. Finally, I returned to this side and thanked Freyja for accompanying me and supervising all that happened. Then, seeing that the njar, the soul body, was still shredded or threadbare in parts. I stood over the patient and asked that the njar come with me to Mimir’s Well and there drink from the fountain of the World Tree. As soon as it did, it was restored. I then asked it to return to the patient and was able to conclude the Working. From what I later heard from Nikki, the results were quite salutary, restoration of focus, increased energy, lifting of the fog of anxiety that had previously troubled her, all done drug- free and permanently.
Before going on to the next retrieval, I must mention the pseudo-shamans who latch onto the term, “soul retrieval” because it is a catchphrase with which to market their wares. I had another recent case where a very accomplished, successful, mid-fifties woman supposedly had this done, yet she still had fits of rage and confessed not knowing why. She suffered from often debilitating agoraphobia and anxiety. Nothing, not one major behavioral problem in her life had changed despite the “retrieval.” Working with her, the core issues were put paid to and I learnt that the “shaman” had ingested something and seemed to drift off into another realm for the session. The patient left the session with insectoids, causing physical sensation of “bugs” walking over her skin, making it hard to sleep. These, she had picked up from the inadequately trained pseudoshaman who did not know enough about spiritual hygiene to prevent contaminating another patient, rather like in the days two centuries ago when physicians did not wash their hands after one birth, then moved on to the next mother, causing what they termed “childbirth fever.” To do a retrieval means that the shaman might come face to face with a Royal White Drako or worse. If he or she is not a deeply grounded priest or priestess as well, such forces can harm to shaman and, worse, the patient. Often, doing retrieval, the forces one encounters are neither benign nor friendly. Our training is that of warrior-priests, ready to do spiritual warfare on behalf of our patients. Without that, this is risky Work indeed.
These people are usually well-intentioned, but their trying to do so involved, complex, and risky a procedure is like an EMT with two years of training trying to do brain surgery. The programme in which I trained was seven years intense study followed by three years supervised practice. I would imagine that it is much the same with training a Lama in Mongolia or a real (not set up to milk gullible Western spiritual tourists) healer in the Amazon. There is an immense amount to know.
That was my first recent retrieval. The second one involved a middle-aged professional man, let’s call him Hector. He did not so much suffer anxiety as a complete sense of alienation, a sense of never fitting in, despite having lived in my area for over 8 years after moving here from his native Portugal. Hector felt trapped in his marriage and, over the years, had increasingly felt that his wife had a public face and a private face, involving cult matters and magical control over him. Worse, they share an 8 year old son and he fears moving back to Portugal with the boy, but had found ritual paraphernalia and some other indicators that the wife’s family fully intend for the son to become one of them. He felt nervous, uneasy, unable to find a job at his level of education, despite very good language skills, headaches for which no medical cause could be found every time he stood up to her. His wife had many friends and a lot of local family, but in eight years, he had always felt awkward, unsure of himself, and unable to create social relations. This was very much at odds with who Hector came across, as a very bright, well-traveled man who worked in the tourist industry back in Portugal and had very good people skills. Digging a little bit deeper, I Set the relaxation for him, a simple technique we northerners use to help anxious patients feel grounded, safe, and ready to explore their perspectives, so I asked him to describe himself as he thought he came across to others. I was amazed at the negative adjectives. Then I realized that this was a flow of words which had washed over him from a dom spouse and that he had internalized these. His wife was the major person who had stolen much of his identity and sense of self-worth. Both the above cases are greatly summarized so that this post does not become a mini-book. There was much more done by way of healing in each case, certain organs to be renewed or their function brought to balance, just the usual wear-and-tear stuff that we See and much of which we can, with Their power, the Power of the Gods and Goddesses, address. With Hector, I felt a very strong personality that had been repressed, kept down, so I asked him if he would like to do the otherworldly journey, but assured him that I would be right there next to him, and, most importantly, some Deity would be also. I knew that he knew nothing of the pantheons of Vor Tru or Suommenescu, but I asked the Council of the Gods to hear him. He asked for someone to accompany us and Louhi, Goddess of Shamans and Magic came forth. She accompanied us, as if we were in a long pirogue and She were behind us, moving along Kuunjokki. On this journey, the people brought to us were wearing Masonic robes, most of them, including the wife. The Goddess sternly spoke to each, and I let Hector speak out loud what we both were Seeing, spoke to them that all would be stripped of the ability to do magic, since they had used it for predation and parasitism on other people, not for simple self improvement, or to help others. I then saw Her as She really is, a great Goddess, much maligned by Lonnrott in his deliberately Christianized Kalevala (an authentic one is being undertaken presently!) One after another, these people gave back soul fragments and Hector actually stood at least an inch taller when he left my offices, as he now stood straightly, not the hunched shoulders and bent forward posture of a slave anticipating the next blow of the master’s whip, which, in this case, was the wife’s tongue. A few days later, he texted that he was “seeing new things about my wife and her family that are disturbing and accord with what the Goddess showed us. Why would she be deeply involved in a Masonic sect and hide it from me?” The original Seilan Noutoaika was on a Monday and Thursday he wrote, “I really must see you. Are you available this coming Monday afternoon?” Normally, I would want the patient to take a few weeks, integrate the changes, then get back with me for another consultation, if needed, so I felt the urgency in this communication. The instant he entered, he was glaring at me. Several remarks said, essentially, “Now that I’m awakened and have my power, I realize how impossible my life is and what a mess I made of it by giving my power away in the first place.” “What are you going to do about this?” I told him that I wished I had a magical wand which I could wave to extricate him from the circumstances of his life. It is here that I realized the possible blowback from soul retrieval. When someone is unaware and going through life as a zombie, the discomfort is also muted. When the patient recovers her personal power, the pain of being dominated, manipulated, or isolated is then even more keen. I do try to always ask, where someone presents as a dominated victim, “Do you really want to retrieve all your sensibilities?” “If you do, it may not make your life any easier.” This, then, is the paradox—the anxiety or depression, or whatever the primary presenting symptoms are might have been removed, but now the life, wrongly purposed and wrongly lived, with compromises made whose consequences, like raising a child with a member of a secret society; those consequences stretch out into the indefinite future, a future where there will be a battle for control of the child, for custody. All that we can hope to achieve sometimes, as here, is to help restore the person to his full faculties that he might better face the road ahead, which he and his choices alone have paved.
