Shamanism is a dance between worlds. People trained in soul retrieval or soul recovery as it is sometimes called, learn a spiritual dance beginning first with self. In my experience it is taught in the grueling daily activity of practicing awareness. When the invited unconscious surfaces, we practice shamanic transmutation accordingly. This gradually expands from personal healing forward as we are able to share with others.
The soul ‘fragments’ are in the emotional and mental body in the auric field of each being. In a unconscious place these things are held. Recovering our fragmented selves is a spiritual practice that takes time. This is deep self healing. It may be helpful when one is assisted by another shamanically, yet a change of consciousness that is permanent (transmutation) occurs within. To receive the teachings to self heal, and apply those teachings are the deepest form of shamanism.
Here is a short writing from Sandra Ingerman.
Shamanism is the oldest spiritual practice known to humankind. We know from the archaeological evidence that shamanism was practiced all over the world for at least 40,000 years. However many anthropologists believe that the practice dates back over 100,000 years.
The word shaman comes from the Tungus tribe in Siberia and means “one who sees in the dark”. Shamanism has been practiced in parts of Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, Greenland, and Native North and South America.
A shaman is a man or woman who interacts directly with spirits to address the spiritual aspects of illness, perform soul retrievals, divine information, help the spirits of deceased people cross over, and perform a variety of ceremonies for the community. Shamans have taken on many roles in tribal communities. They have acted as healers, doctors, priests, psychotherapists, mystics, and storytellers.
Shamans look at the spiritual form of illness which might manifest on an emotional or physical level.
It is believed that whenever we suffer an emotional or physical trauma a part of our soul flees the body in order to survive the experience. The definition of soul that I am using is soul is our essence, life force, the part of our vitality that keeps us alive and thriving.
The types of trauma that could cause soul loss in our culture would be any kind of abuse sexual, physical, or emotional. Other causes could be an accident, being in a war, being a victim of a terrorist act, acting against our morals, being in a natural disaster (a fire, hurricane, earthquake, tornado, etc.), surgery, addictions, divorce, or death of a loved one.
Any event that causes shock could cause soul loss. And what might cause soul loss in one person might not cause soul loss in another. SI
In psychology we call this disassociation. But in psychology we don’t talk about what disassociates and where that part goes. In shamanism we understand that a piece of the soul leaves the body and goes to a territory in what shamans call non ordinary reality where it waits until the trauma is released.
Addictions are also a sign of ‘soul loss’ as we seek external sources to fill up the empty spaces inside of us whether through substances, food, relationships, work, or buying material objects etc.. In The Gnostic Way, we are given tools to find the emotion, with memory that is trapped in the auric field. When transmutation is applied, the trauma is released, and the soul piece (awareness) naturally returns.