What is Soul Retrieval? (And How it Works)

What is a Soul Retrieval? (And How it Works)

Originally written in July 2014 - this post has been revised and updated from the original.


To talk about soul retrieval, we have to first talk about soul loss. And to talk about soul loss, we have to first understand that we are more than just our physical body.

Any individual on this earth that exists in the physical space - a person, an animal, or a plant, for example - we are basically spirits wearing physical bodies for the time being.

You already know, at least intellectually, that it is not your physical body that makes you you. It’s the essence of you. It’s your soul. It’s your spirit. Who you are, as an individual, is not defined by your dress size, the clarity of your skin, or the style of your hair.

For the purposes of this article, we'll be talking about the soul, and soul and spirit are often used interchangeably. In my practice, I understand the difference to be that the soul is the physically embodied part of the spirit that can return to spirit in the afterlife. Both makeup who you are, but the soul is the part that is with you, in the physical, right now.

Your soul is made up of two other, interweaving and interconnecting bodies - the energetic body, and the spiritual body. There’s no separation between the two; I like to think of them as layers of yourself. Your thoughts, your feelings, your perceptions, your viewpoints, your uniqueness, your soul history, your life history, all that makes up the essence of you is your soul. All the lessons you have learned and are learning in this lifetime and those past and present, and stored here. And each and every one of these lessons, these feelings, these emotions, these experiences have an energetic vibration. The sum of which comprises your energetic body.

Each microscopic part of you, physical or spiritual, has an energetic vibration, and all together, these tiny pieces make up your soul's energy.

Experiences, thoughts, emotions, feelings, lessons, viewpoints, perspectives make up both your spiritual body and your energetic body, combining to form your soul.

You following me?

Your soul is made up of energy. That energy makes up who you are.
I find it helps to categorize it. Though it's quite a bit more black and white than it actually is, for our human brain and experience, I break it down into 3 primary bodies:

Our physical body - Arms, legs, organs, eyes, ears, organs and skin.

Our energetic body - chakras, aura, and energetic vibrations carried by all experiences, thoughts, feelings, and physical bodily functions

Our spiritual body - Thoughts, feelings, emotions, life lessons, experiences, personality traits, and perspectives

All three of these are interwoven and act like layers of one unified body.

I repeat, there is no separation.
However, when someone dies, they leave their physical body and keep the other two. This is the soul, and that soul goes back to Spirit.

Shamanic healing focus on the energetic and spiritual body, the part of you that is transcendent and goes with you through this lifetime and other lifetimes.
So what does this have to do with soul loss?
Stay with me here.

Your soul, and thus, your energy, acts kind of like millions of tiny puzzle pieces all coming together to form who you are.

Everything about who you are, your experiences, perspectives, thoughts, emotions, feelings, both in your current life and previous lifetimes, all come together to form your unique soul and your unique energy.

We are a sum of energetic and spiritual parts - all coming together from this lifetime and others to make up who we are and how we see the world.

Each of these pieces, each of these experiences, each of these thoughts, feelings, and emotions, each of these events, each little bit and piece along the way are the pieces that comprise our soul.

These pieces are soul fragments.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “I think a little bit of my Soul died in X, Y, Z interaction.” Or “I think so and so took a little bit of my Soul with them.”?

Phrases like these have an actual energetic basis.

When you feel as though a piece of your soul is missing or you’ve left a piece of your soul behind, energetically, chances are, this has actually happened and shamanically it is known as soul loss.

Typically, in most cases, what happens is that you experience a trauma and for whatever reason, age, life circumstance, depth of trauma, you are unable to fully process it. That part of your soul, the age and point in your life you were in when you experienced it, can separate from your soul now and stay there. Still in the trauma. Just waiting for you to come back and process it.

It can be likened to dissociation, psychologically.

In a lot of people, it's a self-protective mechanism so that you can go on living your life and survive, and not spiral into trauma when you need to do other things to keep yourself alive (like, work a job, feed your family, etc.).

When can soul loss occur?

More often than you think! It does not have to be a big giant trauma you experience.