Of Cooks and Kitchens
We Work with the subtle bodies. We Work in the non-material dimensions which underlie the concrete one in which I type on this keyboard, as surely as the non-material thought precedes, asserts its patterns over, and gives purpose to the typing. As such, if a patient has an attitude that is hostile to the Work, or feels that is it morally compromised to accept help from Deities outside the indoctrination of Semitic Mythology, then he or she will likely experience little improvement from a shamanic intervention. We cannot force improvement, physical, mental, nor emotional, upon a patient. We can only serve as allies, catalysts, for their own higher natures, their own innate desire for wellness, for personal integration and fulfillment. We do learn in the Tietajar tradition, to remain neutral toward the patient. It is not necessary for me to personally like that person such that she might ever become a friend. I am perfectly at ease Working with people, some of whose lifestyle choices or habits might be repugnant to me. If there were someone with whom I felt that I could not wish them well, nor healed, perhaps an unrepentant human trafficker or addictive drug merchant, I would simply refuse to Work on that one as a patient. Not all traditions are that scrupulous and, as with divination, sometimes the person working for the patient may not have the best interests in the forefront. This brings to mind a case some 20 years ago. A lady in a metaphysical study group with which I then participated fell ill with an advanced colon cancer. Jen has a positive outlet and is multitalented, also a well-respected card reader. In her late fifties at the time, however, and Jen’s lifetime of the Southern diet- fried foods, lots of sugar (even added to green beans and to cornbread), and the low fiber content of the diet, it is not surprising that there was some sort of alimentary malady. A biopsy was done and then MRI imaging and a colonoscopy before the oncologists determined that it was stage 4 colon cancer and planned to remove, they estimated, three feet of intestine, replacing the functions of the rectum and lower colon with an ostomy. She had been in the hospital a week when I heard about this. At the time, I was dating a lady trained in the Latin American equivalent of what we do. Marcella was also in the group and liked Jen and wanted to help her. I went to see her three different times and Marcella went with me to see Jen once. We were certain that we had opened adhesions and helped to restore a lot of the area, but we both felt a nagging sort of resistance. Where was this coming from? Next meeting of the group, some people asked me about Jen, who was to have surgery when she was strong enough for it, in a few days. Only then did I know that Jen had reached out also to four other “healers” from as many traditions, two of whom abhorred my role as a priest in asking the Shining Ones for help in healing those who are afflicted. Prayers are a form of energy work. In their prayers, people such as me are vanquished and the voices of our Gods and Goddesses forever silenced, our temples razed and never rebuilt, so I quickly realized that these people, while they may or may not have been wanting her recovery, actively wanted my intervention to fail because, in their “book,” there is only “one” way and only one source of power, so if what I was doing Worked, they had an interest in suppressing it. This was part of the counterweight we felt. But, there was more. One of the other “healers” on whom Jen had called was always jealous of Jen’s abilities as a psychic and I had, over the years, often heard her sniping comments when Jen could not overhear them. So there was at least one person with a bit of ability to affect health outcomes who actively might not want Jen to recover, or to regain her health. The adage is, “Too many cooks in the kitchen spoils the soup.” Here it was, playing out before us. Fortunately, despite the counterweight and the fact that the cancer was detected only very lately, in the end, the surgeons only removed four inches of degraded large intestine and the ostomy was abandoned. They followed up for a couple of years with chemotherapy. Jen is alive and as well as can be expected for an overweight and physically inactive person in the late seventies. If the Powers and I had any part in preventing her predicted end, the expectation that, after the ostomy, she would not last out a year, I am happy to have been part of that, but the lesson I learned is to always ask what other energetic therapies people might be simultaneously using. Normally, they will tell me all about the medical aspects of the care that they are receiving, but it is just as important for me to always ask, and for them to always be candid about how many other cooks might be standing shoulder to shoulder with me in that kitchen, trying to cook up a resolution. Our Work is like an electronic signal. It takes place in the etheric spectrum, parallel to but outside the electromagnetic one, but some of the same dynamics occur. Just as interference can be sensed when one tries to tune a radio in an area with too many signals, so too the signals we send for health and wellbeing can be jammed or suffer such interference as to affect their efficacy. In such cases, I simply back off and ask the putative patient to decide which chef he would like to use. Otherwise, the soup will be appalling.