It can occur at any time and in any life, past or present, in which your soul, you, experienced a traumatic event or series of events of any kind.

Any event that is or was emotionally, physically or mentally difficult, heart wrenching, or traumatic is an event in which a soul fragment could of been lost or separated from you. In this life and in all past lives.

Areas in which soul fragment loss often occurs include (non-exclusively):
  • Poverty
  • Power loss (more on this later)
  • Sexual or physical assault
  • Pregnancy and child loss including miscarriage and abortion 
  • Physical, emotional or sexual abuse
  • Bullying, teasing and mistreatment
  • Romantic or platonic relationships that end poorly
  • Death or loss of a loved one
  • Growing up too fast
  • Shifts in life that happened quickly

This list just names a few possible reasons for soul loss, but not all.

These soul pieces, big and small, make up who you are, and during traumatic events, parts of you, certain aspects of yourself (such as your dignity, for example, your confidence, your feelings of security in your sexuality, your emotional wellbeing, your trust towards others, anything at all) can go MIA. It's not just emotional, either. Remember that parts of your soul also make up parts of your energy body and are connected to your physical body. 

If a part of your energy goes missing, this can cause problems in the physical, as well. 

A part of your soul can separate from the greater part of your soul right now, and this is what's called soul loss. 

One person can have tens or hundreds or even thousands of lost soul fragments, from various experiences, across their lifetime. 

Unless you're a spiritually ascended master, you almost definitely have some soul fragments that need to be retrieved. 

And that's what soul retrieval is, the shamanic practice of finding these lost soul fragments. 


You get it now, right?

Soul Retrieval

Alright, so a Soul Retrieval is the practice of finding those soul fragments, calling them back and reintegrating them with your soul energy now. 

Typically, this is done within a shamanic journey, which is a meditative state in which you, or a shamanic practitioner, journeys in time and space to where that soul fragment is, calls them back, and energetically and spiritually reconnects them and reintegrates them with you now.

How do you do it? 

It can be kinda complicated. If you have some meditation experience, you can try it yourself. If not, I recommend you work with a shamanic practitioner to help you. I also have a meditation in my Etsy shop that guides you through the process and lots of people have had success with it!

I don't want to say it's impossible to do on your own and that a novice should never do it alone because that's me taking your power away. 

If you feel confident, try it. But if not, asking for help is okay!

Here's the general process: 

1. Know in your heart that part of you is missing and that you're ready and willing to call this part of you back

2. Get into a meditative state, (diffusing frankincense helps, like, a lot!!) call in your angels and guides, ground and clear your energy, visualize a safe and protected journey space, and ask your guides to so you where this part of you is located

3. Ask them to lead you to that place, and follow them

4. Once there, notice your surroundings and take in information about your age, the event, and the details

5. Approach the part of yourself stuck there and tell them who you are, what year it is, and what is happening 

6. Ask them, convince them, to come back with you and address their concerns

7. Together, journey back. Cutting cords from the energy, calling back energy from it, and clearing it on a soul level. Clear the energy of the soul fragment before you bring them back to the present. (this is the tricky part!)

8. Ask your soul fragment what you can do that would make them feel welcome and at home (the welcoming ceremony). Agree to do that. 

9. Back in current time and space, with their energy clear, clear your own energy if you have not already. You may also wish to clear it again to clear anything you've picked up in the journey.

10. Integrate the soul fragment. Ask them to step back in and reconnect and reintegrate with your energy. Ask your guides to help with the reintegrate and blending of energy.

11.  REST and perform the welcoming ceremony that you agreed to do!


This a very rough guideline. Each and every soul retrieval is different, will behave differently, and will have different requirements.

But, that's pretty much it! Soul loss and soul retrieval in a nutshell. (Read more about signs of soul loss here.)

Trust your intuition and comfort level, and you can always lean on help if needed. My Etsy shop has a meditation that guides you through the process and we can also work together in a healing session.

When a soul retrieval is done, usually you feel really tired for the next few days. Healing can take days, to weeks, to months, and this is considered spiritual and energetic surgery. Many emotions can surface as you going through the healing process as well, but in the end, most feel more whole afterward, and that's the whole point!  



20 Things You Need to Know About Spirit Guides

20 Things You Need to Know About Spirit Guides

Another post from the vault! This one was first written in October 2014. I've updated it where I felt appropriate. 


Your spirit guides are the core of your spiritual support team on the other side.

What is a spirit guide? To put it simply, a spirit guide is a spiritual being, who typically exists in spirit form, who supports, guides, and helps you, from spirit.

Spirit guides are your cheerleaders, your friends, your pathmakers, and road pavers. They help and guide you through this life, even if they never receive a thank you. Everyone has them.

Every. One. 

It's part of being embodied. When you come into physical form in this lifetime, before you do, you help to select a group of spiritual guides who will do exactly that, help guide you.

They work to support you on your path, for the entirety of your physical life here on Earth.  They help provide you with guidance, synchronistically open windows of opportunity, and even help you put the pieces together that lead to grand realizations and life-changing decisions.

Whether you’re just finding out about spirit guides, or you’ve decided you’re ready and interested to begin meeting yours, or you’re already actively working with your guides, it’s important to take grateful pause and be reminded of the important work that they do, in all forms.

Spirit Guides are a diverse, eclectic, and at times, complex bunch, there's really endless things that I could say about them.

But, to keep it short(ish), I've made a list!

20 Things You Need to Know about Spirit Guides

1. Your spirit guides are always looking out for you.

We’ve all had times where we’ve felt unguided and alone. Including me. And sometimes, periods of aloneness are important for our soul’s growth and development. Even when it doesn’t feel like it, and you feel alone in the physical world, you’re always supported and guided in the spiritual world. Your Spirit Guides are always looking out for you and holding you in love with visions of your highest good.

2. You have more than one.
Most people have 7-10 on a full-time team, with 3-5 permanent members of the team, and 5-10 rotating members, which brings me to the next point.

3. Some guides are forever guides, some only stay to help with certain lessons
It’s true that not all guides stay with us forever, though, some do. Just like friends and relationships here on Earth, some guides, just like people, are brought to us to help guide us through a particular problem, to help us navigate and learn a critical and often hard lesson, or to provide us with much-needed help and a crucial period of soul development. There are guides that join your team to help with specific things, and then they move on to help another. And yet, there are other guides that stay with us for the duration of our lives, and these are lifetime guides.

4. Many have been human before now and previously lived very similar experiences to yours now
They’re your guides for a reason. You wouldn’t take parenting advice from someone who’s never had a child, and you wouldn’t take life advice from someone who’s never experienced (something close to) your situation. You guides are your guides because they’ve been there - they have wisdom and experience, and they’ve come out the other side of it. They can empathize and understand what you’re going through.

5. You selected them yourself, before your birth
Yep. Before you were born, in between this life and your previous life, you selected the individuals that you’d like to help you learn the lessons of this life and navigate through your world. While you were in spirit, between lives, you asked your now-guides to help you follow your life path, and they agreed.

6. They’re some of the easiest Spirits to connect with
Because you selected them yourself, and you have a personal connection with each and every one of them, this makes them some of the easiest spirits connect to. You already have a connection, as two spiritual beings, before you embodied into this lifetime. You just have to re-learn how to connect with them while in your physical body. The connection exists, all you need is a little effort to get it going!

7. They’re more than just people - they include fairies, animals, plants, and crystals too!
Spirit guides can be any individual that has a spirit. The only requirement is that they have a spirit and most generally are not also embodied now.

In The Evolving Soul: Spiritual Healing Through Past Life Exploration (*affiliate link), Dr. Linda Backman explains that spiritual guide is a step that a soul attains once they've completed their physically embodied lifetimes. 

I personally think that concept is structured around our linear timelines, and time isn't linear, but I digress.

Basically, any being with a spiritual body can be a guide. Angels, Ascended masters, gnomes, animals, plants, trees, and even crystals.

8. Spirit guides can be ancestors or people you once knew while living.
It’s been said that spirit guides are typically not relatives or ancestors, or people you otherwise know or knew while alive. This is because it’s hard to give unbiased and unfiltered advice when you already have a bias and a filter - and most people that know you and love you mostly cannot be unbiased.

They don’t want you to see hardship or feel pain, even if it was written into your life path. But, in some cases, ancestors can be guides and so can deceased loved ones. In fact, it is often the case that those who have left us too soon, like children or young adults, often move on to take positions as our guides and guardian angels once they cross over.

9. They can have emotions
Your guides have a soulful connection with you, transcending more than one life. You may even share past lives with your guides. They’ve known you for multiple lifetimes and incarnations. They care about you and your well being. They’re your friends, and they have feelings. 

10. They WANT to help you
Your spirit guides are polite and don’t want to butt into your life unasked. But they do want to help. In fact, they probably think you don’t ask for their guidance enough (most do!). They’re here, and that’s what they’re there for - to help and provide guidance - to let them do it! That’s their sole job right now, and they want to do it. We just have to ask.

11. Spirit guides can be harsh and give tough love
Some can, and this is their way. This is perhaps a quality that you saw beneficial when you selected them as your guide.

12. Their appearances and personalities are vast and numerous
Literally any form. Fairy. Walrus. Mouse. Fern. Your Spirit Guide can be any being with a spirit and can take any form they like. 

13. They can have specific jobs
Spirit guides can have certain roles that they fill, positions in your support team. Some serve protective roles, others provide wisdom, others joy, and others manage your gateway to the spiritual world, and still others provide healing. There are many supportive roles needed throughout your life, and with each one, may come a guide. 

14. They can do more than one job at a time. They can wear more than one hat.
One guide can fill more than one role. Your gatekeeper guide can be your joy guide, and your protector guide can be your wisdom guide, and so on.  

15. Spirit Guides can be vague about plans for the future - with a reason!
Your guides can provide guidance, but not all the time or all the way. This is your life, and they want you to live and feel proud and empowered of your accomplishments. They want you to learn your lessons and contemplate the meaning. They want you to find the treasure at the end of the rainbow. Sure, they’ll give hints, but that joy is yours to have, not theirs! And sometimes they don’t want to spoil the surprises (or can't, as stated in your soul contract).

16. They can be “wrong” about the future.
Your spirit guides, and all spirits, give best approximations in readings and in your personal communications with them. They give the highest probability outcome, statistically, to occur given the current standings of all factors and current energy surrounding the matter. But, you don’t live your life in a vacuum, and many other people and factors are involved in putting the pieces together in any one aspect of your life. Because of this, outcomes can and sometimes do change. You change, and as things shift, outcomes do as well.

17. Spirit guides of yours can help your family members and close friends, too
Spirit guides talk to each other and work together - they communicate and makes things happen for an entire soul group, not just you. Your soul group is the group of souls who you've been incarnating with lifetime after lifetime, and you're connected to them in this and other lifetimes. You're a team, and everyone's guides work as a team, too.

18. They want to get to know you better
They want to continue your relationship together, while you are physically embodied and they are not. These are your friends and mentors, and you know each other already. But things are different in your current embodiment and you may have different likes, dislikes, and preferences in this embodiment. It's easier for them to do their jobs the better they know these things about you.

The more you allow your Guides to know you, the more things they can do to help in exactly the way you want to be helped.

19. You can learn to identify your Guides’ presence with certain cues, called calling cards.
Your guides have had physical bodies before. They’re aware that it can be difficult to learn how to work with and sense the subtle signs of spirit - and they want to make it easier for you. Each of your guides has a specific signal, a cue, or a calling card, that is uniquely them. Think of it as a bird call or a secret word, once you know it, you always do and you know who sent the signal.

20. They’re proud of you.
You’re doing a great job. Overcoming hardships and learning previously unlearned lessons. Your soul is growing in this life, and all lives, and that’s always an achievement. Your guides are proud of you.

Your guides are always standing by, to provide you with support, love, compassion, and of course, guidance, whenever you need it. All you have to do is ask.

Ready to meet one of your guides? Check out my guided meditation on Etsy helping you do just that!